Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Tender Tennessee Christmas


Elvis display at the liquor store

Surprise! I took an unplanned, last-minute trip to visit my parents for two days, Christmas Eve and most of Christmas. Originally, we were going to be with Alex’s parents on the big day but things changed a little and I was happy to squeeze in a little visit with my fam.



My mom had decorated the house and the pup enjoyed the gas fireplace.


We had a wonderful Christmas Eve dinner (roasted vegetables and “penny” pasta). We also had a nice lunch before heading to the airport on Christmas Day.

We flew in Thursday night and stopped by Fuel CafĂ©. When I read on Vegan Crunk that their veggie burgers were better than Huey’s (which is just a few blocks up the street), I knew needed to stop in. The restaurant is in an old service station that’s been what seems like a series of restaurants.


(Excuse the blue lighting over everything; it didn’t feel so obnoxious at the time.) We enjoyed the fried tofu appetizer – my parents, who were there about half an hour before Alex and I arrived, ate a plate full while they were waiting on us and suggested we get our own.


This veggie burger was really good. The fries were better. My father made friends with the waiter before we arrived, and he learned that there has been quite a stream of folks coming in to try the burger.

What can I say? It was good, but next time I’m in town, I’m heading to Huey’s. Maybe I’ll alternate. I don’t think it’s fair to compare, because the other place is a long-time favorite for me and I’ve been eating their veggie burgers since before I was vegetarian. Plus I only make it Memphis twice a year these days.

And of course, no holiday travel would be complete without delays. Christmas night I spent three extra hours at the airport, which thankfully is more comfortable than a rental car.


Veggie sub and barbecue chips at Lenny’s.

Don’t fret, I’m still gathering my thoughts on sharing food from Italy. Right now it’s a little overwhelming and I’m otherwise occupied. I hope everyone out there is enjoying the end of the year and getting as much snow as you want.


  1. A last minute, unplanned trip sounds adventurous and fun! Glad you got to enjoy Christmas with your family. Pup is adorable. That plate of "penny pasta" and veggies looks just the thing! How do you make the pasta?

    If I'm ever in Memphis, I'll have to try veggie burgers at both places...they both sound well worth the visit!

    3 hours in the airport...sure does beat 23 hours in a car...but still...

  2. It may not have felt it, but it certainly looks serene.

  3. AW...I'm so glad you got to go home for Christmas! I know that made your parents happy!

    The pup is so cute! He has the right idea of being in front of the fire like that! :o)

    I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we will get to go to Memphis this weeekend...I am dying to get to Whole Foods. If we go, I am suggesting that we eat at Huey's. :o)

  4. I love the pup in front of the fireplace picture that is adorable. Thank you for sharing that. :-)

    I am sorry to hear you had another travel delay. This is not your travel year.

    Happy Holidays,

  5. Merry Christmas! The pup looks happy. I don't know if I asked you this before, but is your family vegan as well? If so, that is so awesome! I wish mine was. Maybe one day...

  6. Carissa, no my family is not vegan. My husband is vegetarian. My parents had a ham on the table. It's okay, they are really accommodating.

    Rose, the pasta was a kind of vodka sauce. I'm not sure of the recipe. It had canned tomato and onion and vodka and better than sour cream.

  7. lol penny pasta thats cute! love the dog by the fire! i wish i was in front of one too!

  8. I'm catching up with everyone finally! December really kicked me in the tail! And did I miss an explanation of your husband becoming a vegetarian? I didn't think he was, but maybe I'm just very confused. Glad you got to see your parents!