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The Commercial Appeal - Go Memphis - - THINGS TO DO - By Michael Don­ahue

Grow­ing up, I could choose from cherry, grape, or­ange — and those rad­i­cal fla­vors, ba­nana and “sky blue” — when I or­dered a Pop­si­cle. And that was about it.

When I go to La Mi­choa­cana for one of their home­made frozen fruit bars or I can choose from even more rad­i­cal fla­vors, in­clud­ing av­o­cado and rice pud­ding.

I haven’t tried them all, but my fa­vorite is “mango chili,” also known as “spicy mango.” It’s the best — and maybe the only — sweet and sa­vory frozen fruit bar I’ve ever tried. It’s sweet and salty tast­ing.

“It’s a pop­u­lar one,” said La Mi­choa­cana owner Rafael Gon­za­lez. “It’s just mango, lime (juice) and Mex­i­can chili pow­der. Chunks of fresh mango.”

They’ve been mak­ing that fla­vor for 20 or 30 years, Gon­za­lez said. “When you talk about Mex­ico, the first thing that comes to your mind is ‘spicy.’ We love spicy food. His­panic peo­ple, we like to do spicy dishes. have been cooked the day be­fore. The meat was long-cooked, like a pot roast, but was a bit dry even though it was smoth­ered in sauce. I liked the deep lay­ers in the sauce and will try it again, but I’ll ask about when it was pre­pared. Gon­za­les told me that ev­ery­thing is pre­pared to or­der, but clearly this dish can’t have been. That’s tra­di­tion.”

The chili pow­der they use in their fruit bars is a mix of three dif­fer­ent chilies, he said. It’s spicy, but it’s not go­ing to burn your tongue. “The pep­pers we use, they’re not hot.”

His fa­ther came up with the idea of mak­ing the mango chili frozen fruit bar, but in Mex­ico peo­ple add chili pow­der to ev­ery­thing, in­clud­ing wa­ter­melon and straw­ber­ries, Gon­za­lez said. “They put it in a bowl and they sprin­kle the chili pow­der and (add) lime on top,” he said.

That type of dish is “street food,” Gon­za­lez said. “You don’t find that in a fancy restau­rant; you’re go­ing to find it in the street.”

La Mi­choa­cana of­fers other fruit bars, in­clud­ing “spicy cu­cum­ber” and “spicy pineap­ple.” I can’t wait to try those fla­vors. But the mango chili bar is, by far, one of the most de­li­cious taste com­bi­na­tions I’ve tried.

You also can or­der frozen mango puree with the chili pow­der and lime juice in a cup, which is one of La Mi­choa­cana’s “sour fruit treats,” Gon­za­lez said. I can’t wait to try that.

La Mi­choa­cana, 4091 Sum­mer; 901-590-1901.

Try the desserts, which are made in house. Com­pletely full, we man­aged to pol­ish off a gen­er­ous serv­ing of tres leches cake. It was wet but held to­gether, and was bless­edly not overly sweet (which these cakes of­ten are).

Park­ing in front is tight, but there’s more around back. When I’ve been in at lunch, the place is fairly crowded, but ser­vice, while a bit har­ried, is quick.

Look for ad­di­tions to the menu in com­ing weeks and months. Ave Maria Foun­da­tion’s 15th an­nual Silent Auc­tion and Con­cert star­ring Lee Green­wood: 5 p.m. Sat­ur­day at Sally Hook per­form­ing Arts Cen­ter of St. Agnes Academy-st. Do­minic School, 4830 Wal­nut Grove road. Tick­ets: $100. 901-405-3791. ave­mari­a­home.org Bartlett His­tor­i­cal So­ci­ety presents His­tory Week­end “Bartlett Mem­o­ries”: In honor of Bartlett’s 150th an­niver­sary. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat­ur­day and 2-5 p.m. Sun­day. Be­gin­ning at Bartlett Mu­seum (2969 Court St.), a walk­ing tour of his­toric homes/churches, vin­tage car dis­play, Bartlett stage­coach on dis­play, car­riage rides. At Bartlett High School (5688 Wood­lawn), his­tory dis­plays of or­ga­ni­za­tions in Bartlett, peo­ple por­tray­ing his­tor­i­cal fig­ures. At 2 p.m. Sun­day, an orig­i­nal play “Happy Birth­day Bartlett” by Al­truria se­cond-grade classes. 901-372-8642. Chuck­les Com­edy House: 1770 Dex­ter Springs Loop, Cor­dova. For shows and times, 901-421-5905, or visit chuck­le­scom­e­dy­house.com. “Col­lect­ing the Miss­ing Pieces”: Through Oct. 10 at Mem­phis pink palace Mu­seum, 3050 Cen­tral. $12.75 ($12.25 se­nior cit­i­zens), $7.25 chil­dren. Ar­ti­facts in­clud­ing an “I am a man” plac­ard, slave shack­les, quilts, Harper’s weekly edi­tions and more. 901-636-2362. mem­phis­mu­se­ums.org “Com­mu­ni­ties in Con­ver­sa­tion”: 6 p.m. Thurs­day in Mc­cal­lum Ball­room at rhodes Col­lege, 2000 North park­way. Thomas Chris­tensen speaks about his book “1616: The World in Mo­tion.” The year 1616 marked the deaths of Shake­speare and Cer­vantes, poc­a­hon­tas vis­ited Lon­don, the first slaves ar­rived in the Ber­mu­das, Ja­pan was closed to for­eign­ers, etc. re­cep­tion at 5:30 p.m. Talk will be fol­lowed by book-sign­ing. 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. April 22, the sym­po­sium con­tin­ues with a se­ries of brief lec­tures in Blount Hall Au­di­to­rium. Call 901-843-3292. Cre­ative Aging 4th an­nual Se­nior Fun Day: 1-3 p.m. Thurs­day ($5) at Mem­phis Jewish Com­mu­nity Cen­ter, 6560 po­plar. A va­ri­ety of games pro­vided, or bring your fa­vorite game. At­ten­dees re­ceive a door prize. 901-272-3434. cre­ativeag­ing­mid­south.org “Fabric of Sur­vival: The Art of Es­ther Nisen­thal Krinitz”: Thir­tysix fabric pan­els cre­ated and hand­stitched by Krinitz, through May 13 at Tem­ple Is­rael Mu­seum, 1376 E. Massey road. Hours: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Mon­day through Thurs­day; 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Fri­day; 9-11:30 a.m. Sun­day. Call 901-761-3130. timem­phis.org/ about-tem­ple/mu­seum “Grove­stock”: The fifth an­nual Ken­dall & Cal­lie Kercher Me­mo­rial Fine Arts Fes­ti­val: Noon-9 p.m. Sat­ur­day at Holly Grove C.p. Church, 4385 Holly Grove road, Brighton, Tenn. Out­door fun fea­tur­ing live mu­sic and en­ter­tain­ment all day. per­for­mances by Mem­phis Jones fea­tur­ing Kyle Thur­man Band, All The In­di­ans, Sleep­ing Sea­sons, Glory rose, Three For Thee, Terry Gray, Holly Grove Youth Drama. Bring blan­kets and lounge chairs. 901-485-9093. grove­stock­fest.org The 13th an­nual Gumbo Fest in West Mem­phis: Noon-7 p.m. Sat­ur­day at Hol­i­day plaza Mall park­ing lot (just off West Ser­vice road be­tween Wal­greens and Ap­ple­bee’s), West Mem­phis. Ad­mis­sion: $5 (free to ages 12 and younger). 870-735-1134. wm­coc.com The Ben­jamin L. Hooks In­sti­tute for So­cial Change “Join Hands for Change” Gala: 7 p.m. Thurs­day at Hol­i­day Inn at the Uni­ver­sity of Mem­phis, 3700 Cen­tral. Tick­ets: $100. Hon­or­ing U of M alum­nus Marvin r. El­li­son, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, JC pen­ney. Cock­tail at­tire, ban­quet. Call 901-678-3974. mem­phis.edu/ben­hooks Mem­phis Pink Palace Mu­seum’s Au­to­zone Dome at the Sharpe Plan­e­tar­ium: 3050 Cen­tral. 901-636-2362. $7 ($6 se­nior cit­i­zens, chil­dren). All events run through June 3. mem­phis­mu­se­ums.org

“Fire­fall”: Through­out Earth’s vi­o­lent his­tory, see how im­pacts from comets and as­ter­oids have shaped the planet’s sur­face.

“Astro­naut”: See what it takes to be­come an astro­naut; ex­pe­ri­ence a rocket launch; ex­plore worlds of in­ner and outer space.

“Sea­sonal Stargaz­ing”: Hop through con­stel­la­tions, learn star names, etc.

“One World, One Sky: Big Bird’s Ad­ven­ture”: Join Big Bird and Elmo on an imag­i­nary trip from Sesame Street to the moon. The Mid-south Wed­ding Show & Bri­dal School: 1-5 p.m. Sun­day at Whis­per­ing Woods Ho­tel and Con­fer­ence Cen­ter, 7300 Hacks Cross road, Olive Branch, Miss. 901-368-6782. Mid­south­wed­ding­show.com Munch & Learn Lec­ture: Noon-1 p.m. Wed­nes­day at Dixon Gallery and Gar­dens, 4339 park. $7 ($5 stu­dents with ID and se­nior cit­i­zens ages 65 and older), Dixon mem­bers free. “Quintessence: Shake­speare in per­for­mance.” Dan Mc­cleary, founder/pro­duc­ing artis­tic di­rec­tor and Stephanie Shine, res­i­dent artist and ed­u­ca­tion di­rec­tor, Ten­nessee Shake­speare Com­pany. 901-7615250. dixon.org “Na­ture Un­leashed: In­side Nat­u­ral Disas­ters”: Ex­hi­bi­tion ex­plores the sci­ence be­hind earth­quakes, tor­na­does, hur­ri­canes, vol­canic erup­tions and tsunamis, high­light­ing their im­pacts on hu­man lives. Through May 1 at Mem­phis pink palace Mu­seum, 3050 Cen­tral Ave. $12.75 ($12.25 se­nior cit­i­zens, $7.25 child). 901-636-2362. mem­phis­mu­se­ums. org Rep­ti­con: Mem­phis Rep­tile & Ex­otic An­i­mal Show: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat­ur­day and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sun­day at Lan­ders Cen­ter, 4560 Ven­ture Drive, Southaven. $15 ($5 ages 5-12), free for ages 4 and un­der (both days); $10 ($5 ages 5-12), free for ages 4 and un­der (each day). rep­ti­con.com/mem­phis. html Slave Haven Un­der­ground Rail­road Mu­seum Sa­lutes Africa in April: Slave Haven con­tin­ues its 160th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion with an art ex­hibit, “Goree Is­land” by artist Frank Fra­zier. Goree Is­land, in Ghana, was the em­barka­tion site of mil­lions of Africans. Ex­hibit on dis­play through April 31 at 826 N. Se­cond. $10 ($8 ages 4-17). 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Mon­day through Sat­ur­day. 901-527-3427. Rickey Smi­ley: Comic. 4 p.m. Sun­day at First Bap­tist ChurchBroad, 2835 Broad Ave. Tick­ets: $30, $40, $65. Call 800-8383006. brown­pa­pertick­ets.com/ event/2512830 Spring Fam­ily Day Fun at Chu­calissa: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sat­ur­day at C.H. Nash Mu­seum at Chu­calissa, 1987 In­dian Vil­lage Drive. Ac­tiv­i­ties: eth­no­bi­ol­ogy spring hike, spear throw­ing, Three Sis­ters gar­den his­tory and plant­ing, Bris­ter Ar­chae­ol­ogy Dis­cov­ery Lab, craft ac­tiv­i­ties. Wear com­fort­able cloth­ing and sturdy shoes. Call 901785-3160. mem­phis.edu/chu­calissa Walk­ing Tours: Fair­grounds Walk­ing Tour, 2 p.m. Sun­day. Meet at west side of the Mid-south Coli­seum; Mud Is­land Walk Bridge Tour, 11:45 a.m. Tues­day. Meet at Mud Is­land Sta­tion, 125 N. Front; D’army Bai­ley Court­house Tour (cam­eras al­lowed) at noon Thurs­day. Meet at south­west steps (Adams and Se­cond). 901-604-5002. jim­myo­gle.com

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