What does Barry like for dinner? Reservations!

Executive Director of PhillyGayCalendar

You know how you walk by a joint on the regular and never try it.  You see the joint, but just never get around to going in.   Perhaps it’s on some out-of-the-way street that’s on your way to someplace that has nothing to do with food.  

Well, I’ve been walking by Meme at 22nd and Spruce for a solid two years now and haven’t thought of going there for dinner.  Oh wait, I remember why I don’t think of going there!  The restaurant that occupied the space before Meme, always had a ridiculous wait and DIDN’T TAKE RESERVATIONS and I HATE, LOATHE, and DESPISE waiting around like lambs to the slaughter!  Meme takes reservations!!!  I made reservations and was able to go in, sit down and actually eat when I was hungry – NOT – after waiting for some obnoxious amount of time, while my stomach digests itself.

Having a reservation makes a dinner experience so much more pleasurable.  See I get kinda bitchy when I’m hungry.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, I like my friends, some I actually like a lot.  But I’d tell my own mother to “shut up” if I’m too hungry.  Now, force me to stand outside in the elements that are anything other than San Diego perfection and I’ll take someone’s head off.

We were seated rather quickly and the service was great.   So many times a restaurant can get a really bad rap because servers can be either stupid, rude OR BOTH!  Not so at Meme!  She was funny, full of suggestions, and really just a good person.  A good person, but I forgot her name, so I’ll call her Batina!  I asked Batina to recommend dishes from the menu that really gave the best representation of the concept of the restaurant.

Sautéed Mussels – out of the shell, sautéed in lemon and garlic.  These were full of intense flavor!  If you’re not a fan of a bold fish flavor, I’d skip them.

Gnocchi – sautéed in garlic and oil with trumpet mushrooms and served with grated cheese.  PERFECTION.  Melt in your mouth consistency, wonderful flavor!

Lamb –  braised lamb shank in a breath-taking sauce served over polenta.  Tender and mild with a distinct flavor!  I cried a little!  So good.

Swordfish – sautéed to a delicious perfection in Moroccan spices and served over cous cous.  This was a complete divergence in flavors from the lamb, light refreshing, and bright.  We couldn’t decide which we liked more.

The desserts were stupid good too!

One thing that you’ll have to learn to count on at Meme, nothing stays the same!  Its says right on their website – “Menu subject to change based on market availability or just by whim!”  I love this!  It’s very much like many restaurants I’ve been to – outside of the U.S.  Don’t get frustrated if the menu says potatoes and you get polenta.  Don’t hate if the menu says leeks and you get potatoes.  It seems that just like the Chef/Owners Meme (that’s what he called his grandmother), if she felt like changing her recipes – she changed them!
The overall feel of Meme is very “homey”.  There’s no pretense.  I enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and the great food!  Give it a try.

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