This restaurant has closed.
Our East Memphis correspondent, Steph, has graciously scoped out a new buzz-worthy restaurant for us...
5689 Quince Road
As a long-time East Memphis resident, I can not begin to tell you how happy I was to hear that an inexpensive, family-friendly, Project Green Fork (PGF) certified restaurant was opening less than two miles from my house. Rainbows literally appeared. (Well, that happened when we left the restaurant. But still, mostly true.) We couldn't wait to take our kids and try the place out.
Because I have so much faith in PGF, I felt comfortable taking not just my immediate family but also my mom and Chip's dad to Thyme despite no first-hand knowledge of the food. I was not made to look foolish. The six of us walked in at 6:15 on a recent Friday night and had no trouble getting a table. (I received mixed messages from different employees regarding whether or not they take reservations. You might want to call if you are going in with a larger group or later into the dinner hour.) The interior still looks pretty much the same as it did when the space was occupied by Rick Farmer's restaurant, Jarrett's. I was worried because it was a little bit quiet when we walked in- I was scared that my children's natural state of being might prove too lively for the other patrons. But they were on their best behavior, and pretty soon the place filled up anyway. At that point the noise level rose to a volume at which children can go unnoticed. It worked out well.
Everything we ordered was very well-received, so I'll take you through our dishes one by one.
My father-in-law order the special of the day, a perfectly cooked piece of halibut whose preparation I can not remember. Sorry.
My mother ordered the Thyme Burger, which is made with beef from Donnell Century Farm, one of my favorite local vendors. The burger is topped with baby spinach, muenster cheese, fried green tomato, homemade roasted garlic aioli on a ciabatta bun, with house cut fries. The burger was a big hit- my mom is considering putting a fried green tomato on every burger she eats from now on.
Chip had the Mediterranean Salad, topped with house-cured salmon, cucumber, olives, feta, onion, and a champagne vinaigrette. The salmon just melted in your mouth- it was exceptional. The salad as a whole was a wonderful mix of flavors.
Connor, my extremely picky seven-year-old, did NOT order off the kids menu, but did order a kid's meal staple- pepperoni pizza. He was pretty hungry and ate three pieces of it, but later told me he was iffy about the crust. I found this hilarious, since the homemade crust was what made it a great pizza. But if you know him, this doesn't surprise you a bit.
Chloe, my four-year-old, ordered the PB&J from the kids menu. It was made with strawberry jam and had grill marks, which gave it an awesome flavor. It also made the whole thing a bit suspicious to her, but once she tried it she got right past that. It was served with fries, which were the same as Mom's- hand-cut, thin and really quite delicious. Between the two of them, there were enough fries for everyone to eat. And we did.
I had the Saviori Pizza, only I requested that they hold the marinara and serve it with just olive oil. That's just how I prefer pizzas, no offense to the chef. The toppings were fantastic- mozzarella, roasted garlic, spinach, carmelized onion, and the crispest, most flavorful pancetta I've had in a long time. It was a gooood pizza.
The adults shared a bottle of wine from their very reasonably-priced wine menu. It all seemed very affordable, actually, but since my father-in-law generously picked up the check, I can't say for sure how we fared. I do know that we all went home happy and full, and we can't wait to go back and try other things on the menu.
The next morning at the Memphis Farmer's Market (MFM), I stood in line behind Rick Saviori, the chef and owner of Thyme Bistro, at the Donnell Century Farm booth. After Andrew Donnell pointed out who he was, I excitedly introduced myself and welcomed him to the neighborhood. I let him know that we had enjoyed an excellent meal the night before and that we couldn't wait to become regular diners at Thyme. Seeing him buying restaurant inventory at MFM drove the point home for me- we have a real gem in our neighborhood, and I'm looking forward to supporting it for years to come.