Pizza, Salads, and Sandwiches: Tamboli’s Serves Lunch In Midtown
Tamboli’s Pasta & Pizza restaurant in midtown opened in the fall of 2019, and today they finally started a soft opening for their lunch service. I practically raced over to the former Fuel Cafe location with my pal Allie for our lunch meeting today to give it a try.
Chef Tamboli has been selling his freshly-made pastas and breads at farmers markets around town for a few years, and the naturally-lit space on Madison is the perfect location for a pizza cafe. The Tamboli’s team works with local farmers for their produce and proteins, as you can see by the list of farms posted on the wall and the menu descriptions.
The restaurant is a good bit bigger than the former Fuel space, which was only a few tables. The kitchen and wood-fired pizza oven are behind a glass wall. It’s been a hit for dinner, with a small but thoughtful menu of appetizers, pizzas, pastas, and a few entrees (check out the dinner menu here). While Tamboli’s doesn’t take reservations, you can call ahead. Our server recommended calling as early as 4:30 or 5 p.m. to grab a spot on busy Friday and Saturday nights. Dont’ forget that it’s pizza-only for after 9 p.m.
The lunch menu offers a $10 special, which includes a cup of soup, a mini salad, and half sandwich. My friend and I both went for the special—Allie got the chicken parm sandwich with a small version of the Tamboli salad and I ordered the meat board sandwich with the mixed greens salad.
Our cups of soup came out first. This is the best tomato soup I’ve had in years. It doesn’t look like much, but it was simple with bright tomato flavor and cream. I smartly saved a bit to dip some bread in, because it was begging for a grilled cheese sandwich.
Yes, these are half sandwiches and half salads. Allie said the chicken parm sandwich was delicious, hearty, and filling. My sandwich’s focaccia’s had that delightful cloud-like property, but I could have used a hint more pesto or maybe a creamier sauce. I ended up dipping it in the tomato soup and couldn’t have been happier.
OK, you caught me. Because I haven’t tried Tamboli’s pizza yet I couldn’t resist ordering a pizza, too. I was planning ahead for leftovers! At dinner, the pizzas are round; for lunch, the “Roman” style is a rectangle cut into four pieces. It’s a good size to share with a group as an appetizer, or for one hungry person.
I loved the pizza sauce’s slight kick, the extra crisp on the edges of the soppressata from the oven, and the thin crust. Everything was tasty, but this pizza is the winner. I can’t wait to come back at dinner to try the pasta. Tamboli’s does offer beer, wine, and Coke products.
Lunch: Tues-Sat 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Dinner: Tues-Sat 5 p.m. – 10 p.m.
After 9 p.m., it’s a pizza only menu.
Tamboli’s Pasta & Pizza
1761 Madison Ave.
Memphis, Tenn. 38104