Thursday update #2

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Thursday update #2
Oct 082015

Welcome to my second blog post of the day! My mood this afternoon: :mrgreen:

Memphis has numerous beer festivals throughout the year (including the excellent Cooper-Young Beerfest a week from Saturday), but this coming Saturday it’s wine festival time. Wine on the River will happen from 5 to 9 PM at Mud Island River Park, 125 N. Front. There will be national and international tastings, with a focus on the culture and food of wine-growing regions. $45 ($55 day of) gets you a souvenir glass and all beverage samples within the park. Live music by Young Petty Thieves and the Eric Hughes Band. You must be 21 or up and bring valid ID to show at the door to attend. Proceeds benefit Youth Villages.

Speaking of wine… have you ever thought about having a career working with wine, but were not quite sure how to make that happen? You need to listen to this week’s Copeland Coaching podcast. Career coach Angela Copeland interviews Katie Delaney Owen, Wine Director at Club W in Los Angeles.

From the Daily News: Groups want more people to discover the Mississippi River’s front yard, the public bluff-top edge promenade between Union and Adams Avenue.

A whiskey festival is making its debut Downtown Friday, October 23. It will be at the Artspace Lofts at 138 St. Paul Avenue from 6 to 10 PM. Early bird tickets are on sale for $20 here.

High Ground News has an article about the Artspace project in other cities. Artists often become the backbone of the community, the writer asserts, but they need affordable spaces in which to live.

There’s a service that will allow your tattoos to be preserved and framed after you die. I don’t have any tattoos so I will refrain from comment on this.

All righty! Post is done, and I’m ready for BEER! Time to whistle a little Jefferson Airplane as I saunter down the Main Street Mall to the Silly Goose. Happy Thursday and Go Grizz!

Fun lunchtime events in Court Square next week + Thursday news

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Fun lunchtime events in Court Square next week + Thursday news
Oct 082015

The Downtown Memphis Commission is planning some fun events at lunchtime in Court Square next week to encourage those who live and work Downtown to go to and register for the October 31 Race for the Cure. The events will happen from 11:30 AM to 1 PM Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of next week.

Karaoke for the Cure will happen Wednesday, October 14. It will be the ultimate corporate karaoke smackdown, with a winner chosen by a panel of discerning judges. The winner will take home $150.

Concert for the Cure will happen Thursday, October 15. The Mighty Souls Brass Band will perform, and it will be the monthly Court Square food truck rodeo, so come grab some lunch.

Recess for the Cure will happen Friday, October 16. Remember grade school when you went out to recess? There will be hippity hop races, basketball with University of Memphis mascot Pouncer, cornhole, golf chipping contest, Bardog slider eating contest, bubble suit soccer, and more. The Grizz Girls will be there and there will be complimentary cotton candy and pink lemonade. For the slider eating contest and bubble soccer, you must pre-register at, and a waiver will be required.

The Grizzlies host Maccabi Haifa tonight at FedExForum at 7. It is the second pre-season game of the year. Grizz Essentials will be at Station 3: The Memphis Fire Haus before the game giving away tickets and other Grizz items.

Travis Roman and Ryan Peel are this week’s entertainment for Tacos & Tunes on Felicia Suzanne’s patio. 7-10 PM tonight, $2 tacos, $5 margaritas.

The Green Beetle is beginning a new series called Beetle Sundays from 8 to 11 PM. This Sunday Chris Johnson and Landon Moore will perform, and there will be beer bucket and food specials all night long. They’re inviting everyone to come out, especially those in the service industry.

Advance alert for those who will be cooking on Thanksgiving: There is a pumpkin shortage this year. If you plan on baking pumpkin pie for the holiday, start looking for canned pumpkin on the shelves now, and buy it while you can. There may not be any in stores in late November.

A documentary called 1971 will be shown at the Orpheum’s Halloran Center on Wednesday, October 21 at 7 PM. On March 8, 1971, eight ordinary citizens broke into an FBI office near Philadelphia and stole hundreds of secret files and released them to the public. In doing so, they discovered that J. Edgar Hoover’s staff had done a vast amount of spying and intimidation on Americans just trying to exercise their First Amendment rights. The FBI conducted one of the largest investigations ever trying to uncover the eight citizens’ identities, but they never did. Price to see the documentary is $10 general admission.

This historic Clayborn Temple, home base for the sanitation strike of 1968, will be restored.

From Mashable: Facebook is testing Reactions, a possible emoji-based replacement for the “Like” button. There are seven reactions: Like, Love, Haha, Yay, Wow, Sad, and Angry.

I’m still seeing more and more photos from Best Memphis Burger Fest posted online. Gary from Squeal Street posted a photo of that team’s Bahn Mi burger that they entered in the Best Memphis Burger contest, and it looked amazing. Not surprised it made top 15 at all. (Guys, sorry about the comment about the veggie burger I made the other day. That was not cool and was not written on behalf of my team. Sorry for lashing out. I just feel very misunderstood down in your neck of the woods in recent months. Hope we can talk soon.)

I’m going to try leading off at Silly Goose this evening since that’s my normal Thursday spot, but if it’s too crowded with people pre-gaming for the Grizz I will bounce over to Blind Bear a bit earlier than normal. I may play poker at the Bear tonight (7:30 start time) to warm up for tomorrow’s Wifflestock-Ronald McDonald House charity tournament.

They conquered a mountain for St. Jude (Wed update 2)

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on They conquered a mountain for St. Jude (Wed update 2)
Oct 072015

A couple of months ago I mentioned that my friends Dennis and Mary Pat, former Memphians and two of my regular blog readers who now live in Madison, Alabama, were participating in “A Mountain of Hope for St. Jude.” They pledged to climb Mount Kilimanjaro as a way to raise funds for the children’s cancer research hospital at which patients never receive a bill. On Monday, September 28 at 8:45 AM, Dennis and Mary Pat reached the mountain’s summit. Counting money raised and solid pledges for businesses, they have raised over $12,000 for St. Jude. You can still donate to their cause here.

Dennis and Mary Pat have plates at many of the Flying Saucers across the country. A plate on the wall signifies that the person whose name is on it has consumed 200 different beers at that Saucer location. Because Dennis and Mary Pat have been such loyal customers, the Flying Saucer donated over $1000 to their campaign. That’s pretty awesome.

Tomorrow is the second Thursday of the month, and that means it will be Memphis Made pint night at Central BBQ’s Downtown location Butler and St. Martin near the National Civil Rights Museum. $3 Memphis Made pints, pint glass giveaways, and of course great food. The folks who brew your beer will be there if you want to talk to them.

Saw this on Twitter: A collection of Memphis photos from 1935 to 1943

The Peabody’s Corner Bar has two special drinks this month, Pink Bubbles and Pink Lemonade Martinis. A portion of sales of these drinks goes to the Susan G. Komen Foundation of Memphis.

Interesting: How to weaponize your cat to hack your neighbors’ Wi-Fi. In a three-hour test, a cat mapped 23 wireless networks in a trip around the neighborhood. Four of the networks had routers that were completely open, and another four had routers using old, easily-broken encryption.

From Thrillist: This koozie disguises your beer as an innocent cup of coffee

Heading out to the Blind Bear. I still plan on sticking around for trivia.

A different kind of taproom tour + Wednesday news

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on A different kind of taproom tour + Wednesday news
Oct 072015

Wiseacre Brewery is having a different kind of taproom tour Wednesday, October 14 from 6 to 8 PM: Women in Beer: This Event Is Rated XX (Chromosomes). Don’t worry, men; you are as welcome to attend as women are, although topics will surround female brewers. Wiseacre’s resident Cicerone, Rebecca “Crebs” McQuary will host, with guest speakers Bailey Spaulding, brewer from Jackalope Brewing Co. and Meghan Story from the Brewers association. The tour includes beer samples, a 3-course dinner of Wiseacre and Jackalope beers, and a take home bottle of Holy Candy with a glass. Tickets are $45.

Downtown wine and liquor shop Quench has announced its October wine tasting on Friday, October 30 from 5:30 to 7:30 PM. This will be an educational tasting where staff describes the wines and where they come from; an opportunity to relax, learn, and enjoy some wine before heading to South Main Trolley Bus Night.

The Foo Fighters come to FedExForum tonight with special guest Gary Clark Jr. It’s a stop on their “Sonic Highways” tour. Show starts at 7:00. Find ticket information here. Station 3: The Memphis Fire Haus will open tonight at 5 for those looking for a place to pre-game for the concert.

Tonight is the annual John Lennon pint glass night at the Flying Saucer. Glasses go on sale at 7 PM. These usually sell out, so best bet is to get there about 6:45 and let your server or bartender know that you want to order one as soon as they go on sale.

Robert Moody has been selected as the conductor of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. He was a guest conductor the past 9 years. He will take over at the start of the 2016-17 season.

Canadians in Memphis: You can get your Thanksgiving dinner Monday at Kooky Canuck. Complete Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings $9.99 lunch $11.99 dinner. There’s no discrimination at Kooky so Americans and other nationalities are invited too.

Not a Downtown event but it seems worth mentioning to my readers: The Compassion Experience, happening October 23-26, is an interactive journey that lets you experience what it is like to be a child growing up in developing countries such as Kenya, the Philippines, Uganda, and the Dominican Republic. There will be over 2000 square feet of interactive space: homes, markets, and schools.

Have you ever forgotten your password for a website and had to answer security questions like “What is your mother’s maiden name?” to regain access to your account and reset your password? The challenge in designing those questions is to find ones that the account holder would know and a hacker wouldn’t. One of my co-workers found this list of nihilistic password security questions this morning and they’re pretty damn funny. “In what year did you abandon your dreams?” “What is your ex-wife’s newest last name?”

Not going to the Foo Fighters concert but a lot of people are. Normally I lead off at Silly Goose for happy hour on Wednesdays, but I anticipate that it will be more crowded than usual. Therefore, I think I will do happy hour at Blind Bear this evening. If any of my regular trivia team feels like playing, I could probably be talked into joining you. The trivia team has been on a serious roll lately and I wouldn’t mind keeping it going.

Another post after work is a possibility, so check back.

Drink a beer, support a firefighter (Tue update 2)

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Drink a beer, support a firefighter (Tue update 2)
Oct 062015

Want to support a local firefighter? Drink a beer. Firefighter/paramedic John Foote is having to travel for his cancer treatment, and travel expenses are adding up. At Station 3: The Memphis Fire Haus, you can add $1, $2, or $5 to your tab to help offset those expenses. Over $5000 has already been raised.

Last month I attended the DMC block party and got to tour the inside of the Chisca, particularly the back building, the former motor lodge that has been converted into apartments. It was a pretty neat space, and if you missed the party you have another opportunity to see it coming up. On Tuesday, October 13 at 6 PM, the monthly South Main Association will take place at the Chisca. Terry Lynch, one of the visionaries who made the restoration possible, will speak. You’ll be able to tour the new apartments, the restaurants, and a tribute to DJ Dewey Phillips who operated in the building in the 1950s. Complimentary appetizers and beverages. Free for SMA members, $10 non-members.

The 15th edition of South Main Sounds Night will take place this Friday night at 7 at 550 South Main. Kitty Dearing will return to welcome five new songwriters who will make their debut at this venue.

Radio host Kevin Cerrito reports that Memphis is in biscuit country for McDonald’s all-day breakfast. Not the entire breakfast menu is served all day, just the most popular items. For us (and most of the South) it means biscuits. The rest of the country gets McMuffins.

Photographer Frank Chin has an excellent Best Memphis Burger Fest album that mostly focuses on the burgers and the judges. Hey, there’s my team’s burger!

Ever seen a dog with a yellow ribbon on its leash? Streetdog Foundation explains what the ribbon means.

Democrats: Here’s an interesting article about how Hillary Clinton’s and Bernie Sanders’s campaigns raise and spend money. Even though I grew up in Little Rock and have met Hillary in person, every time I see or hear something from Bernie he feels more like my guy.

Time for beer. My plans have not changed since my lunchtime post.

Authentic Mexican in the Downtown core + Tuesday news

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Authentic Mexican in the Downtown core + Tuesday news
Oct 062015

A few days ago I reported that a restaurant called Maciel’s Tacos and Tortas has opened on the Main Street Mall between Monroe and Union. From the look of the storefront I wasn’t expecting much and didn’t make going in there a high priority. However, yesterday the restaurant received compliments from two people who know a little something about good food. Deni Reilly, co-owner of the Majestic Grille, posted a photo of tacos and said she was excited about authentic Mexican food Downtown. Then Chef Michael Patrick of Rizzo’s said he was in there Friday, and it was delicious. Glad to hear it and I will have to stop by soon. Hours are 11-8 Monday-Thursday, 11-10 Friday-Saturday. The restaurant has a Facebook page that you can “Like” to keep up with what’s going on there.

Tonight is the first pre-season Grizzlies game. A short walk away over on Beale, Tin Roof will have a $15 buffet before and after all Grizzlies home games. There’s no line and no waiting, and a soft drink is included in price of purchase.

Friday night at 6:30 there is a charity poker tournament at the Blind Bear, the Wifflestock-St. Jude poker tournament. $20 buy-in with unlimited $20 rebuys until 8:00. All entries donated to St. Jude. There will be gift cards and great prizes for the winners, highlighted by two tickets to the Minglewood Hall event of the winner’s choice. As a veteran of charity poker tournaments at the Blind Bear, I have a word of advice: Don’t pat your opponents on the head.

Life is Good will have a Pink Pumpkin Festival October 30-31 benefiting the Memphis chapter of the Susan G. Komen Foundation. From October 25-30, you can come by and pick up a pink pumpkin ($5 a pumpkin) to carve and enter in the contest. Pumpkins must be turned in by 6 PM on the 30th. Voting will be held Friday and Saturday, the 30th and 31st, and winners will be posted November 1. Live music in front of the post office 7-9 PM on the 30th and 31st. Costume parade at 3 PM on the 31st, and there will be trick-or-treating at nearby Main Street businesses.

Marvel Universe Live comes to the FedExForum January 1-3.

Thrillist has a list of the the best late-night eats in Memphis. On the list are South of Beale’s duck fried rice, Blind Bear’s Hibernation fries, Bardog’s Grandma’s meatballs, and Earnestine & Hazel’s Soul Burger. I wholeheartedly agree with all of those recommendations.

MakeUseOf has a post that is worth a read: Devices that you do not want to connect to The Internet of Things. These are devices that have proved surprisingly easy for hackers to take control. I’ll go ahead and give you number one: Cars.

I have way more news but not enough time to post. Check back after work for a second Tuesday update. My plan for this evening is to lead off at Hanin’s bar at Silly Goose, then over to Blind Bear for a visit, then back to Goose at 10 for $2 local beers and Charvey.

Pit bulls and beer (Monday update #3)

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Pit bulls and beer (Monday update #3)
Oct 052015

There’s going to be an event at High Cotton Brewery on Saturday, October 24 called Pints for Pits. It’s in support of National Pit Bull Awareness Day, established to restore the image of the pit bull and change stereotypes of this dog breed and its owners. Memphis Pets Alive! presents this event, with tickets for $20 pre-sale and at the door. Attendees get a goodie bag including a Memphis Pets Alive pint glass and other treats, live music, a silent auction, and discounted $3.50 High Cotton pints. Joy Ride food truck will be on site and a portion of their sales for the evening will go to MPA as well.

While we’re on the subject of dogs, there is a shepherd mix that needs a home on Mud Island. You can adopt the dog for free.

Station 3: The Memphis Fire Haus has announced that they have NFL Sunday Ticket and Red Zone for your football-watching pleasure. When I was up there last week, I counted five large flat-panel TVs in the main room and a giant-screen projection TV in a side room. They are serious about wanting to be a sports bar for the next two months.

This is kind of old news but in case you spent the weekend attending festivals and watching football, the Grizzlies will have a Tony Allen Jedi robe giveaway this season.

A helicopter fell off a trailer this afternoon at Front and Overton.

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

Full Burger Fest results are in + lots of Monday news

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Full Burger Fest results are in + lots of Monday news
Oct 052015

Final results have been posted for Best Memphis Burger Fest 2015. The Moody Ques’ two strongest finishes were 14 for veggie burger and 12 for margarita. We finished in the top half in a cooking category and did not finish dead last in any category. For a first-year team, I will take it. They posted each judge’s rating for appearance, taste and tenderness so we can look and see what we need to do to improve. We will be back in 2016!

Last weekend was burgers, this coming weekend is salsa. The first-ever Southern Salsa Festival happens Sunday, October 11 at the Water Tower Pavilion on Broad Avenue. Local restaurants and competitors in the best salsa competition will have free sampling for the public. Live music, import beer, margaritas. Admission to the festival is $5.

Here’s a news item for Shakespeare fans: On Friday, November 6 at 7 PM, Nearly Lear comes to the Halloran Center for the Performing Arts. Imagine Shakespeare’s classic King Lear told from the viewpoint of the King’s closest companion, his fool. The play is said to confound expectations of what Shakespeare “should be” and draws the audience into the story. Tickets are $15 general admission or $30 VIP. Tickets are on sale at the Orpheum.

Chef Demitrie at Cafe Keough Instagrammed his butternut squash soup with Chantilly cream. Looks like a delicious fall treat.

Tigers-OIe Miss has been announced for 11 AM on ABC on the 17th.

Here’s a Choose901 article about Memphis’ fifth craft brewery, Crosstown Brewing Company, that will open next year. There’s a Kickstarter for the brewery if you want to donate funds to help them get going.

RiverArtsFest has unveiled its list of artists for this year. This arts festival happens on South Main in late October and draws artists and crafts vendors from all over the region.

For computer nerds: Run Windows 1.0.1 in your browser. That version of Windows is 30 years old this year.

The city’s sewer system is being rehabbed. MUCH NEEDED.

That’ll wrap it up for now. I’m not out of news items yet but I am out of time, because I need to go get some food. There may be a third post after work, so check back. My plan for after work is the usual Monday one: Melissa Monday at Bardog, then over to the Blind Bear about 7, with side trips always possible.

Piggyback ride Monday

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on Piggyback ride Monday
Oct 052015

Well yesterday turned out to be an interesting day. Katie the vegetarian from yesterday’s post (not to be confused with Katie Mac or Katie (not Mac) who are frequently mentioned here) decided she was going to give me a piggyback ride at the Silly Goose. I realized there were two possible outcomes: a) fall off; or b) fall off and break one or more bones. I tried to get out of it but Katie insisted. Fortunately no bones were broken. There’s video on my Facebook timeline but I don’t think I will put it on here.

The Moody Ques scored 14th (that’s a correction; I had heard 11th previously) with our veggie burger entry, the pumpkin spice burger. I had hoped for top 10 but regardless, Saturday was the day we proved beyond a reasonable doubt (or at least a preponderance of the evidence) that we know how to cook. I am so proud of our cook team Frank, Clay and Erik. Great job guys.

I won’t name names but I heard there was a team who cooked their Burger Fest vegetarian burger on a George Foreman grill. Really?

Info Katie (the vegetarian, not Mac or (not Mac) (I’m a web developer, we love nested parentheses)) might want to know: Local cookbook author Bianca is teaching a Vegan Crunk class at Whole Foods on Wednesday. She’ll be demonstrating a whole menu of Southern comfort foods.

The Facebook event listing has been posted for the Stumbling Santa pub crawl the first Saturday of December.

From WREG Live at 9: Chef Max Hussey from eighty3 demonstrates making classic gumbo.

Historian Jimmy Ogle is giving a 10-hour tour of Downtown this coming Saturday. Free to the public.

Singer Charvey Mac plays the Silly Goose tomorrow night at 10.

That’ll do it for now. Time for the work week to begin.

The Moody Ques and Weekend at Porky’s @ Best Memphis Burger Fest ’15

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on The Moody Ques and Weekend at Porky’s @ Best Memphis Burger Fest ’15
Oct 042015





It was a year of firsts for Best Memphis Burger Festival. It was the first year the festival was held at Tiger Lane next to the Liberty Bowl, having outgrown its former space at Minglewood Hall. It was also the first year my BBQ team, the Moody Ques, competed in the burger festival. Our good friends Weekend at Porky’s stepped up and entered the competition for the first time as well.

The weather definitely did not cooperate! There was a north wind all day and the temperature never broke 60. However, this time around we have a cooker that has no problem holding temp. The Moody Ques were fully prepared to make some noise in the Bloody Mary, Veggie Burger, Anything But, Margarita, and Best Memphis Burger competitions.


Head cook Frank likes his buns well done, apparently. No this was not a competition entry.


While my team was cooking veggie burgers, I went down to Weekend at Porky’s for one of Colin’s Bloody Marys with bacon-wrapped garnishes.


Pumpkin spice burgers for our Best Veggie Burger entry. “I hope the veggie burger judges are white girls. If they are, we’re in like Flynn,” I commented.


Frank with our Best Bloody Mary entry, a recipe by our teammate Dusty.


Bardog/Slider Inn team


Our Best Margarita entry


My favorite pair of librarian glasses, the “L” of team FML at the Blind Bear.


Blondes love me



Our entry for Anything But Beef


B-RAD propping Nate up. Brad was wearing Rahul’s jacket in this photo, but he wanted to make it clear that he and Rahul are not dating.


I doubt the shaved ice truck did much business yesterday.


We made Katie a meatless version of our Anything But entry. Vegetarians love the Moody Ques.





Quail eggs, one of the toppings for our Best Memphis Burger entry.




Putting it all together for Best Memphis Burger


B-RAD getting down at Weekend at Porky’s


Katie getting down at Weekend at Porky’s


This is the kind of thing that happens when there’s Fireball.


Whitney and Staci getting down at Weekend at Porky’s


Bales of hay were the seats for the bands and the awards ceremony


Tim and Seth, organizers of this awesome event. Thank you for putting this together.


Our friends the Fabulous Burger Boys made it on stage to collect a trophy.

Full photo album here (150 photos, and I made it public so if you’re not friends with me on Facebook you can still see the album).

THAT WAS A LOT OF FUN. At Tiger Lane there was plenty of space, and despite the weather I had an absolute blast yesterday. I definitely hope we can enter Burger Fest again next year.

I haven’t seen the results yet, but I think the Moody Ques showed a lot of progress in their cooking ability. The vegetarian burger in particular was one where I thought we knocked it out of the park. While not a vegetarian myself, I will occasionally order veggie burgers at Huey’s, and I think the Moody Ques’ entry without a doubt could hold its own against that restaurant. The other burger entries I thought were good too.

Plans for today: It’s a rare Sunday when I have to spend part of the day working. It’s fun work though, so I don’t mind. I will be able to make it out to D-RANKS with B-RAD this morning. I would also be game for a mid-afternoon trip to Station 3 Firehaus if anyone is up for it.