Four Way Restaurant Has Soul

If you’re hungry for good cooking (like grandma used to make), head to Four Way Restaurant located in the Soulsville area of South Memphis. The Four Way has had a very impressive list of guests including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Jesse Jackson, Don King and Aretha Franklin plus locals and visitors alike since 1946.  

This is the typical Southern "meat and two" plate where you get a choice of entrée, two sides and either a cornbread muffin or a roll. (Pro tip: get the cornbread). Top entrée choices include fried chicken, fried catfish and salmon croquettes. You can even chow down on some of the best turkey and dressing found on any Thanksgiving dinner table. Come early if you’re craving neck bones because they always sell out. 

For the sides, you can’t go wrong with the macaroni and cheese, yams, turnip greens or smothered cabbage. There’s also cook up a mean cheeseburger with the accompanying pile of golden crisp fries. 

Don’t leave without ordering dessert. They have something to appeal to every palate including lemon pound cake, double chocolate cake, sweet potato pie and peach cobbler. And be sure to order a “VIP” – a tangy combo of sweet tea and lemonade. 

Since Martin Luther King Jr. was such a huge fan of the Four Way, stop by the National Civil Rights Museum where you can interact with exhibits showcases the human rights struggles and successes. The museum features a wonderful quantity of traveling exhibits, but make sure to spend time at the permanent exhibits including A Culture of Resistance, Standing Up by Sitting Down and The Year they Walked. When you stand in the area of rooms 306 and 307, you know you're standing on hallowed ground - the site of Dr. King's last hours. After your visit to the museum, you will be filled with respect, knowledge and motivation to share his dream. 

Isaac Hayes' Gold-Plated Cadillac at Stax Museum / Dan Ball
Isaac Hayes' Gold-Plated Cadillac

If you’re exploring all things soul, head to the nearby Stax Museum of American Soul Music and complete your afternoon exploring the roots of American soul music.  Think Otis Redding’s “The Dock of the Bay” or Isaac Hayes’ “Shaft” or any of the other classic that came out of Stax. From the moment you park your car, you hear the sounds of Stax wafting in the air. Restored and on its original site, the museum tells the complete story of how that Memphis sound was created during the 60s and 70s. See the memorabilia including costumes, records and even Isaac Hayes’ gold-plated Cadillac.

It’s still happening at Stax. Catch a concert by young, talented students of the Stax Music Academy who perform all over the city.