Thumbs Up To:

Lake Tahoe

New York City
  Edison Hotel
  St. Regis Hotel
  Victor's (Cuban) Cafe

Chicago The Musical

Belmont Grill

Noura Cafe

  Belmont Grill, Memphis  
Waitresses at Louie's Grill, circa 1955
Part of the Belmont's history (see below for details).

The Belmont Grill is just a small restaurant and bar in East Memphis, but it serves dinner late (til 1:30 a.m. during the week and 2:00 a.m. on the weekends) and is our favorite place to go for a late meal.

The atmosphere's dark and smoky, the service is prompt, and the food is good (and made from scratch) - we usually opt for a burger and fries or onion rings, and occasionally a grilled chicken salad or sandwich.  They also have ribs (which we've heard are quite good), a large appetizer list, and various other soups, salads, entrees, and sandwiches.

They're open every day except Christmas, and you can find them at 4970 Poplar at the corner of Mendenhall, down the street from the Clark Tower (901) 767-0305.   And at a second location we haven't visited, in Germantown: 9102 Poplar Pike corner of Forest Hill-Irene (901) 624-6001.

The Belmont's Past

There's a bit of history behind the Belmont Grill, and it's all written up on the back of the menu, complete with photos.  The manager was kind enough to let us have one, so here's the scoop (or at least a bit of it) - "the incomplete, unauthorized, unofficial, often rumored, word-of-mouth history of the Belmont Grill" (straight from the back of their menu):

Poplar Pike circa 1930 Poplar Pike, looking East in front of store and filling station, circa 1930.  The property at the corner of Poplar and Mendenhall has been in the Bianchi family since 1922.  But the names and types of businesses tha sit on the site have changed many times throughout the years.
Bianchi's Market circa 1930 Bianchi's Market, circa 1930.  The building was constructed between 1910 and 1920 and was originally operated as a general store by Italia Bianchi and her family.
Bianchi Bros. Grocery circa 1946 Bianchi Bros. Grocery, circa 1946.  In 1946, it became Bianchi Bros. Grocery, and Saturday night fish fries behind the building were a major draw for the area residents who bought beer out of the store'sback window.
Louie's Market Louie's Market, circa 1950.  In 1950, the name changed to Louie's Market, and in 1953 Louie and Jane Bianchi remodeled and called it Louie's Grill.  It went through several more incarnations before becoming the Belmont Grill in 1983.