Rizzo’s Diner, located downtown (106 GE Patterson Ave), triumphs over any restaurant you can imagine. Chef Michael Patrick not only thinks outside the box, he blows the box up. I have been wanting to try his dishes out for some time. Last night I had my chance.
Lobster pronto pup? He has them. The best part about the lobster dish? The rolls were light, and the taste was fabulous. The sauce was perfect for the rolls.
Cheese burger soup anyone? When I first dipped my spoon into the soup my first thought was “deconstructed cheese burger”. The soup was everything I had hoped for and more. My taste buds could not believe what they were experiencing. The taste was excellent, but this wasn’t a burger, it was soup. Yes, the soup tastes just like a great cheese burger.
And then there was the chorizo meatloaf. I am not a fan of meatloaf. I can’t tell you the last time I had meatloaf. But when I saw this on the menu, I knew I had to try the dish out. Wow. Michael Patrick is not shy about using chorizo. I grew up in south Texas and I know my chorizo. The meat and chorizo are perfectly blended together. The taste? Awesome. The plate comes with mashed potato’s and when you combine the chorizo meatloaf and the potato’s you get perfection on a plate.
Dessert. How can you leave Rizzo’s without dessert? We asked for the ice cream sandwich, banana split. Honey, chocolate, caramelized strawberry’s. Are you kidding me? Michael Patrick makes the strawberry’s to die for. I almost cried the dish was so tasty.
Speaking to Michael Patrick after dinner, we told him how great all the dishes were. You can get a steak that tastes like steak anywhere. You can get chicken that tastes like chicken at any restaurant. Michael Patrick is a game changer. His creations are ten steps ahead of others. He even remembered the evening I sampled his spring rolls many months ago, before the diner was opened. “How can something that looks so good, actually taste so good?” Michael Patrick is very gracious. Talk to him about food. Ask him questions. Tell him what you like.
The staff were excellent. Take note Memphis service staff; you can learn a great deal from our waiter Brandon. He knew the menu, the specials, he was friendly, upbeat and made the customer feel right at home.
And yes, I was told there will be a Valentines Day special. Memphis, run to Rizzo’s. Get out of your suburb and eat here. Michael Patrick is an artist in the kitchen. You will never think of food the same way again. Locals, eat here. Locals take your tourist friends here. Michael Patrick and his food will not disappoint.