Kings Palace Cafe
162 Beale Street
Memphis, TN 38103
I'm in Memphis, Tenneesee right now and have been for about a week. I was overdue for a night on Beal Street, so last Saturday I decided to brave the tourist crowd and get some good food, liquor and a double helping of down and dirty blues music. As usual, Beal Street satisfied almost every craving.
|Beal Street on Saturday Night|
I ordered the shrimp and crawfish etouffee and a Sam Adams, which is on tap. Now you would think that a beer from the tap should arrive right away. Mine didn't. Let me tell you up front that your service experience is guaranteed to be better than mine, because the service I got sucked pond scum. I give the service a solid 2 out of 10, and if I hadn't seen other people being waited on promptly I'd cross The Palace off my list of places to go on Beal, no matter how much I liked the food. The food does sort of make up for the service, though. The etouffee is some of the best you'll have on Beal Street. It's spicy but not too overbearing. Keep in mind that I enjoy spicy food, and food that Main Lady thinks is too hot is mild by my standards. So if you burn easily, take my word for it and order something a little tamer.
|House Band with a Guest|
But this is Memphis, Tennessee and we're on Beal Street.
The guy was introduced as Denny from Moscow, and he blew the room away. The man played so well and so clean that the drummer had and ear to ear smile and the bass player was helping adjust the sound on the piano - turning it up a little. Denny's playing was so clean that I think it's likely he is actually a formally trained concert pianist who likes solid jazz and plays it as a hobby. Denny played a jazz standard (the title escapes me as I write) and he played it up tempo, in an almost rag-time style with very clean notes. Best of all, he was so tight with the other two musicians that you couldn't tell he'd never sat in with them before.
|Denny from Moscow|
And that's my story and I'm sticking to it.