The Arcade Restaurant
540 South Main St. Memphis, Memphis, TN, USA
www.arcaderestaurant.com - (901) 526 - 5757
The Arcade Restaurant Memphis Reviews
Memphis History at it's best May 23, 2008
God, I love Couchsurfing - I wouldn't have known to go here if it wasn't for two wonderful local CS members, Jennifer and Amy - and I will be so grateful for the wonderful morning we had together, including breakfast at this awesome spot.
Apparently, The Arcade is the oldest cafe in Memphis, and has been open since 1919. It's still family run. It's said to have been a favorite place for Elivs.
First thing you notice - the place has character to spare, but not in any obnoxious or loud way. It just is what it is - a fabulous old diner with neat touches (like the booth apparently dedicated to a loyal customer with a plaque) and really nice staff.
Next thing that sinks in is that the menu (or at least the breakfast portion, since that's what I was focused on) is varied and fun, offering things like "Country Fried Steak" and "Eggs Redneck".
I decided on the Sweet Potato Pancakes with Grits. I was nervous about this because often I find pancakes too doughy and dense, and I had never tried grits before. I was delighted on both counts. The pancakes were light, fluffy and crisp, and even the syryp could not make them soggy or weigh them down. The grits were a very nice surprise; I loved how each individual grain was so firm but soft, and the flavor was great.
The meal came out steaming hot, and included 2 eggs and a side of sausage patties.
The check, which included three full (large) meals and beverages, totalled $31.00
The trolly runs right outside the door, and both streets that the restaurant runs down (it's on a corner) are lined with awesome old buildings, making you feel you've entered the past. There is also a small outside area to eat with little tables and chairs.
The diner has also been the location of several movie scenes, including "The Firm", "Great Balls of Fire", "Mystery Train", and "21 Grams". It was fun to recognize it from some of those.
I don't think I would ever return to Memphis without making a point to stop in for breakfast, and I hope everyone else has the same great experience I had.
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