Memphis Museums and Food

Our first trip into Memphis was a fun one. The weather was perfect mid 70s and we had a great time exploring the town. Our first stop was to the Metal Museum. This weekend they were holding repair days which means a few things. One, you get into the museum for free. Second, if you have anything that is metal and needs to be repaired you can drop it off and one of the 100 metal workers who come for this event from across the US will repair it. The museum itself was impressive, anything that could have been made of metal was including the bathroom signs and light switch covers. There is a Smithery and a Forgery to walk thru.

Next, we had lunch at Central BBQ. Don’t let the security guard on the outside scare you away. The food was amazing. Lee had the brisket platter and I had the pulled pork sandwich. We both had baked beans and mac and cheese as our sides. My sandwich was amazing, one of the messiest sandwiches I have ever eaten but delicious.

After lunch, we went to the Big River Crossing and walked the bridge over the Mississippi River into Arkansas. I thought it was kinda awesome to one walk over the Mississippi River and two walk over it into Arkansas. Lee and I were both surprised we didn’t see more boats. One our way to Arkansas we didn’t see a single boat. On our way back to Tennessee, we saw one barge and a few jet skiers off in the distance.

Our second trip into Memphis we went to The Pink Palace Mansion. The Pink Palace Mansion has two parts: the museum part and mansion part. The museum had a lot of natural and local history. The first floor of the museum focused on dinosaurs, mammals of the south and the geology of the earth. The second floor focused on southern history. The first Americans, slavery, cotton picking, civil war, yellow fever and the history of medicine. There was also a planetarium, which Lee and I skipped. The second floor led to the mansion.

The mansion was built by Clarence Saunders who was the founder of Piggly Wiggly (a southern grocery store chain). When he lost all his money in the stock market, a developer bought his unfinished house and land. He developed the land but gave the mansion to the city and that is how it became part of the museum. In the mansion you will see the original 1916 Piggly Wiggly design, a 1900s country store and the only circus I will ever get behind. A miniature hand carved circus, It was under renovation when we were there, so we didn’t get to see it play. Other exhibits in the mansion are very random. Basically rich people in the area donated odd artifacts such as taxidermized animals, and other items collected to represent the city’s first culture and history museum. 

You can get into the Pink Mansion for free on Tuesdays after 1pm. If you are from Ohio, The Pink Palace reminded me of the original COSI in downtown Columbus.

We had lunch at Cozy Corner Café. We had ribs here. Lee liked this place more than I did. Their BBQ was too vinegary for my taste, although they did have good baked beans and potato salad.

Our third trip in was to see Graceland, we stopped at Arcade Restaurant for breakfast, it is the oldest café  in Memphis. They are known for their sweet potato pancakes which were delicious.  When you go, don’t forget to ask for the booth Elvis would sit at. 

We had Tops BBQ for lunch. Also good BBQ, had more of a fast food feel. So if you want quick good BBQ, stop here.

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