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Calvary to Kick off Lenten Preaching Series, Waffle Shop on Valentine’s Day

Calvary Episcopal Church is busy preparing this week for its 90th Lenten Preaching Series and Waffle Shop – an annual institution that many Memphians have chosen as an annual culinary rite of passage.

From Thursday, Feb. 14 through Friday, March 22, Calvary’s famous Waffle Shop will be open every weekday from 11 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., serving up all traditional favorites, including homemade waffles, salads and daily specials.

Calvary will also offer take-out orders and pre-ordered and prepaid “Lunches to Go.” Lunches to Go orders may be placed in the Great Hall from 11:30 a.m. to noon. Prepaid orders will be bagged and ready for pick up in the Great Hall after the service.

This year’s Preaching Series will feature national and local spiritual leaders from a variety of denominations and religions including Rabbi Sandy Sasso, Bishop Spong, the Rev. Dr. John Philip Newell and Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, among others. The series begins each weekday at 12:05 p.m. and will be finished by 12:40 p.m.

“We are honored to have celebrated this historic tradition with the Memphis community for 90 years now,” said the Rev. Chris Girata, rector at Calvary Episcopal Church. “This will be my first time to experience Lent at Calvary, and I look forward to engaging with the community through the preaching series and delicious meals in the Waffle Shop.”

Calvary Episcopal Church is a parish of the Episcopal Diocese of West Tennessee and The Episcopal Church, a province of the Anglican Communion. Founded in 1832, Calvary’s parish today comprises more than 1,000 baptized members. Although a growing number reside in Downtown Memphis, parishioners come from all across the Mid-South.

A new concept this year Calvary has created is a separate meditation room where people can eat their meals in quiet and watch the preaching series at the same time via simulcast. This is aimed at those with time-sensitive lunch hours who still want to experience the sermon.

Additionally, Calvary will have a “Waffle Shop After Dark” for those who may not be able to make it during lunch or who want to bring their families for an evening meal and hear a speaker. This series will be every Wednesday during Lent with the Waffle Shop open from 5:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. and the speaker beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Memphis Group Presents Complete Streets Policy at Kansas City Conference

A Memphis group of public, private and nonprofit professionals spoke at the New Partners for Smart Growth Conference in Kansas City on Friday, Feb. 8.

ULI Memphis, Livable Memphis and the Memphis Area Association of Realtors (MAAR) presented, “Getting to Complete Streets the Grassroots Way,” summarizing an ongoing effort that culminated in an executive order for a new Complete Streets policy, which was signed this week by Memphis Mayor A C Wharton Jr.

“This Complete Streets initiative is an outgrowth of the Sustainable Shelby policy which I started when I was Mayor of Shelby County,” Wharton said in a release. “The Complete Streets initiative fits in with my view that enhancing our public realm is a key component of making Memphis a City of Choice.”

The presentation group – which was selected from candidates across the nation – included Emily Trenholm, Community Development Council; Sarah Newstok, Livable Memphis; Aubrie Kobernus, formerly of MAAR; Rusty Bloodworth, Boyle Investment Co.; and Lissa Thompson, Ritchie Smith Associates.

The development of the new Complete Streets policy, in which City of Memphis engineer John Cameron was extensively involved, has taken a year and a half to complete. The next stage entails the creation of a design manual, which will be used in the planning process.

The preparation of the design manual also will be a partnership among city staff, design professionals, citizen representatives and the private sector. In developing the manual, the group will consider all of the implications of possible street design, including liability concerns, health, and safety and welfare issues, as well as economic, environmental, maintenance and aesthetic consequences.

“The new Complete Streets policy represents a commitment by the City of Memphis to treat streets as an important part of the public realm,” said Bloodworth, a sustainability advocate. “The policy will enable the creation of city streets in the Memphis area that are inviting to a variety of users, including pedestrians and bicycles, and not just automobiles.”

Watch the completed Complete Streets mini documentary here.

Dishcrawl Does Cooper-Young

I had the privilege of attending the first Dishcrawl Memphis epicurean adventure in Cooper-Young on Tuesday, Feb. 5.

There were four stops total in the tour, which organizers explain as a pubcrawl but with food. Dishcrawl Memphis ambassador Paige Laurie let the 40 guests know about the meeting place and first stop, Alchemy, 48 hours in advance, but kept the rest tight-lipped, no matter how much we tried to guess. Each stop included food only, and alcohol was available for purchase.

Alchemy did the first course right. Chili roasted fish tacos with toasted cumin slaw, chorizo and Louisiana crawfish mac and cheese, and Donnell Century Farms (out of Jackson, Tenn.) beef sliders with pimento cheese. All of those items are on Alchemy’s regular small plate menu.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I really appreciated how chef Nick Seabergh greeted each table to see how his menu went over. He’s new to the Alchemy kitchen and appears settling in swimmingly.

Next up on the Dishcrawl was Cortona Contemporary Italian. The menu there was foiegras mousse with strawberry black pepper compote served over toasted baguette, Italian shrimp and grits with blood orange sauce, and truffle chicken meatballs with house-made fettuccini.

 

 

 

 

 

 

During our stop, I learned that Cortona had been closed last week for renovations, so I asked general manager Jennifer Dickerson (who came over from Erling Jensen: The Restaurant) to update me on the restaurant’s happenings. She said that chef David Cleveland was on a sabbatical and had been replaced with Fortunato “Nate” Oliva, also from Erling Jensen. Dickerson added that some additional staff had been brought on, as well as new computers.

Beauty Shop was third on our food fieldtrip. There we were treated to tempura avocado spring rolls with Vietnamese dipping sauce, pork carnitas with blue cheese and pear, and salmon gravlax with an avocado orange radish relish. This was definitely my favorite plate, presentation and taste-wise, of the evening.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our grand finale turned out to be Imagine Vegan Café. I was pleasantly surprised by this; I’ve been meaning to try it out for the past two years that it’s been open. Chef Kristie Jeffrey introduced her husband, Adam, and their two little girls, Savannah (who served us our waters) and Sierra. She then reviewed the vegan dessert menu with us: lavender vanilla cupcakes, caramel vanilla cupcakes, triple chocolate cupcakes, cookies and crème cupcakes, carrot cake cupcakes (all of the cupcakes were mini), and also triple chocolate chunk brownie bites and whoopie pies – devil’s food cake sandwiched around vanilla buttercream.

Guests were instructed to pick three of the desserts from the buffet line. Jeffrey was the only chef to receive applause from the Dishcrawl audience.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turns out we never crossed Cooper Street. I thought I had it all figured out – Alchemy, Sweet Grass, Tsunami and Imagine Vegan Café. I guess two out of four isn’t too bad.

Dishcrawl’s attendees were of all ages and all parts of Memphis. Our name tags, which also indicated what part of town we were from, included areas from Germantown to Southaven. The whole tour lasted a little over two hours.

Dishcrawl Memphis is having another food tour tonight, Wednesday, Feb. 6. That was actually the original night for Dishcrawl’s launch, but sold out so quickly that the Tuesday night slot was added. Laurie said three of the four restaurants will be the same tonight and will be serving the same food as last night.

Dishcrawl Memphis had been so well-received that there’s a similar event in the works for April 7 called Neighborfood. Laurie said that food tour is on a much larger scale, with eight restaurant stops and 100 to 500 attendees over several hours. Neighborfood is self-paced, meaning guests can stay as long as they want at each eatery, and five percent of the proceeds go to a charity of the ambassador’s choice.

Laurie added that Dishcrawl anticipates events every eight weeks. Possible locations include Downtown, East Memphis (Brookhaven Circle came up), Madison Avenue, Overton Square and Collierville.

Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken Expanding to Little Rock

Gus’s World Famous Fried Chicken is expanding into Downtown Little Rock in the River Market district, InArkansas.com reports.

Gus’s, which has been a west Tennessee favorite for more than 50 years, offers delicious white and dark meat chicken plates, along with the fixin’s like baked beans, potato salad, slaw and fried rice,” the article reads. “What makes their chicken so scrumptious is the very special batter it’s fried in. And, you can count on all the chicken to be fried to order.”

Gus’s legacy dates back to 1953, when Napoleon “Na” Bonner invented the fried chicken recipe in Mason, Tenn. Read more about the history here.

A franchise group of Gus’s opened an East Memphis location in 2011 near Gibson’s Donuts. Gus’s also has locations Downtown, in Collierville and Nashville.

Free Pancakes at IHOP on Tuesday, Feb. 5

It’s National Pancake Day.

And for International House Of Pancakes (IHOP), that means free short stacks of buttermilk pancakes on Tuesday, Feb. 5.

Memphis-area IHOP stores will offer each guest a gratuitous stack from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., and in return, diners will be asked to leave a voluntary donation to support Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals programs at Le Bonheur Children’s Medical Center.

This is IHOP’s eighth consecutive year with this free pancake promotion. The California-based restaurant chain has set $3 million as its nationwide goal in an effort to raise awareness and funds for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, and other local charities.

To find a local IHOP or to donate online, visit www.ihoppancakeday.com.

National Pancake Day Fun Facts:


  • IHOP served four million free pancakes on National Pancake Day 2012 and pancake lovers donated more than $3 million to children’s charities.
  • All of the free pancakes served on National Pancake Day 2012 would create a stack nearly 16 miles high.
  • Since the inception of National Pancake Day in 2006, IHOP has raised more than $10 million and given away more than 14 million pancakes to support charities in the communities in which it operates.
  • National Pancake Day 2012 was IHOP’s largest one-day event in the company’s 54-year history.

Dansette

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