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Let's Do Lunch

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Bach's Lunch is opening a third location inside the Forum Business Campus on the corner of Kirby and Poplar. The other locations are in the Morgan Keegan Tower downtown and the Renaissance Center in East Memphis.

Jeffrey Kay started Bach's Lunch -- a bit of wordplay on "boxed lunch" -- three years ago while looking for a way, he says, to "work banker's hours while remaining in the restaurant industry." The deli, which includes take-out as well onsite dining, provides something besides the usual cafeteria fare. The meat-and-two lunch offers a choice of roasted salmon, grilled chicken, a scoop of pimento cheese, or tuna and egg salad. Other menu items include a goat- cheese and vegetable baguette, a Greek chicken wrap, and the "eggel," scrambled eggs with cheese and crispy turkey bacon on a freshly baked bagel.

But lunch is not all they do at Bach's. The three locations serve breakfast, and Bach's offers all the executive catering needs you can think of: hot breakfast spread, fresh fruit tray, specialty sandwich platter, roasted beef-tenderloin entrée -- you name it.

Bach's Lunch (432-2224 or bachslunch@shareachef.com) at Renaissance Center, 1715 Aaron Brenner, Suite 114; at Morgan Keegan Tower, 50 North Front, Suite 200; and at Forum 1, 6750 Poplar, Suite 101

Speaking of lunch, Encore now offers it. Chef/owner Jose Gutierrez and his crew will serve pretty much all of the favorites that you find on the dinner menu with a few additions and variations, such as a pizza-of-the-day. The sandwich lineup includes the popular Encore burger (ground sirloin with bacon bits and a choice of blue, Gruyère, or aged cheddar cheese on a homemade crusty roll); a tuna burger (seared Ahi with herbs and mayonnaise on a homemade roll); and a Croque Monsieur, the grilled ham-and-cheese sandwich with béchamel sauce and Dijon mustard. (A Croque Madame is the same sandwich served with an egg on top.) Bon appétit!

Lunch is served Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Encore, 150 Peabody Place, Suite 111 (528-1415)

Christopher is a 2-year-old toddler with a grandpa named Jim and an 82-seat white-tablecloth restaurant on Highway 51 in Millington named after him.

"My partners and I first thought about opening a sports bar, but then we somehow decided to do a fine-dining restaurant, and now we all work for a 2-year-old," says Jim Williams, one of the restaurant's owners.

While Christopher's specializes in steaks, Chef Matt Liggett also knows how to turn out delicious seafood and vegetarian dishes. Christopher's is open 5 to 10 p.m. on Tuesday through Saturday, with happy hour Tuesday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday brunch is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. There's also patio dining.

Christopher's, 8800 Highway 51 (872-0405)

It's time again for the Memphis Italian Festival at Marquette Park. You'll get all the spaghetti gravy you can stand -- or "Sunday gravy" as Italians call their red sauce. And Italians do take their gravy seriously. There are more than 20 rules to be followed by the festival contestants if they're looking to take home the first-place prize in the gravy category.

For the less competitive, the festival provides three days to satisfy your inner Italian with olive-oil tastings, a grape-stomping contest, a wine race, chef demos, and lots of Italian food.

The festival is Thursday June 1st, through Saturday, June 3rd. Admission is $10. From 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday, admission is half-price; from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Friday, admission is free.

www.memphisitalianfestival.com

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