Freelancery: "I Went To A Screening of 'Underground' In Memphis and Here Is What I Ate" (for Very Smart Brothas)


A few weeks back, my awesome brohams from Very Smart Brothas (Damon y Panama) slid me an invitation to a screening of WGN's new series, Underground, at The National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee. Sure, the screening and the museum and the interviews with the cast were fantastic, but of course the food is what resonated with me the most:
The next afternoon, the writerly squad arrived to Blues City Café down on Beale Street in search of BBQ and elation. While seated in that booth sipping that sweet tea, my life changed. How, you ask, jealously? Through the gospel of gumbo cheese fries, which skeeted all over my soul in the most wonderful way. 
Now, I adore fries. Curly fries. Sweet potato fries. Shoutout to the kimchi fries at Korilla BBQ in Manhattan and the buffalo chicken blue cheese waffle fry situation at The Waffle in Los Angeles. But gumbo cheese fries is a whole different level of splendor. Because skrimps. 
It was everything I needed in life at that moment. My only regret is that I had to share them with six hungry folks. And because I was just meeting all of these folks for the first time on this business lunch of sorts, I curtailed my eagerness and ate like a nice, ungluttonous person. I refrained from shoveling fries into my mouth. I had to pace myself. I didn’t lick the plate this time. It was torture. I don’t want to get myself worked up and aroused thinking too hard about smashing that plate by myself. Surely, that plate would have returned to the kitchen spotless. 
When it came time to order our main dishes, someone at the table asked, “Are there any vegetables here?” 
Waiter: “No. Well, salad, fries and new potatoes.” 
Us: “What the hell is a new potato?” 
Waiter: “It’s just a regular little boiled potato.” 
We sucked our teeth collectively. 
Me, internally: “No gravy? No bacon? No magic? What kind of joyless dungeon are we in?” 
I ordered the ribs and catfish platter with fries, assuming that that kitchen full of big Black dudes couldn’t possibly let me down. The ribs? Muy succulent. Not enough sauce, but that was fixable. That catfish though? Gentrified and woefully under-seasoned.
The horror.
Read the rest over at Very Smart Brothas.

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