It’s no secret that Memphis is a great food city. We’ve got tons of incredible local restaurants serving everything from high-end French delicacies to dollar tacos. And, I don’t care what anyone from Kansas or Chicago or North Carolina says, Memphis barbecue is the best.
Memphis is also a great food city because of our culinary inventiveness, especially when it trumps all reason, logic and healthy eating guidelines.
Here are eight ways that local restaurants have taken regular foods to the extreme:
1. The Donut Burger from CK’s
When the local CK’s coffee shop chain got new management, there were a few menu additions, including the donut burger. It’s exactly what it sounds like – a burger patty sandwiched between two glazed donuts. It’s greasy and warm and sugary and kind of gross. It’s also surprisingly edible – if you’ve got a fork and a friend.
2. The Chunky Dunk from Muddy’s Bakeshop
Those of you who don’t think that cupcakes can be considered an extreme food should consider the Chunky Dunk. Don’t let it’s relatively small size fool you. The chocolate cupcake is topped with chocolate icing that’s got broken chocolate chip cookies mixed into it.
3. Stoner Pie from the Cove
The Cove’s stoner pie is probably the most aptly named dish on the list. It’s two beef tamales covered with cream cheese Rotel (like regular Rotel, but with thicker cheese) baked in a casserole dish and eaten not with a fork, but with Fritos. Thank me later.
4. Eight Piece Family Meal from Gus’s Fried Chicken
I know that something called a family meal should be consumed by a whole family, but I find Gus’s eight piece family meal to be just the right amount of spicy fried chicken for two. It comes with big tubs of slaw and baked beans and a ton of white bread.
5. HEY MEAT! pizza from Memphis Pizza Cafe
With five different kinds of meat (including two forms of bacon), the HEY MEAT! pizza from Memphis Pizza Cafe is deserving of its capital letters and exclamation point. It also raises a grammatical question – should it be read as an exclamation of surprise (hey, meat!) as a battle cry?
6. Any of the Italian Dinners from Pete & Sam’s
It’s not enough that the Italian dinners at Pete & Sam’s come are completely huge. It’s the sides that make them extreme. You get your choice of any two, and yes, you can get at two kinds of pasta as sides with your pasta.
7. The Kookamonga Burger from Kooky Canuck
The Kookamonga burger is the definition of extreme – four pounds of meat, cheese, bun and veggies with a side of fries. It’s also the only food on this list that has a competitive element: if you can eat the whole thing in under an hour, it’s yours for free.
8. Fried Ribs from 10 Bones BBQ
Memphians love barbecue. They also love fried things. The fried ribs from 10 Bones BBQ in Southaven combine both of those loves into one efficient food item. The meat is more tender than a slow jam, and the frying adds a nice crunch.
What extreme foods have you eaten lately?