Last winter, Holly Whitfield of the I Love Memphis Blog announced that Memphis is in the midst of a spectacular "Foodnado." How apt! My cursory count of restaurants, breweries, and sundry food-related places that opened in 2014 adds up to 40, and not all of them in Overton Square.
But, then again, a lot of them are in Overton Square. Babalu Tacos & Tapas opened in June, offering tableside-prepared guacamole and lots of sharing plates. The place has been packed since. In August came Jimmy Ishii's Robata Ramen & Yakitori Bar with a fine menu of ramen noodle bowls and skewers. Lafayette's Music Room, an homage to the original much-loved, circa-'70s Overton Square bar named for the recently passed away ace bartender Lafayette Draper, opened in September and features wood-fired pizzas and a music schedule set at palatable hours. Schweinehaus, a cheeky Memphis take on German food, also opened in September. There's beer, brats, and the occasional lederhosen sighting — what's not to like? If you need olive oil, there's the Square Olive, and there's more music and fun at the Chicago-based Zebra Lounge.