Andy's Rest. Scorecard: Bardog Tavern - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Andy's Rest. Scorecard: Bardog Tavern, plus failing score as of 9/2/10

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By Andy Wise - bio | email

MEMPHIS (WMC-TV) - The Little Dutch Boy probably could have bartered a free beer at a Beale St. blues joint this week.

The restaurant needed the boy's fat fingers to plug the leaks popping out all over the place.

Ground Zero Blues Club, 310 Beale St., failed its Sept. 2 health inspection with a 63:

"faucet missing from 3-compartment sink"

Inspector wrote DIRTY 13 times to describe restaurant's conditions

Three water leaks, including one that left "damaged & dirty walls in area w/ice machine"

Ground Zero's Marketing & Sales Director Anthony Burns said the inspector walked in right when they had contractors trying to replace the broken faucet and fix the ice machine's broken compressor, which had melted ice all over the floor.

"This room was filled with water," Burns said, motioning across the room that housed the massive ice machine.

The compressor's fixed. The faucet's replaced. A plumber also sealed a leak under the patio bar's sink.

"All the violations have been taken care of, and we just welcome the inspector back out," said Burns.

THIS WEEK'S BIG TIP:  Bardog Tavern, 73 Monroe, Downtown Memphis, 901-275-8752,

Hot on the heels of a near-perfect inspection score last week (99), Bardog Tavern is the first Mid-South restaurant to receive both Chef of the Week and Server of the Week on the Scorecard!

Demitrie Phillips is a 21-year veteran executive chef, with 10 years in Memphis establishments. Trained at the New England Culinary Institute in Vermont, Phillips trotted over to Bardog when owner Aldo Dean recruited him from Stella (now Flight) downtown.

"That was like going to your bench, looking for a pinch-hitter, and finding Babe Ruth," said Mike Walker of Downtown Memphis, one of Bardog's most loyal barflies.

Bardog Tavern is a "bar with good food," and Phillips is the reason. He creates dishes that you just don't scarf down at a typical bar -- from incredible appetizers like his Ahi Sushi Tuna on Won-Ton to his recreation of Dean's grandmother's third-generation spaghetti and meatballs.

"It's made with ground beef, egg, Parmesan cheese, garlic - it's fantastic," said Phillips. "(Bardog Tavern) is an Irish bar with an Italian owner and a great chef!"

Great servers, too -- especially Jean Pruett. A sexy siren with a memory that's catalogued every customer's favorite drink, Pruett landed Memphis Flyer's third place for "Best Server" in the city.

"There could be 100 people in here, she still takes care of you," said Walker Pritchard of Downtown Memphis. "Got you covered like insurance!"

"You know, when they come in, I already know what they're going to get," said Pruett. "I like making people happy. We just like to have fun in here."

Daily drink and food specials, bars upstairs and downstairs and dinner that ain't your buddies' pub-grub, Bardog Tavern will have folks walking away from Beale to a better place closer to the river.

WHAT ANDY LIKES:  Anything Demitrie cooks, especially the Spaghetti & Meatballs, Ahi Sushi Tuna On Won-Ton, Sliders, Meatball Sandwich, Rambo Strip Steak Sandwich -- and plenty of Jean Pruett!

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