On the Road in Memphis: Food Fit for the King

Elvis is dead. I was finally able to accept this fact last Friday, when I visited The Pelvis’s surprisingly modest (by today’s Cribs standards, anyway) manse. I was most-captivated by his ticky-tacky kitchen, frozen in its 1974 décor: dark wood cupboards, casino carpet, gold and avocado color scheme and huge, clunky appliances (including a pull-out Tappan range and giant microwave oven). Here’s a link to some photos.

What did Elvis’s cooks make for him in that kitchen? Everyone already knows about the fried PB&B (peanut butter and banana) sandwiches. According to a collection of recipes I found in the gift shop, Elvis also loved hamburger steaks, roast beef, spaghetti and bacon-wrapped meatballs. He hated booze: Gatorade, mineral water and Diet Dr. Pepper were his drinks of choice (his private jet, the “Lisa Marie,” is still well-stocked).

Next week marks the 30th anniversary of Elvis’s untimely death (an event Memphians refer to as “Dead Elvis Week”), but his culinary influence is still apparent on local menus. During visits to local restaurants I found high-brow versions of the PB&B, the meatballs and a dozen spins on roast beef and potatoes. The King might be dead, but his appetite is immortal.

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