Best Meat, Cheese, and Charcuterie Plates In Memphis
It’s time to talk about one of my favorite things: meat and cheese boards! When I say meat and cheese “boards” I’m talking about charcuterie plates, butcher’s platters, cheese trays, cured meat boards: whatever you want to call them. Some are just meat; some are just cheese. Some have both, plus a myriad other snacks on them. I love all the variations.
People go crazy for charcuterie because we like to try different flavors, to mix and match tastes that create the perfect bite. Usually there are other bits of gnoshings on these cheese boards, too, which is secretly my favorite part. All manner of jams, mustards, pickled veggies, fruit, pâtés, candied nuts, a deviled egg or two, maybe a dab of pimento cheese…just bring it all to me.
I know Memphis is into meat and cheese boards as much as I am, because the inaugural Butcher Board Festival on July 22 was sold out and packed. So, I decided it was time for a roundup. When I asked Memphis Twitter about the best Memphis charcuterie, cheese boards, meat platters, etc., y’all did not disappoint.
Here are some of our suggestions.
I’ll include some ballpark prices, but keep in mind that prices and menus change oh-so-frequently. This isn’t a post about cheap eats, as charcuterie is usually more of a treat-yourself situation. I would love to hear about your favorite cheap dishes in town, too.
Sweet Grass in Cooper Young has a couple of options for dinner: a charcuterie plate that’s just the meat and fixin’s and a cheese plate that’s just cheese with fixin’s. Or you can have it all on the Butcher’s Platter. The platter is substantial, might even serve as a light meal for two, because it has so many other things on it – pickled veggies, deviled eggs – though that may depend on your definition of “light”. The platter is also available during Sunday brunch and for dinner at Sweet Grass Next Door. It’s about $15 for the meat or the cheese, about $30 for both.
Flight downtown has a charcuterie plate with sausages, a couple of cheeses, fruit, and pickles available on their dinner menu ($22). Everything Flight does is delicious, so I’m sure this is no exception. Their sister restaurant in Germantown, Southern Social, offers a charcuterie plate as well.
— Nichole (@nicholeroberts) July 25, 2018
Belle Tavern in Barbaro Alley downtown offers a Butcher’s Platter with cured meats and cheese that I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews about and is #1 on my list to try. Trying to find price info.
ECCO on Overton Park has a couple of plates on their menu – one with homemade sausage, one with imported cheese and fruit, and another antipasto plate with cured meats and olives and such. Prices vary $10 – $18 depending on which one you get.
Alchemy’s awesome happy hour lets you enjoy their charcuterie plate for less. I’ve ordered this many times, and it’s usually quite simple – and I mean that in a good way – a few sausages and your hard, soft, and funky cheeses – with a few accoutrements. It’s about $18, regular price. Happy hour is 50% off most items, food or drink, from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
River Oaks in East Memphis has a charcuterie platter with prosciutto and lots of veggies ($19) plus a three-cheese tasting plate ($14). That sounds like it would go beautifully with a watermelon and tomato salad I ate years ago and still think about, and there’s still a version of it on the menu!
Bari in Overton Square has a legendary cheese selection; in fact, eating all the cheese at Bari is on the list of 365 Things To Do In Memphis. Their meat and cheese “plate” is a la carte, so you can pick how many cheeses, cured meats, or antipasto items you want. Bari usually has 3 for $12, 5 for $18 (or whatever) style pricing and limited edition cheeses on the chalkboard in the bar. As someone pointed out on Twitter, the servers and bartenders there are great at helping you choose from all those options.
South of Beale downtown keeps it low-key with a casual cheese platter on their starter plates menu. It’s got three cheeses and some accompaniments, about $11. I’d pair it with a side order of their crispy Brussels Sprouts and a craft cocktail from Colby.
Strano by Chef Josh is now open in their new location in East Memphis and I’ve been raving about the brunch I had there for a few weeks. But about the charcuterie: they’ve got a $20 cheese or meat platter you can begin your meal with, or for a few bucks more, do both meat and cheese.
The Grove Grill in East Memphis truly impressed me with their house-cured meats. For those looking for something beyond grilled sausage, recently they’ve been serving up some pâtés and chicken liver mousse along with the other cured hams, though it seems their menu varies with what’s freshly created (fine by me). Their $13-ish charcuterie board is meat, mustard, and pickles (no cheese). I got a chance to try them at their Third Thursday tasting, which you should check out if you haven’t.
Catherine & Mary’s / Andrew Michael Of course these Andrew Ticer + Michael Hudman eateries know how to put together a charcuterie plate. Let me not wax poetic about it, just know that each restaurant offers a variety of meats and imported cheeses. At Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen, you can order each meat, cheese, or veggie individually (about $14 each) or a selection of all three for about $36. At C&M, choose from a cheese or house cured meat situation. Porcellino’s is still closed so I’m not including them.
Loflin Yard downtown has revamped their menu this summer, and I’m hearing good things from trusted sources about their simple sausage and cheese platter, which comes with a tomato salad and tapenade for something different. I’m working on price info.
Several more thoughts…
There are other spots in town to do grab-n-go or make your own charcuterie plates, especially for the house cured meats. Try out City Market inside Crosstown Concourse, or something from City Block Salumeria, which has two locations, one is where Porcellino’s used to be and one is open inside the South Main Market at 409 S. Main.
If your nearest Kroger has a Murray’s Cheese Shop inside, well, there’s no shame in grabbing some cheese from their $5 bins in a pinch. Just do not ever get the Morbier. Or if you do, DO NOT smell it.
I miss the picnic basket from Greencork. That was fun.
And hell, there’s nothing wrong with your wonderfully basic BBQ sausage and cheese plate you can get at pretty much any barbecue restaurant. They usually come with cheddar and probably pepper jack, sausage with BBQ rub or sauce, maybe a pickle or a pepperoncini and packets of saltines.
What should I add? Let me know in the comments.