Earlier this week, I was chatting with my friend Stacey about places to get lunch Downtown. Stacey is a relatively new resident in the Downtown core, and is still figuring out where she can walk for lunch. She found the Thursday food truck rodeos already, but she had questions about where else to go. “Where can I get pot roast?” she asked.
“I believe Blue Plate Cafe would have it,” I replied. “On Court Square.”
Stacey pulled up the menu. “Oooooh, this seems like my kind of place,” she said. “I’m going to be going there a lot.”
I recommended some more places. “There’s also Court House Deli on Main Street,” I told her. “Really good etoufee and jambalaya. And there’s The Little Tea Shop next to Bardog. Really good cornbread, meat-and-two plates, and the owner Miss Su is a Downtown icon. And then there’s Felicia Suzanne’s. They open for lunch every Friday and have 25 cent martinis.”
“25 cent martinis?” Stacey said. She pulled up their menu on her phone. “Oh yeah, I’m going to this! This is my plan for lunch this Friday!”
“Well, I’m off work this Friday, and I don’t have anything planned for the day, if you want to meet up,” I told her. Stacey said that sounded good and we recruited our friend Nate to go as well. On the advice of a friend who used to work there, we called and made a reservation for 12:30.
Despite living across the street, I have never been to Felicia’s. It’s one of the few places where I didn’t know if I would feel comfortable going alone. I’d take a date there if I could find a woman I liked enough, but… never mind, let’s not even go there. Anyway, I had no idea what to expect.
We were seated and our server Zack (or Zach maybe, didn’t ask the spelling) took our order. Of course we went right for the martinis. “Do you want gin or vodka? Standard, or juicy, or dirty?” he asked. Nice to have options for 25 cent martinis. We all ordered dirty vodka martinis. Zack reminded me a bit of my buddy Zack who gave me my PBR koozie that looks like a brown paper bag with the PBR logo on it. I didn’t ask if Felicia’s serves PBR. I would guess they do not.
The martinis were small, but for 25 cents that was understandable; I didn’t expect them to come in Big Gulp cups from 7-Eleven. We estimated them at about an ounce and a half. Nate downed his martini, including the olive, in one huge sip. Stacey and I drank ours more slowly. We noticed some people were finishing their martinis without eating the olive. “What are they thinking?” I commented. “That’s a free olive! That’s VEGETABLES! You’d think people who like 25 cent martinis would appreciate getting something for free!”
Based on reviews I had read online, I was leaning in the direction of the salmon croquettes for lunch. However, when I read the descriptions of the entrees I changed my mind in favor of the Lake Catfish. It came topped with chow chow from the Flo’s line of products made by Felicia (available at the Memphis Farmers Market, by the way). and it sat atop a bed of Hoppin’ John. That sounded irresistible.
Nate decided on the Short Rib Grilled Cheese.
The sandwich was short rib inside cheesy (and I mean, really cheesy) toast, and I believe that’s an egg on top. It’s a sandwich you have to eat with a fork and knife. It came with fries and Flo’s Tomato Jam for dipping.
Stacey got the BBQ Shrimp with a side of Flo’s potato salad.
Huge shrimp with toast and greens… “I am completely satiated,” Stacey said after finishing her dinner.
It was a delicious lunch and an amazing experience indeed. Zack took superb care of us the entire time. When the check came, my total was $16.12. At Felicia Suzanne’s! This Friday lunch has to be one of the best values in all of Downtown. If you have never tried it, pick a Friday, take a vacation day, grab some friends, and by all means go!
I want to make a point about tipping here. If I went to a restaurant for lunch and ran up a $16.12 tab where there weren’t any specials, I’d drop a 20 and say “keep the change.” However, I believe in tipping on the full cost of food and beverages I purchase, not the discounted price. Considering I had martinis that would have likely been $5 each if not Friday lunch, I wrote “$10.00” on the tip line and added it up and signed the check. I’m sure some of my readers are thinking, “Paul, that’s a bit much” but here’s the thing – tipping well buys you a good reputation down here. The next time I come in Felicia’s, I know that the people there will be happy to see me walk through the door. If you feel like you’re not getting good service at the bars and restaurants you frequent, try tipping in the 25% range on the full price of whatever you purchase. I bet your service will improve.
“Paul, you’ve got to take another Friday off so we can come back here,” Stacey said as we were walking down the Main Street Mall after lunch. I do have a Friday in mind – November 18! I always take my birthday off work. Lunch at Felicia’s sounds perfect.
I’m told the lunch menu changes weekly, so don’t count on the items pictured above being available. However, given the overall excellence, I am sure you will be happy with whatever is on the menu the day you go. Strongest possible recommendation to check this lunch out. I will be back.