Monday, May 21, 2012

Review: The Booksellers Bistro & Project Green Fork INFO

For this blog, lets ignore the fact that I work at the Booksellers at Laurelwood (but without forgetting I love that place to death). Located in the bookstore is a wonderful restaurant called The Booksellers Bistro. Unlike Barnes & Noble, this is not just a little Starbucks coffee shop. However, they do offer some delicious Chai Lattes and Cafe Mochas, among other drink for my fellow caffeine addicts! Not to mention a full wine bar!

Some of the "coffee art" skills displayed by the Bistro's very own, Ty!

Even though I work at the Booksellers, it's important to note the Bistro is its own separate business. They have a completely different general manager, separate payroll, yada yada yada. So in a way, my review should be considered completely unbiased.

Now that we have that out of the way, I usually choose to eat at the bistro either before my shift, after my shift, of between my shift. And it's far from the convenience factor. (El Mezcal is right across the for me to pass up cheese dip should be evidence enough!) They offer such a wide range of foods from homemade soups, BLT avocado sandwiches, salmon salads, chicken piccatta, and so many more! 

And lets say you are just looking for a sweet fix to go along with your Mocha Jo while you pursue the new books table. They also offer delicious hand treats on the go as well including toffee chocolate chip cookies to gooey butter bars.

Now for some of my favorites:

Tomato Blue Cheese Soup
This is not your average tomato soup! And if you're not a fan of blue cheese, don't let the name intimidate you. Yes, there is some blue cheese added into this homemade soup, but the savory tomato blended with the creaminess and slight tangy-ness of the cheese creates such a harmonious flavor profile. I've heard many people who don't like blue cheese recommend this elegant tomato soup twist. Don't forget to dip your roll in it to soak up all that deliciousness!

If you're not convinced, ask you server for the soup of the day. They are always homemade and equally flavorsome!

Tuscan Chicken Sandwich
 This is one of the newest menu items featured at the Bistro. Every month, the restaurant chooses an up and coming cookbook to create their daily specials. This month was Memphis native Jennifer Chandler with her brand new cookbook, "Simply Grilling." Jennifer owns her own local restaurant called Cheffie's Market and More. I have yet to eat there, but I've heard MANY great things, not to mention the countless awards she's received for it. (Future dining review!)

This sandwich is the epitome of mouth watering. It's compiled of boneless chicken breast, fresh mozzarella, baby spinach, red bell pepper, red onion, with a pesto mayo served on a ciabatta roll (also served with greens or chips). Since its been introduced, the Tuscan Sandwich has done so well that I've been told it's making its way to the permanent menu. However, you should be warned that this is not a "frou frou" sandwich when you start to eat it, meaning it's messy! But in the most the most succulent way possible! ;) You have your juicy chicken, silky pesto mayo, delicate mozzarella and all that yumminess to contain! My suggestion, eat it with a fork!

Triple Berry Lemon Cheesecake
With the inevitable Memphis summer heat heading our way, we're all going to be searching for something to cool us down. This is another new addition to the menu that is perfect for blistering months ahead. This cheesecake is made with a sweet graham cracker crust, a decadent lemon cheese cake beneath a blend of raspberries, boysenberries, and blueberries, topped with a light lemon mousse. I loved that this cheesecake had only a light hint of lemon throughout. It was just enough to consider it a lemon cheesecake, but absent enough to not overwhelm all of the other sweet, smooth flavors.

I'm also proud to announce that The Booksellers Bistro is on its way to becoming Project Green Fork certified! I did a lot of research on this local nonprofit organization in the past for a class of mine, and it's become near and dear to my heart.

A lot of people don't realize the seriousness of the growing food waste problem in our country. For every meal you eat out, 1.5 pounds of waste is produced. On average this adds up to 25 tons of garbage annually for ONLY ONE restaurant. Even more shocking is that over 95% of this waste can be recycled or composted. In 2009, Margot McNeeley founded Project Green Fork in order to help local restaurants transition over to more sustainable practices. For more information about PGF and for a list of certified restaurants, check out their website here

I'm so excited for the Booksellers Bistro to join the PGF family!  

Location: 387 Perkins Ext, Memphis, TN 38117
Hours:  Monday - Thursday 7:30am - 8:30pm
Friday - Saturday 7:30am - 9:30pm
Sunday 9:00am - 7:30pm
Attire: Casual
Price: $$ (See the left side of my blog for pricing guide)
Alcohol: Yes
 Suitable for Kids:Yes

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