Sat update: Memphis Trolley unplugged, Redbirds fireworks night, Voodoo Nachos @ Johnny G’s, value drinking, Indian food @ City Market and more

Here’s something new and cool and different to do Downtown… and it’s inexpensive as well. Tonight from 5:00 to 7:30, Chinese Connection Dub Embassy will be performing Memphis reggae and jazz aboard the Riverfront Loop trolley. It’s part of the Memphis Trolley Unplugged series, a joint venture of the Memphis Music Commission and MATA. They’ll have live music aboard the trolley noon-1:30 weekdays and 5:00-7:30 Friday and Saturday. River views and real Memphis music for the trolley fare of a buck (or a quarter if it’s a Code Orange ozone day).

Wow. MATA actually did something cool. I didn’t think that was possible.

Tonight is a fireworks game at AutoZone Park. It’s also a salute to our armed forces. The Redbirds host the Nashville Sounds and game time is 6:05 PM. By the way, if anyone from the Redbirds is reading this, your redirect from to the MiLB site for the Redbirds doesn’t seem to be working this morning.

So, the office closed at 1:30 yesterday, and not surprisingly, I was at the Flying Saucer by 2:30. On the walk down there I ran into a database admin who is one of my former co-workers… could have easily talked to him for another 15 minutes but it was so blasted HOT outside!!! I hate that in the summer, when I have to cut conversations short because I’m melting. Anyway, he works for Pinnacle, and when they moved Downtown he thought he’d hate it here. He said he was wrong – he likes being Downtown, everything is very convenient. Glad to hear that. I miss being to eat at Court House Deli and Little Tea Shop on my lunch break.

My friends Darrin and Jenny came in not long after I got there, and we grabbed the couches and chatted. They left to go get the Voodoo Nachos at Johnny G’s Creole Kitchen on Beale. “For people who want something similar to BBQ nachos, but not BBQ, I’d recommend it,” said Darrin, and I totally agree. It’s tortilla chips covered with marinated Cajun chicken, white nacho cheese, and fresh – this is key, FRESH jalapenos. Actually, I recommend you try both the Voodoo Nachos and New Orleans Nachos and decide which one you like better – different Cajun chicken recipes but otherwise the same nachos. Very reasonably priced too. You could come Downtown this afternoon, hear live music on the Riverfront trolley, then go to Johnny G’s and get some nachos and not even spend $10.

The great thing about being the Foursquare “mayor” of the Saucer is that there are always people to hang out with. Not long after Darrin and Jenny left, my friend Joe texted that he was on his way. Then my friend Pete who I beat at pool every Sunday arrived. Then my friends Bob and Mike showed up. They’d been “value drinking.”

I guess this “value drinking” thing is worth a mention. They’ve started going to Hooters for happy hour, where they drink $1.50 Bud Lights and Coors Lights. I have no intention of joining them on future afternoons, because Downtown Hooters, in my opinion, sucks, and those really aren’t great beers (Coors Light in particular is awful). I know a lot of people are on a tight budget, so I’ll mention it as an option, but if you can afford it by all means come to the Saucer instead and get a GOOD beer. ($1 off draft pints at the Saucer 4-7)

Heard a couple of other interesting tidbits while there last night – not info that’s ready for the blog, but I’ll just say good things may be happening Downtown in the future.

I timed my exit from the Saucer to happen a few minutes prior to City Market closing, so I’d have time to see what was in their refrigerated food section. The little grocery at Main and Union did not disappoint. I found shrimp curry with rice and vegetable korma. Couple of minutes in the microwave and it was as good as anything I’ve had in an Indian restaurant. As I ate my late night snack, I thought to myself, you know, if I lived in Cordova I’d be sitting in the drive-thru at Krystal getting Chili Cheese Pups right now. Nope, no plans to move out of Downtown anytime soon.

Saturday morning. That means brunch, PBR, and probably Fireball with Panda Manda at Bardog at noon. Rest of day TBD.