Memphis, home of BBQ and the Blues. I would say we definitely had a delicious taste of both.
After checking into our hostel located on the top floor of a church in midtown, we grabbed a couple local beers at the funky corner bar. We enjoyed a gourmet southern dinner before heading down to check out what the fuss is about on Beale Street. It just so happened to be bike night. I will say, It was certainly different than I was used to. In Milwaukee you see tons of big, old white dudes on Harleys. In Memphis, the young black population seems to have embraced the culture, and get DOWN on a Wednesday night.
Beale Street had all the tackiness you would suspect, neon signs, Coyote Ugly dancers, massive takeaway beers, and more than a touch of mayhem. We did manage to hear some pretty good music before retreating back to our holy quarters.
The next morning we grabbed a couple of coffees at Memphis' Best coffee shop and caught up with Fletcher and Jeanne, good friends of the Mateo's. They showed us their beautiful home and Jeanne's incredible art. And finally, to put Adrian out of his misery we hit up the local, and arguably the best BBQ in Memphis (it seems everyone passionately holds their own opinion on this matter). Adrian definitely outdid himself, by putting away not one, but two pulled pork and slaw sandos. I had the BBQ portebello, which was nice- but certainly not their specialty.
We then made it down to the massive National Civil Rights Museum, which was built at the site of the Dr. Martin Luther King assassination at the Lorraine Motel. It began with a 30 minute documentary and had an incredible amount of exhibits and information on the whole African American history of struggle. It was immensely powerful, and quite sad, but important to see and be reminded of.
After finishing up, we said goodbye to Fletcher and Jeanne and once again hopped in the car to embark on our trip down to Nola. Thanks to Fletcher and Jeanne, and of course Memphis, for showing us some incredible southern hospitality!