Ok I will start things off for the coverage of the events of the weekend with a very simple summary...We had a great time. Some of the group did a whole lot more in the way of food-stops, others did Graceland and other Memphis Highlights and some stuck to the basics for this trip. I have heard from most of the group and everyone seems to have had a real fine trip!!
Here are two photos... One of the Group at Leonards BBQ Saturday night, and the second of TTM using his usual charms to discuss Porterhouse steaks with our Server at the DOES EAT PLACE
in PADUCAH, KY. We stopped at Does on the way home Sunday and we are very glad we did.
I invite all the photo-bugs to do a post and put all of your entries in that post (use the edit button a lot if you have too! )Doing the "Trip Report" that way will put all of one persons contributions in one entry, and should avoid any confusion about who's photos are we looking at !!
OK Here is the Group- Names- left to right
Front row- Mayor Al, Iwanago, Mrs Mayor, Amy, Mrs Rick F
Row 2- Kerry,WanderingJew, Ayersian, ChiTwnDnr, TTM, Johnny, Sundancer, NorthCarolina, BB, Pov.Pete, RickF
Second photo- TTM and Paducah Doe's Food Server (and new "Good Friend", Cassie ! TRIP REPORT for the Mayor and Janet (and TTM on the Return to Louisville!)
We departed about 4 AM Friday morning using I-65 to E-Town, KY and then the Western KY Parkway SW thru the Commonwealth. Easy if somewhat lonely roads til we got into Tennessee where we ran into some commuter traffic and a lot of red traffic signals as we approached Memphis. We zipped thru Memphis without stopping to get to an early lunch in Mississippi. Our first meal stop was in Clarksdale, Mississippi where we planned to spend the night after our meet-up with the group at Doe's in Greenville. We took a look at the Delta Blues Museum
and then had a nice lunch at the "Ground Zero" Blues Club
right across the street from the Museum. That part of Clarksville seems to have a dozen or more "dumpy-looking" Blues or night clubs. Some are downright shabby in appearance and are in neighborhoods that I don't think I would care to be in late at night...but for lunch, the Ground Zero, partially owned by actor Morgan Freeman, seems safe enough. Here is our "Lunch Sampler" Catfish for Janet and a few Ribs for me. The ambience is sort of 'Old Warehouse turned restarant" and it did quite well at filling us up.
We did stop at Hicks Tamales
for a bunch of Tamales from their drive-up window. Hicks is located in the south end of the town, across the street from the motel we stayed at, so we took out paper bag full of Tamales over to the room to check them out. Small in size, but with a good ground beef filling wrapped in cornmeal and then a corn husk (not paper), they were much smaller than the ones I used to get in SoCal, but tasty and hot!
We looked around town a bit ( not much to see!!) and then headed down to Greenville to meet the group at Does Eat Place
In a run-down part of town, Does
does a good job of maintaining the community image!
As the group settled down and ordered a bunch of fine Beef, We received several plates of Mississippi-Style Tamales. The only difference between these little fellows and the ones we got at Hicks Tamales earlier in the day was that the cornmeal on the Doe's Tamales is either invisible or very-very thin. The tamale filling was quite good. They wrap their Tamales in a paper shell, rather than the corn husk that we see elsewhere. Here ChiTwn Diner and his Brother Kerry enjoy the special little appetizers.
We enjoyed some very good Gumbo...Lots of Shrimp and Crab and very little Rice. It was spiced just right! The only down-side was that it was served in a low-sided cassarole dish that allowed it to cool rather quickly. The meals are strictly Ala-Carte, so the Garlic Bread, FF's and Gumbo or Salad are "extra". Some of the folks ordered the Fried and/or the Grilled (Creole-style) Shrimp. I tried one of each and really liked the grilled one best of all.
Then our Steaks arrived. Janet and I decided to order the 3 Pound Porterhouse and share it. They broiled the filet side to a perfect "Medium" for her and my Strip-Side was Medium-Rare and done just right as well. I would say the Broiler man knows how to use his tools ! First- My strip, still attached to the bone. Then, Janet's Filet side of the same steak. This is/was Outstanding Quality Beef. It had a real rich, beefy flavor! The juices were great for soaking into the french-Fried Potatoes ! Last Steak Photo for tonight shows one of the guys "Whole Porterhouse before he cut into it !
We had planned to go back to Clarksdale to one of the Blues Clubs before ending this busy day, but It was a rainy foggy ride back to the Motel, and we decided to call it quits for the day. Bob (North Carolina) tried the Ground Zero for awhile and reported to us that it was pretty loud and crowded later that evening. I guess I am just not much for 'Clubbing' these days! Especially after a 650 mile drive and some Great food !
OK That was our Friday experience. I hope some of the other guys will add their perspective to this thread...The camera were going like a lightening storm in that room at Doe's !! Several people at surrounding tables got into some good discussions of both the Doe's Experience and the Roadfood Social Activities as well !
We will pick-up next with our Saturday morning ride to Memphis, a Breakfast break at the Blue and White Cafe in Tunica and then the COZY CORNER
in Memphis! One of you guys with photos of the Blue and White Stop, please add them as I diod not take photos there!
After the stop at the Blue and White
, we headed into Memphis using our GPS Navigator to find the Cozy Corner
...Site of the first meeting of the whole group for Lunch.
TTM was pleased to see that his usual "jinx" was not upheld that morning. Here he is letting us know that all is "Open for Business"
at Cozy Corner
The staff at Cozy Corner greeted us like returning family ! They really went out of their way to make us feel welcome. A bunch of Roadfooders who didn't make the run to Mississippi the night before were at the Cozy Corner fresh and ready to enjoy the lunch. We even had a couple of Surprises !! Bob and John from Jackson TN, whom we hadn't seen for a couple of years due to some medical problems that are now "in the past", were able to come. It was great to see them again. Susanll and her husband Louis, and Daughter who are also from the Memphis Metro area not only joined in the fun, but contributed several bottles of the Mopping Sauce that the BBQ Team she used to be part of had used in some of the competition BBQ contest over the years.
Here are some of the participants. If I missed anyone, I hope the other reporters will post photos that make sure everyone's mugshot gets on the report !! Here is Sundancer, WJ and BB in a weighty discussion- Chris and Amy share thoughts with Louis- BB shoots the foodie shots with Janet and Poverty Pete being the subjects The food target of that photo were these Ribs, Rib Tips, and one hunk of BBQ Sausage ! BuffetBuster enjoying the reunion with old friends...Here he is with the Sundancer! Susanll and her family show us how to get our lunches ordered! Bob and TTM survey the group ! Janet and her friend Roz love to chat about all the stuff that's happened since our last get-together.
Saturday evening we met at Leonard's BBQ. Once again the staff made us very welcome. The group had plenty of table room and all the time we wanted for conversation and the exchanging of Door-Prizes...one of the fun things we do each year.
We already posted the 'Group Photo, but here we are at the table!
We had a table load of door-prizes waiting to go home with folks. Some neat things changed hands at this meeting !
While some felt that the BBQ could have been improved on, most of us were happy enough. Here is a typical Buffet sample of Wet and Dry Ribs and some BBQ Spaghetti!
Now it is time for the final section of our report...The trip home! Normally we don't have much to report on this ride...we tend to head straight home as quickly as we can , but this ride was an exception. First of all we enjoyed the company of Steve- The Travelin' Man. He is meeting up with some of his friends in the Louisville area for a couple of days, so we were graced with his company and conversation for the trip home. We decided that since TTM missed out on the Does Greenville, MS experience that we would make a stop at the Doe's in Paducah KY on the way home. Boy, was that a Great decision! We loved the Paducah Stop! This Doe's is also "Family Operated" by the son of the Original store's owner. It is in downtown Paducah, in the historic preservation district, and is really a neat place. The location reminded me of 'Wintzell's
in Mobile,AL, but a bit neater and cleaner. TTM has some photos of the surrounding area that he will post shortly. Here is Janet at the entrance of the Place.
Ambience aside, the food was every bit as good, and in some ways surpassed the Greenville, MS Doe's
in both quality and presentation. While the Greenville store does everything "Ala Carte" , the dinners in Paducah include the side dishes and garlic bread . The Paducah store also has a full bar service and wine available, while Greenville offers beer only and allows you to bring in your own wine or spirits.
Here is the Paducah Store's version of the Gumbo. Served in a bowl it was 'Piping Hot', delicious and looked great with the rice in the center.
Janet and I shared some of the Garlic/Grilled Shrimp and a Ribeye Steak. They tasted as good as they looked! Served with some veggies, French Fried Potatoes and Garlic Bread, this was a full meal, that's for sure.
TTM got busy with his camera as soon as his Porterhouse was delivered!
However, He was interrupted a couple of times when our server, the sweet young 'CASSIE' stopped by to be sure everything was "going well" !! She really was a nice young lady who was quite interested in how 'Her'
store compared with the Mississippi Original! We think they are both great, but would give the edge to the Paducah store due to its closer location to us, and the restoration projects going on in the heart of that Rivertown, that makes it a "nicer" area to visit.
Dispite the obvious distractions, TTM finally got to devour his Porterhouse-
My final shot for this trip report...leaving the scenery to the other folks to post...is of TTM's Porterhouse as he made his way thru it. What a great piece of Beef !!
OK Folks, That's my version of what we did on this trip. I hope our friends will add to this report! I am moving this whole thread to the Trip Report Forum and will await your additions. It was Indeed a fine meet-and-eat event. Thanks to all who made it possible ! AND A special thanks to the folks at Doe's (Both Greenville and Paducah, and the Cozy Corner and Leonard's BBQ for allowing us the Space and Time to really enjoy this meeting!
<message edited by mayor al on Tue, 02/17/09 9:22 AM>