Sunday, January 07, 2007

Memphis Pizza Cafe

Memphis Pizza Café
2087 Madison

I've written about The Memphis Pizza Cafe here before, but this latest visit was a true test of kid-friendliness. An impromptu monkey convergence was called on Friday on behalf of C's birthday and the opportunity to see live music. I suggested we (Team Oster, Team S.A.M., and Team Urf!) go to the Pizza Cafe and sit on the patio since the weather was mild and the monkeys were sure to be wild. (Now that our children are basically roommates I expected them to go crazy from the get go.)

I called the Pizza Cafe on my way home from work in an attempt to pave the way for an enjoyable experience:

"Pizza Cafe, can I help you?"

"Hi, is your patio open?"


"Oh. have a group of ten or so coming at 6:00..."

"We don't take reservations. It isn't too crowded now, but you'll just have to wait and see."

"Uh, okay thanks."

I hung up and debated whether to call the crew and alert them. Team Urf! was already rightly concerned about the service (as was I), but I decided to just let the chips fall where they may. After filling my backpack with a few coloring books and crayons, Warren, the boys, and I decided to walk over. We narrowly escaped becoming road kill on Madison and then discovered that the place was packed. Uh oh. Thankfully Team S.A.M. had already secured a table.

We sat down and immediately began deciding what to order even though Team Urf! had yet to arrive. The monkeys 9Satchel, 4, and Jiro, 2) had been napless all week and I wasn't taking any chances. I ordered a dinner salad to share with Warren and a medium pepperoni pizza to share with the monkeys. Warren ordered a sausage and black olive calzone. Team S.A.M. ordered a medium pizza--half pepperoni and half sun dried tomato and artichoke hearts. And a cup of black olives. "I'll take one of those too," I said remembering this trick from our very first convergence at Pete & Sam's.

Team Urf! arrived before we got our salad. After figuring out how to free RJA from the kiddie table, Kristy put in their order for a medium cheese pizza and a medium chicken supreme. And beer. Upon discovering what JP planned to eat, Satchel piped in with, "I want cheese pizza, not pepperoni."

I ignored him, planning to pluck pepperonis if necessary.

Miss M stayed in Andria's lap, Jiro stayed in mine, and C chose to immerse himself between adults. Satchel, Somerset, JP, and a sleeping GK stayed in their seats and carried on a lively conversation at their end of the table. Satchel had a slight spill of water, but other than that their behavior was perfect. After eating his share of black olives and crackers in my lap, Jiro moved to the kids end of the table and joined in. I saw him chew on JP's head for a brief second, but for the most part he behaved quite well.

Our pizzas, even Team Urf!'s, came out fairly quickly and we all happily dug in. There was a lot of lip concerning the pepperoni at both ends, but it did all get eaten eventually. At one point Kristy--an adult--spilled her beer on the much sought after cheese pizza. "Just give it to Jiro," I said.

To even things out, Miss M spilled her drink at our end of the table, but lucky for us our waitress was taking a smoke break nearby and had it wiped up before it even fully left the cup.

I was impressed.

Better yet, she brought out everyone's check perfectly split up and even chased Team Urf! out the back door when she discovered they forgot their leftovers on the table.

As I sat drinking RJA's abandoned Red Stripe while waiting for Warren to return with the car, I marveled at the whole experience. Good service, good food, good monkeys, and best of all, good seating arrangements! I guess I was a little too quick in declaring the end of the monkey convergences.

Memphis Pizza Cafe (Midtown) on Urbanspoon

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