Pit bulls and beer (Monday update #3)

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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

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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

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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

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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.


Meatball has been found

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Oct 022015

Just wanted to let my readers know that Meatball, the lost dog I posted about this morning, is home safe and sound now.

Pre-Burger Fest news update

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Oct 022015

There’s going to be a very interesting event at the Woodruff-Fontaine Museum in Victorian Village this weekend. It’s called Urban Barn Market’s October Market. You’ll be able to shop from antiques, vintage, and handmade items in the nostalgia of autumn days from years gone past. The list of vendors is way way way too long for me to list here, but you can click through to the Facebook page to see the complete list. This seems worth putting on your agenda if you are in the area this weekend.

The first Saturday of December every year, there is an event called the Stumbling Santa Pub Crawl to raise toys for kids that might not otherwise get Christmas presents. It starts at the Flying Saucer and crawls through four or five bars. The event has gotten bigger every year, growing to over 1200 Santas last year, way too many for any one bar to accommodate. They have started an Indiegogo to grow the event even more, raising money for a heated outdoor tent that will be large enough to hold all the Santas. Pitch in some cash if so inclined and help make this awesome holiday event even better.

“Let’s Treat Your Beast” is the theme of the Memphis Farmers Market tomorrow. Two MFM vendors, Farm House Barkery and Heart of Eden, sell products specifically for dogs. Or, you can throw your dog a bone from one of the Market’s meat suppliers. Music by Davy Ray Bennett 8:30 to 10 and Melinda Milligan 11-12:30. The Market is at the pavilion at Front and G.E. Patterson every Saturday 7 AM to 1 PM. Congratulations to MFM on being voted Best Farmers Market in Memphis in the Memphis Flyer 2015 Best of Memphis poll!

The Farmers Market has posted a photo album from MFM@Ten at the Tennessee Brewery. Hey look, it’s the Moody Ques! Look at those yummy Moody Ques skirt steak sliders. Frank Chin does such an impressive job with his photography.

Business news: First Tennessee has put its building at Third and Madison up for sale. The bank will continue to occupy most of the floors of the building, however.

Live music recommendation: The legendary Smoochy Smith will be signing his biography, The Real Me, and performing with Rock Cats, a rockabilly band from England, tomorrow night at the Center for Southern Folklore. $10 cover.

The Grizzline, the Memphis Grizzlies drumline, is holding auditions Sunday.

Expect increased security measures mandated by the NBA at Grizzlies games this year.

Downtown Yoga is offering a free lunchtime yoga class at noon Monday-Wednesday of next week.

Capriccio Grill in the Peabody has an October special for Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Lobster Ravioli with PINK Sauce. $15 with a portion of the proceeds going to the Susan Komen Foundation.

The Tin Roof is hiring servers and cooks. Email Memphis@tinroofbars.com.

From the MBJ: Facebook profiles are getting a visual overhaul.

The 2015 BBQ Fest trophy-winning Moody Ques did a practice cook for Best Memphis Burger Fest last night and were very pleased with the results. “We are going to surprise some people,” was the verdict of the cooks.

Photo Oct 01, 8 52 41 PM

Our product

One correction: Earlier I posted that our booth at Burger Fest is next to Squeal Street BBQ. I have since learned that is incorrect; rather, we are directly across the sidewalk from Squeal Street. Knowing that they can see directly into our tent, I wonder if Squeal Street will bring binoculars to try and steal some cooking tips from the MQs.

There probably won’t be a post tomorrow because I have to be at Tiger Lane all day. If we’re friends on Facebook, expect several updates throughout the day on there.

Missing dog: Meatball (attention Pinch residents)

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Oct 022015

2015-10-02 06.45.36

Stolen from a porch near Main and A.W. Willis yesterday evening. If you have info shoot me an email at paul@paulryburn.com and I will pass it on.

I have a news post 90% ready to go but am not going to have time to finish it before work. Will post at lunchtime.

Station 3: Memphis Fire Haus

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Oct 012015












Station 3: The Memphis Firehaus is open for business. Check my past posts if you want to know the history. It is worth checking out. Lots of craft beer, $6 regular, $10 large. Expect to see me frequently this month and next.

Back in the morning with a news post unless I oversleep.


Station 3: The Memphis Fire Haus and Feathers open today + more

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Oct 012015

Today is the opening of Station 3: The Memphis Fire Haus, the indoor/outdoor sports bar and beer garden in the old fire station at Third and MLK Avenue. It is run by the folks who brought you Brewery: Revival, and as with the original Brewery Untapped series, the goal is to showcase the fire station’s potential. It will be open Thursdays-Sundays in October and November. It will be open 4 to 11 Thursday, 4 to midnight Friday, 11 to midnight Saturday, and noon to 10 Sunday. Here’s a CA article about the fire station.

Regional breweries have announced they will brew beer especially for Station 3: The Memphis Fire Haus. Memphis Made will have Station 3 Alt exclusively at the fire station beginning today. Tennessee Brew Works will have a American pale ale as a product exclusive to Station 3. Ghost River’s exclusive beer will be Spot Up 3, a hoppy red IPA with a malty backbone. Mmmm, that sounds delicious!

Nice to have one of these “Untapped/Revival” events in the Downtown core (although it’s just BARELY in the Downtown core; cross MLK and you’re in the South Main/South of Forum district). I plan on being at the fire station a good bit over the next two months and I might as well start off there tonight! I plan on being there about 5:45-6:00ish if anyone wants to meet up! I plan on bringing the camera and getting some photos for the blog.

The fire station is not the only opening tonight. Feathers, the new luxury resort-style spa in the Peabody, opens today. Thirty spa and salon specialists have been hired to staff Feathers, including nail technicians, estheticians, massage therapists, stylists, and cosmetologists. Treatments available include massages, body wraps, facials and facial enhancements, wax treatments, manicures and pedicures, hair styling, and make-up application. Peabody Signature Treatments include the Ashiatsu Barefoot Massage for couples and a Pevonia Facial that is customizable to individual skin types. Feathers will offer a full line of high end spa and salon products from Zents (body treatments), Pevonia (facials), SpaRitual (nails), and La Bella Donna (make up).

Tomorrow night there will be a tailgate behind the Cossitt Library at Front and Union to watch the Tigers play USF. It’s part of a plan to “activate” the riverfront and is presented by the City of Memphis and the University of Memphis School of Law.

Grizzlies regular season single-game tickets go on sale Saturday at 10. Holly has a list of this season’s giveaways.

I want to wish a huge congratulations to the folks at Aldo’s Pizza Pies. Memphis Pizza Cafe has ruled the Memphis Flyer’s Best of Memphis Best Pizza award for years… but not this year! Aldo’s knocked MPC off for the top spot. Very well deserved.

This is pretty funny: Orlando bar offering free beer until UCF wins a football game.

From High Ground News: Crescent Bluffs brings affordable housing to South Main. The apartments are pretty far south though: Virginia Avenue is one block north of Crump.

Posting before 7 AM for the second day in a row. Off to work in a bit, then it will be time to hit the fire station.

No Longer the Victim + Wednesday news

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Sep 302015

For those of you who like to read books set in Memphis, my friend Monte recommended one a few weeks ago and I thought I’d pass it along. No Longer the Victim, the first book by a local author, is about a woman who was molested by her mother’s lesbian lover as a child. The woman flees to Memphis as an adult and begins a noted career with the Memphis Police Department. At age 33, memories of being molested are triggered. She goes on a crime spree, luring lesbians from a gay club and murdering them, then displaying their nude bodies on Beale Street. I haven’t read it myself yet but Monte enjoyed it and it seems to be getting good reviews on Amazon. The Kindle version is only $3.99.

Moody Ques: Check your email for information about Best Memphis Burger Fest on Saturday. If you didn’t get the email, shoot me an email to paul@paulryburn.com and I will forward. I will give you guys an extra incentive to get there early: This is your one chance to see “Mr. Load-in” actually do load-in.

So, who’s giving me a ride from the Downtown core to Tiger Lane on Saturday? I can take a Lyft or cab if no ride is available (I’m sure you know I’m not driving), but I thought I’d ask.

While we’re on the subject of Burger Fest, for those who don’t want burgers, the organizers have announced that Mr. Frazier’s Fish Fry will be one of the food trucks.

Bike Night on Beale is listed as running April 15 through September. That would make tonight the last one for 2015.

The Orpheum has selected Brett Batterson as its new president and CEO. Sounds like a quality hire.

Interesting post on the Memphis Magazine Ask Vance blog: Tony’s Fruit Stand at Main and Beale was a Downtown institution for many years. It closed in 1971.

From the Carbunkle Trumpet blog: Former Memphian Robo teaches New Yorkers the difference between true barbecuing and grilling.

I see the members of Squeal Street BBQ had a Facebook thread going yesterday, throwing out words associated with the BBQ teams. “Miracle Whip.” “10 oz.” “Fire Extinguisher.” “Flame Thrower.” “Charcoal.” “Fireball.” “Popcorn.” I notice “Trophy” was not mentioned.

(I mentioned a flamethrower :mrgreen: )

6:15 AM and I’m already up and posting. Could be another post at lunchtime or after work, so check back.