My best friend Greg (not to be confused with my BFF Sheridan ... I have two best friends!) moved to Kentucky several years ago, and we typically see each other at least once (maybe twice) a year. But his last visit to Memphis was NYE 2020, and then a pandemic happened. Now that we're both vaccinated, Greg planned his vacation time around a trip to Memphis.
He arrived Wednesday night, and we immediately made a trip to Pho Binh for takeout tofus! Pho Binh was our fave buffet spot back in the day when buffets were still a thing. For now, Pho Binh is only doing takeout, so we made our own mini buffet with Lemongrass Tofu and Green Bean Tofu (the two best things on the menu).
After dinner, Paul, Greg, and I went to the new HiTone, which a couple blocks from the old HiTone, which are both a couple blocks from my house. The HiTone moved during the pandemic, so this was my first time there. It's a nice space!
The next day — Thursday — I took off work, and we went hiking! Greg was never outdoorsy before he moved, but he's since discovered hiking, and I couldn't be more thrilled. I'd rather be on a trail than just about anywhere else. We went to the Woodland Trail at Meeman Shelby. It's a three-mile loop, and I've run it often, but it took us much longer to hike.
We went to Slider Inn Downtown for dinner that night after Paul got off work. I got the mix and match sliders with two Vegan Triple B burgers (beets, black bean, brown rice) with vegan smoked Gouda and one Falafel Slider. Plus, fries with their vegan ranch!
Later, we eavesdropped on a Tank & the Bangas concert at the Levitt Shell. Tickets were $270-$400 (!!!), so we just found a nice spot in Overton Park to listen for free! And then we went to Dru's Place for a Thirsty Thursdays drag show. It's fun to be out in the world again!!
On Friday, Greg and I did a little shopping (Sprouts, Whole Foods, Target), and then we got takeout from New Hong Kong on Quince. They have a great vegan mock meat menu! I got the Special Fried Rice, which has mock ham, mock chicken, and mock beef.
We enjoyed our meal at Memorial Park Cemetery so that, afterward, we could explore the Crystal Shrine Grotto. This awesome crystal cave was built in the 1930s, and it's just magical. One of my favorite places in Memphis!
Later that night, after Paul got off work, we took Greg to Grind City Brewing, which has opened since his last visit. Best view of downtown! In the background, you can see our broken M bridge (currently closed to traffic because they found a CRACK IN THE BRIDGE! Terrifying since that's how I drive to Arkansas to see my parents). Then we went home and built a bonfire! Such a fun couple of days! I'll be back tomorrow with a recap of Saturday and Sunday of Greg's visit.