In Memphis, a Southern river town built on barbecue and blues and so many other things to see and taste and experience, it might feel strange to regard something like an old-fashioned diner as a one-of-a-kind culinary stop worth a detour.
And yet that’s the case with The Little Tea Shop, the diner on Monroe Avenue, just up the street from the University of Memphis Downtown Law School, with a retro neon sign that beckons hungry diners and which has been a fixture in the neighborhood for 100 years. The menu, which changes daily, offers a rotating selection of corn bread sticks, greens and other stapes of classic Southern cooking. It’s the kind of food that sticks to your bones and makes you want to slip away into a satisfying coma, the kind of meal a grandmother might put together. Because at The Little Tea Shop, well, that’s exactly who’s behind it all.
Her name is Suhair Lauck—”Miss Sue,” to regulars. She’s a 70-year-old Palestinian grandmother who hums to herself