No. 89, Fried Okra at Memphis Soul Cafe & Bar
Hey, kids: guess what time is it? It's time to restart that Long March known as 100 Favorite Dishes (INSERT YEAR). YEAH!!!
Hey, don't ding us for listicles: Weekly DataLab studies show ustedes love this gimmick, launched in honor of our coming Best Of issue. Besides, it is rather fun to do this for us Forkers--an opportunity to highlight dishes from restaurants we'll never fully review, or secrets from old standbys. Anyhoo, let the march begin...
We Weeklings love our Memphis. I'd argue that the fried chicken plate is as perfect a meal as any human can eat.
This post, though, is about another dish: the fried okra, and having had my share of fried okra before, what I got is much different from what I expected. Instead of the usual pencil eraser-shaped wheels, these are thin, reedy and crisp. What they did to prepare them was shaved the pods on the diagonal as if by whittling. They're then lightly breaded in a corn meal and fried to golden wisps.
What results is fried okra that even the okra-averse would love. They're devoid of the usual okra mucus, but still silky once the crunch subsides. They're obscenely light too. I believe I could've eaten the whole plate and ordered another and another. They're the perfect fried app to eat with a cold glass of beer, by the way. But you already knew that.
90. Salted Egg With Bitter Melon & Scrambled Egg at Tasty Noodle House 91. Boysenberry Lemonade from Bautista Creek Local Produce at SOCO Farmers' Market 92. Scallop Carpaccio with Curry Oil and Yuzu Vinaigrette from Cafe Hiro 93. White Board Specials at Taco Adobe 94. Coney Dog at LinX 95. Halal Pizzas from San Giovanni Pizzas 96. Clayuda at El Fortín 97. Lunch Buffet at Dosa Express 98. The Meats at Darya in Orange 99. Panocha at Taquería Zamora 100. Bean-and-Cheese Burrito from Del Taco
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