I don’t think I’ve ever heated this up sober

I’ve bought this so many times at Schnucks. Glory Black Beans and Rice. And yet I don’t think I’ve ever once opened it and heated it up sober. It tends to be a 12 to 3 in the morning dish.

Tonight I went to Makeshift Music’s showcase at the Gibson, taking Memphis’ poet laureate IQ as my guest. Incredible show, thanks for inviting me. I heard all the bands and The Glass were my favorite; Augustine impressed me too.

Afterward, I went to Raiford’s with one of my regular blog readers and her friends. Because if you’ve been drinking off an open bar all night, what do you want to do? Go to Raiford’s and drink three 40s of Bud Light, of course. I still can’t get a decent pic of Raiford on my digicam thanks to that fog machine. I guess I’ll have to go in at 10 one night to get pics of him, before he fires the machine up. If anyone knows of a camera setting that will defeat that fog machine let me know.

Attn regular blog reader (she knows who she is): One of these nights I’m going to get you drunk and take advantage of you. I’m not a nice boy. Also: I thought of a title for the song we talked about writing: “You can keep the change” If you don’t know the story behind that title (happened in early October, when I was at the Saucer, sitting at one of the rails inside) I’ll tell you.

Tomorrow (or, really, today, Sunday): Sleep Out Louie’s from 11 to 2:30-4:30. I’ll have the laptop with me because I have projects I need to work on, but that won’t stop me from drinking at least one bottle of champagne. 4:30-7:00: The Saucer, to see my waitresses. 7:30 on: The Dempseys @ Huey’s. They don’t start until 8:30 but I like to get there early and get a good seat at the bar.

Drunk. Going to bed. This was a complete waste of time, both for me typing this and you reading this.

First impression: EP’s Delta Kitchen and Bar on Beale Street: AWESOME

Tonight, after a couple of beers at the Tap Room, I stumbled into EP’s Delta Kitchen and Bar, located in the old Elvis Presley’s Memphis building at Second and Beale. Now, I had to get by there at some point this week and then write about it in my blog, because my friend and former neighbor Mike (who used to be the chef at McEwen’s) is at EP’s now and designed the menu. “All right,” I thought. “If this place sucks as much as Elvis Presley’s Memphis did, I’ll bury it in a ____day Update post and give it two sentences in the middle of nine other bullet points.”

EP’s gets its own post.

EP’s gets its own post and my recommendation to GO THERE AND EAT. AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

Let’s start out with the decor: It’s superb. Think Swig, Dish, Bluefin, but with the soul of Beale Street. The furniture, the lighting, the music, make it feel hip, yet you never forget where you are.

I asked the staff for a few recommendations. One that was pointed out repeatedly was the pork loin stuffed with house-made sausage. Comes with sweet cornbread pudding and creole mustard demiglace.

Another popular recommendation was the stuffed portabella mushrooms with shrimp, spinach, and caramelized onions. Another was the fried green tomatoes with tomatilla sauce and pear compote – “we’re taking fried green tomatoes to a whole new level.” Also highly recommended was the smoked duck seafood gumbo. But really, just ask to look at the menu. You can’t go wrong. They told me they want to be on a level with Stella, McEwen’s, Felicia Suzanne’s, etc. within a year, and based on the menu they’re already there on their second day.

By the time I got there, they had rolled off the regular menu and onto their late night menu. From that, I had the Lobster Pronto Pup – a corn dog, but with lobster rather than a hot dog inside, over a bed of greens – SO good. Also recommended on the late night menu is the nachos with sweet potato chips, pepper jack and crawfish.

To drink, I had a peanut butter and banana cocktail, with Godiva liqueur, 99 Bananas, vodka and amaretto. It comes garnished with a banana chip. Yummy.

As Mike the chef explained it to me, EP’s knows they’ll draw tourists solely based on location but “we want to cater to locals. We want a place where they can relax and feel at home. We don’t expect to see the same people every night of the week, but we want it to be the place they go when their mother comes to town to visit. (Attn Mama: when you come to town, we need to eat here) We want it to be the place you bring Uncle Todd for his 56th birthday.”

For those Downtowners who go to a bar for the people as much as for the food and drinks, Ugly Steve (formerly of the Tap Room/King’s Palace) is bartending downstairs, and Hooper (formerly of Dan McGuinness Pub, and before that, Downtown Huey’s) is upstairs.

I asked how late they planned on staying open tonight – some places that are more restaurant than bar close early. “Oh, we’ll be here until about 2:45,” I was told.

This place SO makes me wish I had a girl I was seriously interested in so I could take her to dinner there. If this place doesn’t impress, I don’t know what will.

Attn Rapscallions: Dinner at EP’s after trivia Tuesday night?

Friday update: Seafood, British Invasion, Help save NTN at SOL, and more

– According to a story in the Commercial Appeal today, environmentalists are predicting that there will be no seafood left in the world by 2048, due to overfishing and pollution. So you better hit Shoney’s Friday night all-you-can-eat seafood buffet while you still can.

– After my post about next weekend’s Fried Glass Onions event, I received an e-mail from musician Jeff Golightly, who played on the first Fried Glass Onions CD (the CD series is a tribute to the Beatles by Memphis musicians). He has a one-man solo act where he plays songs by not only the Beatles but other British Invasion bands, including The Kinks, The Who, Gerry and the Pacemakers, The Rolling Stones, and more. In his sets, he not only plays the songs on his authentic Rickenbacker guitar and Vox amp, but also relates stories of his trip to Liverpool and his vast background knowledge of all these bands. He says he’s available for club and private party gigs and is very reasonably priced. You can read his bio and contact him for bookings via his MySpace page.

– I know a lot of the Sleep Out Louie’s regulars read this blog… do me a favor and go up there and play the NTN Trivia game. Management is going to get rid of it if usage doesn’t increase between now and February. It gets used a lot on Sunday (because of brunch) and Monday (people playing the QB1 game where you predict the next play on Monday Night Football), but not the other days. So if you get a chance during the week, go up there, play some trivia, spend some money and help convince management to keep NTN.

– I’m going to be going out a little bit less this month… I really need to get a thorough understanding of Cascading Style Sheets and ASP.NET 2.0 for some website projects I plan on doing this winter. So I’ll be going out to bars a little bit less (although, for me, that means going to bars 4 nights a week instead of 7) and Wi-Fi enabled coffee shops more. I don’t expect it to have an impact on my frequency of blogging – I’ll still find plenty to write about.

Got a meeting at 1, time to head back to work.

First post from new phone

Sitting here at the Flying Saucer on my new Wi-Fi enabled phone. Testing whether I can post. Here’s some actual useful content for ya:

– FreeWorld Unplugged @ the Saucer, Friday 11/3 9:30

– Ken & Robyn Greene @ Sleep Out Louie’s, Sat 11/4 7:30

– The Dempseys @ DOWNTOWN HUEY’S!!! Sun 11/5 @ 8:30

– The Dempseys @ the Flying Saucer, Thur 11/9 9:30

Not bad for a phone post.

(Edited to add: Attn Amelia: Your MK friends are here asking about you)

If you’re into the Beatles…

…this could be an event to put on the calendar. I was flipping through the Memphis Flyer yesterday and noticed an ad for “Fried Glass Onions 3 – Memphis rocks the Beatles,” to be held next Friday and Saturday, November 10 and 11. Artists involved include Zack Mack, Dani, David Brookings, FreeWorld, Matt Isbell & Adam Levin, Van Duren, Charles Ponder, Jackie Johnson, Charlie Wood, Billy Gibson and Steve Selvidge. Backing band will be Dave Smith on bass, Gene Nunez on guitar, Greg Lundy on drums and Charlie Wood on keyboards/organ.

Now that is truly an all-star lineup of Memphis musicians. Event is at Heartsong Church at 800 N. Houston Levee Road, and this being the unofficial “downtown blog” I usually don’t write about events in East Bumblefuck, but this one sounds like it’s worth the drive. The ad says tickets are $15 and food will be available from a Memphis-themed menu. More info available here.

Makeshift Muledonkey Stomp at the Gibson Lounge this Saturday

Come down to the Gibson Lounge and hear some of the best bands in town this Saturday, November 4. Makeshift Music is putting on a showcase to show off their acts – Augustine, Blair Combest, Brad P and the Makeshift Mafia, The Glass, The Coach and Four, and Two Way Radio (formerly Walkie Talkie). These are bands that tend to play Midtown more often than downtown and it’s a pleasure to have them down here. Admission is free.

Apparently I’m now a “vital part of the Memphis music scene” because I have a fairly popular blog… Makeshift sent me two tickets to their upstairs VIP area with access to the bands, food buffet, and the two words I love to hear most of all – OPEN BAR. Dammit… I was gonna cut back on drinking once Halloween was over, but I guess I’ll have to wait until after the 4th. But then, my birthday is the 18th, so I doubt there will be any cutting back that weekend either. Maybe in December… but Christmas parties are in December.

Anyway… I have an extra ticket to the VIP area and as of yet no one to go with… was so busy with Halloween that this slipped off my radar. If interested in going with me as my guest let me know.

(Edited to add: It took me ELEVEN tries to get the flyer below uploaded. photos.blogger.com is absolutely getting killed with everyone uploading their Halloween pics. Although, even on a normal day uploading photos is hit or miss. Now that Google owns Blogger, they need to drop some $ for better servers.)

Halloween pics

Finally, Halloween weekend has come to an end (and finally, I got my pictures posted). Here are a few of my favorite costumes:

First United Methodist Church (right), with talking fire barricade (“Everyone stand back from the church.”) The burning church won several costume contests this weekend.

Greek gods? Roman gods? I should’ve asked them. Anyway, they were contest winners as well this weekend.

When this person came up to say hello, I at first thought it was a man. But I was wrong – it was my neighbor, Mary Jo. Great costume.

This guy had on one of the most original costumes I saw – Sudoku.

Edward Scissorhands, one of the finalists in the Flying Saucer’s Halloween contest. I have more to say about that contest in a moment.

Here’s a pic of me with Pam from Pam and Terry.

For the entire photo album (75 pics covering the No. 10 Main party, the Flying Saucer, Sleep Out Louie’s, Big Foot, a few drunken pics from McGuinness, etc.), click here to view. I may add more later as I receive photos other people took. I originally thought there were closer to 90 but after I threw out pics of my thumb, pics where it was too dark to see anything, and one photo where you can see up a friend’s skirt, I was down to 75.

Now. Let’s talk about the Flying Saucer’s Halloween costume contest. It was an absolute mess. The categories advertised in their Memphis Flyer ad were not the ones that were actually in the contest (“Funniest Current Event,” for example). They did have “Best Saucer Chick,” which I won, and the prize was a tanning package. I talked to one of the managers and he said something like, “Um, yeah, we don’t actually know what the exact prize for that will be, let me take down your number and we’ll call you.” For Best Overall, five finalists were selected, and the audience was told that the finalists’ pictures would appear on gomemphis.com and voting could be done online. But then the following day (Sunday) the Saucer put the five finalists’ pics on a poster board near the door and started telling people that you could vote with each beer purchase. The pics never appeared on gomemphis.com or on the Saucer’s website.

Finalists were told to be at the Saucer Tuesday 10/31 at 7 pm for the announcement of the grand prize winner (who would get a trip to the Bahamas). They were told that voting-via-beer would run up until the announcement. Then on Tuesday management decided to cut off voting at 5:30. Then they decided that they would announce the grand prize winner at 9 rather than 7, causing all the finalists and their friends to have to rearrange their schedules (and miss other Halloween parties) to accomodate the Saucer.

The burning church, who I campaigned everyone to vote for, actually didn’t win – in fact, he wasn’t even in the top two. Edward Scissorhands, pictured above, was the winner – but wait, he was in the bathroom when management hastily made the announcement. They then said “Wellhe’snothereandyouhavetobepresenttowin Goingoncegoingtwicegone Andthegrandprizegoestothesecondplacecontestant.” All of maybe 15 people were aware that the grand prize announcement was going on.

For a place that usually delivers a consistently quality experience, the Saucer totally dropped the ball on this contest. If they do it again in ’07, they need to write down in advance exactly what is going to happen and when, and distribute a copy to every manager, bartender, waitress, doorman, and radio station co-sponsor. And then they need to stick to what they wrote down and not change it. Otherwise, it’s going to be a repeat of this year when no one seemed to know what the hell was going on.

Down the street, I wrapped up Tuesday night at Big Foot, where I expected to find one of the best Halloween parties of the season and they didn’t disappoint. Frosty the Snowman was getting down on stage and everyone was drinking 34 oz. Big Foot Beers.

I took the day off work today, and had intended to stay out until the wee hours last night (I remember telling people that I wanted to close down the Black Diamond, which would have meant staying out until 5 or later). But, about 11:30, I just got a feeling of, “You know what? It’s over.” And I walked home and got a good night’s rest.

Now I need to start thinking about what to do for Halloween next year. I could dress up as legendary Downtown homeless guy Scratchy (if you’ve spent ANY time at all in the downtown core, you’ve seen him). Or, I could bring back the Beer Goddess for one more year, and partner up with a charity with all the tips the Goddess receives going to that charity. Or, I could do something else. I’ve got 360 days to think about it, I guess.

Now that I don’t have to wear my hair in pigtails anymore, I have a haircut appointment scheduled for tomorrow at 5:30.

Don’t forget, Halloween candy goes on sale for 50% off today at many stores around town. So stop by Walgreens, Rite Aid, or wherever on your way home and pick some up, so they can get the candy off the shelves and make room for Dancing Santa, Chia Pets, and other items that tend to show up around Christmastime.

Mr. Roboto, the Thursday Night Fever blogger from Nashville, apparently has problems with a lot of Halloween costumes this year. He has problems with people who wear Western wear as a costume. That’s fine, I can live with that. He has problems with me dressing up as the world’s ugliest pretty woman. That’s fine too. But he also has problems with women who dress up in only a bra and panties and call it a costume. Roboto, that kind of opinion is just plain un-American. A bra and panties as a Halloween costume is perfectly acceptable, and in fact I think it should be encouraged. Besides, the girls he has pictured as an example are not wearing ONLY a bra and panties; one has accessorized her outfit with black and white stockings, the other with fairy wings.

And with that, I’ll bring the Halloween post to a close. I have plenty of non-Halloween topics to post about as well, so check back often.

Photo album will be up by 5

I’m transferring the Halloween pics to the server now. After that I’ll create the photo album, then create the blog post pointing to the photo album. There are about 90 photos at 600K each, so this is going to take some time, but they should be up by noon.

(Edited: Blogger’s shitty publishing engine isn’t cooperating – I can’t get the photos in my post to upload, and I keep getting an “error: cannot connect to Blogger” message as I type my post. Photo album will be up by 5. I hope. In case you missed it, I did make a post this morning about a new 20-30-something group interested in Memphis architectural heritage – see below.)