Tuesday update

I discovered a really neat app last night. About 8 PM I was walking down Peabody Place and looked up into the night sky. I saw the moon and two planets. You can always tell which ones are planets because they appear in a uniform arc (the moon also in the arc) and they don’t twinkle. One seemed to have a red hue and I guessed it was Mars, although it was so bright I couldn’t rule Venus out. Another planet, close to the moon in the sky, I was less sure about, but I guessed Jupiter.

As I kept walking, I wondered if there was an app for that. There’s an app for everything these days. Back when I was in college, my astronomy professor showed me a program on my Macintosh SE that let me identify stars, planets, and constellations. I had to learn to count degrees in the sky, but if I could do that, the program did the rest of the work. I figured, surely there’s something equivalent for a smartphone these days.

Sure enough, there was. I found an app called Planet Finder, where all I had to do was point my phone’s camera at the planets. Here’s what I got:

Pretty neat. At least I got Mars right. And the moon. Later in the evening when I was at the Blind Bear, I wondered if the camera actually had to be on the moon and planets, or if it was all based on position. Without going outside, I pulled up the app again.

Planet Finder is not the only good astronomy app out there. I was talking to my friend Stacey last night and she found an app that will show you the positions of the constellations.

The Triple-A National Championship Game is tonight at 6:05 on NBC Sports Network, and the Redbirds are throwing a watch party at the Downtown Aldo’s Pizza Pies. Starting at 3:00, Aldo’s will have $3 draft beers and $2 domestic bottles, and the Redbirds will have giveaways all night long.

So, last week I incorrectly reported a piece of news. I heard from a former employee of Purple Haze that the guy in charge said “I can’t do this anymore” after two of his employees were injured in a fight/shooting there, and shut the place down. No, actually Haze shut down because their liquor license got suspended.

The Silly Goose has had so much success with their Sunday pop-up brunches with Wok’n in Memphis that they’re teaming up with Wok’n for a pop-up dinner this coming Sunday at 5. Here’s the menu:

Jalapeño Poppers
-Crab Rangoon Style

Chili Noodles
-Fried Garlic and Green Onion

Fried Rice
-Egg, Peas, Carrots
~Add meat for an extra charge

BLT Sandwich
-BOLOGNA, Lettuce, Tomato-Ginger Jam

Chicken & Waffles
-Ginger-Scallion Ranch

The Daily Memphian has an article about new construction in Founders Pointe. The new homes being built there will likely be the last ones in Downtown Memphis to offer a river view.

Memphis River Parks Partnership is presenting So Long, Summer with Spincult at Tom Lee Park on Saturday, September 29 at 10 AM. Instructors from The Edge’s new cycling studio will take you through a spinning class with a view of the mighty Mississippi.

The Flyer’s Hungry Memphis blogger tweeted news about LYFE Kitchen:

No operation on the weekend? That’s just downright weird. I’ve heard some things about that place which I have been asked not to blog, and this announcement is sort of consistent with what I have heard.

Tug’s is hosting an Oktoberfest celebration October 1-6. They’ll have German beer along with traditional dishes like beer cheese soup, bratwurst, strudel and schnitzel. Also, if you’re into Oktoberfest, don’t forget that Wiseacre will have a celebration September 29.

Yesterday, the History of Wrestling Twitter account tweeted a video of the ending of a match I have heard about all my life, but never seen. I thought I would share it for the benefit of my readers who are also wrestling fans.

I don’t know if I have any vegetarians who read this blog, but in case I do, here’s some news from Bluff City Coffee:

That’ll do it for today. Back tomorrow with more.

Monday update

Since I didn’t post yesterday, let’s back all the way up to Saturday and recap the weekend. That moment when you realize your team is the worst team in the entire Power Five:

North Texas made a fake fair catch and Arkansas fell for it. North Texas returned the punt for a touchdown en route to a 44-17 win over the Hogs. Might as well go ahead and call the season over. Arkansas has Auburn on the road next Saturday and will probably lose 76-10.

I really have to wonder what Arkansas was thinking with this coaching hire. Chad Morris only had 3 years’ previous head coaching experience, at SMU where he went 14-22. What in the world makes him qualified to lead one of the top 20 (in terms of money spent) college football programs in NCAA D-1? They should have kept Bielema for another year if they had no other options for a top-shelf head coach. That fake fair catch would’ve never happened under him. Hell, he would have thought of it.

So anyway, I watched the game at Max’s Sports Bar, and while I was there I heard some disturbing news: Earnestine & Hazel’s was not open Friday night (neither was 5 Spot), and Saturday morning some of the regulars went by to see Clarence and E&H was not open then either. I hope it’s not closed for good following the death of owner Bud Chittom. I had heard rumblings that it might happen. That place has so much soul. Downtown would be poorer without it.

Sunday morning, I switched things up a bit. Normally I do D-RANKS with B-RAD at Pontotoc but he was out yesterday. His friend Tony wanted to go to New Orleans and check out the drag queens, and so Brad went along. With my regular bartender out, I decided to check out other Sunday brunch options. Silly Goose posted that their Wok’n Memphis Sunday brunch pop-up had a fried rice and Bloody Mary deal, so I decided to go check that out.

$7 for bacon fried rice with a fried egg on top, AND a Bloody Mary! Now that’s one heck of a deal. Joe makes a good Bloody Mary and you can get it mild or spicy. Not sure if this was a one-week deal or if it will be back, but if it comes back, this is a good thing to do on a Sunday.

Wiseacre is having a watch party Wednesday evening for the Memphis episode of The Big Food Truck Tip with Andrew Zimmern. Three Memphis food trucks will be featured.

The University of Memphis athletics department is hiring a Coordinator, Athletics Business and Travel.

There will be a State of Downtown Community Gathering on the Civic Center Plaza Wednesday, October 3 from 5 to 9 PM. Hear from Mayors Strickland and Harris, and hear the announcement of the winners of the 2018 Downtown Vision Awards. There will be food, music, and demo rides by Explore Bike Share and Bird scooters.

Cirque de Soleil will bring its beloved show Corteo to FedExForum from January 31 to February 9. Tickets will be available to the public this Friday at 10 AM.

Memphis Heritage has a historical building tour series called Preservation Posse, and this month’s tour happens this week Downtown. The W.C. Ellis Building at 245 S. Front, soon to become part of One Beale, will open for an after-hours tour this Thursday.

The Triple-A National Championship Game, featuring the Memphis Redbirds and the Durham Bulls, will be broadcast live tomorrow night on NBC Sports Network. I need to do some research this evening on which bar cable packages carry NBCSN so I can decide where to watch tomorrow. This is a one-game, winner-take-all deal, not a playoff series.

That’s it for now. Back tomorrow with more news.

Saturday update

Last night was a night of wild, vivid dreams. I dreamed I was at the opening of a new grocery store. The produce section was expanded and named after my friend John D – not sure why because when I think of produce, John does not immediately come to mind. But anyway, John told me there were vending machines in the back, and I went back there to check them out, a security guard keeping a close eye on me, worried I would steal something I guess.

There was a vending machine that had “chicken snack” for 50 cents, and I thought that sounded interesting, so I put in two quarters. Out came a live chicken, about the size of my thumbnail. This was a fully grown brown chicken, not a chick. I guess I was supposed to eat it in one bite. I couldn’t do it though. I put it on the floor and it hopped around for a minute and then its head fell off. Maybe I need to go to that Broom Closet place that specializes in magick and spells and tarot and ask them the significance of dreaming that a chicken’s head fell off.

I wonder if they actually have vending machines like that in Vietnam?

As I drifted in and out of sleep, a Krystal commercial I had seen on TV last night flashed in my head, and I thought, Krystal Kondiments would make a good stripper name.

A lot of people Downtown are excited about John Prine playing the Orpheum tonight at 8 PM. Tickets are not cheap ($69-$109) but the ticket price includes a copy of Prine’s new album of original music.

The Redbirds won last night’s game in 11 innings, 2-1, so all it will take is a win over Fresno today or tomorrow to secure a second straight PCL championship. $1 Dugout and Field Box tickets will be on sale, and tonight is a fireworks game.

For those of you who are into beer, Wiseacre has a good educational post on the difference between dry hopping and wet hopping. Their Ananda IPA, which has been around for years, is dry hopped. Next Friday they will release Tacky Wet Hopped Pilsner.

Six Degrees to Tennessee Roots Jam is this evening at the New Daisy.

That’s all the news I can scrape up this morning. Those of you going to Cooper-Young Fest, keep hydrated because it’s going to be a hot one. Back tomorrow with more news.

Friday update

The Memphis Flyer’s Hungry Memphis blog reported yesterday that BurgerFest will indeed be back this year. BurgerFest, the successor to Best Memphis Burger Fest that was organized by Seth Agranov and his team, will be at Tiger Lane on October 27. However, this year it will be a little bit different: There will be no cooking competition among teams this year, although they do plan to bring that back in the future. There will be a ticket that gets you burger and beer samples, and there will be a burger bar where you can get full-sized burgers. There will also be kids’ activities.

Personally, I am quite fine with hearing there will be no team competition. My team the Moody Ques accomplished what we needed to last year. We proved we could run with the big boys on the burger scene, hauling in two trophies; we proved we could still function as a team after a couple of key departures. A personal goal of mine was to beat one other team in particular, and we did that too – I won’t say which team or I will get lectured by a redhead. Given our success last year, taking a year off from burgers sounds good to me. I did talk to our vice-president Jamie this week and we’re looking into options for a fall get-together for the team.

The Memphis Tigers host Georgia State at the Liberty Bowl tonight at 6 PM in a nationally televised game on ESPN. For those going to the game, there are throwback dog specials:

Food truck Fridays are back at the FedExForum plaza today through October 5.

John Mellencamp comes to the Orpheum Sunday, March 17 of next year. He’ll perform his classic hits plus some new songs.

Mick Jagger was in Memphis this week, meeting up with Jerry Lee Lewis at Sun Studio. The CA learned the reason Sir Mick was here: He’s doing reconnaissance for an upcoming movie project.

There was a joke on Twitter that Mick is making more appearances in Memphis these days than Tennessee Senate candidate Marsha Blackburn. How true…

For those of you into all things pumpkin, the Gourmade food truck will be at Ghost River this evening (starting at 3 PM) with a limited batch of their pumpkin amaretto pound cake. They’ll have banana pudding too.

The Commercial Appeal is in the kitchen with a Q&A with Majestic Grille chef Patrick Reilly.

The University of Tennessee is giving Carolinians escaping Florence free admission to their home game against UTEP tomorrow. Man, given the choice between the hurricane and Neyland Stadium, I think I’d take the hurricane.

Belle Tavern is opening early this weekend for soccer:

Statistical analysis site FiveThirtyEight has its Senate projections online. As of this morning the Republicans have slightly more than a 2 in 3 chance to retain the Senate. They also have projections for all the individual Senate races. As of this morning Marsha Marsha Marsha has a 7 in 10 chance of defeating Phil Bredesen, although she is projected to win by only 2 percentage points.

For those more interested in sports than politics, FiveThirtyEight has NFL projections too.

Oh, My Squash! is the theme at the Memphis Farmers Market this Saturday. It’s the perfect time of year for those who love this vegetable, with summer squashes still around, but also with winter squashes starting to make their debut. Market sponsor Char Restaurant will be there with a demonstration on how to make their Plum Peachy Iced Tea. The demo will be 9-11 AM at the Glass Silo, Trainside South. Shamicheal Hallman of the Cossitt Library will be there with a Reading Corral for kids 10-noon. There will also be a kids’ crafts table. Live music all day long. The Market runs from 8 AM to 1 PM under the pavilion at Front and G.E. Patterson every Saturday.

Former Trump campaign manager has reached a plea deal with the Special Counsel’s office. The Special Counsel has arranged a charging document, charging Manafort with lying to the FBI, witness tampering, money laundering, tax fraud, failing to report foreign bank accounts, and failing to register as a foreign agent. Now, here’s the interesting part… Manafort must admit that he committed all the crimes in the charging document, but he’s only pleading to two of the charges. That means the other charges could still be prosecuted by the State of New York at a later date – and remember, state convictions are not pardonable.

The next question is, by accepting the plea deal, does that mean Manafort is now cooperating in the investigation of Donald Trump? Based on what I’ve read, I tend to believe not, at least not yet. Manafort’s lawyers and Trump’s lawyers still have a joint defense agreement, meaning they share everything they know in order to help each other’s cases. Trump’s lawyers had joint defense agreements with Michael Flynn, Rick Gates, and Michael Cohen… but it was announced those agreements were ended a few days before the aforementioned three defendants flipped and starting working with prosecution. Not until we hear a similar announcement from Paulie Walnuts’ attorneys will we know he is cooperating. (EDIT: Two minutes after I hit Publish, I saw this. Manafort will indeed be cooperating with Mueller.)

That’s it for now. Back tomorrow or Sunday with more news.

Thursday update

I’ve now confirmed from a former Purple Haze employee that the place is closed for good. The former employee told me, after two employees got injured after last weekend’s fight/shooting, Charlie who ran the place reportedly said “I’m over it” and shut it down. In related news, a suspect has been identified in the shooting.

Walking Pants Curiosities is holding a Sunday in September Sip Shop-a-Jam this Sunday from noon to 4. Grab your favorite musical instrument and come jam out.

Memphis River Parks Partnership is hiring for two very good positions. If you love the riverfront and want to be a part of its redevelopment, this is your chance. The positions are

Field Ops Analyst

Garden Ranger

If interested, apply with a resume and cover letter to info@memphisriverparks.org.

Memphis Made Brewing Co. is working with Memphis Music Export on a project. Memphis Music Export, whose goal is to make people in other cities in the region aware of great Memphis music, has sent a couple of artists to Americana Fest in Nashville this weekend. Specially-labeled Memphis Made Americana Junt will be served at the Pure Memphis Happy Hour at the festival tonight from 5 to 8. Some of the musicians will have a return date at the Memphis Made taproom on October 6, and six-packs of Americana Junt will be available for sale during that time.

I tried another one of the $6 lunch specials at Pontotoc Lounge yesterday.

Chicken casserole is the Wednesday special. It comes with a side of fruit or salad. Pontotoc’s famous Mississippi Pot Roast is the $6 special today.

I heard something about the River Rat Rounders that makes their games my recommended games for those who are looking to get into the bar poker scene: They expect players to play real poker there. If you make a bunch of crazy moves that reduce the game from a game of skill to a game mostly of luck, you will be pulled aside and told that if you keep doing that, you will be asked to leave.

For those who have never played, let me give an example. Say it’s the first hand of the game with small blind 25/big blind 50, and I have 4000 chips. That’s 80 big blinds, allowing me plenty of room to place strategic bets to try and elicit information about my opponent’s hands. I look at my cards and decide to raise to 150, three times the big blind. If I have a starting hand like A♠Q, that raise is saying, “I have a big hand.” If I have a hand like 65 that isn’t a very good hand but could turn into one if the right community cards are dealt, the raise is saying, “I want you to believe I have a big hand.” In either case, I still have 3850 left in my stack, plenty to respond to re-raises and play the flop, turn, and river properly.

When the flop (the first three community cards) come out, I have options. If one of the cards in my A♠Q pairs up, I want to bet a little over half the size of the pot, because I probably have the best hand and I want to build the pot. I also bet here because I want to see if anyone re-raises me, possibly giving me information that my top pair might not be good and I need to be careful. On the other hand, if I have a speculative hand like 65♥ and it doesn’t connect with the flop, I can bet a little over half the pot here anyway, because I represented in the first round of betting that I had a big hand. I’ve built the credibility to bluff and possibly take down the pot right then and there.

On the turn (the fourth community card) and the river (the fifth community card), I have two more opportunities to bet and gain additional information about my opponents’ hands, and because I had a large starting stack relative to the size of the big blind, I have the chips to size my bets properly. The turn in particular is considered the most important betting round of Texas Hold’em when played with skill, the card on which you decide if you want to go all the way with the hand or fold to cut your losses.

At a lot of bar games, however, there tend to be players who go all-in before the flop, even with deep stacks, whether they have a premium hand like A♠Q, a speculative hand with potential like 65, or total hot garbage like J♣2. That reduces poker to a game that involves only slightly more skill than roulette, and it only takes one player at the table who does that to screw up the experience for everybody. Let me tell you, at bar poker, there is ALWAYS that one player at the table, and usually there are two or three of them. If the River Rat Rounders take people who do that aside and tell them “stop it or leave,” then I fully endorse their games.

That’s all, folks! Back tomorrow with more news.

Wednesday update

You can meet the leaders of The Daily Memphian, Memphis’ new online publication by locals for locals, tonight at Loflin Yard at 6:30. This is your chance to ask them any questions you have. Geoff Calkins, Jennifer Biggs, Otis Sanford, Eric Barnes and other staff members will be there. The first 50 people to arrive will get a free beer.

The City Council has voted to reinstate Beale Street Bucks. This means there will once again be a cover charge to get on Beale during peak times on weekends. The Bucks program, when in place last year, was found to be very effective reducing fights and stampedes on the street. The Bucks program will be implemented by the Downtown Memphis Commission. Specifics of the program (cost, what days and times) have yet to be worked out.

Birmingham has asked Bird to remove its scooters from the city. The issue is that they do not have a business license to operate there. That is not the case with Memphis, where Bird worked with the City Council to come in properly. Although Bird is operating properly here, it doesn’t mean the scooters are being used properly here. Yesterday I saw a guy on a Bird scooter blow through a red light at Main and Gayoso at about 15 MPH. People don’t seem to understand that they are supposed to obey traffic laws on those things.

The annual Cooper-Young Fest is this Saturday. This is one of the city’s largest block parties, and it actually spans many blocks, with Cooper being blocked off from Central to Meda. Holly has a really excellent guide to Cooper-Young Fest on the I Love Memphis Blog. Pay special attention to the notes about parking, which can get insane down there during peak hours. Expect to do a lot of walking, as you may have to walk nearly a mile from your car to the festival. Also, she’s exactly right that cell service will be unavailable during the peak hours. Just too many people and too many signals for the cell towers to be able to handle. Despite all that, there’s a reason this festival draws over 100,000 people a year – it’s a lot of fun.

Great news for baseball fans: The Redbirds have partnered with KTG USA to offer $1 Dugout and Field Box tickets for Friday’s playoff game, and if necessary Saturday and Sunday’s games. Get tickets here.

The Redbirds, by the way, took Game 1 of the PCL Championship Series yesterday by a score of 10-4.

Two pieces of Amazon news: First of all, they are launching one-hour grocery delivery in Memphis. Delivery is provided through Whole Foods, and beginning today Amazon Prime customers can get free delivery on orders of $35 or more.

One of my favorite days of the year when I was a kid was going to the lot with my mom to pick out our Christmas tree. Soon, kids may not know that joy. Amazon will sell and ship live Christmas trees this year.

Last night I heard from someone who lives in the area that a traffic light is going in at Riverside and Georgia. That is a dangerous intersection, as people try to turn left from Georgia onto Riverside. Further complicating the fact is that almost no one obeys the posted speed limit of 35 on that part of Riverside. A traffic light will slow them down. I was told this is a temporary solution, and the ultimate goal is to build a roundabout there.

There will be a traditional Vietnamese festival at Crosstown Concourse Saturday, September 22 from 6 to 9 PM. Dragon dance, moon cakes, lanterns, kids’ crafts. Free to the public.

A local food truck is going to be on national TV next week. Soi Number 9 will be on Andrew Zimmern’s show “Big Food Truck Tip” on the Food Network next Wednesday, September 19 at 9:30 PM.

The Memphis Business Journal has a photo gallery of the new Trader Joe’s in Germantown that will open Friday.

That’s all for now. Back tomorrow with more news.

Tuesday update

Purple Haze is temporarily closed for two weeks following ANOTHER shooting at the club this past weekend. The club has been the scene of multiple shootings and fights the past year. Haze supposedly has “strict security measures” but the shooters were somehow able to circumvent them and get the guns in anyway.

You know, I used to really enjoy going to Purple Haze late at night. Back around 2013 I would go over there with the Blind Bear folks after the Bear closed at 3. It was a lot of fun and I got to hang out with my service industry friends. The last time I went, though, which was probably around two years ago, I didn’t feel safe at all in there. It felt like the wild, wild west in there, a place to which law & order did not extend. I haven’t been back since and fear for my friends who go there after they get off work. Haze is developing the reputation that the Plush Club had for years, and they need to clean it up or shut it down.

UPDATE: I was just shown a post from an employee at Purple Haze, saying “in case you haven’t been watching the news, my co-workers and I are now unemployed and looking for jobs.” Have they shut down permanently? I will try to find out more details when I get out today.

If you’re curious about the ancient practice of Tai Chi, Downtown Yoga is hosting a four-week beginner’s class September 18-October 9. Sign up here.

Songwriter Jordan Booker, originally from Indiana and now based in Nashville, will give a free concert at the Tin Roof tonight at 8 PM.

Memphis’ conference rival UCF lost a marquee nonconference matchup today. It was announced that UCF vs. North Carolina is being canceled due to Hurricane Florence, expected to hit the Carolinas on Thursday. NC State’s home game against good ole West Virginny has also been called off, and Duke is heading to Baylor early.

The Orpheum is warning that fake tickets are being sold for Hamilton. The show is a Broadway craze like no other, and the only way to be guaranteed a seat is to be a season ticket holder.

In other Orpheum news, Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite will play there at 8 this evening.

Russell’s Reserve Single Barrel is the half-off whiskey at Belle Tavern this week.

The Redbirds take the field in Fresno tonight for Game 1 of the Pacific Coast League championship series. The Flyer’s Frank Murtaugh reports that Stubby Clapp, a native of Windsor, Ontario, has become a talking point since the Toronto Blue Jays announced that their manager would not be returning in 2019.

MakeUseOf has a handy list of apps to help you identify a song when you only know a few of the words or can only hum it.

You can now pre-order bop bags with the images of Donald Trump and his boss Vladimir Putin.

That’ll do it for now. Back tomorrow with more.

Monday update

At 2:05 yesterday, the Redbirds began what was scheduled to be a 7-inning Game 4 in the Pacific Coast League playoffs… but it went 10. Behind in the bottom of the 7th, the Redbirds scored on a sacrifice fly to tie it up and send the game into extra innings. The 8th and 9th went scoreless, and then Oklahoma City scored two in the top of the 10th… but then the Redbirds scored three to take the series and advance in the playoffs. Memphis will play either El Paso or Fresno in the PCL Championship series. The Redbirds will play the first two games on the road in the best-of-five series, returning to AutoZone Park Friday for Game 3, and (if necessary) Games 4 and 5 Saturday and Sunday.

Tonight’s the first week for MN MF’N F, Monday Night Football, and Local has a wing special.

Tikka Masala wings? Hmmm I do have a $25 Local gift card I’ve never used. I may have to check this out.

The South Main Association has its monthly meeting tomorrow night at 11 West Huling, a former Nabisco warehouse. There will be four speakers: Doug Carpenter, founder and principal of DCA; Bill Ganus, owner of Edible Memphis; Cara Greenstein, founder of Caramelized lifestyle blog; and Cristina McCarter, founder of City Tasting Tours. The SMA will provide light appetizers, wine, and beer. 6:00 social, 6:30 presentation.

This weekend I received confirmation that people have been arrested for DUIs on Bird scooters. While they are fun, always keep in mind you are operating a motorized vehicle on a public roadway and are expected to obey traffic laws.

Ed Weathers shows he gets what’s really going on in this Memphis Flyer editorial: Look up, not down. Completely accurate.

All right, short post today. Tired because I stayed up way late last night catching up with a friend. Back tomorrow with more news.

New Wing Order food truck debut @ Ghost River

Yesterday, with the aid of an umbrella, I walked down to the Ghost River taproom for the Downtown debut of the New Wing Order food truck. New Wing Order is a multi-time championship team from Southern Hot Wing Fest, and they decided to turn their winning ways into a business.

Of course, there are kinks to be worked out with any new restaurant, including food trucks. When I got there at 4, they weren’t serving yet because they were having problems with their generator. I got a Ghost River Grindhouse cream ale – which I was happy to find was on a $4 special – and waited it out. About 5:30 they got everything running and opened for business.

A long line developed within minutes. I had been watching from the patio and got down there right after they opened, so I avoided the line.

They explained to me that they had a limited menu, since they’re still working everything out. Makes sense. My buffalo wing nachos would have to wait for another day. The good news was, they did have 15 wing flavors, 3 flavors of fries, and a seasoned salad. For those curious about the wing flavors, they are

Signature flavors
Memphis Buffalo (award-winning)
Tennessee Teriyaki
Lynchburg Hot
Cajun Honey Hot

Seasonings
Backyard BBQ
Lemon Pepper
Garlic Parmesan
Ragin’ Cajun

BBQ sauces
Mild
Hot
Chipotle Honey
Alabama White

Buffalo sauces
Classic
Hot
Inferno

Because I had their signature flavors during the tasting I attended back in March, I decided to try other things on the menu. However, if you’re a wing fan I would encourage you to start with the signature flavors. The Memphis Buffalo sauce is what won them their Southern Hot Wing Fest championship, combining heat and a nod to Memphis’ BBQ tradition.

I inquired about the Inferno wings and was told, “they’re so hot, I can only eat 2 or 3 of them.” I decided not to take the chance. I ordered 6 wings with the Buffalo Hot Sauce.

My BBQ team pitmaster Kris made me a big fan of Alabama White BBQ sauce earlier in the year, so I ordered six of those as well. The fries were available as classic fries, Cajun fries, or garlic parmesan fries. I got the garlic parmesan.

One thing to note: These are breaded wings, unlike many wing restaurants that serve them naked. Very good though. The hot sauce was not too hot, making me wonder if I should reconsider the Inferno wings next time I visited the food truck. Love that Alabama white  sauce. The garlic parmesan fries were a hit too. You get celery with each wing order, which my troll liked because it’s the same color as her hair. You can request ranch, blue cheese, or jalapeno ranch dipping sauce.

For my vegetarian and vegan readers, New Wing Order has an avocado taco that I got to try at the tasting in March and it is yummy.

I started the day with a walk to the Farmers Market about 10 in the morning. The forecast said there might be a little rain later in the day, so I took the umbrella, thinking how stupid I must look carrying it around in the sunshine. I wasn’t looking stupid on the walk back from Ghost River, though. Almost as soon as I stepped onto the sidewalk on Main Street, it started pouring.

Although my hair stayed dry, the wind was blowing rain onto my shorts and sandals, and I decided that a walk all the way back to the core was not a good idea. So I stopped off at my home away from home on the south side, Max’s Sports Bar, to wait out the rain. I got a seat at one of the tables against the back wall facing the bar. The line at the bar was 2-3 deep, and it was unavoidable that people trying to get down the center aisle would brush up against me. Anyplace else, I would have been incredibly annoyed. But at Max’s, it’s just part of being there. We’re all friends there and we’re all there to watch sports.

Also, I have to give compliments to Mike the bartender. No matter how busy it was at the bar, no matter how many people were clamoring for his attention, he always knew when I was down to about 3 sips left of my beer, and asked me, “Another one, Paul?” I appreciate the way Mike, and really all of the staff at Max’s, take such good care of the regulars.

The Memphis loss to Navy was disappointing. It’s going to be tough for Memphis to get into a position to be the Group of Five representative in a Big Six bowl now.

I couldn’t dwell on the Memphis loss for long, though, because I had Arkansas to watch. They played the Colorado State Rams starting at 6:30. My friend Krisma, a fellow Hogs fan, came in and we watched the game together. It turned out to be the second disappointment of the night, with Colorado State coming from way behind to beat Arkansas 34-27. “I was hoping we wouldn’t be the doormat of the SEC this year,” she said.

“Yeah, looks like we’re the Tennessee Vols of the SEC West,” I replied.

Despite the bad day for my teams, it was a reminder how much fun College Football Saturday at Max’s is. I will be back soon!

Last night’s Pacific Coast League playoff game at AutoZone Park was postponed due to bad weather. Game 4 of Memphis vs. Oklahoma City will be played at 2:05 today as a 7-inning game. If necessary, Game 5 will start 30 minutes after the end of Game 4.

That’s it for now. Back tomorrow with more news.

Saturday update

The Memphis Redbirds came back in the bottom of the ninth last night, scoring 3 runs to beat the Oklahoma City Dodgers, 5-4. The Redbirds take a 2-1 advantage in the playoff series and could win it tonight. Tonight’s game at AutoZone Park will have fireworks after the game.

Tickets are now on sale for the Cooper-Young Beerfest. This festival, to be held on Saturday, October 20, features 35 breweries from around the region as well as beer from local homebrewers. In my opinion, this is Memphis’ best beer festival because you aren’t there to see and be seen; you’re there to sample, ask the brewers questions, and learn all about the beer you are drinking. Tickets are $45 and they go up to $50 October 1.

Yesterday I tried one of Pontotoc Lounge’s lunch specials. Every Friday they have their burger for $6 from 11 to 2.

 

This was no Big Mac. It was a gourmet burger, with grilled onions, pickles, and a sweet sauce. It was so juicy too, and so big that I couldn’t finish it. I was also pleasantly surprised to see my $6 included fries. A lot of places, when they run burger specials, run the special on only the burger and fries are extra. Pontotoc does it right.

Plus, Perjorie T. Roll got to stand on a butcher board, which always makes her happy.

Pontotoc Lounge has the $6 burger every Friday. They also have $6 specials at lunch Wednesdays (chicken casserole) and Thursday (Mississippi pot roast).

On the way down there, I met a boxing coach who is trying to use boxing as a way to get kids off the streets and keep them out of trouble. (Click for a larger image to view the sign)

If any of my readers feel like talking to him and possibly supporting what he does, Coach McKinnon told me he’ll be at the corner of Main and Beale most every day.

The Grizzlies are moving fully to mobile ticketing this season, and there will be no more option to print tickets at home or store them as a PDF. This will reduce problems with lost, stolen and fraudulent tickets. I wonder how it will work for people who have the old-style flip phones that can’t display images, though? Or people who forget to bring their phone to the game.

The Peabody Hotel’s bakery and deli has announced its ice cream flavor of the month for September. In observance of the hotel’s 149th anniversary, it will be a cake batter ice cream with shortbread cookie pieces and swirls of raspberry jam.

Downtown Memphis is getting a second Lisa’s Lunchbox location. Many Raymond James employees were making the six-block trek to the popular deli on South Front Street, and they expressed to the staff there that it sure would be nice to have a Lunchbox location in their building. Kickin’ chicken spaghetti every Wednesday!

From the Today Show: Mustard pizza is a thing. That’s a pizza that uses mustard as its base rather than tomato sauce. Sure, I could get behind that.

I’m going to be spending a lot of time on the south side of Downtown today! I’m leading off at the Farmers Market, then over to Earnestine & Hazel’s to say hello to Clarence. Then my “DAWG” John D and I made plans to switch our usual Saturday spot from Bardog to Max’s Sports Bar for one week only (he’s friends with the bartender apparently). Then at 4 I will head to Ghost River for the New Wing Order Downtown grand opening. The buffalo wing nachos are high on my list to try. Pictures tomorrow probably.