Local Favorites with Alumni

Central BBQ in Midtown Memphis

We asked alumni to help us choose restaurants to visit in each city. Photos by Synthia Clark

In Memphis, we went to Frank Grisanti’s Italian Restaurant for dinner and sampled the toasted ravioli. Our lunch stop was Central BBQ in Midtown(above), where we chowed down on the BBQ nachos and pork plate.

Jeff and Denise Kerlan
“I am more grateful to the College of Medicine than anything else in my life,” says Jeff Kerlan, a cardiologist in Memphis. “I wouldn’t have a career if not for UT medical school.” Kerlan (HSC ’98) and his wife, Denise (Knoxville ’94), met us for dinner. They moved back to Memphis after living in Birmingham, St. Louis and Nashville.


Lindsey Wells and Crystal Walker
Lindsey Wells (Knoxville ’11, HSC ’13),  and Crystal Walker (HSC ’11), our lunch companions, say they love living in Memphis and their time at UTHSC. Wells earned her degree in pharmacy, and Walker is now pursuing a doctorate in nursing.


Todd and Jennifer Hampton at The Hearth in Martin
The Hearth is a dining staple in Martin and a favorite of alumni Todd (Martin ’96) and Jennifer (Martin ’97) Hampton, who seemed to know everybody eating dinner at the restaurant when we met them. “The university contributes to the quality of life,” says Todd.


Chicken and waffles sandwich at Sammie's in Martin
The chicken and waffles sandwich at lunch spot Sammie’s in Martin is decadent.
David Blackburn, David Martin, and Natalie Roy at Community Pie
In Chattanooga, we visited Community Pie, a pizza place in Miller Plaza downtown that is a favorite of David Martin (Chattanooga ’04, Knoxville ’06) and Natalie Roy (Chattanooga ’09) and UTC athletics director David Blackburn.


Jerry Harris and Bert Caldwell
Jerry Harris (Chattanooga ’64) and Bert Caldwell (Chattanooga ’63) met us for lunch at Bea’s restaurant, which features fried chicken, turnip greens and other Southern goodies situated on lazy Susans at each table.


Alan Moore, Erica Moore and Rachel Frey, at Calhoun's
The UT Knoxville alumni chose Calhoun’s on the River as our dinner destination. We enjoyed conversation by the river with Alan Moore (Knoxville ’06, ’10), Erica Moore (Knoxville ’06) and Rachel Frey (Knoxville ’06). They are involved in the Young Alumni Council.


Start Here Day 1: UT IPS Day 2: UTHSC Day 3: UT Martin Day 4: Space Institute Day 5: UTC Day 6: UT Knoxville Day 7: UTIA