7 Reasons Why You Need to Eat at Hog & Hominy

Hog & Hominy Restaurant in East Memphis. Photo by Kerry Crawford

Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen sign. Photo Credit: Justin Fox Burks

Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen chefs are James Beard Award semifinalists. Photo by Justin Fox Burks.

Greens and Hominy from Hog & Hominy Restaurant. Photo by Kerry Crawford

Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen: Justin Fox Burks

Chefs from Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen put the final touches on a dish. Photo by Justin Fox Burks.

Holding Pen at Hog & Hominy. Photo Credit: Justin Fox Burks

Hog & Hominy, a small East Memphis restaurant, has been racking up foodie awards since opening in 2011. Photo by Justin Fox Burks

Chefs Andrew Ticer and Michael Huffman. Photo by Justin Fox burks.

Hog & Hominy, a small East Memphis restaurant, on Brookhaven Circle has been racking up foodie awards since opening in 2011. See what happens when you cross-pollinate a brick oven, family meals, southern cooking and a love of pork. Ten-to-one, you'll be yelling "Dang, that's succulento!"

1. A stellar review in The New York Times
Food critic, Pete Wells of The New York Times recently gave Hog & Hominy high marks for their simple blend of Italian and Southern food. Wells was complimentary that Hog & Hominy doesn't try to make a grand statement about Southern or Italian food and that the dishes know exactly what they are about. 

Red Eye | pork belly, egg, fontina, celery leaf, sugo

A photo posted by Hogandhominy (@hogandhominy) on Jun 4, 2015 at 4:55pm PDT

2. Best New Restaurant in the South according to Conde Nast Traveler

"The Buffalo pig's tails with pecorino vinaigrette and pig's ears is the dish everyone orders on a dare and then raves about for months afterward." 

Warning! Do not read John Kessler's article on an empty stomach.

3. John T. Edge Burger
This succulent, three-napkin, Oklahoma City-style burger is only offered late nights Thursday through Sunday in the Holding Pen at Hog & Hominy, the enclosed patio off the rear of the restaurant. Pair the John T. Edge burger with a craft beer (or keg wine) and some poutine fries (fries smothered in pork gravy) and you'll be in hog heaven. 

"After the beef is ground, it gets rolled up into loose five-ounce balls and chilled. When the orders come in, those balls are smashed onto the sizzling hot flat-top and seasoned with a combination of salt, ground pepper, and housemade garlic powder. Before the patties are flipped, the uncooked sides get topped with thin slices of raw onion; after the flip, the onions caramelize under the patties as they cook. A slice of American cheese goes on top. Yes, American cheese."

It's National Burger day! Enjoy a John T. Burger, only served during lunch.

A photo posted by Hogandhominy (@hogandhominy) on May 28, 2015 at 10:29am PDT 

4. James Beard Foundation
Food matters to the James Beard Foundation and by that, we mean it REALLY matters. An award from James Beard is the equivalent of an Emmy for an actor or a Grammy for a musician. Even being nominated goes at the top of your resume. 

Hog & Hominy didn't win a James Beard Award, but for a new restaurant, they came pretty darn close. The foundation recognized Hog & Hominy as a 2013 semi-finalist for Best New Restaurant in the U.S. Don't count them out for many years to come.

One of our staples: collards with belly ends, nduya, and hominy.

A photo posted by Hogandhominy (@hogandhominy) on Apr 16, 2015 at 9:27am PDT

5. GQ named it one of their 12 Most Outstanding Restaurants of 2013

"I mean Southern and Italian, an all-new, totally delightful fusion cuisine. Restaurants are rarely this original or this much fun."

Read more from GQ

6. Cheddar Dogs!
Trust us on this one. Get the beef and cheddar dog with a pretzel bun and a sliver of yellow mustard. It's the ultimate dude food and one of the few menu items you can eat while playing bocce ball. 

We would have a picture of the beef and cheddar dog here, but we scarfed it down before the camera could come out. 

7. The chefs, of course
Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman, boyhood friends, are rewriting the culinary map in Memphis. They both grew up in big Italian families and understood the importance of family gatherings paired with spectacular meals. 

In 2008, Ticer and Hudman opened Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen, a fresh take on traditional Italian cuisine. The menu is inspired by fresh ingredients and local farmers. Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen is just across the street from little brother Hog & Hominy and if you ever go, you have to try Maw Maw's ravioli or the A/M Breakfast. Pair them with whatever you'd like, you can't go wrong here. 

The two friends opened their second restaurant, Hog & Hominy, in 2011 and the rest is history. For more information on Hog & Hominy or Andrew Michael Italian Restaurant, check them out online or better yet, just go and let your taste buds be the judge.