A recommendation for my Little Rock readers…

I didn’t realize I had a following in Little Rock until recently. For those of you in my hometown, I have a recommendation for Riverfest weekend. The Dirty White Boys play Dugan’s Pub at 8:30 PM Saturday, May 26. I knew these guys back when they were relative unknowns performing in a high school auditorium. It will be a good show. The pub is at 401 East 3rd Street.

Pro tip: After the show, walk up to the Flying Saucer at 323 President Clinton Avenue, get u a beer, and say hi to Matt for me.

BBQ Fest Day 1: Thursday

Yesterday I heard the perfect description of BBQ Fest: “Spring break for grown-ups.” I couldn’t put it any better than that.

The first open-to-the-public day of BBQ Fest was awesome. I pre-gamed at the Saucer and the Bear, stealing our sponsor the Blind Bear’s mayorship on Foursquare. Then I headed down to the park.

Judging for Best Booth happened not long after we got there. I was sure we were a lock for it but we did one thing wrong: We had the Philippines flag UPSIDE DOWN. There are Filipino judges and we more or less insulted their country. Just terrible. We got third and I was surprised they gave us that.

Anyway, here are some pics. Other than the flag yesterday just may have been the best day I have ever spent at BBQ Fest.

Horror movie starring Uncle Ray

Beer can chicken

As much as I like to brag that the Moody Ques have the best booth in the park, I have to admit our friends at Squeal Street had us beat in at least two ways: 1) Saucer girls behind the bar and 2) THIS. Misting cooling fan. It felt SOOOOOO good in the 90 degree heat. Team: We need one of these next year.

Mary Pat

Moe, Larry and Curly assembling a garden cart. No kidding, this comedy of errors lasted more than an hour. They put the entire thing together backwards and had to re-do it.

BBQ chicken

Mustard sauce

Nice use of pins from our sponsor WordPress, which happens to be the content management system that powers this blog and 15 million other websites.

Beer can chicken in the smoker

Tube top dresses. THIS IS HOW IT’S DONE, PEOPLE.

Chelsea knows what’s up, rocking the green tube top.

She’s bringing me the new flavor of Doritos and she has a tube top dress on. WINNING.


Michael Bean explains to the bartender how to be incredibly annoying at a poker table

Signature cocktail by the Blind Bear

Marcus Hunter and Ruchee. Catch Marcus on MemphiSport Live on Sports 56 from 11 AM-1 PM Saturdays.

Hannah, Kyla, and Maddison on our rooftop deck

We’re not on the riverside, but our booth is tall enough that we have a river view anyway.

Ciara and Mark

Two of my favorite Downtowners, Karen and Dennis.

Like me, Uncle Ray appreciates tube tops and tube top dresses.

Quick night-time visit to Squeal Street. Murphy’s Law of BBQ Fest: As soon as I got to Squeal Street, several people I invited to my own booth showed up, and I had to run back over there and let them in.

Rebekah knows what’s up.

Morgan doing a fine job representing our sponsor the Blind Bear in a tube top dress.

Okay, time for a mini-rant: People get mad at me for taking candid photos rather than posed ones, for the most part. This photo is an example why candid photos are better. You don’t get stuff like this when you allow people time to pose. This is awesome.


Full album (184 photos) can be found here.

I was hitting the beer hard early in the day, from 11 on. By 5 or 6 I was nearly worn out and falling asleep on my feet. But I remembered the advice of our inspirational leader/father figure: “IT’S A MARATHON, PAULANATOR, NOT A SPRINT.” From that point on I made a recovery. By midnight I was dancing with some friends in The Hogfather’s tent, and amazingly I was the most sober one of the group. Not sure how that was possible.

And now it’s time to do it all again. Saucer at 11, park at 12.

Reader is lame, refuses to wear tube top. Plus BBQ and rooftop news

One of my readers continues to be completely lame. Yesterday I texted her, saying that I’d shown her picture to some of my teammates and we all agree that she needs to wear a tube top to BBQ Fest every day. She replied back that she only has one tube top. I know for a fact this is not true, because she emailed me a photo of her in a yellow tube top with black trim a while back, as proof that she does indeed own one. Then she texted me a pic of her in a red tube top. So, she could at least get through Thursday and Friday. Plus she has a “bestie” who has many tube tops she could borrow. She’s simply offering more of the same – excuses. It’s getting old.

So last night she texted me, “I went to Gordman’s and Kohl’s tonight in hopes of a new tube top. Tried on 3. Didn’t like.” I appreciate the effort but she’s doing it wrong. She needs to drive across the bridge to West Memphis Wal-Mart and find a $4 white tube top in the clearance bin. That is all the effort that needs to be expended on appropriate BBQ Fest attire. Sadly I don’t think she will ever get it.

Okay, let’s get on to the news. If you want BBQ, you don’t even have to go to Tom Lee Park to get it. There will be free samples of BBQ outside Shelton Clothiers, with Garland Jack’s Secret Six sauces. They have original recipe, sweet brown sugar, hickory spice, and smoky molasses sauces. Samplings will be 12-5 today and tomorrow and 10-2 Saturday. Free food? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up.

The Nuh-Uh Girl, by the way, told me last night that I’ve been “obnoxious” about tube tops lately on the blog. Yeah and she’s not obnoxious about eating or anything. I heard she went over to Squeal Street and ate pretty much everything but the tent last night. Of course, she had a huge meal in our booth too.

If you’re not going to BBQ Fest tonight, there are several good outdoor parties happening Downtown. Lord T and Eloise play the Peabody rooftop tonight. 6-11 PM, $10 cover that includes your first drink, ladies free until 7.

On the Madison Hotel’s rooftop, there will be the soulful sounds of Brian “Breeze” Cayole rooted in jazz, R&B, and rock. $7 cover, 7-11 PM, cash bar, small plates, sunset views.

The “Retro on the Patio” series continues at Bleu tonight at 6 PM. They will celebrate the blues (bleus) with the sounds of Daddy Mack on the patio.

There’s free admission to BBQ Fest from 11 to 1 today if you don’t feel like paying. It’s not crowded at lunchtime and you have a much better chance of being invited into booths and getting something to eat than if you go at 9 PM tonight. Take an extra long lunch, you deserve it!

We had a fun Friends & Family night in the booth last night. Double J did a fish fry for us, with grouper bites, jambalaya, and fries. Can’t wait to see what’s in store for us today. I have a little bit of legit team business to take care of this morning, and of course I have to have one or two pre-festival beers at the Saucer. Should be in the booth around 12:30.

BBQ Fest 2012 Day 0 – Friends & Family

Let’s go ahead and get this knocked out before I go to bed.

The front of our booth

John D pouring a Bud Light

Birthday boy Jeff Stamm of Double J SmokeHouse and Saloon, on the right.

Head WordPress guy Matt Mullenweg

WordPress tech ninjas Nacin and Otto

I don’t even know these people, but for some reason I deemed this shot blogworthy.


Mardoqueo and Mikey




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

Post-Wednesday night at the Saucer. GM Kirk will shit his pants when he sees his lime costs going through the roof on this beer.

Full photo album here (about 80 photos). I’ll take more tomorrow.

A quick note for those of you who plan to visit Patio Porker teams

The Squeal Street team captain posted to Facebook that there are fire ants in the grass near the Patio Porkers area. If you plan on going to visit those teams, open-toed shoes might not be a good idea.

Not sure about the fire ant status in the shoulder area where my team is. I’ve been so busy working hard that I haven’t had time to notice.

Patio Porkers are smaller teams, who have 10 x 10 booths and have a limit on how big their cooking rig can be. Patio Porkers cook ribs and compete against one another, but not the ribs teams. If a Patio Porker wins first place, it graduates and must enter one of the big three (Ribs, Shoulder, Whole Hog) in future years.

Bison tacos @ Fuel food truck

The Fuel food truck tweeted that it was parked at the Barking Lot at Main and Jefferson, and that they had taco salads. I took a walk down there.

The tacos salads are actually just variations of their regular tacos, with more lettuce. Since I’ve never tried the Fuel truck before, I decided to order what is probably their most famous item, the bison tacos, in regular format rather than as a salad.

I was definitely happy with my purchase. The ground bison meat was tasty, and well accented with pico, cilantro, and sour cream. What really made this meal stand out, though, was the soft tortilla shells in which the tacos were double-wrapped. They were yummy and added a Mexican flair to the dish.

There were a wide variety of sauces and seasonings to add to your food.

A really good lunch that hit the spot, and that will put some “fuel” in my tank for the afternoon until I can get to BBQ Fest. If you haven’t had a chance to try the Fuel truck, I definitely recommend you do next time it’s in your neighborhood.

A funny side note: The people in the truck asked if I was “that guy who is always tweeting about tube tops.”

The National Ornamental Metal Museum is doing a demo in Court Square right now, so if you get food truck fare and want to eat outside, that would be something interesting to watch.

All right, it’s almost time to party! I’ve got to get a few errands done, then it will be time to hit the Saucer for some pre-BBQ beers.

Wed update: An actual, real news post that isn’t all cluttered up with junk about tube tops and BBQ Fest

Today’s news post begins with a piece of very good news. The City Council has given initial approval to a $2 million funding plan that would fill in a financial gap needed to save the Chisca Hotel. A group plans to convert the hotel to apartments, with retail space on the ground floor. The hotel sits vacant at a key intersection, Main at Dr. Martin Luther King Avenue, the gateway between the core and South Main. The MBJ has the full story. SAVE THE CHISCA!

In other Downtown news, the cobblestones along the river are about to undergo a $6 million renovation. A plaza and a fountain at the foot of Union will be added. More details in this Daily News article.

Interesting post I saw on Facebook this morning: Which birthdays are most common? Mine’s about average. September is a huge month for birthdays, apparently.

Also seen on Facebook: 5 tips for pairing cheap beers with personal failures. See, beer goes with everything!

Fuel Food Truck is headed to the Barking Lot at Main and Jefferson, and they have taco salads. Sounds like LUNCH to me! They’ll be ready to go at 11:15.

Polish power

If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you know that I’m partial to Eastern Europeans. Romanians in particular, but I’ve also mentioned Estonians, Latvians, Lithuanians, and Moldovans.

However, yesterday it was the Polish who stepped it up. One of my Facebook friends is on vacation in Florida, and posted a photo of herself. I asked for, and received, permission to re-post the pic here, to serve as an example to others.

Three words. TUBE. TOP. DRESS. If you’re trying to pick out what to wear to BBQ Fest, let this serve as an example to you. This is how it’s done. God bless the Polish. That thing that happened in the 18th century where the Russians, Prussians, and Austrians carved up their country was total B.S.

It amazes me how come people don’t get it. Yesterday afternoon I texted a friend who had to go out of town for a few hours. “When you get back, put on a tube top and come hang out at the Blind Bear,” I told her. So I was at the Bear, but about 11 I decided to walk over to Huey’s for Paul’s Drunkass Food. Not 30 seconds after I ordered a Heinz 57 burger and fries, I got a text. “I’m at the Bear,” she said.

“Do you have a tube top on?” I replied.


Seriously. SERIOUSLY??? You expect me to walk away from $10 of food when you’re not even going to dress appropriately? I know I’ve been ranting on this a lot lately, and it’s not even Tube Top Month yet and I apologize to my readers for having to endure it. But certain people just are not getting with the program and it’s irritating me to no end.

All right. It’s BBQ Fest. Let me explain what happens tonight. Thursday-Saturday the park is open to the public, but teams can buy tickets for the Wednesday “Friends & Family Night” private party. There’s a maximum of 50 tickets per team. Sounds like a lot, but when you have a team with 37 members and 4 sponsoring organizations, tickets can be scarce. It’s hard enough to get tickets for every team member, much less spouses and friends. We’ve always found a way to make it work though.

I have not yet seen our booth, but I hear that Holliday Flowers totally rocked it and it far exceeds the 2009 and 2010 booths they did for our old team. I will take lots of photos tonight. Our booth is almost all the way to the south, literally about 4 booths from the southernmost tip. We’re on the bluff side, not the river side, but our booth is so tall that it has a river view. Our friends at Squeal Street are about a 2 minute walk away.

Park opening time is 5:30 tonight, but as always I like to pre-game at the Saucer. I’ll probably get there about 2:30 if anyone wants to meet up. Tomorrow, Friday, and Saturday I’ll pre-game at the Saucer at 11 AM.

This just in: I have a request from the captain of the Squeal Street team. He has asked me to remind everyone that due to park conditions, everyone needs to wear comfortable clothes to BBQ Fest. Tube tops would be your best bet. So there you have it. It’s not just me, it’s BBQ team captains offering that advice.

I’ll be back later today with a news post. Right now it’s time to shower, wash my team shirt, and charge all the spare batteries for the Tube Top Cam. Tonight I’ll try to get some pics of the booth posted to Facebook and Twitter.