Paul and I visited Tart, a café in the Cooper-Young neighborhood of Midtown Memphis, for the first time in over a year for Sunday brunch on August 7. Tart now offers table service if you’re dining in and counter service for carry out orders. We noticed more comfortable chairs and tables in the dining room and on the front deck. We sat inside at a table near the front counter. A friendly and knowledgeable server named Wesley brought us menus and offered us blueberry lemonade he made minutes ago. We ordered drinks: fresh squeezed orange juice and a latte for Paul and the blueberry lemonade and French press coffee for me.
Wesley promptly returned with our beverages and told us about the brunch specials for the day. Paul chose the Brioche, and I chose the Eggs in a Basket. The sweet, barely sour lemonade refreshed (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️). Paul enjoyed the orange juice so much that he ordered a second glass to drink with his meal (⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️).
The sunkissed summer tomato, salty prosciutto, and fresh figs on toasted housemade white bread in Paul’s brioche made our mouths water. The sweet and sour slaw served on the side complimented the savory brioche. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
The kitchen changed the Eggs in a Basket advertised as the brunch special on the chalkboard outside after running out of some ingredients. Wesley’s excitement over the change moved me to order the dish. The chef topped the eggs embedded in more housemade white bread toast with a stir fry of smoked pulled pork and matchsticks of carrot and zucchini. A savory choron sauce and fresh mixed greens finished the dish. I can’t remember eating a breakfast that left me in such awe. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Recovery is possible.
In its first year, we visited Tart many times and came away disappointed every time. Chaotic counter service, inexperienced staff, food which slid off pretty but impractical plates without raised edges, unstable tables and uncomfortable seating, and servers who dropped food on us made enjoying the great food difficult at best.
But Tart has hit its stride. Since our last visit, Tart implemented changes in staff, began offering table service, and brought in new plates. They’ve got the basics down so that their fresh baked goods and French-inspired creations really shine. I’m ready to leave the past behind and make Tart a frequent stop for brunch on my weekends.
820 Cooper Street
Memphis, TN 38104