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Las Tortugas Mexican deli
March 7, 2007
By Jennifer Chandler

First, thanks to all for the nice notes welcoming me to the CA.  I can't tell you how much they meant to me.  Please keep your comments and suggestions coming.

Now let's get down to business....

This past week I made a great food find...in probably one of the last places I would expect.
 
I was looking for a place to grab lunch on Germantown Parkway, a street not renowned for its great non-chain dining establishments.  Having remembered it from a friend's recommendation, I decided to duck into Las Tortugas Deli Mexicana (1215 S. Germantown Pkwy., (901)751-1200) (cq) and boy was I pleasantly surprised.  This tiny little spot offers some of the freshest and most authentic Mexican food I have tasted since my last trip to Mexico City.  Try the fish tacos garnished with their signature spicy avocado sauce and one of the refreshing fruity aguas frescas (my daughter flipped over the mango flavor).

MRA Honorees
On Oscar night, the Memphis Restaurant Association (MRA) hosted its own annual awards banquet.

In addition to Patrick Neely being recognized as Restauranteur of the Year, David Feinstone, owner of Off the Dock Seafood, (cq) was named Distinguished Associate Member of the Year.  "This award is for his outstanding service and dedication to the foodservice industry and to Memphis," says MRA Executive Director Wight Boggs.  (cq)

Thomas Boggs, CEO of  Huey's restaurants, (cq) received the Civic & Community Leadership award for his devotion to the betterment of both Memphis businesses and the people of our community.

"These awards are a great honor," explains MRA President and The Grove Grill owner Jeffrey Dunham, (cq) "The winners were nominated and voted on by their fellow restauranteurs."

Happy St. Patrick's Day
Want to celebrate St. Patty's Day but not in the mood for fish-n-chips and green beer?

Enjoy a Taste of Ireland's best at Chez Philippe's monthly World Dinner on Thursday, March 15, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.  Chef Reinaldo Alfonso and his guest, Ireland-born Chef Patrick Reilly of The Majestic Grille, will prepare a five-course menu featuring traditional Irish dishes with a modern, gourmet twist. The menu is $65 per person, plus tax and gratuity. For reservations call (901)529-4188. (cq)

Whole Foods
Wow!  A Whole Foods in Memphis?!  What an exciting concept!  Every time I go to Atlanta the highlight of my trip is the hour I spend wandering down the aisles of their store in Buckhead.  (Ok...yes I may need to get a life!)

On February 21, Whole Foods announced that they acquired Wild Oats.  What's to happen to our East Memphis Wild Oats is yet to be determined.  "We will start evaluating individual stores after the transaction goes through in April," says Ashley Hawkins, spokesperson for Whole Foods Market, Inc. (cq)

This is definitely on my radar screen so when any news develops, I will let you know.

Happy Birthday!
Mantia's (4856 Poplar Ave., (901)762-8560) (cq) is celebrating its 10th anniversary this month.  Alyce Mantia and her East Memphis market have made life much more delicious for cheese lovers and cooks looking for rare ingredients over the past decade.  Stop by and wish Alyce a well-deserved "Happy Birthday!"

Looking for a cool Summer Job?
Pizza Hut is offering the chance to win the perfect summer gig -the position of the Honorary Vice President of Pizza.  Pizza lovers can enter the "America's Favorite Pizza Fan Contest" for a three month position to earn a $25,000 salary, use of a "company car" for three months and free pizza for a year!  Grab your video camera and film a two-minute video showcasing your passion for Pizza Hut pizza.  Pizza Hut will post the three finalist videos on the contest website so America can log on to vote for their favorite. Entries will also be posted on YouTube. Visit www.pizzahut.com/vpofpizza/ for more information. Entries must be submitted by March 18. (cq)

Please share your fabulous food finds and restaurant news with me at jennifer@cookwithjennifer.com.


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