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Square Foods is adding beer to its shelves.

"Shop Well, Eat Well, and Live Well," the motto printed on receipts from Square Foods may have to be amended to include the line "Drink Well." After their license is approved this week, the three-year-old, natural-foods grocery, located on Madison Avenue in Overton Square, will finally be selling beer.

"I didn't really want to carry beer, and there was an agreement with our landlord that we wouldn't sell beer on the premises," says Jeanice Blancett, owner of Square Foods. "But I had so many customers who came to me and said, 'If only you carried beer, I wouldn't ever have to shop anywhere else.'"

Blancett plans to carry singles and six-packs of high-end and microbrewery beers. "And, of course, we'll also carry Pabst," she says. "You've got to carry Pabst."

In addition to its natural and organic grocery items and a range of bulk goods, Square Foods offers a full-service deli. Unfortunately, dine-in customers will have to wait until they get home to imbibe: Beer sales at Square Foods will be strictly "to-go."

Some clichEs will never die, thank goodness. Take, for example, Being Dead Is No Excuse: The Official Southern Ladies Guide to Hosting the Perfect Funeral, a new book by Gayden Metcalfe and Charlotte Hays that explores the well-known relationship between death and food in the American South.

With chapters like "Dying Tastefully in the Mississippi Delta" and "I was So Embarrassed I Liketa Died," the authors relate classic Southern tales of boozy black humor, crack on the difference between Baptists and Episcopalians, and pass along some deliciously heart-stopping recipes for everything from fried chicken to vodka cake. And there's no discrimination between white trash and haute cuisine here: Formulas for hot-dog stew are listed right alongside the Methodist Ladies' Chicken Lasagna Florentine. Recipes for Southern staples such as stuffed eggs abound, and there are several variations of Southern paté. (That's pimento cheese to you and me.)

The authors will have booksignings at Square Books (662-236-2262) in Oxford on Monday, March 21st, and at Burke's Book Store (278-7484) on Wednesday, March 23rd.

Art to Dine For, a fund-raiser for Experience Art in Memphis, brings a lot of creativity to the table. For each of the 25 tables, a chef and an artist will partner to create an "experience" with endless possibilities. For example, last year, a dancer and chef put out a spread that included frog legs arranged in basic ballet positions. Another artist made ceramic fish to complement the fish entrée.

Chefs participating in this year's Art To Dine For at The Peabody March 20th include Erling Jensen, Scott Lenhart, Karen Carrier, and Michel Leny. Artists include Wayne Edge, Lester Jones, Fred Burton, and Susie Hendrix.

Experience Art in Memphis hosts community art programs, most notably Arts in the Park, which is moving this year from fall to summer, June 17th to 19th, and from East Memphis to Midtown at Christian Brothers University.

Individual tickets for Art To Dine For are $150; tables for 10, $1,500. A silent auction starts at 5 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m. Di Anne Price will perform.

For more information, call 757-1373.

The specialty at Bach's Lunch?

"We have many," says Marla Howerton, a spokesperson for the restaurant.

Two locations of Bach's Lunch opened last fall. One is in the Renaissance Center in East Memphis (1714 Aaron Brenner, Suite 114); the other in the Morgan Keegan Tower downtown (second floor, 50 N. Front).

According to Howerton, many people come specifically for the restaurant's fruit salad, a super-sweet mix of fruit and raspberry sauce topped with brown-sugar-y, Rice Krispies-ish "crunchies." Ditto for the Mediterranean pasta salad, the salmon, chicken, and turkey wrap sandwiches, the homemade desserts, the ramen-noodle slaw, and the "Red Bliss" potato salad. In sum, says Howerton, "It's always delicious."

Bach's Lunch also offers catering and take-home dinners. Both locations can be reached at 432-BACH. n

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