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Thirsty Thursday Midtown. How are you? Get ready for the weekend! I woke up early and climbed on my bicycle. Today is a good day. Stopping by the coffee shop, I drank my coffee and had my video game chat with K. today. It is either video games or music we chat about. Today it was video games.

After finishing my coffee I made my way to the Greenline. Hey weather man, it was “supposed” to be nearer to 40 degree’s this morning. My gauge read closer to 32 degree’s. Better than 26 degree’s. To make matters worse I forgot my headphones. This is one of the first times this has happened. What did I do? Since I was wearing my balaclava… you got it… I just pushed my Ipod into the balaclava and turned the volume down. The only other problem? Somehow the music was stuck on “repeat” for 30 minutes. Yeah, I thought that song sounded familiar SEVEN times in a row.

I am NOT saying you should commute to work, but…. the Sam Cooper Freeway on my left was a parking lot for traffic headed west. I was moving faster than cars. Just sayin’.

By the time I was near the Shelby County Jail I could smell breakfast cooking from inside the jail. Let me just state that it should be illegal to cook bacon and not make it available to everyone. Really. There should be a law “and if you prepare, cook, bake, or even heat bacon, you must provide FREE bacon to anyone within a one mile radius; section 32, paragraph 5, line 42 of  Tennessee law.” It is near freezing outside and they are eating bacon.

Riding back home this evening, I noticed a large group of pro cyclists near Shelby Farms. I waved at them as they furiously rode by. Then I noticed a cyclist waiting “inside” the intersection of Farm Rd. and Walnut Grove Rd. This intersection has to be one of the most dangerous intersections in the city. Cars are flying by, and most cars are attempting to make the light at the intersection. There are red light runners constantly at this light. I see it daily. And here is the cyclist just sitting in the “center” of the intersection, waiting for a break in traffic. To make matters worse, he didn’t wait for the light to turn green, he just pulled into on coming traffic. Dude, you will get killed at this intersection. Really. I worry about waiting on the curb at the light, hoping a car doesn’t clip me. You may want to think before you enter this intersection.

Also, when I left work, I was glad to note that it wasn’t dark yet! My ride felt better riding in the light instead of the dark. It only turned dark after 4.7 miles when I reached the top of Shelby Farms. The remaining part of the ride was good. I saw a few cyclists and a couple of skate boarders. Since the temperature was 55 degree’s I didn’t have to bundle up as much. Hey, no gloves!

How about a restaurant review? My wife called me earlier in the day and asked if I wanted to meet friends at Alchemy, one of the newest bars and restaurants in Midtown (Cooper / Young). “Sure” I said. I have been near the place in the past month, but I didn’t know what to expect.

And as a side note; here is a tree decorated for Christmas at the corner of Tunis and S. Edgewood St. that we saw on the way to the restaurant. Check it out soon, before they pack up the lights.

And you thought Christmas was over.

We arrived at the bar at 6:45 p.m. Yes, this is just after I finished my bike ride and showered. The restaurant was moderately attended. The waitress asked for our drink orders. I had water (still thirsty from my bike ride) and my wife ordered wine. We waited for other friends to join us.

After our friends arrived we ordered drinks and food. One friend ordered a Dancing Jimmy Secret “something”. (Sorry I can’t remember the exact name of the drink).

Have a drink on me.

I tasted the drink but didn’t care for it. There was too much citrus in the drink. Our other friend ordered a dirty martini.

Here is the secret. Ask the waitress for stuffed blue cheese olives to go in the drink. My friend says the stuffed blue cheese olives changes the entire taste of the drink. Since I am not a martini person, I will have to take his expert opinion on the subject.

Let me also state that the portions of food at Alchemy are small. The taste is big. Order a few dishes to share with friends. That is what we did. We shared a total of seven dishes this evening.

And then the food came out. Wings? Did someone say wings? Holy cow.

Off the chart wings!

Hands down these were some of the best wings in Memphis. I am NOT a wing person, but I was curious to check these wings out. “Bacon cornbread” as a side? You had me at bacon. The wings were excellent. Order this! The wings were sweet with a hint of heat at the end. Perfect. Bacon cornbread? Thank you sir, may I have another. The cornbread was good, but the bacon made it great. And just like the wings, there was some heat to finish the taste off. Not a lot of heat, but just enough. My only complaint about the wings? Wet naps would be great to wipe my fingers with while having wings. I was surprised that I didn’t get any wet naps at a higher end restaurant. Like I said, I am not a wing person, but I was gnawing on these wings like a hound dog at Christmas. And I NEVER gnaw on wings. There was no meat left on these bones.

Our friend ordered the sausage and cabbage.

A great plate to try.

Guess what? This was excellent as well. The sausage had a very light taste, which made it good. The cabbage was sweet and tasty. My only complaint? More cabbage please. The cabbage was mostly hidden under the sausage.

Another friend ordered the Portobello mushrooms.

Snack on this!

She really liked this menu item as well. Me? I am not a mushroom person, but she thought the mushrooms were tender and flavorful.

Speaking of mushrooms, our friend ordered pancake mushrooms. He said the pancakes (okay they are not the size of a regular pancake, just to let you know) were light and very good.

Get some!

Scallops anyone?

Best scallops in Midtown.

Our friend ordered scallops. I am not a big scallop person, probably because most of the scallops I have ordered were not prepared properly. These scallops were very good and fresh tasting.

Mac and cheese with shrimp?

Yeah, it's good.

I had read that the mac and cheese was awesome. I have to say that the dish was very good. I was not impressed by the shrimp in the dish. I am not sure why they were even with the mac and cheese. The mac and cheese can stand on its own without the shrimp. The top of the dish was slightly toasted and had a bit of bread crumbs, making the plate even better. Order this plate as well. Our only complaint? When the dish arrived, parts of the dish were not hot. We sent it back and received a hot plate of mac and cheese. Other than that, get this.

The only one dish I wouldn’t order again was the roasted duck spring rolls.

The sauce was excellent!

Our friend said she could really taste the roasted duck in the roll. I could not, and my wife couldn’t either. On the upside, the sauce that went with the duck egg rolls was AWESOME. The sauce made the dish. It was very sweet  with tart in the mix. Perfect! Why wouldn’t I order the duck egg rolls again? The rolls were to small for me. I understand that the plates and portions are small. I just didn’t get enough bang for my buck with this dish. Sauce great; rolls not so much.

What I didn’t try was the grilled cheese and tomato soup. It sounded excellent. Okay, next time we are there I will give it a go.

I asked our friends if they would come here again. We all agreed we would. Almost everything we ordered was good. The service was 7 out of 10. Give Alchemy a try Midtown. I think you will enjoy the experience.

Oh yes, and here is a menu.

Click on the picture to see the menu.

And finally, the bill.

Time to pay the piper. Wine? Who ordered wine?

What I would suggest is that two people order three menu items, and make sure to save room for dessert (which we forgot to do). Next time. We were all full this evening. 7 menu items split 4 ways.

Alchemy on Urbanspoon


Tomorrow? Bike ride to work, maybe a waffle for breakfast, & maybe a FREE coffee for a lucky person. See you tomorrow Midtown. Cheers.