The outstanding weather pretty much demands lunch outdoors, and the outstanding view from the covered outdoor space at the newly open Riverfront Bar & Grill at Beale Street Landing pretty much demands making a day of it.
The menu is small but smart for a place that will see a lot of tourist traffic. It's Southern but not too syrupy.
I ordered the Tennessee Caviar ($6.95) and the Southern Fried Tomato Salad ($7.95).
The Tennessee Caviar is described as a veggie salsa of blacked eyed peas and cilantro. It all adds up to nice, crisp flavors. The appetizer is served with toast points and a scoop of good, smoky pimento cheese. I was confused by the pimento cheese. Was it meant to be a topper for the salsa? I tried it and would say no.
The corn-meal breading for the fried green tomatoes was just-right, thin not too crunchy. It was served with a great lemon-tarragon dressing.
I also ordered the Beale Street Bologna Sandwich ($8.95) to-go for a coworker. This is a thick slice of fried bologna topped with pimento cheese and served on Texas toast.
He thought this was one fine sandwich, which would be just as good without the pimento cheese.
One thing to note about the Riverfront Bar & Grill: It costs $5 for one-hour parking in the lot adjacent to Beale Street Landing. The server told me tickets were validated in the gift shop, but that only applies to those who are taking boat tours. They might want to tweak the policy to include the restaurant diners as well, as I'm sure they're hoping to see healthy traffic from Memphians and tourists alike.
Read more about the Riverfront Bar & Grill in next week's Flyer.