Mon update: Where to watch sports, railroad and trolley museum, TV trivia, and more

It’s about a month until the NFL pre-season starts. Every year I get emails asking which bars have the NFL League Pass for watching all the games. Well, here’s a website you can bookmark and find out for yourself: Pick your sport, pick your team, and pick your city, and it will tell you where you can find your game.

Kerry from the I Love Memphis Blog visited the Memphis Railroad and Trolley Museum recently. Here’s her report. Downtown Memphis is lucky to have a lot of niche museums. Not only do we have the railroad museum in Central Station, but the Fire Museum on Adams, the Slave Haven Museum on North Second (a former Underground Railroad stop), and the museum of Chinese art and culture in Pembroke Square, just to name a few.

Kevin Cerrito’s weekly trivia at Ferraro’s will have an all-TV theme tomorrow night. If you’re a TV junkie, might as well put your knowledge to use and win some bar bucks! Starts at 8 PM, and there will be $1 PBR and Rolling Rock drafts. Also, don’t forget that the first edition of Kevin’s sports trivia will happen Thursday night at the Green Beetle.

Just wrapped up one of the most boring weekends in recent memory… not much at all of interest happened. We expanded our double-elimination pool tournament to 5 players Sunday at the Saucer. I managed to win again. The only other real highlight of my Sunday was eating a butter tart at Kooky Canuck. May do a post on that later.

Plans for tonight: The usual Monday. Pint Nite at the Saucer (most drafts $3). Possibly over to the Goose for Poker Jon’s game at 7:30 or 10:00.

Fried whole red snapper Vera Cruz @ Flying Fish

I’ve been hungry for some food from the Fish for a while, and today I decided to take care of that craving with A fish – a WHOLE fish. In my entire life I have never had a whole fish for dinner. Tonight I decided to give one a try. I got the snapper Vera Cruz – snapper covered in a spicy tomato sauce with veggies.

When I first ate fish as a kid, my mother and grandmother told me I had to chew 24 times. Or 28 times. Or some ridiculous number like that. At the time I didn’t understand why. I was eating fish from Long John Silver’s and there was not a bone to be found. Nor was there a bone in any of the fish I’ve ever eaten at the Flying Fish. However, those were fried/grilled filets.

This, on the other hand, was the real deal. A red snapper, fried whole. There were bones galore. I had to chew and chew and chew and chew to make sure I didn’t swallow anything I didn’t want to. Separating the meat from the bones was an adventure. The spicy Vera Cruz sauce complimented the fish as I picked it off the bones, as did the medium-hot green Tabasco sauce I sprinkled on the fish and rice. For those of you who order this dish, don’t forget to flip it over – there’s an entire ‘nother half a fish to be eaten!

It was about as much food as the snapper filet meal, three and a half dollars cheaper at $9.99. Was it worth the extra money to get the whole fish? Once, for the experience. The Vera Cruz sauce was worth a little extra too, although you can get that on any entree at the Fish for $1.29 more. Glad I tried it, but from now on I’m going to let the kitchen take care of the bones.

Been an interesting day. Here’s a pro tip: If you’re from Nesbit, Mississippi, don’t check in at “Some Podunk Town in Alabama” as you’re coming back from the beach.

Stopped at Bardog and Saucer before hitting the Fish. Now that I’m fed, back out for round two.

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.

Fri update: Chris Vernon Show, Marreese Speights, mischief on the Fourth, World Series replica rings to be given away

My favorite sports talk radio show, the Chris Vernon Show, has a new home. Last Friday he announced that it was his last day on 730 AM in Memphis, in order to pursue other, interesting opportunities. Yesterday evening he revealed his plans – he’ll be on ESPN 92.9 from 11 to 2 weekdays, starting Monday, July 9. His producer Roser will come with him. Congrats to Verno and Roser. Looks like the TuneIn Radio app on my iPhone will start tuning in to 92.9.

For the reasons behind Verno and Roser’s move, check out this post on Mediaverse.

Chris Herrington from the Flyer reports that a deal has been reached with Marreese Speights to keep him in a Grizzlies uniform for two more years, with the second year as a team option. Good move. He was a key reason why the Grizzlies kept winning when Zach Randolph was out injured.

I’ve heard reports about a large group of kids running through Tom Lee Park on July 4 beating people. Did anyone else witness this? The Fourth is a holiday that lends itself to mischief, so you have to be careful. It’s probably the biggest day of the year for cruising Downtown. I know that when I walk home on the Fourth (or the Third in years when that’s the big fireworks night) I tend to walk home on the Main Street Mall rather than Second because there’s less chance of people shooting fireworks at me out a car window.

If you’re going to the Redbirds game tonight, get there early… free St. Louis Cardinals World Series replica rings for the first 3000 fans. Gates open at 5 PM.

Office closes at 1:30 today! I’ll be at the Flying Saucer about 2:30.

Thur update: Rooftop parties, steamboat company CEO to speak at SMA meeting

Last night I had a comment that I’ve been taking more days off blogging than usual. Yeah, that’s definitely true. I’ve been getting first-of-the-month stuff done, and wrapping up a big project at work. So my attention has been diverted. I hope to be back to my regular daily posting schedule soon. At least I got a couple of good pics of Panda Manda to wrap up Tube Top Month.

It’s Thursday night, so there are a couple of parties going on. Here’s the lineup:

The Living Daylights play the Peabody rooftop tonight. $10 cover includes your first drink. 6-11 PM, and ladies get in free before 7.

On the Madison rooftop, Gary Johns will perform. 7-11 PM, $7 cover, with a cash bar and small plates available.

At the South Main Association meeting next Tuesday, Jeffrey Krida, CEO of the American Steamboat Company, will speak. Meeting will be at the Brass Door, the Irish pub on Madison across from the First Tennessee Bank building. Complimentary hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. Free for SMA members, $10 for visitors. Social at 6 PM, presentation at 6:30.

That’s all for now. Got a couple of possible different plans for after work. You never know where I might show up…

Tue update: Things going on tonight and tomorrow, and volunteer for Project Homeless Connect next week

I would like to point out that today is a most unusual day. It’s what I call an “effective weekend day,” a day which is followed by a day off for almost everyone. Because most holidays fall on Mondays, effective weekend days hardly ever happen on Tuesdays. When they do happen, they often suck – for example, Christmas Eve, when most of the bars are closed and people are busy with family obligations, or New Year’s Eve, which is Amateur Night. Really, just about the only time we get an effective weekend day on a Tuesday that people can enjoy is when Independence Day falls on a Wednesday.

So, if it’s the one time all year you’ll be able to make it Downtown on a Tuesday night, what to do? Probably my top recommendation would be to check out trivia with Kevin Cerrito at Ferraro’s Pizzeria and Pub. Kevin runs one of the best trivia nights in town. Beer is ridiculously cheap, at $1 for a PBR or Rolling Rock draft. Also, the food is really good – I’ve had both the pizza and calzones. The only reason I don’t get to this trivia night more often is because it’s kind of a far walk from home. If you’re driving, though, might as well drive to Ferraro’s. It’s at the corner of Jackson and Main and they have a parking lot. Trivia starts at 8 PM.

If you’re looking for other alternatives, there’s also trivia at the Flying Saucer – two games, starting at 7:30 and 10 PM. Over at the Blind Bear, it’s poker night. I’ve been on a break from poker lately, but I hear they have been drawing as many as 40 people. Bardog has their pint night from 7 PM to 3 AM, with all their draft pints $3.

I’d previously posted that the Mud Island fireworks show is tomorrow night. The Redbirds have fireworks tomorrow too. Game is vs. Nashville and game time is 6:05, with fireworks to follow.

The Peabody’s rooftop will be open tomorrow for people who want to watch the Mud Island and AutoZone Park fireworks. Free to get in, cash bar.

I’ve been getting inquiries as to what’s open Downtown tomorrow and what’s not. General rule of thumb is that restaurants, bars, and grocery stores will be open, while most other retail will not. (One exception: I’ve heard from Lansky that they will be open.)

What to wear tomorrow for Independence Day? Why not declare your independence from straps, and wear a TUBE TOP!

In other news: Project Homeless Connect 2 needs volunteers. This is a one-day event that provides the homeless with all the resources they need to leave homelessness, right under one roof. Individuals will be able to get medical services, employment opportunities, housing counseling, Social Security, veterans’ benefits and services, food, haircuts, IDs, legal assistance, mental health services, and donated goods. There are a number of different volunteer assignments available, and they will do their best to try and match you with your desired assignment. Volunteer here. The event is at the Memphis Cook Convention Center on Thursday, July 12. They need volunteers from 8 AM to 4 PM. Individuals seeking services will be at the center from 9 AM to 3 PM.

That’s all for now. Plans TBD but I’ll be out somewhere tonight.

Nominate your favorite bartender or server for the Memphis Flyer poll

There are several polls where people vote for the best of Memphis, but the only one that really matters is the one run by the Memphis Flyer. It’s coming up soon. If you have a favorite bartender or server you think should be recognized, you can nominate them here. They’re accepting nominations for best local singer and band too.

Nominations will be accepted until Thursday, July 5, and voting begins on July 11.

Maybe I’ll vote for “Best Tube Top” for “Best Category We Left Out” this year.