Monday, October 9, 2017

Crosstown Culinary Crawl

I live and work in Crosstown Memphis, and in my spare time, I volunteer as the secretary for the Crosstown Memphis Community Development Corporation. We're a new(ish) board dedicated to improving safety, boosting economic development, and beautifying the Crosstown community. This past Saturday, we partnered with City Tasting Tours for a Crosstown Culinary Crawl to show off some of the awesome restaurants around the Crosstown area.

You've probably read my posts about Crosstown Concourse, the one-million-square-foot, 14-story "vertical urban village" where I work as the communications coordinator for Crosstown Arts. Concourse has a number of restaurants, but they're all new to the area, having all just opened this year. But we wanted to share the great restaurants around the building, which have been around for several years before the Concourse development even broke ground.

The CDC and City Tasting Tours chose Phuong Long, Midtown Crossing Grill, and Mardi Gras Memphis for the tour. But first, my friend Misti and I started at my house with a little pre-game wine, Rosemary Pecans, and Praline Peanuts. The nuts were fresh-roasted at So Nuts & Confections in Crosstown Concourse.

Then we walked over to Concourse, where the tour group mingled and listened to a performance by the Snowden School Band. It was time for the food tour at 5:30 pm, and everyone walked over to Phuong Long, where we were treated to a buffet! Here's our group!

Selfie with Misti! I've been friends with this lady for YEARS. We both moved to the Memphis area (she lives in Marion, Arkansas - about 15 minutes away) from Jonesboro in 2002, but we were friends back in college when we both attended Arkansas State.

This wasn't a vegan food tour, but there were a number of options at a couple places so I felt confident that I'd get my money's worth for my $35 ticket. And I was so right! Phuong Long had Lemongrass Tofu & Rice, a Veggie Lo Mein Stir-fry, and (not pictured) Veggie Spring Rolls. I went back for seconds on the tofu!

Next stop was Midtown Crossing. Most tour participants got a mini Vegan Banh Mi, the Artist Pizza, and a Cannoli. But owner Octavia hooked me up with two mini banh mis (the Bianca Banh Mi with tofu, hummus, & pickled veggies) and a salad since she knows I'm vegan.

By this point, I was stuffed, so I didn't mind that our next stop — Mardi Gras Memphis — didn't have vegan options. It's a Cajun restaurant, and the menu is not vegan-friendly at all. Here's our group at Mardi Gras though! They had crawfish etoufee and catfish. I was happy to just sit and talk, knowing that wouldn't be leaving nearly as over-stuffed as everyone else.

Here's our City Tasting Tours organizer Cristina (in the green shirt with the head wrap)! We used to work together at the Memphis Flyer, and now she organizes multiple food tours around the city each week.

And this is Porsche, the CDC board member who really did the heavy lifting on organizing this tour with Cristina. Porsche and I also work together at Crosstown Arts.

The official tour ended at Mardi Gras, but some folks went over to Crosstown Concourse for dessert at Area 51 Ice Cream. They do have vegan sorbet there, but Misti and I were too full to eat another bite so we headed back to my house.

I love Crosstown!


Cadry said...

How fun!! It's cool that there were so many options, and that your friends hooked you up with an extra sandwich + salad.

vegan peace said...

I love lemongrass tofu so much and it's been far too long since I've had it !What a fun night.

Jennifer Bliss said...

FUN gathering(s)! I'm jealous - but in a GOOD way!!!!