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Alcenia’s :: Memphis, Tennessee

April 7, 2010 by  
Category: Nightlife & Dining

When foodies mention “down home Southern cooking” you can always expect buzz words like “warm” and “welcoming”. What you may not expect is that same warm welcome from the proprietor of a restaurant serving the calorific grub. Well, walk into Alcenia’s in Memphis, Tennessee and that is just what you’ll get; a big ol’ hug from owner Betty Joyce “B. J.” Chester-Tamayo. Every bite of her delicious menu is served with heaps of love. Opened in the late 1990s after the tragic death of her only son, B.J. chose to celebrate his life the best way she knew how, cooking from the heart. Choosing to name it after her grandmother and the daughter her son never got to meet, Alcenia’s has meant far more than a good meal to those who cross the threshold. Visitors from around the world have formed a deep emotional attachment to B.J. and the unbelievable delights she creates. Step into this soul food heaven and you’ll instantly know what everyone keeps coming back for.

The menu here at Alcenia’s is sweet and simple. B.J. learned from her mother how to create these classic southern favorites and perfected them. Trust us when we say you haven’t had a fried pork chop until you’ve had one here. The outside is wonderfully brown and crispy leaving a juicy and flawlessly cooked chop in the middle. Just thinking about it makes your mouth water all over again. If pork isn’t your thing, there’s also chicken, catfish, and tilapia. Be your meal fried, baked, or barbecued B.J. and her crew of two promise your cravings will be satiated. But make sure to save space as the desserts here can not go untasted. Number one recommendation, any cobbler they have available. Every single one is a meticulous melding of filling and doughy goodness. And if it’s available make sure your dining buddy orders the bread pudding (with the sauce of course). You’ll be ooohing and aaahing over these sweet treats to anyone who will listen.

Saturdays at Alcenia’s are an extra special pleasure. Their Saturday brunch, complete with chicken and waffles, is a guaranteed stomach filler and crowd pleaser. And for $10.50 (the most expensive meal available) it’s pleasing to your budget as well. This restaurant overcompensates for its petite size with its bold flavors and the excellent service provided. A glass of sweet tea, great conversation, and a casual homey vibe leave a warm spot in your heart and a mental GPS to get there whenever you’re near Memphis. Unpretentious, extremely reasonably prices, and down right delicious, you simply can’t go wrong at Alcenia’s.

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