Sep 302009
 

The Majestic Grille will hold a celebration from 5 to 6:30 PM this afternoon to announce their newest arts partner – the Memphis Music Foundation.  The first 20 people to donate $50 or more to the Foundation will receive a $25 gift certificate to the Majestic Grille.  There will be complimentary hors d’oeuvres, beer, and wine at the reception.  Free food?  Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up.

Down the street, there will be a Rendezvous Alley Party tonight featuring The Dempseys and The Soul Shockers.  Music will start at 6 and will continue well into the evening; food, beer, and wine vendors, plus info on great organizations like Mpact Memphis.  Rendezvous Alley runs north from Union between Second and Third, across from the Peabody.

In addition to the alley party, other stuff going on tonight: It’s glass night at the Saucer, with a Yazoo Oktoberfest glass that I’ve been told comes with a free T-shirt. I heard there are only 110 of these, so better get there right at 7 if you want one. $3 Pint Night at South of Beale. Wine Down Wednesdays at Silly Goose with $3 glasses of wine and $4 sangrias. It’s poker night in the Underdog Room at Bardog Tavern – real tables, real blind structure just like Vegas.

Speaking of Bardog – if you’re not on their e-mail list, you need to get on. Among other things, Aldo writes about what Chef Demitrie has been dreaming up in the kitchen – this week he mentioned white bean chili, Scallops with Pea and Potato Hash, Shrimp and Spaghetti Alfredo, and Double Cut Pork Chops. Firecracker Shrimp is mentioned as a possible future project. I wish I could convince them to get on Twitter and start tweeting their specials.

I unfortunately won’t make it to the alley party tonight, but I have two very good reasons for missing it – free beer and free food.  I’ll explain why in the next post.

Beer list ’09

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Sep 292009
 

I don’t have much to talk about today, so I figured I’d update my list of favorite beers.  Haven’t done that since about 2007.

1. Dos Equis Special Lager – My favorite Mexi-beer.  Great on a summer day, although I’ll drink it when it’s 25 degrees outside too.  Must be served with at least one slice of lime.  An unofficial Flying Saucer beer is the “Paulie Lager,” which is a Dos Equis Lager garnished with 4 lime slices on the rim to look like a palm tree.  Avoid the Michelada though – it’s a beer mixer which ruins a perfectly good Dos Equis Lager by adding ice and a salted rim.

2. PBR – Better than Budweiser, and usually cheaper too.  The only beer I drink at Calhoun’s, Silly Goose, or Bardog (except when it’s Tuesday pint night at Bardog).  Almost always my beer of choice where it’s available.

3. Dogfish Head Midas Touch – brewed from a 3000+ year old beer recipe that was put together by brewmasters and archaeologists.  They had it good back in ye olden days if this is what beer tasted like.

4. Sunner Kolsch – A relatively new arrival at the Saucer.  It’s light, but not boring like Bud Light or Mich Light.  Lots of flavor.  One of my new favorites and my go-to Pint Nite beer when they run out of Dos Equis Lager.

5. Blue Moon – A nice orange-flavored beer.  I’m always happy to see this one show up on Fire Sale.

6. Ghost River Hefe-Weizen – The last time I did a beer list I had Paulaner Hefe ranked in the Top 10, but it’s been replaced by a local product.  You can taste the freshness as you drink it, which I attribute to the high-quality Memphis water that is used in the brewing process.

7. Stone Ruination IPA – Careful with this one.  This double IPA is definitely not for lightweights, at a whopping 8% ABV.  One 22 oz. bottle of this is probably all you will need to accelerate from sober to drunk in record time.

8. Buffalo Bill’s Pumpkin Ale – My favorite seasonal beer.  Tastes like pumpkin pie.  I love pumpkin pie almost as much as I love beer.

9. Leinenkugel Sunset Wheat – This blueberry-flavored beer was #2 the last time I did a favorite beer list, but I’m just not as jazzed about it as I used to be.

10. (tie) Warsteiner, Stella Artois – I couldn’t decide between these two, so I’m calling it a tie.  Both of them are classic beers that go down nice and easy.

For Lee:  I guess technically, Harp should be a tie for #2 since it tastes just like PBR.

BONUS!  My 5 least favorite beers.

1. Abita Turbo Dog – In past blog posts I’ve stated that this vile concoction tastes like the sweat off an elephant’s ass.  Absolutely disgusting.  I had to drink this one for my third plate and it must have taken me an hour and a half to choke down.  I thought about buying it and giving it to someone else to drink, but who would want it?

2. Natty – Natural Light is to beer what MD 20/20 is to wine – something you absolutely do not drink unless you’re so broke that you’re completely out of other options.  It’s as foul as it is cheap.

3. Liefman’s Goudenband – Not 100% sure I spelled that right.  If you pay double digits for a beer, it should be a delight to the senses, right?  Not in this case.  It tastes like someone mowed the grass and then put it through a blender.  You can probably get a 30-pack of Natty for what you’d pay for one bottle of this beer, but neither is a good idea.

4. Guinness – People tell me that if I’m a REAL beer drinker, this should be my favorite.  They’re out of their minds.  Yeah the bubbles are kinda cool, but it’s too heavy a beer and the taste, while not quite all the way to Turbo Dog bad, is still far from pleasant.  Plus, it takes a long time to pour because it has to be done in two stages.  I don’t like having to wait on my beer.

5. Coors Light – Coors Light is to Bud Light as Pepsi is to Coke – in second place and frankly, not as good a product, yet it still does well because it’s aggressively marketed.  People who respond to the company’s marketing efforts fail to notice one thing – that this beer is total crap.  Somewhat drinkable when served through a below-freezing tap line, but even then, it has to be at a discount to every other beer in the bar before I’ll consider ordering.

Oh, also, I guess Moretti should be tied for #2 since it’s Italy’s version of Natty Light.

The Weather Channel is predicting a low of 49 tonight… that means I’ll finally get to wear my PBR hoodie tonight!  Trivia at 7 PM, and the Rapscallions will once again dominate.

Sep 282009
 

We finally got some cooperation out of the weather for an outdoor festival last weekend.  It was absolutely gorgeous for the South Main Association’s Oktoberfest in Harry’s Detour’s courtyard.  Here are some pics.

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News story that happened before Oktoberfest started: “Area man gets plate on ceiling at Saucer.  Hey now!”

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The gang enjoying the first fruits of the keg

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There was a food buffet with potato salad, brats, kraut, corned beef, cabbage, veggies, strudel, and brownies.  Guess who showed up?

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Here’s a pic of the Nuh-Uh Girl eating.

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Here’s a pic of Katie eating.

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Here’s a pic of another Katie eating.  Every year around this time I have to hide from this Katie to avoid her “WHY DIDN’T YOU COME TO MY COOPER-YOUNG PARTY???” interrogation.

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Big thanks to Robert, who did a lot of the organizing and planning for the party.

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Chef John Bragg of Circa, who provided the delicious food.

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In the door prize drawing, Bicycle Bobby won a $50 gift certificate to Shelton Clothiers.  Too bad Shelton doesn’t sell Hawaiian shirts.

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Joan with the folks from BankTennessee, sponsors of the event.

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The Nuh-Uh Girl tries to use a funny hat, sunglasses and her purse to disguise the fact that she’s eating again.

I’m going to put up a complete photo album of about 60 pics, but Facebook keeps crashing my browser on the upload, so it will have to wait.  Right now, I’ve gotta head to Pint Nite.

Sep 282009
 

Eat lunch or dinner at Chili’s today!  100% of the profits at participating restaurants go to St. Jude.

A great day yesterday… thanks to the South Main Association for a fantastic Oktoberfest party yesterday afternoon.  John Bragg from Circa provided some delicious German food, and I loaded up on brats and kraut and corned beef and potato salad and other German goodies.  And, of course, there was Oktoberfest beer.  I got quite a few pics, but Firefox crashed when I tried to upload them to Facebook last night.  I’ll try again when I get home from work.  And yes, there are several pics of the Nuh-Uh Girl eating.

Before Oktoberfest, the gang gathered at the Saucer for John D’s plate party.  The Bud Light aficionado and namesake of a Majestic Grille breakfast got his catchphrase, “HEY NOW,” on his plate.  Thanks to John for the couple of Dos Equis Lagers I enjoyed on his plate party tab.

Speaking of plates… I’m now only 13 beers away from my third plate, and there are two new seasonal beers on the menu which I think are on Pint Nite prices ($2.75) tonight.  One is New Belgium Hoptoberfest, which I tried at Circa’s anniversary party and it is an outstanding beer, although rather hoppy.  There’s another Oktoberfest which is new on the menu as well – can’t remember if it’s Paulaner or Spaten.  Anyway, those will be beers 188 and 189 tonight as my chase to change my plate’s color to green continues.

The Saucer isn’t the only place in the Downtown core with beer specials tonight… right down the street, the Silly Goose is doing pitcher night, with $5 domestic pitchers and $8 imports.  Also, Kooky Canuck has specials on beer and wings during Monday Night Football.

The semi-annual Architects Party will benefit the International Children’s Heart Fund this time… it’s charity founded by Dr. William Novick who had his home on the DNA Home Tour several years ago, so there’s a Downtown connection despite the event being held in Midtown, at 1500 Union.  Dr. Zarr’s Amazing Funk Monster and The Snake Doctors will perform, and the theme is Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”  They hope to fill the entire parking lot with people doing the Thriller dance.  Event will be October 30, the day before Halloween, so tickets will be $20 for this in costume and $25 for those who are not.  The International Children’s Heart Fund makes it possible to get aid to children with congenital heart conditions in developing countries.  So far more than 4,000 children have received operations, and more have benefited from the education and resources ICHF provides.

 Several more hours of sitting at a desk, then it’ll be time for beer.

Sep 272009
 

The SMA’s Oktoberfest celebration is today from 3 to 7, in the courtyard next to Harry’s Detour on GE Patterson.  If you’re a member, you get free Boscos beer, and you get delicious German food cooked by Chef John Bragg.  Free food?  Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up.

Not a member and want to come?  Well, you have two options.  One is to pay the $15 non-member entry fee.

Or, for $10 more you could become an individual member, which will not only get you access to today’s party, but various other events during the year.  They have a couple of parties with free food and booze – Cinco de Mayo is the other one – and during most months, they grill out at Trolley Tour, with burgers, dogs, and beer for members.  Many of their membership meetings have complimentary hors d’oeuvres from some of the best restaurants Downtown.  One restaurant, the Happy Mexican, put out a free dinner buffet that was so good that the Nuh-Uh Girl had 4 helpings.  Plus you get to keep up with what’s going on in the South Main area, and you’ll learn about volunteer programs where you can pitch in and help make the neighborhood better.

If you join today at the party, your membership will run through 2010.

Should be a fun day.  I’m skipping brunch this morning to make room for John’s food at the party.  About noon I’ll hit the Saucer for a friend’s plate party, then head south to Oktoberfest.  Afterward, maybe across the street to Calhoun’s or maybe back to the Saucer, after seeing what certain people decide to do next.

Sunday Fun Day!!!

Saturday update

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Sep 262009
 

I ended up missing Trolley Tour altogether last night… I stopped by the Saucer for a beer first, and ended up going to dinner with friends.  We were going to do Pearl’s, but on the way there saw more friends in South of Beale and went there instead.

You know what I’m really impressed with at SOB?  The sides.  I loved the crispy Cajun potatoes that came with my SOB burger.  I can’t decide if they qualify as fries – what’s the definition of “fries?”  Do they have to be long and slender?  If they do qualify, I’ll definitely vote for them for “Best Fries” in next year’s Memphis Flyer poll.

Speaking of the Flyer poll… nice to see the winner of the 2008 Best Cougar Bar award standing outside his restaurant last night at Trolley Tour.

Back to SOB’s sides… my friend Lauren let me try her Pink-Eyed Pea Ragout, and it was excellent.  Definitely getting that next time I go in.  Another excellent experience at SOB… great to have a new restaurant in that area with great service and reasonable prices.

There will be a mayoral debate watch party at 6 tonight at SOB sponsored by MPACT Memphis, so if you’re looking for an excuse to go by and try their great food, now you’ve got one.

Suggestion for iPhone users who sit at the Flying Saucer bar:  Download the “Service Bell” app.  It’s free in the App Store.  You touch the screen and it goes ding-ding-ding like a bell.  Brittney LOVES it when you use the Service Bell to let her know you want another beer.

The Arkansas Razorbacks play #3 Alabama at 2:30 on CBS.  Guess I’ll be heading up to the Saucer to watch it.  The Hogs proved last week that they can hold their own against a Top 25 team.  Will ‘Bama be the second Top 5 SEC team to go down in flames this weekend?  Maybe not – the oddsmakers have the Crimson Tide as a 17.5-18 point favorite.  An upset would be sweet though.

Attn Facebook users:  I’m getting a lot of friend requests from people I’ve never met and with whom I have no friends in common.  Be very careful when you get requests like these – they may be spreading KoobFace or a similar virus/trojan.  This is a good way to mess up your computer and get Facebook blocked at work if you use it there… only add people you know.

Good to see our friends Wayne and Judy back in town visiting for the weekend.  A lot of people are very happy they’re here.

That’s all for now… going to take some laundry out of the dryer, then head to the Saucer to watch the game.

Sep 252009
 

If you’re excited about RiverArtsFest next month, there will be a sneak preview of the art vendors tonight at South Main Trolley Art Tour.

This sneak peek mini-market event will be held at Huling Row off South Main. Each RiverArtsFest artist will be given a 10×10 space to exhibit their work. The Facebook event listing says there will be beer and wine. It didn’t say anything about free food, so I’m not sure if the Nuh-Uh Girl will be there.

Be sure to check out my friend Shane Paris who will be showing his work. Look for the logo below.

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In the news: Check out this CA story – Police report: ‘Attendant’ parked in jail. Actually, it should read, ‘Bum’ parked in jail. Although, then the quotes would be unnecessary. Yep, it’s another one of our regular Downtown scammers who likes to wander onto lots and pretend to be the attendant collecting money. Folks, if you park on a Downtown lot and have ANY doubt whether the attendant is legit, ask for company ID. If they can’t produce it or if it looks fake, leave the lot and call the police. Also, parking meters are free on weekends and holidays and after 6 PM on weekends. If someone tries to charge you to park in a metered city space, they’re scamming you.

Hmmm Jeffrey and the Pacemakers, the ’60s British Invasion band I keep meaning to go see, plays Nocturnal (formerly the Antenna) in Midtown tomorrow at 10… maybe I should make a trip out there. Of course that would involve staying sober enough to drive until 10 PM on a Saturday night… yeah OK I probably won’t make it. Should be a great event though.

Looks like the rain is outta here and we’ll all clear for trolley tour. High 78, low 64 according to the Weather Channel. You just can’t ask for much better than that. After I get home, I’ll probably start off with a Dos Equis Lager at the Saucer, then head to Trolley Tour 6:30ish.

Sep 252009
 

South Carolina 16, Ole Miss 10.  Love it.  To quote Air Traffic Mike, “The only thing worse than being overrated is being way overrated.”  See ya, Ole Miss.  Hope you enjoyed your short stay in the Top 10.

South Main Trolley Tour is tonight.  The SMA won’t have its usual burgers-and-beer deal because they are getting ready for Oktoberfest on Sunday, but plenty of other galleries and shops will be open until 9 PM, and many of them will put out complimentary wine, beer, and/or food.  Free food?  Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up.

Oh, speaking of the Nuh-Uh Girl, she tweeted last night, “Anyone want to take me to Encore for one last meal before they close?”  She’s a food panhandler.

I got an e-mail from the people who organized the swingers’ party at Hollywood Disco last Saturday.  They’re in the process of organizing a two-day Swingers’ Double Header weekend here October 16-17.  “Details to come,” they told me, “but we’re looking for a sexy lady who can give pole dancing lessons.  Do you know anyone?”  If anyone is interested, shoot me an e-mail at paul@paulryburn.com and I’ll pass on the info.

They offered to hook me up with free admission and a complimentary beer at last Saturday’s party, as thanks for mentioning it in the blog.  But I didn’t go.  I admit I was somewhat curious about what happens at a “swingers party”… but, I don’t know… I guess I was afraid I’d look like “that guy” if I went.  You know, “that guy” who’s just standing at the bar, taking up space, just kind of… there, staring at everyone, not really talking to anyone and getting “wtf” reactions when he tries.  No one wants to be “that guy.”  Plus, I was dead tired from Cooper-Young.  Did anyone go to this party?  If so, how was it?  (and no, I won’t blog your response)

Apparently the swingers are also Wooters, and they informed me that the Woot-off has been extended to a third day.

That’s the news for this morning, so let’s wrap this up and get to work.

Bim bam
Flim flam
OLE MISS SUCKS
By damn!