Friday, May 14, 2010
A "Worldly" Southerner
I ate dinner the other night in the Memphis Tap Room, a marvelous beer bar and restaurant in my neighborhood known as Fishtown, an old section of Philadelphia that is a long way from the dirt road in Georgia where I grew up. It carries the name Memphis not for any relation to Tennessee, but because it is on Memphis Avenue. They do, however, often have Southern-influenced foods. Their fried okra appetizer was a favorite, although it is no longer on the menu. I ordered the redundantly named "chicken-fried chicken" and it was excellent. I asked the bartender if the owner or chef was a Southerner, or had a Southern connection. He smiled, assured me that no, there were no Southerners there, but that "Our chef is very worldly." I felt pretty special after that.