If you want to find the best places to eat, ask the locals. The ones who live right in the city (and I do mean downtown)--these people will tell you where the 'locals' go to eat. When we asked 4 people and got the same name 4 times out of 7 suggestions, we were pretty sure this was going to be the place.
The Blue Plate Cafe, at 113 Court Square South in Downtown Memphis is one of those places. Their menu, (which we were encouraged to take home) is printed on newsprint and has 2 pages of newsy facts and quotes; perfect 'while yer waitin' fodder.
Breakfast is served anytime and prices are extremely reasonable. The only things we found on the menu over $10 were the 'Country Ham with 2 eggs--$10.99' (But know that the slab of ham COVERED the whole plate) and the dinner special, served Monday--Saturday nights of "ALL YOU CAN EAT CATFISH--$11.95".
Need I mention the biscuits and gravy? Or the REAL Southern grits? Oh. My. Goodness.
The line was out the door when we arrived, but we only had a 10-20 minute wait. We ate there twice in our 5 days in Memphis, but as good as our meals were (and they were EXCELLENT!) our waitress, KATRINA, was the best. (We waited for one of her tables when we went back and she remembered us.) All the staff are very hardworking, attentive servers; polite to all customers--greeting the regulars by name--like a hometown eating establishment should be. Katrina was no exception; she went out of her way to be sure we had whatever we needed. And could that lady MOVE! I would not get in her way when she's on a mission! She made sure our visit stood out and did Memphis proud.