Memphis Black Restaurant Week 2017 Starts Today!
Ed. Note: Memphis Black Restaurant Week 2017 starts TODAY! Contributor Kirstin Cheers is here to tell you all about it. Photos by Kirstin Cheers or Cynthia Daniels unless otherwise noted.
Stack your coins and put up your meal-prep tupperware. Stop the calorie counting. Put away those New Year resolutions. MBRW is here to ruin your waistline!
Memphis Black Restaurant Week is back for a second year of delicious restaurant deals from March 6 to 12,, 2017.
Cynthia Daniels founded the event in 2016, along with a group of young, black Memphians who were hungry (pun intended) to raise more support for black-owned businesses in Memphis.
The week brought in more $85,000 between the eight featured restaurants. Inspired by the success of this Memphis-based idea, Cynthia Daniels started her own company, Cynthia Daniels & Co., which specializes in event creation and planning.
Using Daniels’ model, several cities will start their own Black Restaurant Week this year or next. From New Orleans to St. Louis, even if you go out of town, there is no reason to go hungry this week.
This year, 14 Memphis restaurants will offer two-course lunch for $15 and three-course dinner for $25. Here’s my take on all 14:
Sweet Potato Baby
Owner Aryen Moore-Alston uses her years living in Japan and Italy and her love for rich, savor flavors to create the best entrees and pastries to her customers. Offering menu items like Mac-n-Cheese hushpuppies and Downtown Funk Burger, you’ll have to unbutton your pants before leaving.
11:30 a.m – 2:30 p.m.
Chef Fran is a returning veteran to MBRW. She and her family-owned dessert lounge have been the talk of the town since last year, so much so she received visitors from Arkansas and Mississippi. Her eclectic and quaint corner eatery is filled with art from local artists and live music on Sundays. Go for the sweet potato chicken and waffles or the strawberry shortcake. A word of advice: wear stretch pants and a hoodie. When you leave, you’ll need to hide your face from murdering the dish.
2299 Young Ave
Monday – Saturday, 11:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Scoops Parlor is an absolute, personal favorite. Listen: the TN Whiskey worth trying at this downtown gem. The parlor also specializes in crepes, with breakfast, lunch, or dinner options. Try something new like the Buffalo Chicken crepe with a scope of Red Wine gelato.
11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Perignons is a new, fun lounge for good drinks and classic Soutehrn food. They have a full bar and a full menu; I recommend the Boom Boom Shrimp.
(2818 Coleman Rd)
Monday-Thursday 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Friday-Saturday | 11 a.m. – 3 a.m.
Sunday Brunch 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Guilt Free Pastries
Gluten-free diet? You’re still not off the hook this week. Guilt Free Pastries is where you need to be for dessert (whether you have a gluten allergy or not). The bakery prides itself in serving all-natural, grain-free, butter free, diabetic and vegan friendly desserts…all the more reason to throw your scale into the closet (at least this week). They’ll serve a special dessert each day.
Monday-Saturday 1 p.m.-7 p.m.
344 S Main St, Memphis
Monday: Nutty Avocado Brownies
Tuesday: White Chocolate Chip Cookies
Wednesday: Caramel Avocado Brownies
Thursday: Chocolate Matcha Truffles
Friday: Big Mike Donuts
Saturday: Ebony & Ivory Cookies
Phillip Ashley Chocolates
Let’s assume you’re familiar with world-famous Phillip Ashley and his chocolate factory in the heart of Cooper Young. This week, the store will offer tasting cards for $7 for a select trio of designer chocolates along with complimentary champagne from Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
The Office at Uptown
Need breakfast? Begin your day here, another veteran from last year. With classic soul and R&B playing overhead, this spot will make you forget you’re only allowed an hour for lunch.
Monday-Friday from 7 a.m.- 4 p.m
If you’re like me and need a parent friendly-spot, go to Cafe 7/24. The Southern-style, “Love Jones” eatery has an open bar, live music and an atmosphere that will remind your parents where they had their first date back in 19…whatever and will also hopefully distract them from asking about your own personal life. They also offer brunch on Saturdays. Located at 94 S. Front Street.
11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Best Friends Grille
This spot feels exactly like it sounds. Another perfect brunch option, you and your friends can enjoy the gourmet options with good friends. Open Wednesday-Saturday, 11:00am-9:00pm, and Sunday brunch is 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.
The last veteran is another favorite. Two words: New Orleans. Y’all know this one. Located at 51 S. Main Street, open from 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Located at 109 S. Court Street, Cupcake Cuties offers a cupcake bar with sprinkles, assorted chocolate chips, nuts, drizzles and more. This week, purchase two jumbo cupcakes and get the third one 50 percent off.
I am most excited to visit this eatery considering it’s not always easy to find healthy go-to options in Memphis. They are located at 6343 Summer Avenue and open from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Their menu offers soy, animal and gluten free options.
No better place to get a home-cooked meal than The Choo. Try the grilled chicken breast or the pork chop with collard greens, corn on the cob and cornbread. Located at 3045 Southern Avenue. Open from 11 a.m.- 5 p.m.
About The Author
Kirstin Cheers is a native South Memphian who has a knack for writing everything worth writing about for the greater good. She’s the curator for Humans of Memphis and newly published in the Huffington Post. She loves Jesus, shellac nail polish and every bit of her Black Girl Magic.