EDITOR’S NOTE: The Dining Duo are a couple of foodies who enjoy eating out and sampling the local cuisine in the Mid-South. To ensure the reviews are unbiased and that the duo remain anonymous, their identities are masked behind their favorite comic book heroes.
2476 Memphis St.
4 out of 5 POWs
This was not the Dining Duo outing that we had planned to do at all. But it’s funny how things always work out for the best.
Super-villain Bane and I originally headed out to try Junior’s in Hernando. I had heard they had pretty good plate lunches – the old ‘meat and threes’ that the South is famous for.
We consulted their hours and went there on a Monday only to arrive and find out that they were closed just for the day.
So, since we were already in Hernando, Plan B was to head to the square and try Windy City. Well, imagine our shock when we got there and saw a sign on the door that said ‘closed for kitchen repairs.’ Strike two.
Well, what is a hungry duo to do next? That left one more place within walking distance to try.
That’s how we stumbled on Underground Cafe. It was literally the only place to eat that was left on the square. I have to say, Underground isn’t a place I would have chosen, but I am glad fate steered us there for lunch because this happy accident turned out to be really, really good.
The place was already packed with the lunch crowd when we arrived. We had to get our own menus and seat ourselves because much to our astonishment, there was only ONE server working that day. They were probably extra slammed because they were the only ones on the square who were open and serving food.
It took forever for her to come to the table and get our drink order and some people actually got up and left because of the long – and I mean long – wait. She did say that the kitchen was getting the food out quickly.
“One waitress?” Bane said. “Bad form.”
While we were waiting, I couldn’t help but notice how nice the decor is inside Underground Cafe. It’s a cute place. I liked the look and feel.
Bane decided to start off with an appetizer of fried green tomatoes ($5.95) . Normally, that would be a safe choice. But when they arrived he was disappointed to see that there were only FOUR fried green tomatoes. The tomatoes themselves were hand breaded and served with Underground’s house made roumelade sauce.
I don’t eat fried green tomatoes, but my oversized dining companion said he liked them. “They’re coated very well,” Bane commented. “But it’s kinda skimpy. For a table of four you would only get one apiece. There should be at least six.”
For the main course, Bane ordered the Cubano sandwich. The Cubano ($9.95) came highly recommended and has pulled pork, Black Forrest Ham, Swiss, pickles and ground mustard Aioli on a grilled and pressed Turano roll, and a side of mac n’ cheese.
After a 40 minute wait, the sandwich finally arrived and after taking a bite or two (or was it three?) my hulking dining companion said the Cubano had a great taste. “The ham and pulled pork and pickle was good,” Bane said. “I just wish I had more time to enjoy it. I ate too fast because I had to get back to Arkham Asylum.”
I ordered the Cheesy Mac and Pig ($9.95) which has pulled pork, BBQ sauce, and smoked gouda on a grilled sour dough, with a side of fries. I am not a big mac n’ cheese fan and thought this was a bit bland tasting. I prefer mine creamier and cheesier. The pig, however, was excellent. The BBQ had a nice taste to it and the bread was nice and toasted. I also loved the fries.
The prices at Underground Cafe are very reasonable. Bane’s bill came to $20.07 – with an appetizer – and mine came to $13.58 with a drink.
Overall, the quality of our food was beyond excellent which made it worth the wait. However, the service left little to be desired. I started timing it at around 12:08. By the time everything arrived it was 1:10.
I am absolutely going to cut them some slack though on the service. The server hustled and also had double duty as the cashier. But it is a real drawback to see tables that haven’t been cleaned off and not being able to get a refill on your drink.
Our outing to The Underground Cafe literally took up our whole lunch hour and we had to rush back. “It’s a cute place and I am glad to support it,” Bane comments. “But really? Don’t go if you are in a hurry. I would come back because the food is excellent. But no way if this is what we can expect. I just wish I had more time to enjoy it.”