Steeped in history — it was a small railroad town — Cordova, Tennessee, is a community located east of Memphis in Shelby County. The city hosts locally owned restaurants along with regional chain selections. We’ve rounded up the best spots.
Interior of Casbah | Courtesy of Casbah Restaurant
Locally owned and operated, Casbah Restaurant is a lovely, Moroccan-inspired restaurant specializing in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern dishes. A beautifully decorated interior space, complete with both warm and bright colors, makes it a great location for gathering with friends and family or taking a loved one out for a romantic date. Highlights from the menu are the vegetarian platter with rice, house salad, hummus, pita and falafel. There’s also the lamb shish kabob with rice and vegetables; and the seasoned tilapia on a bed of pasta with garlic, spinach and jalapeños. Open every day for lunch and dinner, Casbah also offers sweet treats, including kunafa or shredded phyllo pastry with sweet cheese.
Opened in 2004, Chang’s Bubble Tea Café is a friendly spot serving authentic Chinese cuisine and other Asian delicacies. Between the friendly environment and the variety of dishes and beverages, including smoothies made with fresh fruit, this cafe is a place the entire family will enjoy. Meat and poultry lovers will love the Hunan beef, with vegetables. They’ll also enjoy the chef’s special spicy Hunan sauce, and the Thai chicken: slices of lightly battered and fried chicken with sweet and spicy sauce. Vegetarians can savor the vegetable tofu dish. Don’t forget to wash it all down with a tasty bubble tea, including mango, lychee, and red bean varieties. Chang’s serves lunch and dinner every day.
Corky’s Ribs & BBQ is a small, local chain featuring succulent, Southern-style ribs and BBQ. A meat lover’s paradise, this award-winning restaurant specializes in slow-cooked — over hickory and charcoal — meats and hand-pulled pork shoulder. Within a rustic interior, complete with wooden accents salvaged from old barns, guests have a host of flavorful options. This includes the fried Delta catfish sandwich served with made-from-scratch hushpuppies and coleslaw; the ribs and pulled pork combo plate, with BBQ baked beans, coleslaw, and freshly baked rolls. Another good pick is the hickory-smoked turkey dinner with sides. Corky’s is open every day for lunch and dinner.
A family-owned and operated business, Ethiopian Restaurant and Coffee is a delightful gem tucked inside a strip mall. Serving hearty Ethiopian cuisine for lunch and dinner seven days a week, the eatery also offers great coffee made with raw beans roasted in a skillet on-site. The menu offers a variety of fish, meat and vegetarian specialties, making it a place that will suit many tastes. Dishes to note are the yesmir watt, which are puréed lentils simmered in a spicy berbere sauce (berbere is a native Ethiopian spice similar to chili powder), and the yebeg alicha, cubes of lamb in a mild stew seasoned with turmeric.
The Flying Saucer Draught Emporium is a regional chain offering guests a host of cold brews along with an array of American and German food. Open every day beginning at 11am, this gastropub features a lively ambiance great for getting together with friends to unwind after a long day at work. Some of the tasty dishes found on the menu include the hippie burger with a vegetarian patty, topped with jalapeño-pesto mayo, cucumber, red onion, lettuce, tomato and avocado and the Reuben-esque sandwich, with pastrami, jalapeño kraut, Swiss cheese, and Russian dressing on toasted rye. There’s also the German plate, with two grilled bratwursts, red skin potato salad and sauerkraut.
Open every day for lunch and dinner, Green Bamboo Noodle House is a warm, inviting place specializing in authentic Vietnamese cuisine. Striving to use the best ingredients available, the culinary team procures fresh and organic produce from local sources when possible for its healthy fare. The menu is large, ensuring that every palate is sure to be satisfied. For vegetarians, the tofu lemongrass and the canh chua chay — a mild sweet-sour soup, with sprouts, tomatoes, chayote, okra and tamarind broth — are two flavorful options. Meat lovers can savor the mi xao mem, which are egg noodles cooked with mixed veggies, chicken, beef and shrimp.
Those diners with a major sweet tooth are going to be very happy that Jody’s Donuts & Bakery is around. Specializing in delicious donuts and other baked goodies, this bakery will have something to sate any sweet craving, and it’s open every day. For the donut lovers, there are mouthwatering flavors such as classic glazed, blueberry iced, vanilla cake with strawberry and peanut butter and chocolate. Donut holes, twists, apple fritters, cinnamon rolls and filled donuts are also available. For those guests who prefer something on the savory side, Jody’s also offers hot breakfast sandwiches.
At Kabob International, diners have the chance to dine upon traditional Mediterranean and Persian cuisine that is authentically prepared. The welcoming environment makes this venue a wonderful place for groups of all sizes, and the menu is brimming with options. Served here is the veggie kabob which features two skewers of grilled peppers, zucchini, yellow squash and onions. There’s also the Arabic gyro-shawarma with a choice of chicken, beef or lamb, served with house-made garlic sauce. Another top pick is the lamb shank, served with Persian steam-cooked basmati rice. To try these recipes and more, visit Monday through Saturday for lunch or dinner.
First established as a market in Biloxi, Mississippi, Pasta Italia, which is the brainchild of Chef Michele D’Oto, eventually moved to Cordova. Specializing in Northern Italian cuisine, this lovely, fine-dining eatery serves dinner Tuesday through Saturday and will delight the taste buds of anyone who visits. Enticing options from the menu include the crab meat ravioli in a white wine/lemon juice/cream sauce; the gnocchi di patate,served with either a tomato sauce or gorgonzola sauce; and the filet mignon with artichokes in a Chianti demi-glace. Sweet endings are also available, including tiramisu, fresh berry moscato and chocolate mousse.
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While it is a Mediterranean restaurant, Tannoor Grill prides itself on being different from all the others, as it serves Mediterranean cuisine with a twist. Using authentic spices and sauces for their dishes, this restaurant also uses a special grill to prepare its offerings. All of these are all-you-can-eat. For meat lovers, there is the turnstile option with chicken legs, shish tawook, shish kabob, filet mignon, lamb, sirloin and rib-eye. Vegetarians will have unlimited access to the appetizers, including but not limited to baba ghanoush, sautéed potatoes, tabouleh and rice. Tannoor Grill is open every day for lunch and dinner.