Tonight is Memphis Symphony POPS! Tribute to Prince at the Cannon Center at 7:30 PM. Backed by a full rock band, the orchestra will present a symphonic tribute, Hits performed will include “Purple Rain,” “Little Red Corvette,” “When Doves Cry,” and more.
What about “Pussy Control?” You guys gonna do that song?
Governor Haslam has signed the bill into law allowing liquor stores to sell liquor and wine on Sundays, and they can start as soon as this weekend. The sale of wine in grocery stores on Sundays will be legal as of January 1.
Games on Front returns to the courtyard of Cossitt Library, corner of Front and Monroe, 4:30 to 7 PM today. Juju Bushman will supply the live music for this free evening of fun and yard games.
Songwriter Night returns to South Main Sounds at 550 S. Main this evening from 7 to 9. Performers will include Katie Williams, Justin Bloss, Olivia Linam & Terry Harris, and Rev. Neil Down.
Dig In is the theme at the Memphis Farmers Market this Saturday. Dig in to Earth’s treasures to celebrate Earth Day this weekend. Kids can celebrate Earth Day from 8 to noon by making a biodegradable pot, filling it with dirt, and planting some seeds. Church Health will be there 8 to noon with solutions for quitting smoking. Live, local music 8 to 12:30. The Market runs every Saturday under the pavilion at Front and G.E. Patterson 8 AM to 1 PM.
There will be a chicken parade to kick off the Southern Hot Wing Festival at Tiger Lane tomorrow. Seven hens and a rooster will march to the music of the Memphis Second Line Band, along with belly dancers, beauty pageant winners, and a horse carriage carrying 2017 Wing Fest winners New Wing Order. You just can’t make this stuff up.
Demitrie Phillips has taken over as chef at Brass Door, taking the reins from Patrick Reilly who has been the chef the past six months. Demitrie has crafted Downtown menus before including Bardog and Cafe Keough.
New event at Pontotoc Lounge 4-8 PM every Sunday starting April 29: Ragtime Tea Party. DJ Mark Richens will spin ragtime, swing, gypsy jazz, vocals, bebop, mambo and more. Mark is the former entertainment editor at the Commercial Appeal and a veteran DJ who has worked some of Downtown’s swankiest lounges.
Felicia Suzanne Restaurant is having a job fair today and tomorrow, looking to hire professionals for both front of house and back of house positions, as well as patio bartenders and servers. They encourage those looking for long-term growth in their career to stop by between 2 and 5 PM.
Some members of the Tennessee Air National Guard are in big trouble after a video of a re-enlistment ceremony went viral. One person participating in the ceremony, a master sergeant, wore a dinosaur puppet on her arm during the ceremony for reasons that remain unknown. Military leaders are furious that the people involved took liberties with a cherished, honorable, and somber occasion. Those in/shooting the video have been disciplined, and in one case demoted and retired.
A PAC called Mad Dog PAC, founded by Twitter legend Claude Taylor (@TrueFactsStated), is targeting politicians around the country who support Trump. One of the billboards targets the Tennessee Senate race: Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!
And now it’s time for…
What I had for lunch in Germantown yesterday
featuring places within a 10-minute drive from where I work. This is going to be somewhat of a conflicted review.
On one hand, when I went to Facebook and asked for recommendations where I should eat, this place’s name came up over and over again. Clearly quite a few of my friends love it.
On the other hand, we all have that one friend who hates everything. I know I do. “I hate this place because it’s too dark.” “I hate this place because the bar stools aren’t comfortable.” “I hate that place because the music’s too loud.” I once took an Uber ride from Midtown with the friend to whom I am referring, and she spent the entire ride telling me how much she hates my troll. I would never want to take her where I had lunch yesterday because she would spend an entire hour telling me how much she hates it.
Rise Biscuits & Donuts opened last month at the corner of Poplar Avenue and West Street, half a block on the other side of the street from West St. Diner which I have talked about numerous times. As I said, friends raved about the place, but I thought it was a breakfast place. “It’s hard enough for me to get out east before 8,” I reasoned. “I certainly don’t have time to get out there even earlier and pick up breakfast.”
However, yesterday I noticed that Rise stays open until 2 PM, and that some of its offerings seem more like lunch. Besides, what’s wrong with breakfast for lunch anyway? I first had my eye on the Savory Buffalo chicken biscuit with shaved celery and blue cheese sauce, but having already had Buffalo wings earlier in the week, I wanted a different flavor. Then I noticed the Saucy Wisconsin biscuit with creamy cheese and sweet piquant peppers. That reminded me of the Green Bay Packers. “I’ll get that,” I thought. “I’ll see if it’s good enough to recommend to my friend Carl from Wis-CAHN-sin.”
I walked in and was pleased to only be the second person in line, in a place I’ve heard stays constantly busy. I ordered the Wisconsin biscuit, a side of “hashpuppies,” described on the menu as their take on tots with cheese, and a coke, for dine-in. I paid $10.37 and glanced around the corner where people were eating on a counter. It was nearly full. “Guess there’s more seating in the back. I’ll go back there,” I thought.
That was IT for the indoor seating! They had a large patio, but it was 49 degrees out. 8 of the 10 stools at the counter were occupied. I quickly threw my jacket on one of the two remaining stools before taking my cup to the soda machine. Good news: By the time I had walked my full cup back to my jacket, they called out “Paul!” and my food was ready. It was in a paper bag even though I had ordered dine-in. Rise really is much more of a to-go place, I was starting to realize by that point.
Also good news: My biscuit was enormous. I described it to a friend last night as “about the size of a Quarter Pounder, but even meatier.”
(Edit: Argh! My biscuit picture isn’t showing up. I’ll fix it later.)
It was dripping with cheese sauce and the piquant peppers really added zest to the biscuit sandwich. It was well-tenderized and made with top-quality chicken. A pleasure to eat, for sure.
Then there was the fact that I paid over $10 for that sandwich, four tots, and a Coke. The tots – er, hashpuppies – were certainly larger than average, and I guess people ooh and ahh over them because they’re cheese tots. But I paid $1.75 for four of them? That did not impress, especially considering that I’ve had Rocket Tots from the Flying Saucer many times so cheese in tots is not a novelty for me. They were quite good, though – one thing I want to make clear here is that absolutely none of my objections had anything to do with the taste of the food I ordered.
I grabbed some extra napkins – you see the photo of the biscuit, so you understand why – and elbowed enough room to eat my food. It was a cramped dining experience to say the least. Barely enough room to have my phone on the counter and surf Facebook while I ate. I was afraid I’d drop it. A family came in and politely asked if I’d move over one so they could sit together. They didn’t realize there was so little inside seating, either. This is definitely not a place to plan a group outing unless it’s patio weather.
Final verdict: Food was excellent and I recommend it, but if you plan on dining in, have a backup plan. The next time I go to Rise I’m going to have to accept it that there’s a 50/50 shot I will be taking my lunch back to my office break room. I wish they would glass in that very nice outdoor patio during chilly times, as many restaurants with great patios (Slider Inn for one example) have done.
By the way, I checked in to Rise on Facebook yesterday and it led to a friend discovering their catering menu. He ordered their Mega Bites package for his office’s breakfast this morning. For $49.95 you get 24 biscuit sandwiches – 8 country ham, 8 sausage, 8 pimiento cheese. You also get 24 donuts – 8 plain glazed, 8 sprinkles, 8 chocolate icing. Not a bad deal!
NOTE: Rise on Poplar out in Germantown is in no way affiliated with Sunrise Memphis on Jefferson in the Downtown/Medical Center area.
That’s it for now. Back tomorrow with more news. Once again, got several things in the queue already.