Instead of focusing on one "Best Bets" item, this week I'm listing five of the best of the Best Bets featured in this space during 2011. These are some of my favorites. Note: They aren't listed in order of importance.
Lobster Roll at The Slider Inn, 2117 Peabody; (901) 725-1155. This is tantalizingly good. It's a sandwich made with fresh Maine lobster, butter, lemon juice, celery, Hellman's mayonnaise and a secret blend of spices. It's served on a New England hot dog bun.
Fried barbecue ribs at 10 Bones BBQ, 5960 Getwell, Suite 126, in Southaven; (662) 890-4472. I can eat these like candy. Leftover ribs are chilled, cut down to individual bones and placed in the walk-in freezer. When someone comes in the restaurant and orders fried ribs, the ribs are taken out, flash fried for a couple of minutes, tossed into Buffalo or barbecue sauce and sprinkled with barbecue rub before they're brought to your table.
Bi-Bim Bop at Kwik Chek, 2013 Madison; 274-9293. I tried this for the first time this year, and I'm hooked. Bi-Bim Bop is made with stir-fried vegetables, spicy Korean sauce and a sunny-side-up egg served with chicken, beef, tofu or whatever else in a soft stone bowl.
Southern-style rice at KC's Southern Style Rice, 4444 S. Third in the Triple S Flea Market; (901) 859-3400. You probably won't find this anywhere else in Memphis. You can get beef fried rice, chicken fried rice, ham fried rice, rib tip fried rice, hamburger fried rice or bologna fried rice or the most popular dish -- the combination fried rice, which includes all of the above. The smokiness of the fried rice comes from the smoked meat.
Shabushabu at Edo Japanese Restaurant, 4792 Summer; (901) 767-7096. This was another new discovery for me. Shabushabu is sliced beef, tofu and a mixture of vegetables in a clear soup. It's served at your table in an electric wok. Using chopsticks, you dip a piece of meat into the soup after it comes to a boil. In one or two seconds, the meat is done. You then dip it in a bowl of soy sauce and lemony ponzu and/or a bowl of miso and vinegar.
-- Michael Donahue: (901) 529-2797; firstname.lastname@example.org