Dec 312009
 

In the previous post I advised everyone to get a cab home rather than come Downtown and then drive your car home drunk. But what if you don’t want to leave your car Downtown? You do have an option. Through 1/2 AAA is offering its Tow to Go program to the public, free of charge, whether or not you are an AAA member. Call 800-AAA-HELP and a tow truck will be dispatched to give you and your vehicle a lift, up to 10 miles.

Dec 312009
 

The Peabody sent me a locals’ insider tip that I wanted to pass on. If you’re going to the Tigers/Vols game today at the FedExForum, hang on to your ticket stub. You can show it at the Peabody NYE party tonight and receive $5 off cover.

I also received word that a band “sure to entertain and offend” will play three sets on the Black Diamond patio this afternoon between 2 and 4 PM. Never heard of them, but here’s a link to their MySpace page so you can check them out.

There’s a Tigers pep rally at Handy Park this afternoon at 1 PM, two hours prior to the game time at 3. The U of M cheerleaders and pom squad and Coach P will make appearances. There will also be giveaways.  Here’s a pic my friend Mikey took of Handy Park:

Tomorrow will be a recovery day from partying for a lot of people, but don’t forget that it’s the Liberty Bowl parade tomorrow, January 1, at 3 PM on Beale Street. Come out and support the Hogs!!!

Best Facebook status update of the past 24 hours: “Pretty sure that throwing your cigarette butt out of the window of your Prius negates your effort to save the world…” Indeed.

Main Street Hound Dogs tweeted that they’ll be out today. If you’re Downtown, stop by the cart at Main and Union and get a “U Dirty Dog” chili dog before the game! It’s a heck of a lot cheaper than buying a hot dog from the FedExForum vendors!

Two numbers to put in your phone for tonight: 323-3333 and 577-7777. If you drive Downtown and then drink, I highly recommend a cab ride home. You can come pick up your car tomorrow when sober… not worth risking a DUI, and you know the cops will be out tonight!

More info to come this weekend… I have info to share about an upcoming speed dating event in a few weeks, and a new beer festival in the spring.

Dec 302009
 

The U of M Young Alumni will have a party at the Hard Rock Cafe on Beale tomorrow 12/31 from noon to 5 PM, to watch the 3 PM basketball game as the Memphis Tigers host the Tennessee Vols.  Miller Lite is the sponsor, and there will be specials on that beer and also on “True Blue” margaritas.  In addition, there will be Tiger and Miller Lite apparel giveaways.  So if you’re looking for a place to watch the game, come on down to the Hard Rock tomorrow afternoon.

Wed update

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Dec 302009
 

Not a whole lot today… man was I drunk when I posted that video last night.

Article in the CA today about the Washburn Apartments scheduled to open on the Main Street Mall around February 1.  It’s a beautiful building that has sat vacant for far too long.  Glad to see it finally being developed.

Speaking of apartments, I saw on Facebook that the building I live in, Number 10 Main, is offering some really good specials – two months free on a 13 month lease, and free parking for college students, a really nice perk.  As I’ve said before, I’ve lived in this building almost seven years and love the place.  Check it out if you’re ready to make the move Downtown.

I’ll finish this post with a couple of quotes I saw on Twitter.  One of my Twitter friends quoted a news article that said 69% of people are staying home on New Year’s Eve.  A Downtown Memphian replied to her, “Hey, we go out 364 days a year, we can give the newbies 1 night.”  EXACTLY!  NYE = amateur night.  Still undecided for my NYE plans, but I really won’t mind a bit if I end up staying home.

Will probably grab a happy hour beer after work at the Saucer, then will assess the weather situation and determine whether I want to head south to Calhoun’s for the Arizona-Nebraska game.

Dec 292009
 

We won at trivia tonight.  Brick is now my favorite waitress, for saying what so many people would like to say when she introduced herself to Meghan last night at Pint Nite.

Tonight we had an appearance from the elusive and mysterious Kim, not seen at the Saucer since May.  I’ve decided to nickname her “Kimmy Kim” from now on.

I’m drunk and I have no useful news to report.  Let’s take it home.

Jack be nimble… Jack be quick… Jack jumped over a humping stick…

We are the humpback people… we love to hump around…

Eeenie meenie miney mo… catch a humper by his toe…

Thinking about going to Calhoun’s tomorrow around 7 for the Arizona/Nebraska bowl game… you never know what Arizona fans you might see there…

Tue update

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Dec 292009
 

Some random stuff before I head to trivia:

When you pay $11 for that Captain and Coke, ever wonder how much profit the nightclub is making?  Now you can find out.  LifeHacker posted a link to a cocktail cost calculator today that will compute the real price of your drink.

Good quote I saw on Facebook:  “When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” -Jimi Hendrix.

I’m not in the business of making a whole bunch of New Year’s Eve recommendations, but I am going to make one, because I know first-hand it’s a proven winner.  New Year’s Eve at the Majestic Grille… regular menu at regular prices, no cover, live music, plus a few special dishes that Chef Patrick Reilly plans on whipping up for the occasion.  I’m taking a year off this year, but this is what a large group of us did 2007-2009, and it was a good time.  Elegant but not at all pretentious.  Better call immediately (522-8555) and make reservations if interested.  I saw on Twitter today that they’re almost full.

Hmmm our BBQ team has a Facebook group now.  Prediction: The Nuh-Uh Girl will have a meltdown over this when she returns to Memphis, because no one wanted to do it when she proposed it in early ’08.  Not that it stopped her from coming to our booth and eating nearly everything that wasn’t bolted down this year.

If you like candy, check out this post on Wayne’s Candy on the I Love Memphis blog.  Wayne’s is at Second and Carolina, across from the cash & carry grocery I’ve talked about several times.

On WikiHow today – 5 Steps to Stop Thinking Too Much.  Hey, Brick wrote a wiki article!

For the out-of-towners who are looking for something to do tonight… if I had to make a pick for live music (hard to do on a Tuesday in the winter), I’d go with Kaleidoscope at Alfred’s.  Kaleidoscope is a side project of Richard Cushing of FreeWorld.  I caught them at the DNA/SMA holiday party and they were very good.

All right, time to put the laptop away and get ready for some Rapscallion domination at the final trivia night of ’09.

Dec 292009
 

I’d like to welcome everyone who is in Memphis for the Liberty Bowl – especially Hog fans. I’ve lived in Downtown Memphis for 8 years now, so for the benefit of our visitors, I’d like to offer a local guy’s orientation guide to Downtown. Here’s some info that should get you started, and help you make the most of your stay in Downtown Memphis.

The Memphis Flyer is a great resource for finding out what’s going on. It’s the free weekly arts and entertainment newspaper. Look for it in the green boxes. I believe the issue coming out Wednesday 12/30 is their “Annual Manual,” which is a fantastic overall guide to everything the city has to offer.

The calendar online at DowntownMemphis.com is a good resource too.

You may see people walking around wearing blue jackets and white safari hats, holding pamphlets. These are the Blue Suede Brigade, Downtown’s goodwill ambassadors. They’ll answer any questions you have, and they have information and coupons.

Parking at metered spaces is free after 6 PM and on weekends and holidays. If anyone tries to charge you for parking in a metered space, don’t pay them.

If you’re looking for a full-size, big-box grocery store like a Kroger, sorry… Downtown ain’t got one. We do have neighborhood grocery stores, though. Best bet is to ride the trolley to Main and Jefferson. Jack’s Food Store has most everything you’ll need, including beer. Next door there’s an Easy Way that sells produce and more grocery items. Jack’s stays open until 11 (10 Sunday). Easy Way closes early.

The local drug store is Walgreens (Main and Madison). In addition to the usual drugstore stuff, they carry a lot of Memphis/Elvis tourist items. They stay open until 8 PM weekdays, but close earlier on weekends.

Need coffee? Bluff City Coffee, on Main just north of G.E. Patterson, is the local coffee shop. There’s also a Starbucks on Third, across from the FedExForum just south of Beale.

Need gas? The best gas station is BP Riverside at the corner of Riverside and Carolina. If you’re hungry, grab a snack at their excellent deli while you’re there.

Need booze? I recommend The Corkscrew, on Front just north of GE Patterson. They’re really good at making recommendations if you don’t know exactly what you want.

The trolley will take you from one end of Downtown to the other. Fare is $1. Be sure to ask whether you’re on the Riverfront Loop, Main Street Trolley, or Madison Avenue Line. Good way to see the sights of Downtown. Don’t depend on them if you’re on a tight schedule.

If you need a cab, best places to find them are on Second across from the Peabody; Second at Beale; Third at Beale. Numbers are 323-3333 and 577-7777.

The locals don’t hang out on Beale a whole lot, but if that’s where you want to be, here are my picks:

  • Blues City Cafe has the best ribs
  • Otherwise I’d say King’s Palace Cafe has the best food overall. I particularly recommend the Chicken Pontabla (Cajun chicken with cheese and potatoes) and Mardi Gras seafood pasta.
  • Dyer’s has great burgers
  • Tap Room on Beale is the best hole-in-the-wall, locals-type bar on the street
  • A. Schwab is a “dry goods” store that has been there since 1876. Great place for souvenir shopping.

Like I say, though, locals don’t hang out on Beale a whole lot. Where do we hang out?

The Flying Saucer (Second and Peabody) has the best beer selection of any bar Downtown (75 draft, 125 bottles). Limited liquor selection. Pool, darts, waitresses in miniskirts. For my money the best bar Downtown (although “best bar” is very subjective, depending on the atmosphere you prefer). I’m there much of the time.

The Silly Goose is around the corner from the Saucer on Peabody. Huge liquor selection, 10 beers on tap including PBR.

Bardog Tavern (Monroe between Front and Main) is a little hole in the wall that feels like it’s been there 25 years (actually it’s only a year and a half old). Unusually good food, 10 beers on tap including PBR, plenty of liquor, kitchen open late.

You’ll have to walk or trolley a little bit to get to Calhoun’s, a sports bar at GE Patterson and Mulberry. It’s a tiny little bar with 10 TVs, most of the football and basketball viewing packages, Buzztime/NTN trivia and poker, $2 PBR, other beers on tap. No liquor though. Friendly locals. Max who owns the place is a Razorback fan.

Where to eat? It would take forever to type up a comprehensive list, but here are a few suggestions:

Gus’s Chicken, Front Street at Pontotoc. People actually fly in from other cities to get this chicken.

Bardog Tavern (see above). Really, really good bar food. I recommend the sliders and the spaghetti and meatballs, although you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu.

Huey’s, Second at Union. Legendary for its burger. Nachos, tamales good too. They also have healthy items. Inexpensive, good bar food. A Memphis tradition.

Kooky Canuck, Second just south of Union. Bar food with a Canadian theme. They have more upscale entrees too (steak, Cornish game hens). 34 oz. super cold beers, 34 oz. big drinks, massive burgers and ice cream sundaes.

Flying Fish, Second just north of Gayoso. Seafood in a fun atmosphere, relatively inexpensive.

If you want something a little nicer but you don’t want to break the bank eating, try Majestic Grille (Main just north of Peabody). Elegant atmosphere, old movies shown on their big screen, good-sized portions, good brunch 11-3 on weekends. My picks on the dinner menu would include flatbreads, the whole rotisserie chicken, and especially the filet. Wednesday is chili day.

Another place to try would be South of Beale, on Main near Talbot. It’s a “gastropub” with really good food and premium beers on tap. I haven’t tried everything on the menu, but I recommend the duck with duck fried rice. Oxtail wontons are also popular. Sunday and Wednesday are their pint nights with all pints $3.

Breakfast: Try the Arcade, Memphis’ oldest restaurant, at Main and GE Patterson. Blue Plate Cafe (Court Square) is good too. Elliott’s (Second between Madison and Monroe) has great breakfast sandwiches, bowls, and burritos.

To hear some good Memphis blues and other Memphis music, my recommendations would be Mr. Handy’s Blues Hall (Beale Street), B.B. King’s (Beale Street), Ground Zero (on Lt. George W. Lee Ave. just south of Beale), and the Center for Southern Folklore (Main Street between Gayoso and Peabody Place). Normally I would place a huge recommendation for the Dempseys at Blues City here, but they’ve had to cancel their 12/30 and 12/31 shows due to a death in the family.

Need to check e-mail? Of the places listed above, Silly Goose and Calhoun’s each have a computer that customers can use. Those places also have Wi-Fi if you want to connect via laptop or phone, as do Flying Saucer, Flying Fish and Bluff City Coffee.

Anything I didn’t cover here? Shoot me an e-mail at paul@paulryburn.com and I’ll try to answer.

Dec 292009
 

Last night, Brick heard people mention the “Liberty Bowl” over and over.  She came over and asked me if I knew where the Liberty Bowl is played.

I have to admit, I don’t know.  If anyone knows the name of the stadium where they play the Liberty Bowl, please e-mail me that info at paul@paulryburn.com and I’ll pass it on to Brick.

Got a good quote of the week out of her last night too, but it’ll have to wait until Sunday.

Dec 282009
 

Show your support for the Arkansas Razorbacks, coach Bobby Petrino, and quarterback Ryan “Big Dave Jr.” Mallett by wearing your Hog Hat all week.  Don’t have a Hog Hat?  A Razorback baseball cap, sweatshirt, or other attire will suffice.  But preferably a Hog Hat.  The U of A sold out the Liberty Bowl, something Kentucky sure didn’t do last year.  Let’s support.  GO HOGS!!!

Dec 282009
 

The last time I went to a Peabody New Year’s Eve party was 2004, and I’ve since spent five years complaining about how there weren’t enough bars and the lines were super long.  Well, the Peabody has made a huge effort this year to make its parties a lot more enjoyable – they did a phenomenal job with the rooftop parties last summer.  I’d wondered if similar improvements will be seen in their New Year’s Eve party this year.  Then today I saw this message on Twitter:

@PeabodyMemphis You won’t go thirsty at our New Year’s Eve Party – 26 bars, including Jack Daniel’s, martini, Miller/Coors, and Suck & Blow jello shot bars.

Sounds like they’re on top of things.

Okay two posts in the past five minutes should make up for my lack of a lunchtime post… time to head to Pint Nite.  I’ve already received a text that Brick is working, so hopefully she’ll provide some new quotes.