Memorable | One of the Best
Review by: Michael Stern
The Arcade has been around since 1919; a plaque outside proclaims it the city’s oldest restaurant (neck and neck with the Little Tea Shop). It so looks like old Memphis that it has appeared in several movies that take place in the city’s past, including Mystery Train. It is an airy two-room eatery with overhead spinning fans, booths upholstered in squishy pink and aqua, and tables covered with boomerang-pattern Formica.
They say Elvis ate here, and your waitress will be happy to point to the booth where he sat. One time when we walked in, it was a few days after Memphis’s annual Elvis Week (celebrated on the anniversary of his death) and a chalkboard sign atop a vintage blond-wood RCA television console in the lobby advertised The Elvis Sandwich: peanut butter and banana, fried on the griddle. But it was nine AM and we were more in the mood for country ham … which is a good mood to be in if you come to The Arcade, because its country ham is excellent. Served in giant portions with squared-off biscuits that are rich and flavorful, it’s the true-south way to start the day. Another good choice from the breakfast menu is a stack of sweet potato pancakes. With or without ham, they’re something special.
At lunch, the Arcade menu ranges offers a fine selection of meat-and-threes. Choose your entrée from such stalwarts as meat loaf, salmon croquettes, and lemon-peppered chicken, and accompany it with two vegetables from a list that includes black-eyed peas, mashed potatoes with gravy, turnip greens, sweet potatoes, buttered rice, and fresh tomatoes. The vegetables are so good that many people simply make a meal of plate of four of them, forgetting about meat altogether. Lunch comes with freshly-made cornbread and can be topped off with either peach cobbler or a fudge sundae.
|Meals Served||Breakfast, Lunch|
|Credit Cards Accepted||No|