Tuesday update

Did you know there are Tuesday night patio parties at Courtyard Memphis Downtown, at the corner of Main and Jefferson, every week? This week’s party will have the Mystic Krewe of Pegasus attending. Interesting music: DJ John E will be spinning British Invasion tunes. There will be $3 craft draft and $5 wine specials, and other specials as well.

I Love Memphis is partnering with Freewheel and Explore Bike Share for a slow ride through Downtown on Wednesday, May 9 to celebrate National Travel & Tourism Week. You and your bike can meet up with them at Handy Park at B.B. King and Beale at 6 PM. The slow ride will hit several stops and at each stop, you’ll hear from a host who has a unique take on tourism and travel. If you don’t have a bike, come early and Explore Bike Share will get you on one of their fleet of 25 bikes.

The Riverfront Development Corp. has re-branded as Memphis River Parks Partnership. That is an excellent name, emphasizing one connected riverfront and the fact that it is a partnership with the public. Getting rid of the old RDC name was also a good move because it brings back memories of the organization going millions of dollars over budget on Beale Street Landing.

Downtown agency inferno is looking for a copywriting intern for the summer, someone working toward a bachelor’s degree in English, marketing, communication, or a related field.

John Paul Keith will play the PureMemphis Music Series at Old Dominick Distillery this Thursday, April 26 at 6:30 PM. He’ll be playing songs from his new album, Heart-Shaped Shadow, as well as fresh takes on some of his older tunes backed by a 6-piece band.

Hot Rods on Beale returns to Beale Street tonight 6-10. Come check out cars from the American Muscle Car Club and the Perfect Nemesis Car Club.

Dancing with the Stars pros Maks, Val and Peta bring their new dance performance Confidential to the Orpheum tonight at 8:00. Tickets are $34.50-$99.50.

Memphis youth leaders organization BRIDGES has been challenged to an $18,000 fundraising match by its Board of Trustees, and they are 75% of the way there. Can you help them raise the other 25%? Donate here.

As a result of guest feedback, Beale Street Music Fest is adding water stations throughout Tom Lee Park this year, so you can fill up your water bottle and stay hydrated.

Pontotoc Lounge has announced lunch service will start next Wednesday.

Donald Trump referred to North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un as “very honorable” this morning. Didn’t realize people who had their political opponents (and their half-brother) murdered qualified as “honorable.” But then again, it’s just another day in the news for the embarrassing orange shitgibbon. Remember when he called Klansmen “some very fine men”? 2020 election, hurry up and get here.

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

Bagel & Lox at Pontotoc Lounge brunch

Yesterday I went to Pontotoc Lounge for D-RANKS with B-RAD and their Sunday brunch. I gave their bagel and lox a try.

Every bit as good as it looked, and I posted the photo to Facebook and it brought more people up to Pontotoc to give it a try. I’m normally a PBR guy but after finishing off my food, my troll and I decided to order a mimosa.

A great start to the day, and a dish I will happily order again.

Unfortunately I got an unwanted babysitting assignment along with my brunch. Rahul was being a whiny little bitch because I sat in “his” seat, and Tony… well, let’s not even discuss Tony’s behavior because it might discourage people from coming to the restaurant. Let’s just say he referred to a certain bodily function throughout the course of the afternoon.

That’ll do it for now. Tired out from a big weekend. Back tomorrow with more news.

Sunday update: Mike Miller’s hair bands, I don’t even know who I am anymore, and some news

Got a question for my readers. Anyone know where Mike Miller got the hair bands he wore on the court back when he had long hair? My hair is at the awkward length where it’s getting in my eyes when I drive. I need to find a way to get it out of my face. I dressed up as Mike for Halloween 2013, complete with 13 Grizzlies jersey and hair band, but it was clearly a women’s hair band. It was the best Walgreens could do on short notice.

Okay, something is seriously wrong with me. Yesterday, I had the entire day to myself… no responsibilities, no worries. And yet I probably spent an hour on my phone looking at menus, planning where I’m going to have lunch in East Memphis/Germantown next week. I’ve developed an obsession with/addiction to lunch. Meals I’m looking at include

  • The steak burger at Stoney River sounds incredible. Ground steak, Gruyere, caramelized onions, and Thousand Island dressing. Throw it down!
  • The world famous chili burger at Neil’s Music Room is on my radar for nostalgia reasons. I used to live around the corner from Neil’s when it was in Midtown.
  • Any other unexpectedly good burgers hiding on a menu in East Memphis or Germantown? Let me know. paul@paulryburn.com
  • I want to get one of the lunch specials at Formosa. Dah Chine Chicken probably because that’s one not commonly seen on Chinese menus here.
  • The Farmer’s Skillet at City East Bagel and Grille sounds like something I need to try. Sausage, potatoes, mushrooms, onions, peppers. The corned beef skillet sounds good too, as does potato skillet #2 with salami and the option to add bacon (which, of course I would). Bonus points for being walkable from where I work.
  • Already planning my next pizza at PizzaRev. Trying to figure out if they’d think I’m weird if I asked for one anchovy on my otherwise topping-filled pizza. I’m trying to figure out if I like anchovies. Haven’t had one since I was 7.

They always ask me if I want a lot of cheese or just a little on my pizza at PizzaRev. There’s a word for people who only want a little cheese on their pizza. It’s 6 letters long, starts with s, and rhymes with “cupid.” I mean, what’s the point? Go eat a saltine cracker if you don’t like cheese.

Also, if you’ve never had alfredo sauce as your base for a pizza as opposed to tomato sauce, DO IT. It will change your life.

A friend of mine has a cat named Alfredo Sauce.

I stayed out til 3 at the Blind Bear last night and heard KaleidoWorld, a subset of FreeWorld. They were excellent. Fun fact: As far as I know, Richard from FreeWorld and I are the only two people to sing “Take Me Home, Country Roads” at the Blind Bear. Richard was accompanied by guitar and drums. I was accompanied by Fireball.

No it was not a recent performance.

Okay, let’s get on to the news now.

The former Happy Day dry cleaners in the Shrine Building on Monroe, with the entrance directly across from Bardog, has reopened as Downtown Dry Cleaners.

The Redbirds are offering a special Mother’s Day ticket for Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 13. $35 Dugout, $39 Club Level gets you a Mother’s Day brunch in the Home Plate Club noon-1:30 that day and families can also play catch on the field during that time. Prarie Farms ice cream treat for kids 12 and under, and kids run the bases after the game. Your specialty ticket includes a voucher for a large Papa John’s pizza so Mom won’t have to cook dinner that night.

Don’t forget that there’s a free Tai Chi class in Health Sciences Park tomorrow at 11:45. Milan Vigil from Downtown Yoga will teach the class and it is suitable for all levels, even newcomers. TAI CHI!

Disappointed in my fellow liberals who tweeted “Her son stole an election”-type stuff about Barbara Bush’s funeral yesterday. Grow up and get some class.

Checking the weather… if the rain lets up I will head to Pontotoc Lounge for Sunday brunch with B-RAD and Jazz… if not, I’ll keep it close to home at Blind Bear.

I’m looking forward to driving to Germantown for lunch, AND I’m looking forward to seeing Jasmine today? I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHO I AM ANYMORE!

Back tomorrow with more news.

Saturday update

The last “normal” weekend, at least for me, for over a month has begun. Looking ahead:

  • Next weekend the BBQ team competes in Southaven Springfest, so I will probably be in Mississippi on Saturday (assuming the weather cooperates). Sunday is Downtown’s annual day of debauchery, Beale Street Wine Race.
  • The weekend after that is Music Fest. I have no plans to attend the festival, but it’s the best people-watching of the year on Downtown streets.
  • The weekend after that is BBQ Fest load-in.
  • And of course, the weekend after that is BBQ Fest itself.

Despite being a normal weekend, there’s plenty going on. Let’s have a look.

The 15th annual Regatta and Duck Race happens today at Maria Montessori School on Mud Island. A Duck Race 5K and 1-Mile Family Fun Run kick things off, followed by games, grilled food, a desert contest, kayaking, and a trophy ceremony. The Wacky Boat Race (featuring boats made out of cardboard) and the Duck Race will happen in the afternoon, followed by live music.

The Memphis Flyer’s Bacon and Bourbon Festival is 4-8 today at the Farmers Market pavilion at Front and G.E. Patterson. Ticket price includes 15 bourbon tastings as well as pork dish samplings from local restaurants. Proceeds benefit the Farmers Market.

The Ol’ Man River Half-Marathon and 8K happens tomorrow, starting and ending on Mud Island.

Too Hot to Handel: The Jazz-Gospel Messiah comes to the Orpheum today and tomorrow. Legendary solosits and pianists, a symphony orchestra, a jazz ensemble and a choir will perform this lively reinvention of Handel’s Messiah.

Golfers: Support the Memphis Union Mission by playing in the Mission’s 13th annual Heritage Golf Classic at Memphis National Golf Club on Friday, May 11. Registration and lunch at 11:30, with the first teams teeing off at 1. There will be a $5000 putting contest, a hole-in-one contest to win a Volvo, and plenty of prizes.

Brit Floyd, the ultimate Pink Floyd tribute show, comes to the Orpheum on June 22. They will perform a special 45th anniversary retrospective of The Dark Side of the Moon, as well as hits from Wish You Were Here, Animals, The Wall, and The Division Bell. Their stage set is said to be magnificent. I wonder if they have the anatomically correct inflatable pig?

High Ground News has a list of 10 Downtown buildings with stories to tell. Interesting read.

Yesterday for lunch, I returned to Noodles Asian Bistro at Poplar and Exeter. I thought about posting “Getting some noods!” to Facebook, but I decided that might not be the best idea. Tony who hangs out at B-RAD’s bar at Pontotoc Lounge would see that and comment, “You’re taking some nudes? Pau Pau, let me send you my Snapchat username!”

So anyway, each day of the week, Noodles has two specials priced at $8.50. One is a traditional favorite served with either white or brown rice. The other is a noodle dish. Whichever you choose, your entree comes with a side salad with ginger dressing and a spring roll.

I choose the noodle dish of the day, the Singapore Street Noodles with chicken.

For any entree with a pepper next to its name on the menu, you get your choice of mild, medium or hot. I asked for hot, and for the second time in two visits, the dish came out with the perfect amount of heat for a person who likes spicy food. At this point, the only dish on the menu I would be afraid to order hot would be the Vietnamese noodle soup (pho).

Singapore Street Noodles consists of rice noodles, wok-tossed with spices, chicken (beef, shrimp and tofu also available although not on special), carrots, snow peas, onions, scallions, bean sprouts and cilantro in a curry coconut sauce. They’re not skimpy with the portions either. Noodles has become one of my favorite lunch spots near work, although I have been told I should try Asian Eatery next door to West St. Diner soon too.

I want this THUG LIFE T-shirt.

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

Friday update: Prince tribute, liquor sales on Sundays and more news, and food porn if you like chicken biscuits

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.

Ask Aparium Hotel Group, owner of Madison Hotel Memphis, to do the right thing; plus, Sleep Out Louie’s and more Thursday news

Chicago-based Aparium Hotel Group acquired the Madison Hotel and related properties on the southwest corner of Main and Madison last year. In doing so, they declined to honor a longtime agreement for Christopher Reyes and his young family to purchase the condo on the second floor of 1 S. Main, a space he had occupied for 25 years. Aparium lawyered up and not only obtained a court order for the family’s eviction, but a judgment of about $102,000, part of which is for upgrades for a space the family no longer occupies. Reyes and his partner Sarah Fleming are both artists who make the community more vibrant, and they have been longtime supporters of Downtown and music and the arts here in Memphis. Please take a moment to sign this Change.org petition asking Aparium to do right by these wonderful people.

Aparium: If you find this blog, please know that I will not promote any events in spaces you own/manage unless you do the right thing. This blog is a go-to source for many people who live, work and play in Downtown Memphis, and it’s a shame they will no longer be learning about your events here.

The Memphis Flyer has the info on the return of legendary Downtown bar Sleep Out Louie’s, not in its original location but on Second next to Texas de Brazil in the former Encore space. Wanting a place for the ServiceMaster folks to go (it will have a back door that connects directly) with a decent price point and quick serving times, landlord Belz talked River City Management into bringing back the Sleep Out’s concept. The ties will be back and the weekend brunch will eventually. No fish races though. :( The new menu will be smaller and more modern, including a Pabst Blue Reuben. Now that sounds like a sandwich I’ve got to try!

Oh, and they’re going to have prosecco on tap. Not that I’ll be drinking the stuff but it drew a lot of positive comments from my female friends when I posted the Flyer story to Facebook yesterday.

Star & Micey headline the Peabody rooftop party tonight. $15 to enter, $30 VIP with ladies and hotel guests free until 7. Your admission includes a buffet of pizza rolls and mini-corn dogs with mustard. If you’re in VIP you have a second buffet of gourmet pizzas, hamburger sliders, and onion dip with crostini.

Goner Records, Dogfish Head brewery, and the Flying Saucer will celebrate National Record Store Day Saturday at the Saucer. There will be special tappings and new releases of Dogfish Head beer. Bring in Goner Records receipts to receive Dogfish Head discounts and chances to win a Dogfish Head record player.

Volunteer Ruth Martin will lead a tree tour of Elmwood Cemetery on Saturday, May 5. Elmwood has 1500 trees, some older than the cemetery itself. Some of the trees are tagged, but there is so much more to know than just the tree’s scientific and common name. This is a walking tour beginning at 10:30 AM and the cost is $10.

The Memphis Daily News has an excellent article called Doubleheader about AutoZone Park, which will soon be the home to both professional baseball and professional soccer. Craig Unger will be GM of both ventures and is excited about the challenge of building a soccer culture in this city.

In other soccer news, the Brass Door and the American Outlaws Memphis are helping Memphis soccer great Ross Paulie raise money for the Great Strides Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. They will be raffling off a US Men’s National Team jersey signed by Tim Howard. Tickets are $5 each. Get ’em at the Door or PayPal MemphisOurlaws@gmail.com.

Ghost River has new hours for its taproom: 4:00-10:30 Wednesday-Thursday, noon-11:00 Friday-Saturday, noon-8:00 Sunday.

I returned to West St. Diner yesterday for lunch, for one of their daily specials, fried chicken livers.

Delicious. I chose mashed potatoes and blackeyed peas as my sides, spicing up the peas with a little chili pepper hot sauce.

Thanks to my readers who responded with suggestions for a bakery to go to in Far East Memphis/Near West Germantown to get a pie for Pie Wednesday at work. I have a plan put together. I have co-workers who read this blog so I don’t want to spoil the surprise of what kind of pie they’re getting, but I’ll post a photo on May 3, the day after.

That’s it for now. Back tomorrow with more. I’ve already got some good stuff in the queue that didn’t fit into today’s post.

RiverArtsFest moving and more Wednesday news

RiverArtsFest is getting a new location this year. The largest juried arts festival in the region is moving to Riverside Drive between Jefferson and Union. A big part of the reason is that the closure of Main south of G.E. Patterson for a year for Central Station construction denies the festival the footprint it needs in South Main. I’m definitely not going to mind RiverArtsFest being steps away from me in the core. I plan to be there! The festival will be Saturday and Sunday, October 27-28.

The Majestic Grille’s Supper Club is back with a Spring Dinner on Wednesday, May 2 at 6 PM. Chef Patrick is planning a menu of delicate veggies, flaky buttery fish, and spring lamb. Five-course dinner perfectly paired with wine and spirits. $75 plus tax and gratuity. Call 901-522-8555 to book your reservation for the dinner.

Friends for Life is a wonderful organization that supports those with HIV/AIDS and their caretakers. Next week you can Dine Out For Life to support FFL. Here’s the schedule. Participating Downtown restaurants include Civil Pour, Pontotoc Lounge, Silly Goose, Green Beetle, Mollie Fontaine Lounge, and McEwen’s.

Memphis in May has announced the music lineup, the food vendors, and the craftspeople and artists for 901 Fest, the Memphis-themed celebration that wraps up the month of May in Tom Lee Park.

There will be a Memphis Made meet and drink tonight at Food Truck Night at Miss Cordelia’s/Cordelia’s Table from 5 to 8 PM. Stanley’s Sweet Street Treat food truck will be there, as will desserts from Memphis Twist. There will be a Memphis Made beer and cheese pairing and Andy, co-founder of the brewery, will be on hand to answer any beer questions you may have.

I saw a post on Facebook implying that trolleys would be coming back to The Edge on April 30. That is not accurate. Only the Main Street line will open at the end of this month. The Riverfront line will open in early 2019, and the Madison line – stretching from the Downtown core to The Edge to the Medical District – will return late 2019 or early 2020.

RIP Barbara Bush, a lady who was the epitome of class and grace and who spent her life in service of others.

I went back to Exlines’ yesterday for lunch. I had my eye on their Ultimate Tamales on their online menu, but it looks like they don’t carry them anymore, at least not at the Quince and Kirby location. So I changed it up and went with six of Uncle Walt’s wings with hot sauce and a side of fries.

(…Aaaand I’m getting an HTTP error when I try to upload the photos. Just imagine a picture of wings and a picture of fries in this space.)


Wings were big and meaty, hot sauce was good, and they brought me a big cup of ranch for dipping. I appreciate places that give you enough dip to accommodate all your wings, rather than giving you a tiny cup that runs out after the second or third one. The steak fries were well seasoned and I dipped those in ranch as well. (For those who don’t know this about me, I much prefer ranch over ketchup with fries.) The wings were $5.25 for six big ones, an excellent value.

Question for my readers: Two weeks from today, I have to buy a pie for Pie Wednesday in our department here at work. Where, within a 10 minute drive of Poplar and Kirby Parkway sells whole pies? I know the bakery at Bougie Kroger across the street does, but where else? Email me at paul@paulryburn.com if you know of a place.

Yesterday I turned on 92.9 on the way home. The first thing I heard was Gary Parrish say that Geoff Calkins recommends not putting Nashville hot chicken near your butt. I turned the radio off after that.

There’s a speed trap that often operates on north-bound Kirby a couple of blocks before Humphreys. The speed limit is 35 on that stretch and people accelerate to try and make the green light. Shelby County deputies lay in wait two streets before Humphreys, at the intersection of Massey Lane. Yesterday a deputy stepped out into the road and signaled three cars in the right lane and one in the left lane to turn onto Massey Lane where another deputy was waiting. Glad I was far enough back to not get pulled over. The cars were doing probably about 42, so the deputies don’t give much leeway. Watch out if you travel on that stretch of road.

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

Tuesday update

A few weeks ago, I commented that the building at 64 S. Main, just north of City Market, appeared to be getting a cleaning-out in preparation for an upcoming renovation. The Memphis Flyer has details on what will be going in there: A one-stop shop for people contributing to Memphis’ growth, as the proprietors put it. It will contain a restaurant serving healthy food and a boutique health and wellness center including a nutritionist, physiologist, certified dietitian, gym, classes and other services. A restaurant in the penthouse of the building serving contemporary Southern food will open within a year. There will be art shows and pop-up dinners as well. The first “Gallery” art show and dinner will happen Saturday, April 28.

The trolleys are finally coming back, just in time for Music Fest. The Main Street line will resume passenger operations on Monday, April 30, immediately following a ribbon-cutting/grand re-opening type of ceremony at 11 AM. The other two routes, Riverside and Madison, are expected back (in that order) in 2019 or early 2020. There will be free trolley rides the first two weeks they are back in service on the Main Street line.

I don’t know if I have any readers who are big fans of mac & cheese, but if I do, you’ll want to buy a special ticket to the Thursday, April 26 Redbirds game. The ticket includes an all-you-can-eat mac & cheese bar as well as all-you-can-eat hot dogs from 6 to 8 PM. Bacon bits, diced chicken and ham will be available to add protein to your mac & cheese. For those of you who love mac & cheese and who are vegetarians, the bar will also have broccoli, green onions, mushrooms, pico de gallo, jalapenos, blue cheese, shredded cheese, and various sauces. $2 beers at select locations throughout the park, and on Thursdays the Redbirds don their throwback Memphis Chicks uniforms.

I’ve been trying to keep up with the Michael Cohen, Donald Trump, Stormy Daniels, Sean Hannity, etc. situation as best I can, but a lot of good stories are from newspaper websites behind paywalls. Thanks to a web developer trick I’ve figured out how to get around them, and thought I’d share. You have to use the Google Chrome web browser to do this. When you see a link that is behind a paywall, right-click it and select “Open in incognito window.” This is a feature built into Chrome for those who want to browse with privacy, but it has a couple of nice side effects as well. For web developers, it’s useful for emulating a new user, who does not have any kind of browsing history, cookies, or user sessions. This leads to another useful side effect – websites with paywalls can’t tell you’ve been there before.

In a previous post, I mentioned that Meddlesome Brewing Co. is rolling out Jerry “The King” Lager. However, you don’t have to go to their taproom far out east to get this new beer. Not surprisingly, Jerry “The King” Lawler’s bar and grill on Beale carries his namesake lager. In a new Rassle Me post by Kevin Cerrito of the Memphis Flyer, Lawler discusses how he never touches alcohol, even if it is named after him. Brings to mind the tacky 1996 angle when Jake “The Snake” Roberts tried to pour booze down Lawler’s throat.

Africa in April is back this weekend. The event is held on Beale Street and Robert Church Park (just east of Fourth on Beale) with African food, exhibitors’ booths, health and wellness stations, performing arts, fashions, culture and history. Things kick off on Wednesday with an International Entrepreneur’s Day, followed by Children’s and Seniors’ Day on Friday, Family Heath Wellness & Community Day on Saturday, and International African-American Music Day on Sunday. $5 admission.

Michael from one901 writes about his experience judging the gumbo contest at Rajun Cajun Crawfish Fest this past Sunday.

Terri Lee Freeman, president of the National Civil Rights Museum, will reflect on MLK50 at the Tuesday, April 24 Downtown Neighborhood Association meeting at the museum. 6 PM social, 6:30 program. This event is free for members and $10 for guests.

Yesterday I tried another new place for lunch, One & Only BBQ across Kirby Parkway from where I work. The smoked wings had been recommended to me by a friend, but I decided to save that for next visit and ordered the kielbasa dinner instead.

Generous-size helping of kielbasa, smoked and dusted in their dry rub, along with two sides and Texas toast. I got BBQ baked beans and deviled eggs for my sides, although I have heard good things about the twice-baked potato salad and want to try that next time. Service was quick and the people there were very nice. I look forward to trying the wings soon. As close as we’re getting to BBQ Fest, I will hold off on ordering pulled pork for a while. There’s plenty of that in my future already.

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

Monday update

I led off at Pontotoc Lounge for D-RANKS with B-RAD at Sunday brunch yesterday. It was good to see the folks from City Tasting Tours leading a tour there. If you’re a foodie, the tours are a great way to discover the cuisines of Memphis. The tours make several stops, with a different small plate at each stop. They were headed to Rizzo’s after they got done at Pontotoc, an excellent choice as well.

I didn’t eat at Pontotoc, but the people next to me had the bagels and lox and it looked fantastic. You get a whole bagel with smoked salmon with capers, onions, tomatoes and cream cheese.

After Pontotoc, I stopped by Blind Bear, then over to the Majestic Grille to eat. There are very few menu items at the Majestic I have not tried, but yesterday I found one… the sausage and cheese plate. It’s a chef’s selection of meats & cheeses along with Dijon, crackers, apple slices, BBQ walnuts and cranberries.

The BBQ walnuts are the star of this show. All delicious. Nice to be able to discover something new at a restaurant I’ve been frequenting for 12 years. It’s kind of like finding money in my coat pockets.

The Commercial Appeal has a photo album of last Saturday’s Memphis Brewfest.

The Memphis Medical District Collaborative will have its annual meetup at the Balinese Ballroom, 330 N. Main, on Wednesday, April 25 6-8 PM. They will look back at successes of the past year and forward toward plans for the future, and you’ll get to meet the people who have made the Medical District a more vibrant place. Get free tickets to the meetup here.

If you work near a Hardee’s, they’ll be giving away free sausage biscuits (one per person) tomorrow, Tuesday, April 17 from 7 to 10 AM.

Excellent, excellent decision by the Memphis Flyer: They are adding a regular feature called Rassle Me in which Kevin Cerrito will cover professional wrestling.

Sad to hear about the declining health of Barbara Bush. What a grand lady.

That’ll do it for now. I haven’t been to Brittini’s bar at Silly Goose in a couple of weeks, so I think I’ll do that for happy hour after work. Back tomorrow with more news.

Seafood pasta @ Regina’s Cajun Kitchen/Saturday recap/Sunday news

Sometimes you have to break the rules.

Officially my rule is “No more Fireball, ever” and I have held to that since January. However, I try to enforce a rule of “no shots of any kind, anymore” upon myself for good physical as well as financial health.

However, yesterday at Bardog, Panda had her first drink since August, her first since having the baby. I couldn’t pass that round of shots up. I had a Jameson. Welcome back, Panda!

Ashley, Panda and me

I was also celebrating because I helped work out an arrangement to ensure we’ll have great music in our BBQ team booth again this year. The music coming out of your booth that is heard from the sidewalk is part of your team’s brand. I was worried someone would plug their phone into the PA at 10:20 Friday night and start blaring “LAWD I WAS BAWN A RAMBLIN’ MAYUN… MAYUN…” and people would get the idea that we’re all in there wearing Confederate flag T-shirts with the sleeves cut off drinking Busch beer. Happy to have one less thing to worry about.

My troll made another new friend yesterday.

Pink Bunny was a gift from a 3-year-old to her father, a computer programmer with a traveling job. She asked that he take pictures of Pink Bunny at the places he goes. The daughter is now 14 and Pink Bunny has been to 47 states and 9 countries.

I may have given up Fireball but Pink Bunny sure hasn’t.

Great crowd at Bardog yesterday and I stayed until almost past 2:30, well past my usual time. By then, and in part thanks to the shot, I was getting super hungry. Inspired by my recent lunch adventures in Germantown, I was determined to try something new and different, and I did. But this was not a lunch in Germantown. It was Downtown. Which means it’s time for the most recent installment of…

The Perjorie T. Roll Lunch Series

Regina’s Cajun Kitchen opened several months ago at 60 S. Main in the ground floor of the Lincoln-American Tower, in the space that years ago was the Yellow Rose Cafe. They opened their bar yesterday, and I decided to have a seat and order lunch. After looking over their breakfast, brunch and lunch menu, I decided to have their Saturday special, the Cajun seafood pasta.

Shrimp, crawfish, sausage, and either penne or ziti (I don’t know my pastas that well) in a cheese sauce spiked with hot sauce. As a fan of spicy food, I appreciated the flavor of this dish. I also appreciated the piece of bread which was buttery and perfect for dipping in the extra sauce. No problem recommending this to my readers.

The bartender was very attentive. Great service. They gave me complimentary popcorn while I waited on my food. Regina’s is a large space that can comfortably fit well over 100. I don’t know if they rent the place out for private events but they easily could. It’s a space with a lot of potential. Even though I had a Coke with lunch, I am glad they opened the bar. When I eat by myself I prefer to sit at bars/counters.

I do want to mention a couple of very minor things, things that didn’t detract from the quality of the meal, but style points. I don’t understand why they put a cafeteria tray under my plate when they served my food. It’s not like my pasta was going to fall off the plate, or I was going to pick up my food and move to another part of the restaurant. Also, food of this quality should not be served with plasticware. It was deluxe plasticware, but still plasticware. Again, these things didn’t bother me but I can see then subtracting a couple of dollars from the perceived value of the meal in some diners’ eyes.

Regina’s menu can be found here. I want to come back and try an entree sometime soon. Those meatballs stuffed with cheese, spinach and shrimp sound interesting.

I wonder if they make a vegetarian version of that pasta? Asking for a friend…

A bunch of us got to spend the evening with this beautiful woman:

We started off at Bardog then went to the Silly Goose and Blind Bear. Quote of the night: “We need more nautical bars Downtown” -Buddha

This is Memphis and sooner or later somebody had to do it. Meddlesome Brewing Co. celebrates the release of Jerry “The King” Lager on Wednesday, April 18. This fusion of pilsner and pale ale comes off the top rope and delivers a piledriver of taste. It is 6.2% ABV, made with Mosaic hops and German pilsner and aromatic malts. The King (who ironically, doesn’t drink alcohol) will be there for the release of his namesake beer, and there will be wrestling trivia and wrestling games.

This coming Saturday, April 21 is Hopped IV at Memphis Made Brewing Co. from noon to 10 PM. First 100 people get a special 16 oz. Hopped IV mug. The brewery will release its new Breakfast IPA, Snap Crackle Hopped, that day. Amy LaVere & Will Sexton, Hash Redactor, and River City Tanlines will provide the live music. Food by Sushi Jimmi, Smoke and Rolls, and MEMPopS.

On Mother’s Day, May 13 in Health Sciences Park, the Memphis Medical District Collaborative will show a Movie Under the Stars from 7:30 to 9:30. The movie will be Babies, a documentary chronicling the development of four babies from different parts of the world. There will be multiple food trucks and it is BYOB (bring your own blanket).

Best Donald Trump photo ever:

Monday afternoon is going to be a fun time to watch the news. 

Time to get this day started! D-RANKS with B-RAD at Pontotoc Lounge is first on the agenda today. I haven’t seen Brad in two weeks and we have much catching up to do. I will be back north at the Blind Bear sometime before 2. Back tomorrow with more news.