Tsunami’s new neighbor: Burke’s Books

After nearly twenty years in the same location at Poplar and Evergreen, Burke’s Books is moving next door to Tsunami in Cooper-Young. Founded in 1875, Burke’s is undoubtedly the coolest bookstore in town. When John Grisham has a new book, he skips the megastores in favor of the comfy confines of Burke’s.

Burke’s has a great kids section and a great regional section. There are the latest releases and a cozy collection of used books. My favorite part is their antiquarian and rare books section. They have a first edition of The Moviegoer by Walker Percy that is my primary motivation for buying lottery tickets.

But what is this doing in your food blog you ask. Well, we visited Burke’s in their old location on their last day, more out of nostalgia than for the moving sale. Nevertheless, the moving sale found us in the cookbook section, rounding up quite a haul. Burke’s is where we found Critter Cuisine.

We found more appetizing fare as well. We found a copy of Ludwig Bemelmans’ La Bonne Table. While we were in a continental mood, we picked up Backroad Bistros, Farmhouse Fare: A French Country Cookbook by Jane Sigal. I haven’t given it a thorough look-see yet, but it does have some interesting bits, including a piece on snail farming. The recipes look good. They also have some fun little asides. We have mache in the fridge. maybe we’ll do something French this weekend.

We never seem to go anywhere without finding a present for Sorta Sister Squirrel. The Twinkie Cookbook was actually bought for her after our dear girl learned all about “Twinkie surprise” (Minds out of the gutter, please.) after going from a small private college to a big public community college to pick up a few credits cheap.

This time, we found a copy of The Easy-Bake Oven Gourmet. Scary as it sounds, the cookbook has recipes from Rick Bayless, Cindy Pawlcyn, and Bobby Flay. Ever the man’s man, Flay, it turns out, got his Easy-Bake Oven when he was eight, over the objections of his father. SSS has mentioned her Easy-Bake in the past. This was a must have for her.

Squirrelly, Jr. came up with the find of the day, though. He popped up out of nowhere, holding MoonPie: Biography of an Out-of-this-world Snack by David Magee. Well, that was that. We knew we wouldn’t top that, so we gathered our haul (Weren’t we there just for the nostalgia?) and headed to the register.

When Burke’s reopens on March 30, we’ll be dropping in to start building that new nostalgia. And while we’re there, we’ll have to finally get a copy of Ben Smith’s gorgeous The Tsunami Restaurant Cookbook. Then maybe head next door for dinner and hopefully an autograph.

Burke’s Books
936 Cooper St
Memphis, TN 38104
(901) 278-7484

Monday – Wednesday 10:00 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Thursday – Saturday 10: a.m. – 8 p.m.
Sunday 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Tsunami Restaurant
928 S Cooper St
Memphis, TN 38104
(901) 274-2556

Monday – Friday 5:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Saturday 5:30 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.
Closed Sunday

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