So, for lunch yesterday, some of the guys from the office and I decided we’d give Main St. Hound Dogs a chance.
We’d all seen him on Twitter and heard good things about him. We’d even stopped and talked to him for a few minutes while walking down Main St. on our way to another lunch destination downtown. Christopher McRae is genuinely one of the nicest guys you’ll find in Downtown eateries, and he spends his midday at a hot dog cart by the trolley tracks!
Open from “11ish to 2ish” Monday through Saturday, Chris sells his dogs (turkey and beef) and his fresh-squeezed limeades (regular and cherry) on the corner of Union Ave. and Main St.
If I worked in Downtown proper, I’d be at his cart multiple times a week. The dogs are cooked decently, but are prepared with a good selection of toppings. One companion (@aranhia) got his turkey dogs with “all the standards:” deli mustard, ketchup, sauerkraut, relish and onions.
I was reviewing some of the photos from my iPhone and decided I would put some of them on here to see if anyone can guess where they are. Some are easy. Others are fairly difficult if you haven’t left your respective neighborhoods and really explored the city and county. There is so much more in this city than what is portrayed in newspapers and on television. Memphis is much more than Mid-Town, Downtown, Germantown and crime-ridden neighborhoods, though you would never tell by looking at the coverage across most of the media in town.
I was first introduced to Uncle Lou’s Fried Chicken as an alternative to Gus’ World Famous Fried Chicken. I think this was to convince a few of my coworkers to come along for the ride, we’re talking some die-hard Gus’ fans.
The truth of the matter is that a comparison between Uncle Lou’s does neither restaurant credit. They’re both amazing and some of the best chicken you can get in Memphis.
Uncle Lou’s has a wider range of delectables, however. And you can’t mention the differences without mentioning the Honey Butter Biscuits. These things are worth the drive from anywhere in Memphis. Words can’t quite describe them.
Featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, Uncle Lou’s is every bit a staple of the Memphis community of which many have not heard.
With a fairly large menu, including everything from a fried bologna sandwiches to standard fried chicken, you’ve got to give Lou and company props for comfort food.
In my first trip, I knew I had to try the chicken, so I ended up with a fried chicken sandwich. It’s quite possibly one of the best chicken sandwiches I’ve ever eaten. Elevated in my mind due mainly to Lou’s Sweet and Spicy Love. Just the right amount of tanginess and very little real heat (yes, I went with Mild… sue me), but great flavor. To my great and quite pleasant surprise, it was far less messy than any sauced sandwich has any right to be.
I’d seen someone with their grilled chicken tenders, and they looked quite amazing. I told myself I’d indulge in an order of those next time I visited. The siren song of honey-dipped smoked sausage sandwich. I unfortunately didn’t have wax in my ears and the song led me directly into rocky waters.
It’s not to say the sandwich was subpar. It was actually quite good, but there’s only so much you can do with a smoked sausage that hasn’t been done before. The addition of Sweet Spicy Love was a major plus, but it just wasn’t mind blowing like the original chicken sandwich was.
I promised myself, next time, I would reach out for those grilled chicken tenders, and I would taste find out once and for all if you could judge this book by its cover.
Oh. My. God.
I think I’ve entered into an abusive relationship with these things. They punched me in the mouth, but I forgave them and came back for more. Seasoned with Lou’s “Corruption” a potent dry rub, they really pack a whallop and are incredible. On a plate with four tenders, the chicken looks as if it’s falling apart and really doesn’t need a knife to rip it apart. Even without the Corruption, these tenders would be great. They have all their juices locked in and a lot of the natural flavor comes through. As a “healthy” choice at Uncle Lou’s, it can’t be beat.
One last thing.
It may be cliched, but you know that you can expect something good at an establishment if you can find the proprieter there.
Lou’s there most days and is a distinct character. He’s always happy you’re there and wants you to truly enjoy his food. First-time customers are often welcomed with a hearty handshake.
You can definitely feel the love in the food and location, regular and Sweet and Spicy.