A VERY GOOD YEAR

Fa­vorite fare of 2015 tended to be sim­ple, hearty — and cheap

The Commercial Appeal - Go Memphis - - GO EAT DINING REVIEWS, BEST BETS & MORE - By Jen­nifer Biggs

This was the year of the mo­mand-pop in Mem­phis din­ing. Of the 10 Best Restau­rants of 2015, you can eat a hearty meal for around $10 in most of them. But be­fore we get to that list, here’s a re­view of what hap­pened.

LYFE Kitchen and Her­itage Tav­ern opened just across Po­plar from each other, Her­itage in Re­galia and LYFE in the for­mer Sharky’s spot. Kelly English de­signed a menu for the 5 Spot, which re­opened be­hind Earnes­tine & Hazel’s. Also on South Main, Ray’z World Fa­mous Dr. Bar-b-que just barely made the cut­off, open­ing last week. Bedrock Eats opened next to the Green Bee­tle, serv­ing de­li­cious food that com­plies with a num­ber of di­etary re­stric­tions or choices, South Main Sushi and Grill opened, and the much an­tic­i­pated re­open­ing of Rizzo’s Diner came in spring 2015.

Down­town gained two new Mex­i­can restau­rants. Agave Maria opened on Union, and Ma­ciel’s opened also on South Main. Far­ther north, Bass Pro Pyra­mid opened and brought Un­cle Buck’s Fish­bowl and The Look­out to town. Blue Nile Ethiopian restau­rant opened on Madi­son Av­enue, next door to the BAR-B-Q Shop. In Over­ton Square, Belly Acres filled out the ros­ter of new restau­rants in the pop­u­lar des­ti­na­tion area.

Sabro­sura opened on the fringe of the Med­i­cal Cen­ter and gave the peo­ple what they want: more Cuban food. El Sa­bor Latino, on Avon Road just off Sum­mer Av­enue, is a new Colom­bian restau­rant. Mac’s Burg­ers has two spe­cial­ties: burg­ers, of course, and a va­ri­ety of mac and cheese dishes.

Speak­ing of burg­ers, the Sear Shack in Col­lierville makes a good one — and that’s all it serves be­sides the fries and shakes. Sky­box, a restau­rant and sports bar, also opened in Col­lierville. Julles Posh, a sweet lit­tle place that of­fers healthy meals for dine-in or to-go (in­clud­ing meal pack­ages) also opened, and Rock ‘n Dough Pizza moved from Park Av­enue and Ridge­way to a big­ger spot at Po­plar and High­land. Tart, Bel­mont in Ger­man­town and Bluefin saw changes in own­er­ship. Jim Neely and Tony Neely teamed up to open Neely’s In­ter­state Bar-bQ; the sec­ond Aldo’s Pizza opened in Mid­town; Peggy Brown opened the sec­ond Peggy’s, this one on Elvis Pres­ley Boule­vard; Kelly English opened the sec­ond lo­ca­tion of The Sec­ond Line, south of us in Ox­ford; and Fino’s East opened on Brookhaven Cir­cle.

The sad stuff: We lost Edo, a blow to those of us who love Sum­mer Av­enue and are go­ing to miss the Love Boat. Chi­wawa closed, The cof­fee cus­tard dessert at Por­cellino’s Craft Butcher. and A-tan closed, then re­opened, af­ter a fire. We said good­bye to Cafe Fon­tana in Cor­dova.

Back on a pos­i­tive note, The Grille moved a few blocks down La­mar and be­came an eat-in restau­rant; the Tate fam­ily still owns it, and they opened T’s Wings in The Grille’s for­mer spot. Crazy Ital­ians, a fast-ca­sual Ital­ian restau­rant, opened on Ger­man­town Park­way. Maximo’s opened on Broad in the same spot, and owned by the same peo­ple, as the for­mer 3 An­gels.

Mem­phis got its first Cheese­cake Fac­tory, and I ate a lot of good food.

In al­pha­bet­i­cal or­der, here’s the list of the 10 best restau­rants I re­viewed in 2015.

■ Alchemy (940 S. Cooper; 901-726-4444) is still mix­ing elixirs be­hind the bar and cook­ing up magic in the kitchen. Open a bit over four years, Alchemy’s kitchen is no longer in the hands

NIKKI BOERTMAN/ THE COM­MER­CIAL AP­PEAL

JIM WE­BER/THE COM­MER­CIAL AP­PEAL

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