the wonderful world of veena.

26 January 2014

foodie friday: kwik chek.

When our family friend was in town last week, rather than taking him to Indian restaurants to eat, I convinced my father that we should take him to proper Memphis restaurants. Because Lalit Uncle was also interested in experiencing Memphis - and eating bbq - I got my wish, and we ended up visiting Blues City Cafe and Huey's for lunch while he was here.

I always love hitting up my Memphis eating joints, but the added bonus from that week was that my father also rediscovered the joys of eating in Memphis. As he admits, he loves Indian food so much that his mind automatically goes to his Indian restaurants when people visit, but he's slowly coming around to remembering that Memphis has so much more to offer by way of food. And he's put me in charge of his re-education.

My mother is much easier. She is always up for trying a new place to eat, and she loves eating downtown and in Midtown with almost as much fervor as I do.

And so a new tradition has been born. My father has Friday afternoons off, and although my mother doesn't see patients, she uses the afternoon to finish up paperwork and make progress on completing her charts. They sometimes have meetings that begin around 2pm, and if so, they still have a solid 1.5 hour lunch break. We have decided to use that time to our advantage and have inaugurated a Friday family lunch. Since most of the restaurants I want to introduce them to are scattered throughout Midtown, and my mother's clinic is on Hollywood about 10 blocks north of Summer, it's perfect.

We began last week with a visit to India Palace, because it had been far too long since we had been there. It was wonderful to be back and to see everyone and to get my chicken tikka masala fix.

And this week was Kwik Chek's turn. My mother had been in there once with me, years ago, but had never eaten there, and I'd never tried taking my father, because I figured he would be put off by the setting. Lucky for me, however, he loves gyros, and their reputation for gyros has even reached his ears. So when I suggested we go there for lunch, he was all for it.

Kwik Chek is located in a slightly run-down, slightly shady, very Midtown looking convenience store on Madison about 3 blocks west of Cooper. We discovered it at some point during my second year at Rhodes, back when it seemed like no one knew about it. There were many times we would go there - I remember Matt Teague and I being the biggest advocates - and we wouldn't see another soul in there for however long it took to get our food. The convenience store always did a little bit of business, but we hardly ever saw people ordering from their deli menu. With a wide variety of sandwiches and wraps all for an affordable price, thought we'd hit the college student jackpot.

As time went on and more people kept coming back, our worries that we would show up one day to see it shut down began to wane. When "Hurricane Elvis" swept through in the summer of 2003 and pretty much shut down the city, Kwik Chek was one of a handful of Midtown restaurants that had power and was able to remain open. The result was lines out the door and the reassurance that it would at least remain open through our final year of college.

Over the years, Kwik Chek has continued to thrive and expand. What began as two rinky-dink tables has become to bar-like seating along the window and nearly a dozen tables, all on top of a new floor. They've slowly reduced the number of shelves of chips and snacks and have introduced a number of Korean dishes to their menu [the owners are Korean]. Their Bi Bim Bap is particularly popular, but I have shied away from it, partly because of the fried egg on top and mostly because I just love my Fireball of Freedom so much. Kwik Chek has come a long way over the years, but I love it as much today as I did 13 years ago.

And this week I got to share it with my parents.

My father ordered the aforementioned gyros, and my mother and I both had my staple, the Fireball. Mine was phenomenal, as it always is, and both my parents enjoyed theirs, especially my father. I believe he used the word "wonderful", which is not one he throws around lightly, so I will call this visit a success.

2013 Madison Ave
Memphis, TN 38104

[been finding some discrepancies on the interwebs regarding their hours, so I am just going to make up my own]
roughly 11am-8 or 9pm. that's my determination, at least.

I recommend:
the Fireball of Freedom. roast beef, turkey, bacon, habanero ranch dressing, maybe some jalapenos, onions, tomatoes, green peppers. it's pretty much heaven in a wrap.

And now that I've got their attention, it's time to make a list of all the other places we have to try on our Friday eating adventures. If you've got suggestions, send them my way.

No comments:

Post a Comment