Andy's Rest. Scorecard: 5 Best Appetizers, plus scores as of 3/07/10

By Andy Wise - bio | email

MEMPHIS (WMC TV) - Read on...and let your mouth water!

These are the 5 dishes our Scorecard viewers nominated as the best starters:

* BANG BANG SHRIMP, Bonefish Grill, 1250 North Germantown Pkwy., Cordova, TN, (901) 753-2220,

A mountain of fresh Gulf shrimp spiced, deep fried and served with an aioli (think dreamy, homemade mayo) cream sauce on a bed of lettuce -- Bonefish Grill's Bang Bang Shrimp has customers banging down the door.

"When we do events, we always bring the Bang Bang Shrimp," said Blu Cooper, managing partner of Bonefish Grill's Cordova location  "And they love it. It's great!"

"Excellent! Two thumbs up!" exclaimed Tiffany Freeman of Cordova.

"And it's a generous serving," said Jan Davis of Cordova.

* CHEESE FRITTERS, Amerigo Italian Restaurant, 1239 Ridgeway Rd., East Memphis, (901) 761-4000,

"We use a combination of four of the best cheeses: Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, Swiss cheese and sharp cheddar," said Andrew Fischer, Amerigo's general manager.

Add a dollop of sour cream, a dash of horseradish, deep fry 'em and dish 'em out!

"The blend of cheeses is delicious," said Debbie Adams of Cordova.  Huge understatement!

* SMOKED SALMON DEVILED EGGS, Felicia Suzanne's Memphis, 80 Monroe Ave., Downtown Memphis, (901) 523-0877,

I didn't even like deviled eggs until I had Chef Felicia Suzanne's recipe. I LOVE her spin on them -- with smoked king salmon.

After she smokes the salmon, she chops it up, mixes in her killer homemade mayonnaise, hot sauce -- then the clincher.

"I top it with a little Arkansas River caviar," said the Jonesboro, AR, native.

You'll never eat deviled eggs the same way again.

NATCHITOCHES MEAT PIES, Restaurant Iris, 2146 Monroe Ave., Midtown Memphis, (901) 590-2828,

For the tastiest Cajun-Creole appetizer, Kelly English is your chef when he plates his Natchitoches (pronounced NAQ-uh-dish) Meat Pies.

"Natchitoches is a small town in Louisiana," said English. "They're famous for their meat pies. This is kind of our take on what they do.

"We've got some local Neola Farms ground beef. We've got a little bit of clove, a little bit of allspice, and some other stuff I'm not going to tell you about!"

Keep it a secret, Kelly, but please keep those pies coming!

* CRAWFISH BEIGNETS, Circa by John Bragg, 119 S. Main St., Downtown Memphis, (901) 522-1488,

These little gems started out as crab cakes.  But while catering a bank grand-opening, Chef Bragg ran out of crab meat.

So he substituted crawfish.  It's been his customers' favorite guilty pleasure ever since.

"They've been on the menu ever since, and I've had repeat business because of them, so they've been great," said Bragg.

For all of this week's Memphis-Shelby County restaurant scores, click here.

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