Second Wed update: Art exhibit at Silly Goose, Easter Keg hunt at Flying Saucer, jobs at the Peabody

Artist Magyn Darmstaedter is having her first solo exhibition, “Gravitational Anarchy,” next Wednesday, February 29, at the Silly Goose from 7 to 9 PM. There will be $3 house wine and $4 sangria specials, and live music by Jeremy Stanfill.

Next door at the Flying Saucer, the Easter Keg hunt has begun. Each week they post a new clue to the chalkboard above the bar. You use those clues to figure out the location of the keg, which will be hidden somewhere in Memphis. First person or group to retrieve the keg and bring it back to the Saucer gets a bar tab for an Easter Keg party.

The Peabody tweeted that they have about 35 full-time and 30 on-call positions available. Job postings can be viewed here. Some of these positions were posted today, and more will be posted tomorrow.

All right. Done for the day. Time for beer.

Wed update: Folk Alliance public show, Schwab’s, new record label and studio, Trolley Tour this Friday and more

Lunchtime post is a couple of hours early today, because my afternoon is filled up with meetings.

If you want to hear some good music tonight, it’s the Folk Alliance Conference’s Public Night at the Marriott. The Flyer has details here.

Last night at the Saucer, I met the new owners of A. Schwab’s, and learned that the store on Beale is now open Sundays. Previously it was always closed that day. I hope to get in there soon and see the renovations and possibly take some pics.

There’s a new record label and studio Downtown. Madison Line Records, the new not-for-profit label, will celebrate with a party Thursday, March 1, at the Visible Music School at 200 Madison. The party will showcase its six artists: Until June, Cayerio & Speakerboxx, J&R, Jo, She Said and Visible Worship Band.

Also that night, the Madison Line Cafe will celebrate its grand opening at the label’s studio and HQ at 287 Madison. Live music by Charveymac, and tours of the studio and corporate offices. Both events start at 7:27 PM.

Friday night is South Main Trolley Tour. Seems like it snuck up on everyone this month, but it will be happening. I haven’t been in a few months, but I hope to get down there and see how things are coming along at Double J SmokeHouse and Saloon.

Today is the start of Lent. Wendy Eats has a list of places to eat during Lent, several of which are Downtown. Also, Elliott’s restaurant has announced they will add tuna salad to the menu during Lent.

Tigers host ECU at the FedExForum tonight at 7. We can’t afford a loss after what happened with the UTEP game Saturday. Prior to UTEP we really didn’t have what the NCAA tournament committee would call a “bad loss.”

Got to hang out with a couple of my BBQ teammates last night at the Saucer, one of whom won the Fat Tire bike. Congrats to him!

All right, time to grab a quick burger then get ready for meetings. I may do another post tonight if more news comes by way.

Tuesday News Day: free tasting for restaurant and bar workers, Redbirds hiring sales intern, Hard Rock battle of the bands, Soul Train party @ Silly Goose

If you work at a restaurant or bar, eighty3, the restaurant inside the Madison Hotel, has something for you. For four weeks they will have a Sunday night free tasting series for Memphis food and beverage industry service staff, including bartenders, wait staff, hostesses and doormen, beginning Feb. 26 from 10 PM to 1 AM. Only 30 reservations will be accepted each Sunday and can be made by emailing full name and place of employment to by noon on the Friday before each event. Confirmations will be sent to the first 30 respondents via email by the end of the day on Friday. Reservations are limited to one event per person.

The Redbirds are hiring a corporate sales intern. Details of the job can be found here. Job lasts from March until the end of AAA baseball season. Pay is only minimum wage but this is a huge opportunity to get your foot in the door working for a professional sports team.

A global battle of the bands called Hard Rock Rising will kick off at Hard Rock Cafe Thursday night at 7. Bands in 86 cities will compete, and Memphis will have 12 of its best at the Hard Rock Thursday for the first round. This event is free and open to the public.

The Silly Goose has announced a Soul Train party for Thursday, March 1. DJ Cody will spin, and the train departs at 9 PM.

All right. Time to hit Publish and hit the bars for Fat Tuesday.

Fat Tuesday update: Kooky, Bardog, Felicia’s and Saucer events and a parade; Hard Rock soup; Rajun Cajun news; and will the Great Wall ever come down?

Before I get started with the news, a couple of announcements for BBQ teammates: You can “Like” our Facebook fan page and follow us on Twitter at @moodyques to keep up with team news.

It’s Fat Tuesday, and Kooky Canuck is throwing a celebration. They’ll have $3 34 oz. Bud Light all day long. There will also be a special Cajun menu, along with hurricanes and hand grenades to drink.

Bardog will have a Fat Tuesday party tonight. There will be drink specials starting at 7, and plenty of beads to be given away. Their pint night also starts at 7 – the cheapest pint night Downtown, with all pints on draft only $2.75. May I recommend the PBR? Both floors of Bardog will be open tonight.

Felicia Suzanne’s will have a Fat Tuesday party as well. $2 Abita beers, 50 cent oysters and other specials. Live music 7 to 9.

Tonight is also the drawing for the Fat Tire bike at the Flying Saucer. If you drank Fat Tire and filled out entry forms in the past month, you need to be there tonight to win the bike. They haven’t published a time for the drawing, but they usually do them between 8 and 10.

There’s a Fat Tuesday parade on Beale Street at 5:30. I don’t have a lot of details, but this is not as big a deal as their major parades like St. Pat’s and Liberty Bowl. I remember one year the Saucer decorated a shopping cart and pushed one of the girls down the street in it.

Hard Rock Cafe is celebrating their “Best Soup” win at Soup Sunday by offering their Tomato Basil soup, not on their regular menu and normally only available for private events, for $5 a bowl this week. 50% of that amount goes to Youth Villages. Many people don’t realize that everything in their kitchen is made from scratch, and the championship soup is typical of the quality of food there.

Rajun Cajun Crawfish Fest is expanding, writes the Memphis Flyer’s Hungry Memphis blog. Pending permit approval, Riverside Drive will be closed between Union and Beale. That will allow them to move the gumbo-cooking contest, so there won’t be a bottleneck along the stretch of Wagner where it had been previously located. At the time of the article’s writing, two spots still remained in the gumbo contest.

“The Great Wall of Memphis” still stands Downtown. A blighted building collapsed March 28 of last year, and a wall was erected a few months later to protect passersby from debris. Almost a year after the collapse, the building has not been torn down and the wall still stands. The building’s owner has a court date next week but has already asked for a continuance. This illustrates how hard it is to take action against property owners who don’t care about their neighborhoods.

I had a reader suggest that I give up the Saucer for Lent. Done! For the next 40 days I will not set foot in the Cordova Saucer even once. That’s the one you meant right?

Hi-top fades are back. Somewhere Downtown, Melvin the parking scammer is celebrating his hair being back in style as he waves a car into a metered spot and asks for ’bout ten dolla.

Plans for tonight: I’m going to take a week off from poker at the Blind Bear and do a little Fat Tuesday bar-hopping. Saucer for sure, Bardog and Kooky possibly.

Flying Saucer adds Bloody Mary bar for Sunday Fun Day; help Memphis win Doritos Locos tacos

I was an hour late getting to the Saucer for Sunday Fun Day yesterday, but when I walked in I noticed something new.

They’ve added a make-your-own Bloody Mary bar. You pay for a glass with ice and vodka, and then you spice and garnish it as you like. They had a variety of Bloody Mary ingredients (click on the photo to see the ingredients in a larger size), allowing you to customize your beverage as you see fit.

I uploaded a pic of the Bloody Mary bar to Facebook and joked around that they copied the idea from the Silly Goose, but Saucer GM Kirk had the last laugh on that one. He replied that he started doing the Bloody Mary bar at the Cordova Saucer five years ago – it just hadn’t made its way Downtown until this week. So the Saucer is actually the originator of the Bloody Mary bar in Memphis. Good for them for trying something new – it will probably draw more women to the Saucer for Sunday Fun Day.

In other news: My friend Kevin Cerrito, who is the host of Ferraro’s Tuesday night trivia, is trying to win Doritos Locos tacos for the entire city. To help him win, retweet this tweet.

The usual drill for me tonight. Pint Nite at the Saucer at 6, poker at the Goose at 7:30.

Exerting a positive influence…

Last night I found myself sitting next to one of the BBQ team’s board members at the Blind Bear last night. He was discussing team shirts, and I impressed upon him that there must be a tube top option for team uniform this year. This is something the old team talked about almost from the first year, but never managed to get done. This year we’re going to try our best to make it happen. See, this is the kind of positive influence I have on the Moody Ques.

Speaking of the BBQ team, I uploaded a photo gallery of team members and our friends having fun at past BBQ Fests.

Allow extra time if you come Downtown today. It’s Soup Sunday at the FedExForum and Million Dollar Quartet‘s last day at the Orpheum. Favor to ask: If someone can get a photo of the Nuh-Uh Girl eating at Soup Sunday and send it to me for inclusion in the blog, I’d appreciate it.

I’m skipping Soup Sunday. Too crowded for me. I’ll be at the Majestic at 11 for brunch.

About that BBQ team…

Last night, one of the new BBQ team’s board members texted me and gave me permission to share details of this year’s team. So here you go… the new team will be called the Moody Ques. It will be comprised mostly of people who were on other teams 2007-11, some even longer than that.

I mentioned yesterday that we had scored a major catch as our pitmaster, “a name you should know.” Now I can reveal that name – none other than Demitrie Phillips, formerly the chef at Stella and Bardog. He’s going to be the chef at Double J Saloon which will open soon in the South Main District. Owners Jeff Stamm and John Harris have brought Double J on board as a sponsor, and we are thrilled to have them. Demitrie has previous pitmaster experience, and will handle the championship meat. Lauren from my team’s cookteam last year will be back to handle the daily cooking.

WordPress is back as our sponsor. If you aren’t familiar with what WordPress does, you’re looking at it right now. WordPress is the content management system that powers this blog and tens of millions of other websites. Corporate users include the New York Times, GM, SONY, CNN, Forbes, and millions more. Company head honcho Matt Mullenweg is a huge BBQ fan, and he and his staff will be joining us in the booth. We are fortunate to have them and couldn’t ask for a better corporate sponsor.

If you’ve read this blog for a while, you may remember our 2009 and 2010 booths. They placed in the Best Booth competition both years, with an elaborately decorated exterior featuring the Memphis in May honored country. Inside, they looked more like a South Beach nightclub than a BBQ tent. They were designed by Brent Long of Holliday Flowers here in Memphis. Brent is back with us this year as Chief Design Officer. He has extensive design and event planning experience, and from what I hear he really plans to blow it all out and make our booth the one that everybody at BBQ Fest is talking about. This year he has 100% creative control – no micromanagement by the Board.

If you’ve been on a BBQ team, you know that Thursday and Friday nights are stressful. The park is flooded with people who don’t know anyone on teams, but try to get in booths anyway to mooch food, beer, and liquor. As a result, in past years we had members volunteer for security detail at the door those nights. I avoided security as much as I could, but there were a couple of shifts when no one else could do it. Here’s a typical scenario:

A guy who I’ve never seen before walks up to the front door. “Hey, Bob said I could come in.”

“Bob? You mean Bob Siler, the architect?”

“Yeah! That’s him! Bob!”

“I just made that name up. Get out.”

We often got cussed out, and in a couple of cases, fights almost broke out. That won’t happen this year. We’re getting off-duty MPD officers to work the door Thursday and Friday night. Someone wants to get out of line at the door this year? Go ahead, you might get a ride to 201.

Another stressful situation was the bar. We learned the first year we couldn’t just put the beer and liquor out on a help-yourself basis. So team members had to volunteer for bar shifts, sometimes missing the best hours of the festival. That won’t be a problem this year either. We’re getting professional bartenders to work the busy times, so all team members will be able to enjoy themselves.

In a couple of previous years, our old team’s membership numbers got inflated into the 70s. That caused there to be so many people in the booth (members and guests) that people had trouble having a good time. We also had people join each year (especially last year) who hardly anyone on the team knew. The new team will operate on an invite-only policy. As I said yesterday, I saw the list and thought, “these are exactly the people I want to be on a BBQ team with.” No hangers-on, no people who bring nothing to the table other than taking up space.

Another issue BBQ teams have is managing money. You need ice, the cart comes by, and whoever has money pulls it out and pays. It’s very easy to get member money co-mingled with team money, and as a result it can be very hard to track where team money is going. We have a Chief Financial Officer this year, one of the sharpest corporate accountants I know. He will keep the books balanced down to the penny. Team members and sponsors will be able to see the books at any time, and get a detailed spreadsheet that completely spells out where their money is being spent.

If you got an invite yesterday and are deciding whether to join, know this: We are not half-assing it this year. We are in it to win: We want a championship trophy for our pork. And we want to win in people’s minds as the best team with the best booth in the entire festival.

Massive kudos and respect to the five members of our board for the job they have done planning. This year is going to be incredible.

View a photo gallery of our team’s members and friends at previous BBQ Fests here.

Important St. Patrick’s Day news

I’m at Bardog with the netbook, uploading a photo gallery to the new BBQ team’s website. While files are moving around, you get a post, because I just learned some very important news.

If you’ve celebrated St. Patrick’s Day at Bardog in years past, you probably remember the super-short green Bardog shorts that Panda Manda had on. She is bartending today and just informed me that the shorts will be back for St. Pat’s. It’s on a Saturday this year, so it should be quite a day. St. Pat’s nearly rivals New Year’s Eve as Amateur Night, but Panda Manda in short shorts will make it all worthwhile,

Friday update

Here’s a question to start off today’s blog post. Why did stripes on zebras evolve? Answer at the end of this post.

Meet Pong Beer, a new lager created for use in beer pong games.

Saw this on Twitter: Urban Dictionary, circa 1811.

The Grizzlies play the Denver Nuggets at FedExForum tonight. Game time is 7 PM.

The Tigers take on UTEP at the Forum tomorrow about noon. Apparently there was some confusion whether it starts at noon or 1; it’s noon. Game is on SportSouth, which means I’m going to need to redirect my day drinking activities to a bar that has Comcast.

WOOHOO! Just got my official invitation to be on the new BBQ team! Not that I didn’t already know I’d be invited, since I’ve been discussing the website with them for a couple of weeks now. The invite list reads like a who’s who of people I’d love to be on a BBQ team with, minus friends of ours who have already committed to already-existing team Squeal Street. I need to check with the team’s board members and see if I’m allowed to blog details yet. We’ve got a new pitmaster, and he’s as big a catch as getting WordPress as our main sponsor – as Don Cornelius would say, “a name you should know.”

Answer to the zebra question: Zebra stripes evolved to keep flies away.

Time for beer.

Six dollars. Can’t beat this.

I just brought home an immense amount of food for $6.

After stops at the Saucer and the Goose, I went to the Blind Bear and ordered their veggie plate to go. There are about ten different options. I went with the side of chili, the white mac & cheese, the blackeyed peas and the sweet buttered corn (all pictured above).  Veggies are $2 individually or 4 for $6 (yes chili is considered a veggie).

I got them to go. Once home I mixed up the chili and white mac & cheese for a white chili mac.

I found a couple packets of Texas Pete hot sauce in my sauce packet drawer at home. I added one to my chili mac creation, and another to the blackeyed peas. I also seasoned the peas liberally with black pepper.

The result? A meal the likes of which I’d put up against any double its cost. There is no way I am going to be able to finish all this food. And it’s good food. It’s not like I went to Denny’s and ordered off their $2/4/6/8 menu.

I just realized… why not dump the corn in with the mac & white cheese too? Mix it all up. The peas will stand by themselves though. I have never been a veggie plate fan in my life but this one is worth a try. You can get banana pudding on it too if you want to mix some dessert in.