Posted: Jan 9, 2009 4:51 am |
Edited by: senor boogie woogie
Some old WHITE-haven memories from my kiddiehood in the 70's........
When I was a kid in the 70s, my parents took me to the "Flaming Hearth" on Brooks Rd, several blocks west of Elvis Presley (HWY 51). This place was in the middle of a light industrial zone. As a kid, I thought that place was fine dining. It was in a way, BBQ ribs, bibs and table cloths. I remember the owner had one of those monkey toys that rolled its eyes and beat the cymbils when wound up. When I see one of those toys, I always think of Flaming Hearth. My parents are not native Memphians and they rarely ate BBQ, but they really liked that place. That area was scary in the 70s, so now its probably long gone.
What ever happened to the "Hong Kong Restaurant" in the Whitehaven shopping mall? It is next to the Piccadilly (which I know is still there, because if there is one thing that whites and blacks agree in Memphis is that Piccadilly is the after chucrch Sunday munchie spot). Anyway, the Hong Kong was a great place, they even did simple dishes wonderfully.
My first exposure however to Chinese food was when my parents would go to the Wai Yen on Lamar in Midtown, near the old Coach and Four and near what was (or is) Prince Mongo's Bar. Wai Yen was in an apartment complex. My parents and I thought that place was cool too. This was about 1975, long before there were Chinese buffets and crap on every corner. The owner of this place was a Chinese-Mississippi American named Jenkins Wong. Jenkins is now in Chinese heaven with Buddha. Great place, lovely ambience. Order from the menu. NOT A BUFFET, eben the rice there kicked ass. I am sure people over 40 whose lived here all their lives remember it.
What is in the old Shakey's building on Brooks? There was actually a Gaslight Dinner Theater next door to it. I never went in there, but it showed that there was culture on Brooks Road. Shakey's had a great business model in the 70s, Laurel and Hardy movies, Dixieland Jazz players, parents getting drunk, the kids dancing, running around those long tables, or if one was lucky, had a few quarters to throw away in the arcade. I even went there for a "field trip" to go into the kitchen to see the pizza made (which kicked ass, not Dominoes, Papa Johns or Cici's shite). Is the Southhaven Shakeys still in operation?
Flaming Hearth, Shakey's on Brooks, Hong Kong on 51, or Wai Yen on Lamar, anyone remember these? Hong Kong is probably there, under their hundreth owner with a cheap buffet, the other places are long, long gone.
Memphis was actually fun in the 70's, I was a kid, but I did enjoy it.