With Valentine’s Day, Fat Tuesday and slight temps in the air at least for a little while longer, we can find plenty of excuses for indulging, if needed. And lucky for us, Memphis restaurants are brimming with delicious selections to suit your fancy. Like a big, tender hug, these local comfort food finds will warm your heart and fill your tummy. Hungry readers be warned: these images alone are enough to make your mouth water. We’ll take one of each, please!

1. Collard Greens with Nduya and Hominy from Hog & Hominy.

CollardGreens

Inspired by Chef Michael Hudman’s Maw Maw, they add nduya, a spreadable, spicy salami from Calabria and hominy, another southern treat for a dressed-up version of the original favorite. Photo credit: Hog & Hominy

2. Roasted Tomato Soup with Beemster Grilled Cheese Sandwich from Erling Jensen.

What's better than soup and grilled cheese? Soup with grilled cheese in it!

What’s better than soup and grilled cheese? Soup with grilled cheese in it! Photo credit: Erling Jensen

3. Alchemy’s Four-Cheese Macaroni and Cheese.

alchemy four cheese mac

Four-Cheese Macaroni and Cheese features smoked Gouda, Fontina, aged Beemster, and Danish Blue with buttered breadcrumbs served in a skillet to share (or not)! Photo credit: Alchemy

4. The Roast White Oaks Pasture beef + Swiss Poboy from The Second Line.

Smothered with roast beef and gravy on the most perfect bread from Leidenheimer Baking Company in New Orleans, it's truly a guilty pleasure!

Smothered with roast beef and gravy on the most perfect bread from Leidenheimer Baking Company in New Orleans, it’s truly a guilty pleasure and one to make Chef-wife Angela English forget she’s a vegetarian momentarily! Photo credit: The Second Line

5. Sticky Toffee Date Cake from Acre

For the sweet tooth that needs some love, too Acre has the perfect solution. Think: warm date bread pudding finished with toffee butterscotch and vanilla ice cream!

Last but not least, for the sweet tooth that needs some love, too, Acre has the perfect solution. Think: warm date bread pudding finished with toffee butterscotch and vanilla ice cream! Photo credit: Acre Restaurant

Ahhhh. The comfort of a good meal or a warm treat. That’s the way to enjoy February. Bon appétit!