First impressions are key when you visit a city for the first time. Aside from the fact that we missed our connecting flight and had to spend a very short night in Chicago, I was looking forward to spending a week in the home of the blues and the birthplace of rock and roll.
One of the best ways to get a sense of the soul of a city is through its local food. We were quickly recommended to try the Trolley Stop Market at 704 Madison Avenue. We had flown out of Chicago early that morning and we hadn't had a bite to eat. Our stomachs were growling.
As soon as we walked through the door, one of my favorite soul tunes was coming out of the speakers. If this was any indication of how my week was going to be, this was a good sign.
Part market, part art gallery, this restaurant is one unique place. With paintings of blues musicians, done by artists from the area covering the walls, I felt right at home. Just like their motto states: "Farmer owned. Farmer operated", you can bet that only fresh ingredients are used here.
As we sit at the bar, I thought that there could not be a better way to start the journey than to taste the local beer. Right after I had ordered a pint of Ghost River Oatmeal Stout, I realized that everybody around me was eating brunch. I explained my predicament to the server behind the bar and he nonchalantly said: "Have you ever had coffee in you beer?" That could be a non-conventional way to start a brunch and I was eager to try something new.
After the initial adjustment of drinking luke warm beer, I was happy with my choice. The meal was just as tasty. Nothing too out of the ordinary but oh so good! An egg, cheese and sausage sandwich with a side of hash brown really hit the spot.
My girlfriend had the Whitton Farms shitake, sarrell, spinach, and ricotta omelet. We were unfamiliar with what sarrell was, but the green leaf with its subtle hint a lemon flavor blended well with all the other ingredients.
Memphis, you have won us over already! Now, off to visit the birthplace of rock and roll, Sun Studios.