Mar 312011
 

The Nuh-Uh Girl's two favorite phrases are "free food" and "all you can eat."

This afternoon’s blog post features a couple of news items that will make Downtown foodie the Nuh-Uh Girl very happy. Perhaps they will make you happy too.

The food fight blog has reported that vendors at farmer’s markets have been given the OK to offer samples to visitors. Makes sense. After all, the farmers sell based on taste. Food may look delicious, but why not let them prove it?

Furthermore, chefs can give demos at farmer’s markets. The markets will not have to pull permits, and can have as many chef’s demos as they want. Since demos usually conclude with audience sampling, the Nuh-Uh Girl and other visitors will have plenty to eat this year.

Meanwhile, the Redbirds have announced they will have an all-you-can-eat buffet for $25 (includes admission to the game) for Thursday night home games. Buffet will be in the left-field area and will include King Cotton hot dogs, AutoZone Park nachos, potato chips, watermelon, Turner Dairy ice cream cups and Coca-Cola soft drinks. Fans who purchase the buffet will get a wristband and will have two hours to go back for all they want. Two hours? I hope the ballpark’s accountants have red ink pens, as they will need them to record Nuh-Uh visits in the ledger.

More news to report. Time for a beer though. Maybe another post when I get home.

Mar 312011
 

Last night I finally got to investigate the lead I’d been given on a great happy hour – the sushi happy hour at Blue Fin. I joined my friends at the new, expanded bar whose entrance is to the right of the Blue Fin patio. I told the bartender I was there for happy hour, and he had a server bring out the tray to show me my options.

The clear plates up top were $3. The white plates were $5, and the dark plates were $7. The $7 happy hour rolls were whole rolls and are on the regular menu for $10-11.

Above: My first selection, the Jacksonville Roll. Crunchy spicy crawfish and cilantro topped with seared walli. $7 during happy hour.

My second selection, called “And the Oscar goes to…”. Spicy mayo, crab, avocado and shrimp topped with spicy crunchy tuna. Also $7.

Sake was buy one, get one free. This was just an INCREDIBLE value. And the bar is unfortunately empty during happy hour, because people haven’t discovered it yet. I have a feeling that will change soon.

Most undiscovered hidden gem of Downtown at the moment, and I almost considered not blogging it and keeping it to myself. That wouldn’t be fair though. If you like sushi, you need to give Blue Fin’s happy hour a try.

Mar 302011
 

This is the 10-week point prize not for the whole league, which encompasses Silly Goose, Bar None, and Bayou as well, but just the 10-week prize for the top point total at Bardog Tavern.

A 42″ TV (no I didn’t win. Congrats Jeremy). The league prize is even bigger. If you think you’re good at poker, you need to get your ass to one of these locations and start earning points and prizes.

  • Silly Goose Mondays 10 PM
  • Bardog Wednesdays 7:30 PM
  • Bar None Thursdays 8 PM
  • Bayou Bar & Grill Sundays 8 PM

Follow “Gut Shot” on Facebook (icon is a bunch of poker chips) for more details on Jon’s league.

So… I promised you that I’d check out a happy hour tonight. It was as awesome as I’d heard and then some. And completely undiscovered – my friends and I were the only ones there for most of the night. I’ll post details tomorrow in my lunchtime post. I usually take lunch around 1, but I don’t have a set time, so it could go up as early as 11.

Mar 302011
 

The Overton Square Crawfish Fest has been announced for Saturday, April 9. People always get these two festivals confused, so here it is:

– The Midtown crawfish fest will be on the 9th, next to the Bayou in Overton Square

– The Downtown crawfish fest will be on the 17th, on Wagner between Union and Beale

Both festivals run from noon to 6 PM. The Overton Square fest benefits the Alzheimer’s Association and there will be music by Black Rock Revival, Tullie Brae and the Medicine Man Review, Lightning Malcolmm and Amy LaVere.

I didn’t attend the Overton Square fest last year, but I heard plenty about it, as I heard one person jump into the following conversation no fewer than 25 times:

“Well, you know, I went to, like, the crawfish fest in Overton Square or whatever last weekend… anyway, I tried the crawfish, and I guess they tasted pretty good, but you know, later on in the day… they kind of gave me INDIGESTION.”

Funny how some people lack the “does anybody give a shit” filter before they start talking. Seriously, though, both the Midtown and Downtown crawfish fests should be a lot of fun.

The Peabody is holding a “Stay the Night, Party All Season” contest for its opening Thursday night rooftop party on April 14 with Ingram Hill. If you win, you get deluxe accommodations for the night of the 14th at the hotel, and two season VIP passes, a $1,200 value.

To win, you need to go to the Peabody Ducks’ Facebook page. (Yes, even ducks are on Facebook now.) If you’ve already “Liked” the ducks, click on the “Win!” tab on the left side underneath the profile pic. If you haven’t “Liked” them yet, you’ll be taken directly to the contest entry form. Winner to be announced April 8.

Two pre-season Redbirds events are coming up at AutoZone Park next week. On Monday, April 4, there will be a Town Hall Meeting at 6 PM. You’ll be able to ask coaching staff, business management and players questions about the upcoming season, and you’ll get a look at the improvements to the park. Free hot dogs, nachos and soda will be available. Free food? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up.

The following day, the 5th, will be “Bird Watching” from 11 AM to 2 PM, as the public is invited to come to the park as they practice for the home opener on the 7th. Again, free hot dogs, nachos, and soda.

Time to go check out that happy hour… my friends who don’t have to work until 5 have already been there for close to an hour. Will let you know what I find out.

Mar 302011
 

MyFoxMemphis is reporting that the building at 118 Madison, whose roof collapsed Saturday, will have to be completely torn down. Previously it was thought the building might be able to be stabilized with only the top floor removed. Other neglected Downtown buildings are being targeted with aggressive anti-blight measures to make sure this continues to happen.

Meanwhile, Madison between November 6th and Second is blocked off, with private security keeping watch. Wonder who’s paying for that? Hopefully the building owner, and not the taxpayers.

Google has announced the first city to get Google Fiber for Communities, and it isn’t us. Kansas City, Kansas is the winner. Details here. Note that the article says KC will be the first city, not the only city, so Memphis still may get the service at a later date. Hope so. I’m itching for a reason to give Xfinity/Comcast/whatever the boot.

There will be a dinner to celebrate Tennessee brewery beer at Local Gastropub Tuesday, April 12. Here’s the menu.

Appetizers
Ghost River Golden Ale Steamed Mussels & Yazoo Dos Perros Beer Bread
Paired with ~ Ghost River Golden Ale

Salad
Tennessee Lyonnaise ~ Baby field greens, local fresh poached egg, crisp pork belly with tarragon aioli
Paired with ~ Yazoo Hefeweizen

Entrée
Ghost River Glacial Pale Ale beer-brined bone-in pork chop with crawfish cream & spicy mashed sweet potatoes
Paired with ~ Yazoo Hop Project

Dessert
Candied Bacon Crème Brulee
Paired with ~ Yazoo Dos Perros

$37.95 + tax and gratuity, call 901-473-9573 to RSVP. Reception at 6:30, dinner at 7.

Warning: Crowd Downtown is going to suck next Tuesday, April 5. Ole Miss plays the Tigers at AutoZone Park at 6:30. I’d already been leaning toward staying home that night to get my taxes done, and this pretty much cements my decision. There are no fans as irritating as Ole Miss fans (Tennessee fans are a close second though).

Grizzlies play Golden State tonight at 7, and hopefully move one game closer to the playoffs. Go Grizz! Meanwhile, the ninth-place Houston Rockets play the Philadelphia 76ers tonight, and we all need to be cheering for Philly to put another game’s distance between the Grizzlies and the Rockets.

I still plan to follow up on a recent happy hour lead after work tonight, and plan to post a report.

Mar 292011
 

All right, catching up on two days’ worth of news… first of all, congrats to the U of M and Coach Josh Pastner. They agreed to a new deal that will extend Coach P’s contract for 5 years and pay him $1.7 mil/year. Excellent move by the University. Details on the deal can be found in this MBJ article.

ServiceMaster by Stratos is holding a ribbon cutting ceremony at the Lowenstein Building at Main and Jefferson this Friday, April 1, at noon, and the public is invited. This is a rather significant event, as the Lowenstein Building was saved from demolition on several occasions in the past two decades. Photos of building construction progress can be seen here. The public is invited, and there will be an assortment of appetizers on hand from City Market. Free food? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up.

The busy season is approaching for Memphis in May, and they’re looking to hire seasonal help. View opportunities here. A friend of mine has worked some of these positions the past several years, and she’s found it to be a tremendously rewarding opportunity.

The Madison Hotel’s Sunset Atop the Madison Thursday rooftop parties will begin April 21. Band for the first week will be Elmo & the Shades.

AutoZone Park has announced a number of improvements, including right-field picnic dining and the ability to use credit and debit cards at concession stands. Full story in this CA article.

That’s all for now. Hopefully this blog will be back on its normal schedule tomorrow. Just took medication to ensure that my allergies won’t keep me awake all night tonight, so all will hopefully be good in the morning…

Allergy attack

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Mar 292011
 

That’s been the reason for the lack of posts the past two days. Allergies really got to me this morning, almost as bad as they did Saturday afternoon when I had to forego the second session of the beer fest.

You know, it’s funny, every time I walk around Walgreens with Dristan, people commented, “You have to be careful not to get addicted to that stuff.” Meanwhile, nothing was said about the other item in my shopping basket, a liter bottle of Mountain Dew.

Behind on e-mail. Apologies to those who’ve sent me stuff to post. I’ll try to get to it tonight, or tomorrow at the latest. Also, I have a lead on an outstanding happy hour that I plan on trying tomorrow after work, allergies permitting.

Mar 272011
 

Yesterday at noon, I walked over to Handy Park for River City Brewers Festival. It was the festival’s sophomore year, and it has improved to the point where I’d have to rank it as one of the city’s best beer fests. This is one reason why:

If you’ve attended beer fests before, you’ve probably experienced the “Really? That’s it???” feeling when given a 2 or 3 ounce sampler glass. With samplers those sizes, you know you’re going to be spending most of your time standing in line for beer. Not so at River City. The sampler was a TWELVE OUNCE MUG. The volunteers at the beer booths were not shy about filling it either. In most cases they didn’t fill to the rim (although a few did), but most of the time I came away with a generous serving of beer.

The Shiner booth was very impressive. I almost skipped it, because I find Shiner Bock to be a rather mediocre beer. Glad I tried their two other selections, not commonly available in the area, though. They had a spring seasonal on tap which was delicious, as was their “102” double wheat.

Also impressive was the fact that they served beverages that didn’t taste like beer, like Mike’s Hard Lemonade and spiked tea. Now, a lot of my friends avoided those booths, but I think it’s good to have them. It lets people who aren’t into the taste of beer still find something they enjoy at a beer fest.

Pabst was there, and I had to get my mug filled with the best beer on the planet, PBR. They were giving away keychains and stickers, and they had PBR T-shirts on sale for only $5. Great deal!

Their food court had better food than is usually seen at beer festivals, as well. Food was not included in the price of the ticket, which is normal at most beer fests. I saw one friend of mine eating a BBQ sandwich, which I would guess came from River City restaurant The Pig on Beale, and another was munching on a sausage and cheese plate. I, however, went for the crawfish.

Man, were they spicy, just the way I like them (more on that in a minute). The plate was a Frisbee.

The only thing that really needed improvement was the weather. For the second year in a row, Mother Nature didn’t cooperate at all, with mist and temps around 50. I was glad I wore the PBR hoodie so I had some protection from the elements.

Here are some more pics:

 

Unfortunately the day ended early for me… I had passes for both sessions but didn’t make it to the evening one. I had been forgetting to take my Walgreens knockoff of Claritin-D, and not long after I got to Handy Park I started suffering one of the worst allergy attacks I’ve ever had. The crawfish boil made it even worse (although, a good spicy crawfish boil SHOULD make you sneeze a little). By “halftime,” when the gang convened at the Saucer at 4 PM, I was sneezing almost nonstop. I went home to try and recover, but it wasn’t to happen. Gave up, bombed myself with NyQuil, went to bed. I hate it that I missed the evening session. I also hate that I missed my friend David the Worm spin at Rehab Disco. I feel somewhat better today, and I hope the Walitin-D has taken effect so my Sunday Fun Day doesn’t end as badly as my Saturday did.

Anyway, back to the festival… I had a very good time and heard nothing but positive comments from my friends. They’ve hit a winning formula, and if the weather ever cooperates, River City Brewers Fest is going to pack Handy Park one of these years.

Mar 272011
 

The roof of this building at 118 Madison, at the corner of Madison and November 6th Alley, collapsed yesterday afternoon. It had been raining hard for most of the morning, and it’s possible that the weight of the water caused the roof to give way.

Sad to see it happen. I thought this was a beautiful building, with wraparound windows on the corner. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately, given the collapse) it had been empty since I moved Downtown, except for Easy PC on the ground floor. I always thought it was a shame no one ever gave it the attention it deserved and turned the upper floors into apartments or condos. It was appraised at only $81,000 according to this CA article. Amazing that this huge building was estimated to be worth about what a 600 SF condo in the area would be appraised for.

There are several other buildings like this one on Madison between Main and Fourth – buildings that admittedly need a lot of work, but could be true hidden gems with a little TLC. I hope developers will take a look at Madison’s potential.

This building was said to be leaning into the alley, so streets had to be blocked off and it may not be able to be saved. Here are more pics.

 

You can see the caved-in roof in the top-floor window in this shot.

Photo of the caved-in roof taken from the rooftop of my apartment building at 10 S. Main.

Mar 272011
 

This weekend’s Groupon is $89 for a one-room paint job, up to a $300 value. Normally this would fall outside my blog’s radar, but I know the guy who owns the company… Jason is a former student of mine from the U of M. His company JRI Design/Build designs and remodels kitchens and bathrooms. Check out their website and Facebook page to see the work the company does.

Two more posts to come this morning, both with pics so it’s time for me to plug in the camera and see what’s on there.