July 19, 2012


I don't hate the whole Strip, I swear. Just most of it.  So I thought it would be nice to do a post about the places I actually go and like.

Ephesus, the business shown in the left of this watercolor is a great Middle Eastern restaurant. I'm not vegetarian, but most every time I go, I end up ordering the Ephesus platter off the vegetarian menu. It's a tasty, and fairly healthy sampler platter with pita, homemade hummus, tabbouleh salad, feta cheese rolls, and tzatziki (cucumber) sauce. I can also give a thumbs up to the Chicken Salad and the very potent Turkish coffee.

This particular FedEx has gotten me out of a printing bind several times for gallery shows. They are friendly, have great turn around on printing and mounting, and do quality work. The best time to go is on home game day during football season. I kid, kind of. Yes, The Strip is full of tailgaters and fans, but I speak from experience. I needed wall signage made on a particular Saturday, and because I was probably the only person who would venture to the FedEx on Cumberland instead of Neyland Stadium, I got my color printing and foamcore mounting done in just 10 minutes!

Eight months out of the year, I do not go to Half Barrel. However, in the summer when school is out and the students are gone, it can be a fun time. The only thing I really don't like about Half Barrel is that smoking is still allowed indoors. Most of the time, I like to sit on the back patio outside. The hot wings are actually spicy, and there is a decent happy hour deal on them. When I want hot wings, I want these hot wings, and there's a generous beer selection to go along with it. Trivia is Tuesday night here, and an acquaintance runs the game. They questions are well thought out, and aren't just about sports and movies. One of my favorite trivia answers from Half Barrel was "Mikhail  Baryshnikov."

Last but not least is Sunspot. I love this restaurant, and have never ordered anything that wasn't delicious. There are two halves -- sit down dining, and a casual bar. This restaurant serves meat and also vegetarian entrees (that aren't just side dishes). It's the place to go if you are looking for a gut-buster, filling meal, or a light salad, or even some casual small plates. Favorite dishes include the Granny Smith and steak salad, the Sunspot veggie burger, fish tacos, and the fried green tomato and ricotta small plate. (It's assembled like lasagna, with fried tomatoes instead of noodles.) You also get tomatillo salsa and warm chips to kick off every meal!

I'm working on a post filled with old images from some of the more elder buildings on The Strip. Stay tuned for stories of raucous hotels and haircut endorsements.

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