Guest blogger, Steph, is the mother of two monkeys.
1927 Madison Ave.
Huey’s is the favorite restaurant of our older monkey (Connor, age 3). In fact, it is so important that it is simply called “The Restaurant.” We know which one he means. Unfortunately, we hadn’t been there in almost three months because of the arrival of our new monkey. It was definitely time to take Connor on a special trip to The Restaurant with just Mommy and Daddy, no baby. (He’s needed some attention lately, but that’s a story for a different blog.)
We had plans to go on a particular Friday night, when at the last minute we realized, “Oh no, there’s a Rock-n-Romp meeting that night!” The meeting was in Midtown at 6:00. Although I work in Midtown and the kids go to school there, we don’t live there. And the baby had to go home- this was not her night out, it was Connor’s! We settled on Daddy taking Connor to the meeting while I took Chloe home. “But by the time you two get to Huey’s, it will be too late and Connor will have already turned into a pumpkin!” Then Chip had a novel idea: “Why don’t you meet us at the MIDTOWN Huey’s?”
This doesn’t seem like a big deal to you, I know. But let me back up. The Huey’s referred to as “The Restaurant” is actually the one on Winchester near Hack’s Cross. On any given Friday at 6:30, this Huey’s is filled with tables of soccer moms, church deacon dads, and 2.5 children. On rare occasions, a couple of twenty-something hooligans might come in early to have a beer and a smoke at the bar, while all the mamas in the building work in tandem to stare at them with enough force to actually catch them on fire. In other words, it isn’t a cool place to be- it is a functional, family place to be.
The Midtown Huey’s is different. It’s where I used to go tie one on. It’s where hip midtown people go at all hours of the day, not just after the families have cleared out. It’s a place that reminds me of how I used to be (young and irresponsible) rather than how I am now (someone’s mother!). Would all of the cool college kids look at us and laugh when we came in with a preschooler? Would the wait staff cringe? Oh no- would Chip still be in the suit he wore to work? Did he need me to bring some jeans? Everyone will look at us and know we live in East Memphis!
Fortunately, I didn’t have anything to worry about. Although I’m sure we reeked of dorky non-Midtownerness, we were not mocked and forced out into the street by the patrons and employees. Instead, we were greeted warmly. Even though the “seat yourself” sign was out, someone still helped us find a table (only a two-top was available, but they pulled up an extra chair.) Fortunately, that table was close to a) the bathroom and b) a picture of the Huey’s racecar. (Thank you, Disney- suddenly I’m the proud parent of a race car fan! Hopefully this will pass before he ever learns NASCAR exists.) We sat down and Connor immediately started dancing to the music playing in the background. I could tell it would be a good night.
And it was. Connor and Chip ordered the usual- a chicken fingers/fries/ice cream kid’s meal, and a Senor Huey turkey burger with fries. They were perfect, as usual. I, however, branched out- not because I wasn’t craving a big juicy burger, but because of a certain little program that I’m following. Let’s just say I needed something that didn’t have as many “points” as a burger. So I got a grilled chicken sandwich. Not as good as a burger- I don’t recommend it, unless of course you gained 50 pounds with your recent pregnancy and only have two pairs of pants that fit you. In that case, go for it.
But you already know that the food at Huey’s is good- you want to know how things were for the monkey! Things were great. Our server flirted with him all night, and he flirted back shamelessly. The food came out quickly, but we were given crackers to hold him over anyway. And absolutely every person who came to our table that night made a big fuss over Connor- food runners, bus boys, and managers. It was as if everyone there knew I had just had a baby and so my older child was needing some extra attention. It was a fun meal, something we haven’t had a lot of in the past three months. It made me wish we could go there more often, just the three of us with this wonderful server and atmosphere.
For the sake of convenience, I know we’ll be back at The Restaurant in East Memphis soon enough. But while I’m there I’ll look around at the other square parents in the place and imagine them being laughed out of the Midtown Huey’s while I sit with my cool family and watch.