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VOL. 129 | NO. 172 | Thursday, September 4, 2014

Dishcrawl Heads to Broad Avenue in October

By Andy Meek

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Next month, a group of food-loving “Dishcrawlers” will stroll by the Broad Avenue Water Tower Pavilion and the neighborhood’s variety of storefronts on their way to three yet-to-be-announced restaurants, part of the series of regular gatherings of anyone eager to explore the city’s restaurant scene.

“We’re focusing on the neighborhood itself for this event and letting the restaurants be creative with what they want to serve, highlighting the area.”

–Yashica Perry

That event is the “Broad Avenue Arts District Dishcrawl,” planned for Oct. 1 at 7 p.m. It’s the next Memphis Dishcrawl event on the docket, and it will unfold as others in the past. Similar to a pub crawl, the events are a kind of guided, walkable culinary tour that introduces foodies to different restaurants over the course of a single night.

It’s a communal, social affair, and there’s usually a theme that ties the restaurants together – in this case, the theme being the neighborhood. Part of the fun also is the secrecy surrounding the event, with the participating restaurants kept secret until 48 hours before the event.

The Memphis Dishcrawl representatives are expecting next month’s event to sell out. And Dishcrawl ambassador Yashica Perry said the events can accommodate up to 40 people.

“We’re focusing on the neighborhood itself for this event and letting the restaurants be creative with what they want to serve, highlighting the area,” Perry said. “Before we leave the first restaurant, as we lead them to the second, part of the fun is guessing to where we’re going next, looking at the direction we’re walking in.

“I wanted to be involved with Dishcrawl, because I love food and experiencing new food and trying new restaurants. And I’m all about choosing 901. I want businesses to thrive here, I started volunteering and I fell in love with the concept of the company.”

Dishcrawl as a whole was founded in 2010, and the national organization arrived in Memphis in 2013. That was after growing fast, spreading around the country to cities such as Philadelphia and New York City, and even outside the U.S. in places such as Montreal and Toronto.

Dishcrawl events already held this year include a Night on the Square crawl in Overton Square, as well as a Savory Chocolate Crawl in Downtown’s South Main Historic Arts District for which chefs attempted to surprise guests with different ways chocolate can be used. The events also have been received in Memphis well enough that Dishcrawl brought on some new “ambassadors” here this year as a result of the demand – they include Hollye Taylor, in addition to Perry.

Kim Fuqua, Dishcrawl director of operations and food adventures, said the two of them collectively bring an “infusion of creative ideas” to the organization’s efforts. Fuqua adds that the organization has continued to try out a variety of different culinary adventures in the city this year and will continue to bring more such surprises to Memphis foodies.

“Hollye led a Bacon Crawl Downtown last month, featuring some bacon concoctions from our favorite chefs at Bluefin, Belle Bistro and Local,” Fuqua said. “We also introduced pop-up patio events at Chiwawa and Cafe Ole this summer, which are single-venue patio parties with a special five-course menu from the chef.

“The last event we ran on Broad Avenue, a Secret Supper at The Cove, introduced a lot of new locals to this up-and-coming new Memphis scene. So many people said they'd been wanting to check out the neighborhood and were glad they'd had the opportunity. I know The Cove saw a lot of repeat customers as a result. That's what Dishcrawl is all about, bringing communities together over food.”

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