Muddy’s Bake Shop & Grindhouse


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Muddy’s Bake Shop – several years ago, local girl Kat Gordon was out of school and decided to collect her grandmother’s (Muddy) cake recipes and have a go at the world.  She makes excellent cakes, cupcakes, cookies and pies that are now a staple of the East Memphis Sweet Tooth.  With creative names like Grasshopper (chocolate mint), Frankly Scarlet (red velvet) and Prozac (chocolate + chocolate).

Muddy’s is more than a bakery.  Its become a local cultural hub.  For all the sugar that goes out the doors on pickup, they have cafe tables and outside patio reminiscent of a European street cafe.

With a book club and their support for local community development, their support runs deep too.  Some ill-advised troll falsely accused them for picking sides in an overblown political issue, social media roiled with support for Kat and her business causing a groundswell of new customers.

Local’s Choice: Grasshopper Cupcake – pinch off half of the cake bottom and flip it over to place it on the top, now you have a gourmet Oreo.  Level Up.

The Germantown Commissary

#1 Germantown Commissary – If BBQ had a blue blood line, it would be Germantown Commissary.  Simply referred to as The Commissary, this would have been the MLAL #1, but for two reasons.  First, One and Only’s Banana Pudding has meringue on it. Second, I have to drive further to get to the Commissary.  


This is absolutely top notch Memphis BBQ.  My meal is usually the cheese and sausage plate, pulled pork sandwich with slaw, and of course, banana pudding for dessert. 


Milano’s Pizza Millington

Milano’s Pizza Millington is some of my favorite pizza in the greater Memphis area. There are other places that have great pizza, but this is one of my favorites in town.
There are several branches around Memphis, but my favorite spot is the Millington location.  It’s not unusual for us to hike to Millington to run errands so we can stop at the Milano’s for lunch or dinner. 
The pizza is made with whole milk mozzarella, so even the slice of cheese has the weight of a small piece of lasagna.
Milano’s makes excellent calzone’s and their meat stuffed pizza is the crown jewel of their creations. It’s knife and fork pizza.

NOV2015 Update:
I went in the other day with a friend and tried the seafood lasagna, and I discovered a whole new world.  It was amazing.  Their traditional Italian dishes are every bit as good as their pizza.  Now I have an issue of choosing pizza or lasagna whenever I’m in the Millington Milano’s
 
Local’s choice: Meat stuffed with red sauce on top, maybe a slice of cheese if I’m really hungry. Tiramisu is also the best kept secret in the restaurant. 

Also, if you’re feeding a soccer team, office or the 3rd Marine Division they sell wagon wheel pizza’s for large crowds.

Memphis Bicycle Paths & Mountain Bike Trails

Memphis has experienced a bit of cycling renaissance in the last several years.  There are bike lanes criss-crossing the city and a sprawling rails to trails system that will eventually connect Overton Park to Shelby Farms Park and beyond.  Here’s a short list of the places that you can ride in the Memphis area. 

Shelby Farms Park – Shelby Farms is literally exploding with things to do.  However, in this segment, we’ll focus on the riding.  With the Shelby Farms Greenline running through a large portion of East Memphis, Shelby Farms Park is accessible by bike to anyone who lives in Binghampton, High Point Terrace, Pidgeon Estates, Avon or any area in East Memphis between Sam Cooper and Walnut Grove.  Using bike lanes, you can get there from the University District as well.  Shelby Farms Park offers great cross country riding through the Wolf River bottoms as well as paved bike paths for cruising.  There’s also a BMX track here too.  This is a great place to go for a pretty day to ride.

Stanky Creek – Stanky Creek is in Nesbit Park in Bartlett and offers some of the most technical Cross Country mountain biking in the Memphis area.  With lots of drops, tight chutes and trees, this will be a more challenging trail day.

Lakeland Trails – Memphis Arlington Rd and Canada Rd.  These are another set of technical cross country mountain bike trails.

There are LOTS more trails than these in and around Memphis, but this will get you started, and I’d recommend checking out the Mobile App called Midsouth Greenways which has more current information on the everchanging state of the trails in Memphis.

Gear to Go: Memphis Bike Shops

Peddler Bike Shop has been around Memphis forever.  I can remember going in there while I was in school and watching their bike techs work in sheer awe.  These guys know biking and they know the area.  I bought my last bike from them and have been really happy with it and their support.  They’ve three locations in Memphis, so they aren’t that far away.

All About Bikes – I stumbled into All About Bikes when I was looking for a kiddy trailer to ride the Greenline with.  All About Bikes is relatively new, but they’re located between Broadway Pizza and the Belmont Grill, both of which I eat at frequently.  I had a great experience.  The owner’s name is Victor Ghosheh and he is as knowledgeable and nice as can be.  We bought the trailer and have loved it.  There’s an added benefit for All About Bikes because anytime I eat at either of those two restaurants, I stop by and browse for stuff that I NEED.

Other Links:


Stanky Creek Team – I don’t know the Stanky Creek Team personally, but I’ve heard about them for years.  From what I know, they’re the Merry Band of Hooligans that love biking Nesbit Park and participate in the local bike events in the Mid-South Area.  If you’re looking to get more involved in the local bike scene, these guys would be a great place go in addition to the local bike shops.

Memphis Botanic Gardens


Memphis Botanic Gardens are an excellent recreational destination in East Memphis.  The Gardens are well manicured as expected, but there are so many other facets of the Garden. 


 


They sell annual memberships which are pretty inexpensive and they have lots of events at the Gardens which appeal to all ages. 

 

“Live at the Garden”: The live sound stage and music series “Live at the Garden”  has hosted everyone from Paul Simon, the Doobie Brothers, Earth, Wind, and Fire, Roberta Flack, Sugarland, The Band Perry, Ray Charles, etc… the list goes on and on with great performers.  These concerts are lots of fun and the venue is really cool and well done.

Fratelli’s Café: Is a fun little Garden spot with fresh salads and sandwiches. 

 

If you’re looking for a fun and pretty place to grab lunch, then this is a good spot.

 

My Big Back Yard: For some ages and stages, this is the most important attribute of the Garden.  They’ve carved out a vast expanse of their beautiful park and made it a winner for young families and littles.  They have daily events like Caterpillar Club for children to learn about nature.  The large educational play area is a great place to play for children as little as 18 months all the way up to elementary school.  We love My Big Back Yard which by itself is worth the annual park membership.

 

They also have art events, farmer’s markets with CSA produce delivery, as well as crafts fairs, etc.  Memphis Botanic Gardens is a wonderful cornerstone for the East Memphis community.

City East

City East is the local kosher style bagel shop and deli.  Great bagels. Great breakfast skillets, and some of the best pancakes I’ve had in Memphis.

If you’re staying east of the loop in Memphis, this is a great place to go eat. 

 I used to be a regular here for a weekly breakfast before I moved further away.  I miss how those days started in their cozy little cafe with warm bagels and other great breakfast choices.

Local’s Choice: Pastrami Skillet, Pancakes and Bagels of Course

Bogies Delicatessen

Bogie’s Delicatessen and Catering Co – http://www.bogiesdeli.com – Our family hits Bogie’s once a week. Be it for lunch or grabbing bagels for the week. As a purveyor of Boar’s Head Brand Meats, their cold cuts are always the highest quality.  My girls like the turkey chef salad. For dessert the brownies and key lime squares are a hit. They also have a chicken salad that is great to keep in the fridge.

To keep my man card in tact, I prefer the Phildephia Royal with Genoa Salami, Cappy ham, roast beast, provolone, lettuce and maters on a French roll. 
Local’s Choice – all of the above

True Shine Window Cleaning

True Shine Window Cleaning – Brandt Sykes is the owner of True Shine and his crew is professional and hardworking as they come.  His company can handle anything from large scale commercial jobs with man lifts and scaffolding to smaller residential jobs for open houses or parties.  True shine also does pressure washing and gutter cleaning services as well.