Best Bets: Quiche

Broccoli quiche and Tomato Basil Pie at Just for Lunch.

Photo by Michael Donahue // Buy this photo

Broccoli quiche and Tomato Basil Pie at Just for Lunch.

There's something about quiche and the 1980s.

I remember covering an REO Speedwagon concert in the late 1980s at the Mid-South Coliseum. I was backstage after the show when Gary Richrath, the lead guitarist at that time, asked me, "Do you want some quiche?"

I didn't take any, but I thought that was cool.

The other day I told a colleague, Lou Lambert, I was going to have quiche for lunch. He joked: "Real men don't eat quiche." That expression came from the 1982 Bruce Feirstein book "Real Men Don't Eat Quiche: A Guidebook To All That Is Truly Masculine."

As for real men not eating quiche, Ann Barnes, owner of Just for Lunch restaurant, said, "That's not true. Some men call and say, 'What kind (of quiche) do you have today?'"

Barnes began making quiche in 1981. "I learned how to make it 'cause it was just a fancy dish 'ladies who lunch' would like. Guess what? It was."

And men who lunch liked it right away, too, she said.

Barnes offers a daily quiche of the day. She served broccoli quiche the day I was at her restaurant. I loved it. It was rich and creamy and, as I've noticed over the years eating food catered by Barnes at parties, it was very tasty. Her other quiches include quiche Lorraine, which is made with bacon, cheese and onion; and artichoke with lemon quiche, which sounds very good to me.

Her quiche of the day comes with tomato aspic with a dollop of homemade mayonnaise on top. I'm a sucker for aspic. I love her version, which is sweet and spicy. "I didn't like those austere aspics," Barnes said.

Barnes serves her tomato basil pie every day. It's really a quiche, but she calls it a "pie." It's made with tomato, cheese, basil and farm-fresh eggs. "I came up with it for the vegetable plate because it needed some protein," she said.

You may see a lot more women than men eating at Just for Lunch, but that doesn't mean guys aren't eating there, too. A lot of men "sit at the bar reading their newspaper, eating lunch and eating their 'lady food.'"

She added: "We need to put one out front so others of their kind won't be afraid to come in."

Just for Lunch is at 3092 Poplar; (901) 323-3287.

-- Michael Donahue: (901) 529-2797;

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