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VOL. 128 | NO. 16 | Thursday, January 24, 2013

Dishcrawl Food Tours to Make Memphis Debut

By Sarah Baker

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Many have heard of a pub crawl, but a dish crawl – maybe not so much. 

A dish crawl is a way to explore four restaurants in one night. Similar to a pub crawl, but with food, dish crawls are guided, walkable culinary tours.

Founded in 2010 by Tracey Lee of San Jose, Calif., Dishcrawl has since spread nationwide to cities like New York City, Philadelphia, Washington, Montreal and Toronto.

But Memphis Dishcrawl, launching Feb. 5 and Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. in the Cooper-Young neighborhood, is the first Dishcrawl in the Mid-South and surrounding area. The closest Dishcrawl concept is in Louisville, Ky.

“At Dishcrawl’s events, our ticket holders visit four local restaurants in one night, sampling each restaurant’s specialties,” said Paige Laurie, Memphis Dishcrawl ambassador and 2007 graduate of Houston High School. “These experiences will not only help local foodies re-discover their own neighborhoods, but will also support the talented chefs whose restaurants feed them. We try to bring in a variety of different food as well.”

Ticket holders will learn the first restaurant meeting place 48 hours before each Dishcrawl event. The rest, Laurie said, is “a surprise to keep the guest guessing.”

Memphis Dishcrawl will host events every eight weeks, and possibly more often in the summer months when the weather is nicer. Laurie chose Cooper-Young for the first neighborhood because “it’s such a great area for food.”

“Maybe someone from the suburbs hasn’t been to the Cooper-Young area and they want to check it out for the first time – this is a great way for them to see four different restaurants,” she said. “And it also is great for the restaurants because typically, almost all of the guests return to dine within a month or two of the Dishcrawl after having seen that restaurant.”

Next, Laurie has her eyes set on Downtown’s South Main area, perhaps on trolley nights, as well as East Memphis.

“The layout of Memphis is a little bit different from the neighborhoods in California and New York, so I’m trying to figure out the best way to go about East Memphis, since it is a little bit more spread out,” Laurie said. “Typically, Dishcrawls are on foot, all within walking distance of each other, so we’re hoping to find a good way to do an East Memphis Dishcrawl as well.”

Tickets are $45, which includes all food purchases. The event can be viewed online at dishcrawl.com/Memphis.

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