On the Monday before Christmas, I loaded my car with gifts and went about the city to make deliveries to family and friends. Then I met a friend for lunch so we could talk about writing and identify measurable goals for 2015. I said, “Let’s have lunch at the Eclectic Cafe.”
She said, “No, no, no! We MUST go to Midtown Crossing.”
She gave me the address . My car pulls up to this tiny blue brick building located at Watkins and Overton Park. What is it? A dump? A dive? A bar? A grill? A what?
I go inside where I am greeted with bright smiles from the bar tender who looks like a 23 year old Robert Deniro. The co-owner and chef, Octavia, says, “Take a seat!”
Octavia and her partner, Jeremiah, are trained chefs who have worked their magic in five star hotels around the nation. They landed in Memphis on a fluke. But that story is for another blog post. Let me move on…
Swiftly I am given a menu. I look around. Midtown Crossing is a bar and they serve all the local beers for those folks who care about these things. It is a clean and pristine non-smoking environment. I see bass guitars standing in a corner on a guitar stand. So, I know that this is venue for live entertainment too. On Monday afternoon, folks talking and laughing over their meal was he only action happening.
I ask, “What is good?” Octavia answers, “EVERYTHING! But if you like pizza you must have the ‘Viggy.”
My eyes roll down the menu. They serve smoked chicken wings dusted in rosemary spices. They serve smoked turkey sandwiches. Like a NY food critic, I order the wings, the smoked turkey and the ‘Viggy ‘ pizza.
My friend, who insisted that we visit the Midtown Crossing, arrived after I made my order. She promised, “You are going to like everything here.”
Then the food arrived to the table. Before I go further, please know that I am a fan of the local gastropubs in Memphis. Name one…Bardog, S.O.B., Local, Chiwawa’s, Slider Inn, Babalu’s, Second Line…I am a frequent patron.
Now back to Midtown Crossing…The fire grilled ‘Viggy’ pizza came to me as a BIG SURPRISE. It is a thin crust pizza made of dough that is buttery and crispy with a light delicate crunch. The pizza is covered in juicy Italian sausage, Alfredo sauce, baby spinach leaves and thin slices of potato. I knew this was not going to work. Who ever heard of potato on a pizza? I was WRONG!!!!
The Italian sage sausage on its own is aromatherapy. Then I took my first bite. And I did not stop munching and crunching until the light crispy buttery pizza delight was completely consumed.
I took the smoked wings and turkey sandwich home. They were wonderful too. But I must go back for the Viggy pizza.
After my experience at Midtown Crossing, I am sure that food is a mood changer. And with the new gastropub being a tiny spot, your table talk about New Year resolutions and world affairs will probably be a community discussion up for friendly debate among all the diners who have gathered for food, laughter and good times.
Feeling blue? Hurry to the blue brick building and have a meal at the Midtown Crossing Grill. The Viggy Pizza will chase your blues away!