Blackened catfish Benedict @ Rizzo’s Diner + Sunday news

Ever since the new location opened at South Main and Butler, I have heard good things about the blackened catfish Benedict at Rizzo’s Diner’s Saturday and Sunday brunch. Although I usually stick to the Downtown core on the weekends, beautiful weather yesterday gave me reason to walk south and check it out for myself.

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Growing up, I hated eggs. As an adult I have warmed up to them a little, but still, if I let you cook me eggs in any form other than scrambled/omelet it means I really trust you. If there is anyone I am going to trust to serve me eggs right, it is Chef Michael Patrick. He did not disappoint.

The dish consists of blackened Lake Farms Mississippi catfish topped with spinach, English muffins, poached eggs, and Cajun Hollandaise sauce. It all fits together perfectly and the spinach absolutely makes this dish a hit. I enjoyed every bite and the portion was generous enough that I did not leave the table feeling hungry. No less of a foodie than the Nuh-Uh Girl said this is her favorite Downtown brunch dish and I could not disagree. Easily the best Benedict I have ever had.

I sat at the bar, and bartender Nikki was a complete professional. She made sure I had everything I needed and engaged me in conversation. When I ordered my third mimosa and mentioned I had pre-gamed at Bardog, she said, “Tell me you’re getting an Uber when you leave, or walking.” I told her I lived in the Downtown core and assured her that driving is never on the agenda when I go to bars.

For those who are not into fish, there is a Southern version of the Benedict with slow-roasted pork shank confit. Also, I’m not sure if I have any readers who like Rizzo’s and are vegetarian, but on the off-chance I do I will mention that they also have a vegetarian version of the dish with oven-roasted tomatoes.

Has anyone tried the Bandera Memphis at Rizzo’s? It is pork belly chicharones, Andouille sausage, blackeyed peas, grits, steak tips, a sunny-side-up egg, and fresh avocado. It sounds delicious and a Google Images search produced a couple of yummy-looking photos of this brunch dish.

I drank mimosas but I noticed they had several locally-produced craft beers from Wiseacre on tap.

My conclusion: Why have I not been going to Rizzo’s more often??? Yesterday was my first trip there since May. At the old restaurant I had an excuse for not going; I prefer to sit at a bar, and there wasn’t one. The new location that has been open since March, though, has a beautiful bar. There’s really no valid reason I have been denying myself this wonderful food. I’m putting Rizzo’s brunch on the regular Saturday agenda. It may not happen every week, but when I leave my normal first stop at Bardog, I am going to consider walking down there.

Walking down to Rizzo’s, I saw staff in training at LYFE Kitchen in the Chisca. The quick and healthy restaurant opens tomorrow. Here’s the menu. I want to go in there tomorrow and stand in line to order and ask, “Can I get the chicken nuggets?”

I bet LYFE Kitchen will be a prime yoga pants watching spot.

There is a rare apartment opening in South Main: Three bedroom, three bath, overlooks the Civil Rights Museum. Tile floors, skylight, oversized Jacuzzi tubs and showers in each bathroom, all appliances, washer/dryer, newly painted. Must pass credit check. The landlord is a very interesting person who is looking for the right Spirits to rent his property. $1750/month with all utilities included. Hit me up at or on Facebook if interested and I will give you the landlord’s phone number.

For those staying in town an extra day after IBC and are looking for some live music, I recommend checking out the Memphis Jazz Orchestra’s rehearsal at Alfred’s at 6. It’s not blues but it is a unique experience. It’s a full orchestra and people swing dance to it. Then hit Blues City at 9:30 for jam band FreeWorld.

“But what do we do until 6?” you’re probably thinking. I am glad you asked. Come join me at the Blind Bear Speakeasy for Hung Over Like a Bear brunch/D-RANKS with B-RAD. The bar opens at 11, and there are brunch and drink specials until 6. It’s on the Main Street Mall, second door down south of Gayoso. The food is great, the service is great, and the regulars are an entertaining bunch indeed. That is where I will be for most of the afternoon. Come join!