Andy's Rest. Scorecard: Flying Fish - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Andy's Rest. Scorecard: Flying Fish, plus high/low score as of 8/24/10

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By Andy Wise - bio | email

MEMPHIS (WMC-TV) - This week's Big Tip "flies high" above downtown, but first, a look at this week's HIGH score and LOW score:

LOW SCORE OF THE WEEK:  McDonald's, 3120 S. Third St., South Memphis, 72 Aug. 24 with a permit suspension notice:

2 waste-water leaks (hand sink at prep area, floor under the sanitizer compartment)

"no hot water at prep sink"

Eggs at unsafe temperatures

Inspector used the word "DIRTY" five times to describe utensils, tables, ice machine, floor, walls

This is the second time this South Memphis McDonald's has been on the wrong end of the Scorecard. It failed its health inspection with a 66 Aug. 2009.

Owners George and Jane Jones are typically professional and polite when Action News 5 calls.

This time, it's been more difficult keeping up with the Joneses. Two messages - one on voice mail, another left with an employee - went unanswered.

Their store scored an 86 on re-inspection.

HIGH SCORE OF THE WEEK:  Bardog Tavern, 73 Monroe, Downtown Memphis, 901-275-8752, http://www.bardogtavern.com/, 99 Aug. 24.

Aldo Dean's New York-urban tavern with its trendy atmosphere, immaculate kitchen and how-can-I-serve-you staff rated the cleanest joint in Shelby County.

There is no bar in Memphis like Bardog Tavern -- and certainly not one with the hops of Chef Demitrie Phillips and his eclectic menu (download his menu here:  http://www.bardogtavern.com/menu.html).

Bardog's service is always smiling, especially star server Jean Pruett. Readers of our news partner, Memphis Flyer, nominated Pruett for third place in the paper's "Best Server" category.

"They know you by name, so that's wonderful," said customer Connie Gray, quite comfortable holding court on her corner barstool.

Get some of Phillips' spaghetti and meatballs (his grandmother's recipe) and munch on the Ahi Sushi Tuna on Won Tons while drinking a cold one!

THIS WEEK'S BIG TIP: Flying Fish, 105 S. Second, Downtown Memphis, 901-522-8CAT, http://www.flyingfishinthe.net/Memphis.php

Fresh fish entrees, kid-friendly, with a wink-wink sense of humor, Flying Fish flies smack in the face of what you'd expect from a catfish joint.

First of all, it serves tons more than just catfish, although the catfish is one of my Top 3 in Shelby County catfish restaurants (Soul Fish Cafe, Flying Fish & Leonard's BBQ, in no particular order!). Flying Fish also serves shrimp, crawfish, chicken, fried & grilled vegetables, po-boys and crab legs.

It also cranks out what I consider to be the freshest oysters in the Mid-South. In fact, I won't eat oysters anywhere else in the Memphis area other than Flying Fish.

"We get it in daily," said Flying Fish's General Manager John May. "I mean, that's the secret to anything fresh, right? We prep everything fresh daily."

"It has to be brought in every day like that to be THAT fresh," said an enthusiastic Perry Imboden of Cherry Valley, AR, after he killed a dozen raw on the half-shell.

Flying Fish is a welcome family diversion from the typical fare. Mom & Dad can wolf down some serious mud bugs and gumbo while the kids can order "boats" of chicken fingers or burgers.

The Liar's Wall boasts pictures of customers hoisting their fish stories, true or false. The storefront's also surrounded by those obnoxiously singing Billy Bass mounts (batteries missing, thank goodness!), given up by customers loyal to Flying Fish's Billy Bass Adoption Wall.

"We'll give you some adoption papers, and you are immortalized at the Flying Fish," May said.

It gets you a free catfish basket, too!

Fun's good. Fried's good. But this place has heart-healthy options, too, like the grilled catfish, squash and zucchini.

"As long as it's tasteful, honey," squealed Myra Tukufu of Lakeland, TN. "That's all I worry about!"

WHAT ANDY LIKES:  Catfish (fried & grilled), Oysters (anyway you can get 'em!), Grilled Veggies, Seafood Gumbo, Shiner 101 Beer 

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