If you didn’t get enough bird on Thanksgiving, head to Carnival Food Year Round and grab a turkey leg. One of these with some leftover cranberry sauce and dressing makes a meal for one person. Make sure you give the folks at the restaurant two hours’ notice. I drove from work to the drive-thru restaurant on Jackson and ordered a turkey leg at the window. Lynette, who own the restaurant, probably thought I was pulling their legs. They start baking the turkey legs after they hang up the phone or get off their computer. They don’t just keep them on hand. I returned the next week after placing my order on the phone. You also can order online. This is strictly a drive-thru restaurant, but Lynette invited me in. Carnival Food Year Round, which sells everything from candy apples to cotton candy to funnel cakes, smelled like the Mid-South Fair. Lynette had just taken three turkey legs out of the oven. One was for me and the others were for their children, Briauna, 14; Katrice, 10; Eldria, 9; Verisia 7; and Honesty 1. Lynette got the idea for their restaurant while walking around the Mid-South Fair the last day it was in Memphis, Lynette said. “I knew I was never going to be at Libertyland again,” she said. The main thing she was going to miss was the food, not the rides, Lynette said. She thought, “We won’t be able to get this anymore.” This was before the Mid-South Fair moved to Mississippi and Delta Fair made the scene, she said. Enter Carnival Food Year Round, where you can order just about any traditional fair item. Funnel cakes are their biggest seller, Lynette said. They carry several flavors, including strawberry, chocolate and lemon. Their turkey legs are popular, too. They’re a lot more tender than the ones I remember getting at the Mid-South Fair when it was in Memphis. Lynette said those legs were smoked, the meat was tough and had dark spots from cooking too much in one place because someone forgot to turn them. Lynette slow bake theirs in a conventional oven on an aluminum pan liner that has holes in it. “It’s not sitting it its own grease,” Lee Lee said. Four different seasonings are added midway through the baking. The other seasonings, which Lee Lee refers to as “Lynette’s signature seasonings,” are a secret. When the turkey leg is ready, it “falls off the bone,” Lynette said. I thought they were delicious. They have a combination turkey and ham flavor. I asked Mohamad about that. “We notice it all the time,” he said. “We love it. That’s why it goes good in a salad. ”Regular and turkey corn dogs are among the other items offered. They also carry a “Polish corn dog” made with kielbasa sausage. That one requires two sticks. They also carry non-fair things, too, including green salads and BLTs. “We try to cater to every crowd and not just one crowd,” Lynette said. So, what do the Smith do on Thanksgiving? “We don’t cook,” Lynette said. “We take the kids and eat at the casino. Turkey and dressing. They have a free buffet. We take them swimming in an indoor pool.”“We allow somebody else to cook for us two days out of the year: Christmas and Thanksgiving,” Lynette said. “The rest of the time we’re cooking.”







 Commercial Appeal Jennifer Biggs Blog: 529-5223

“Where are the games?” my cousin asked when we walked in Carnival Food. There are no games and there are no rides, but there are turkey drumsticks that are enormous and delicious. I’m not a big fan of fair food, though I admit a weakness for cotton candy. But Amy, the cousin, saw a commercial on MTV and had a craving for a turkey drumstick. Now, I’ve seen turkey legs at the fair and I’ve even tasted them, though I wasn’t very impressed. But this one was different. First, it was gigantic. As London, an 8-year-old who sat down at our table, said, “That’s bigger than some cow legs I’ve seen!” And it was also mighty tasty. The drumsticks, which are $10, are smoked off-site and then slow-heated for about two hours. What you get is a tender, succulent and filling drumstick. Carnival Food, which opened last month in a strip center by the viaduct on Covington Pike at Elmore, serves corndogs, nachos, snow cones, funnel cakes, hamburgers (pretty dang good ones, too), BBQ, Polish sausage and most standard fair fare.




  It's name is its menu. Fair food, without the fairgrounds. 365 days a year. Even employees from Malco's Cordova Cinema next door hustle over on their breaks to sample the stuff the theater doesn't have! "We don't have cotton candy," said Malco's Jessica Maharrey, eyeing the cotton candy spinner in Carnival Food's lobby. "It sort of just melts in your mouth."Funnel cakes!" shouted Malco's Melvina Kirk. "Big ole' home-style double burgers! "Sno-cones. Turkey legs. Deep-fried Twinkies. Deep-fried Oreos. Deep-fried ANYTHING. "It's something nobody else is doing here," said owner Lynette, who recently sold her original location on Covington Pike in Raleigh to open the Cordova shop. "In the whole United States, nobody sells carnival food all year round. "Lynette said she and her husband came up with the idea of a carnival restaurant after the Mid-South Fair ditched the Mid-South Fairgrounds for Desoto County, MS."The fair left, and we got to still support our people in Memphis, so we decided to do it year round," Lynette said. Funnel cakes and corndogs are Smith big sellers, but she has lunch and dinner fare, too. Burgers, Philly cheese steak & chicken sandwiches, hot wings -- even large chefs salads. "Barbecue nachos, whole jumbo wings, turkey legs on Saturdays, we do everything," she said. All the good fair fare -- without the rides and carneys!

WHAT ANDY LIKES: Deep-fried Twinkie, Philly Cheese Chicken Sandwich (Great Onions & Peppers!), Turkey Leg!



You know just once I’d like to see a spring weather pattern in Memphis where it rained all week and we had nice warm sunny weekends! But what can you do? Another Beale Street Music festival on the books and the weather was as crazy as it always is. We went down Saturday night to see Michael McDonald and Hall and Oates, but wound up having to flee a big incoming storm with sirens blaring as thousands scurried back to their cars. Good thing I brought along a pair of knee high boots. Before mother nature lowered the boom on us I was able to indulge in one of my favorite things about Memphis in May, and that’s all the wonderful food you can find whenever a few thousand Memphians get together. Pronto Pups, Funnel Cakes, Polish Sausage, roasted corn, nachos and those big sinful burgers. It brought back wonderful memories of the old Mid-South Fair at the Fairgrounds in midtown. I’ve always loved carnival food, and it’s probably a good thing I don’t have a steady diet of it, but I’m here to tell you I recently discovered that you CAN get these kinds of goodies all year round! Where you ask? Hold on to your tastebuds People, cause I’m about to turn you on to Carnival Food at 210 N. 4th Street. Ever get a Jones for a big mustard covered corndog , one of those huge smoked turkey legs, or a big basket of BBQ Nachos, or maybe a cold lemonade and a Funnel Cake covered with powdered sugar, but there’s no fair or carnival or festival in sight? Carnival Food has got you covered YEAR ROUND!  We recently dropped in on Carnival Food owners Lynette, who gave us the whole story of how this wonderful place came into being. (see the video) Lynette wanted to provide these kids of treats to Memphis, so they bought a trailer and started making the rounds to every flea market and gathering they could find. One day they got the idea to open a place where people could come to THEM for all these sinful delights, and Carnival Food was born. Since they opened, their business has been booming. Mo told me they were planning to open a Carnival Food restaurant in every neighborhood in the city, so folks can get a taste of the fair without having to go far from home. We had the famous Carnival Cheeseburger, a big basket of Lynette's signature BBQ nachos, a foot-long corn dog with mustard, some of the best Hot Wings I ever put in my mouth, and a funnel cake covered with powdered sugar with a big lemonade. Friends it was a soul satisfying lunch! They cater too, so if you’re looking for a way to make your next party truly unique, give ‘em a call! Carnival Food is located at 210 N. 4th Street. They’re open 11am-8pm daily. CARNIVAL FOOD is my Underground Memphis pick of the week. Indulge yourself today and tell ‘em Bill sent you!