Mon update: Get your name on a Guinness glass, tour newly renovated Civil Rights Museum, Valentine’s Day beer flight

Beer drinkers, would you like to own a Guinness glass with your own name engraved on it? You can get one at the Brass Door starting at 5 PM tonight. The glasses are first come, first served until they run out.

Want to tour the newly-renovated National Civil Rights Museum before it opens to the public? You can, at tomorrow night’s South Main Association meeting at the museum, which is free to both members and non-members. There will be a social in the foyer at 6, followed by the meeting and tour at 6:30. Cash bar, appetizers compliments of the SMA. Free food? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up.

Holly from the I Love Memphis Blog tried the Valentine’s Day Flight at the Flying Saucer recently. A flight is a good way to sample many different beers, with five 4-ounce taster glasses. The Valentine’s Day flight is made up of dessert beers and you also get some sweet treats on your serving board.

That’s all for today. I’ll be out at the usual places after work.

Sat update: Crawfish pepper jack mac & cheese, GameDay ticket special, GiveCamp Memphis, how cold before homeless get shelter?, Romanian Olympians

Last night I stopped by the Blind Bear about 9:00 for a PBR or two. After bringing me a can, Colin who was bartending asked if I’d like to see the “new, new menu.” “There’s another new one?” I asked. The “old, new menu” was only about a month old. Colin brought it to me. For right now it’s just a printed menu on a clipboard. They haven’t had time to insert it into the covers yet. “It’s two pages,” Colin told me, with the appetizers on page one and the entrees and desserts on page two.

I saw that the pepper jack mac & cheese was now prominently featured on the “Hotsy-Totsy” (appetizer) section of the menu. I was pleased to see it, because before it hadn’t been on the menu at all and you had to know to ask for it. A lot of people likely missed out on one of the best sides/apps in Downtown Memphis because of that.

Then I turned to page two, “The Great Gatsby” (entrees). Several of the dishes I had covered in my recent Paul’s PBR Review of the Blind Bear were gone. However, a new one appeared that I was delighted to see: Crawfish pepper jack mac & cheese! Two of my favorite foods, combined into one bowl. I have had crawfish mac & cheese a couple of times in my life, but it has never been on a menu of a restaurant I go to regularly. I ordered it immediately. “It’s a big bowl,” Colin told me.


Colin was right. It was a sizable bowl of the Bear’s signature pepper jack mac & cheese, with not only crawfish tails but asparagus as well. The asparagus added a nice touch to the dish and made me feel like I was making at least a little effort to get a serving of green vegetables in for the day. There was plenty of meat and it seemed like I had a crawfish tail in just about every bite. Despite having skipped lunch, there was enough of the mac & cheese that I could not finish it all.

Later in the evening, Jeannette, another of the owner-operators, came over and asked if I had seen the new menu. She mentioned that it is “a menu in transition” so if the crawfish mac looks like something you want to try, better do it soon. Personally, I hope it sticks around for the long haul. Not sure what’s going on with the menu. I didn’t ask last night because the place got super busy after Wicked let out. As soon as I can find out what’s going on (and the Bear is OK with me posting it) I will have an update.

In other news, the FedExForum is offering a GameDay ticket special for remaining tickets to the Memphis-Gonzaga game at 8 tonight. All remaining Terrace Level tickets will be on sale at a special rate of $25. You have to go to the arena’s box office to purchase them. It opens at noon today, but if you want tickets you better get there early and get in line: There are only a few hundred left. Don’t forget to turn on ESPN for GameDay coverage in Memphis beginning at 11 AM and going all day. Word is that the Peabody ducks will make an appearance.

Today is the first day of GiveCamp Memphis, where programmers, techies, marketers, and creatives come together for a weekend to help area charities with their needs. You can follow @GiveCampMemphis on Twitter to keep up with their activities today and tomorrow. The event is being held at CoWork Memphis.

Interesting map: How cold does it have to get before cities are required to shelter the homeless? Depends on where you are.

I didn’t watch the Olympics opening ceremony but I was told that the flag-bearer for Romania was pretty hot. Here’s a pic. I hate it that there are no Romanian gymnasts at the Winter Games. Catalina Ponor from the 2012 Romanian gymnastics team still hasn’t responded to my marriage proposal.

The Wikipedia article of the day is about Gertie the Dinosaur, a 1914 film. Several men visit a museum and see a dinosaur skeleton. One of the men claims he can bring the extinct “dinosaurus” back to life in the form of a cartoon. It isn’t the most interesting film in the world, but it’s a look at what cartoons were like in the very early days. The film is said to have inspired Walt Disney and other animators. You can watch it online on Wikipedia’s page.

That’s the news for now. As usual I will lead off at Bardog at 11, where hopefully they will have GameDay in Memphis on a TV.

Fri update: Kooky Winter Olympics specials, Chinese New Year/free museum admission, Grizzlies to give away fake neck tattoos

The Olympic Games are underway. Amid the stray dogs and unfinished hotels, the Winter Games will be going on for the next two weeks. Kooky Canuck will have specials going on during the games. Any time there is an event on ice, they will have $2 Blue Kamikaze shooters. Any time hockey is on TV, they will have $4 34 oz. Labatt Blue on draft.

In celebration of Chinese New Year, the Belz Museum of Judaic and Asian Art is having a Family Day tomorrow with free admission. There will be activities and crafts for kids, a storyteller, cultural performances, and raffles. The event kicks off at noon. If you aren’t familiar with the museum, it is in the Pembroke Square building, with the entrance next door to the Blind Bear. More info here.

The Grizzlies will give away free fake neck tattoos to the first 5000 fans in the door for their February 21 home game. The tattoos are in honor of new Grizzly James Johnson, who has a neck tattoo.

A few more hours at work, then WEEKEND! Back tomorrow (probably) with more news.

Thur update: SMA happy hour tonight, ESPN GameDay, casino caution, The Walking Dead party, Muse moving, more bad weather, restaurant article, Cafe Keough

The South Main Association is starting a monthly Happy Hour, to be held the first Thursday of the month, and the first one is tonight at the Green Beetle from 5:30 to 7:30 this evening. You do not have to be an SMA member to attend. There is no set agenda, and it is just a chance to get to know your neighbors. The Beetle will have $3 draft beer, house wine, and well drinks, and as always there will be buckets of 5 bottles of beer for $10.

The FedExForum Grand Lobby will open at 6:30 AM Saturday (that’s not a typo, AM) for ESPN GameDay. Coach Pastner is hoping that University of Memphis fans will pack the place and make Memphis look great on TV. Coverage starts at 10 AM on ESPNU and 11 AM on ESPN. It’s your chance to be on national TV! More info here.

If any Downtowners are going to the casinos Saturday night, watch out: There will be a DUI checkpoint on Third near Shelby Drive. Better designate a driver or catch a casino shuttle.

Tamp & Tap will have a watch party for “The Walking Dead” premiere Sunday at 8 PM. $3.50 craft beer, $4 “Alive Inside” espresso & OJ.

The MBJ reports that clothing boutique Muse will move into the former Art on a Hot Tin Roof space at Main and Gayoso. Muse is currently located at 546 S. Main.

There is a winter weather update on the blog. To summarize: We could get a dusting of snow this afternoon. We could get some light snow tomorrow afternoon and evening. Winter weather is possible Monday afternoon into Wednesday and we could see snow, sleet, or freezing rain. SERIOUSLY??? Haven’t we had enough of winter?

Nice article about restaurants by the Majestic Grille’s Patrick Reilly in Memphis Magazine. You can read it here.

Cafe Keough has a Facebook page that you can “like” to keep up with happenings there. They posted their menu this morning. They also posted that the Side Street Steppers will be performing there tomorrow night from 7:30 to 10.

All right, time to munch a chicken southwest salad while having fun with SQL. Back tomorrow with more news.

Wed update: Flying Saucer raises Fire Sale price, praise for Let’s Move Down, Uncle Lou’s on TV, CVS gets rid of tobacco products

Yesterday after work I went to the Flying Saucer and ordered my usual Dos Equis Lager at the bar. One of the servers came up to me and said, “Paul, look at the Fire Sale board. Do you notice anything different?” Every day they select a different craft beer to sell at a discount price (except Monday, which is Pint Nite and almost all the drafts are discounted). For the past four or so years, the Fire Sale has been $3 a draft. However, when I looked at the board I saw this:

Photo Feb 04, 6 29 19 PM

The Fire Sale price had gone up to $3.50. I posted a pic to Facebook, and not surprisingly people complained. Kirk the general manager got on and commented, explaining that they waited to do it as long as possible and that they were the last of the locations to implement the price increase. He also said that the price increase would allow them to Fire Sale a wider, better range of beers. (Not sure a pear cider is the best way to make that point, but some people like it I suppose.)

I was joined by a friend who was on his way to the Memphis-Rutgers game at the FedExForum. He had praise for the Let’s Move Down smartphone app. “Once you have a cheap ticket and are in the FedExForum, you can find some really good deals to upgrade to much better seats. I went to a game on a $7 ticket, and at halftime I was able to move to seats about 10 rows back from courtside for only about $10 more.”

The Uncle Lou’s Fried Chicken episode of Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives airs tonight at 10:30 on the Food Network. Thanks to @MemphisOnTV for the tip.

In case you missed the news, CVS will stop carrying cigarettes and all tobacco products. Management felt that they could not in good conscience promote themselves as a champion of health care while carrying those items. CVS hasn’t always had the best reputation in Memphis but I have to say this is a very, very good move.

The Grizzlies host the Dallas Mavericks at the FedExForum tonight at 7. This could be the battle for the Western Conference 8th seed in the playoffs, so it’s an important game.

That’ll do it for now. Back tomorrow with more news.

Tue update: Dishcrawl brunch tour, basketball news, new apartments on S. Second, Sochi Olympics

Dishcrawl’s latest Downtown restaurant crawl is scheduled for Saturday, March 8, and it will be a trolley brunch crawl. Participants will take the trolley to three Downtown restaurants for delicious brunch food. More info here.

The Tigers take on Rutgers at FedExForum tonight. Tip-off is 6 PM. The game will be on CBS Sports Network.

ESPN GameDay will be here for Saturday’s game against Gonzaga. Coverage begins on ESPNU at 10 AM, ESPN at 11 AM. Game time is 8 PM.

New apartments are in the plans for South Second Street, across from Happy Mexican. The back of the apartments will back up to South Third.

The Winter Olympics are only days away. From Gizmodo: Can Sochi get its shit together?

That’s it for now. As usual I will be out at Blind Bear poker at 8. Everyone be safe driving home from work.

Raj makes bad bets (but is an incredibly good sport)

Last week I mentioned a bet that had been made on the NFC championship game between Colin, one of the operating partners of the Blind Bear, and his friend Raj. I knew that Raj, loser of the bet, had to stand on the corner of Second and Peabody place for an hour holding a sign. What I did not know was that there was much more to the bet than just that.

I led off at the Blind Bear at noon yesterday, as I normally do for Sunday brunch. I found Colin sitting at one of the poker tables, blowing up helium balloons in Seahawks colors. In the back was a hideous green and plaid suit with enormous green shoes, and a clown wig. That was what Raj had to wear as he held his sign. “This is going to take shame bets to a whole new level,” Colin said.

A lot of people would have tried to weasel their way out of paying off the bet, but not Raj. About 2:40 PM he came in. They closed the curtains to the dining room and Raj changed into the clown suit. Once Raj was dressed, Colin escorted him to the corner of Second and Peabody, where he stood in front of the former Primetime Sports Bar and held his sign.

Photo Feb 02, 3 13 44 PM

Raj was a good sport about the whole thing. He danced around holding the sign and wearing his size-40 green clown shoes. I watched the show from the Flying Saucer across the street. Colin came in and invited the Saucer girls to walk across the street and have their photo taken with Raj. Several people driving down Second stopped to pose with Raj too.

Due to the rain, Raj’s sign fell apart about 35 minutes into the hour, and Colin decided he had been through enough humiliation and called it a day. I had taken several pics and posted them to Facebook, and within a couple of hours I was getting “permission to use this photo?” texts and emails from the media. “I’m already planning for next year,” Colin said. “It’s going to be even bigger and better. Funny thing is, I will probably be the one dressed as a clown next year.”

Congrats to Colin on winning the bet, and to Raj for being an incredibly good sport who paid his bet off in full.

Sat update: Raj makes bad bets, Rajun Cajun crawfish fest, weather, watch the Super Bowl online, how to hold a burger

If you want to witness a piece of Downtown Super Bowl fun, walk or drive past the corner of Second and Peabody Place around 3 PM tomorrow. You see, two weeks ago, two Downtowners, Colin and Raj, made a bet on the NFC championship game. However, they did not bet money. Instead, they made it a bet of personal pride. Colin’s team, the Seahawks, won the game. As a result, Raj has to stand on one of Downtown’s busiest corners for an hour tomorrow, holding a sign that reads, “I MAKE BAD BETS. Go Seahawks!”

The annual Porter-Leath Rajun Cajun Crawfish Festival is set for Sunday, April 27. This is Memphis’ biggest and best crawfish festival and is well worth attending even if you don’t eat the critters. Usually the fest is the third weekend in April, but it’s a week later this year. I checked the calendar and the reason for the date move is that Easter is Sunday, April 20. That means that Rajun Cajun and Beale Street Wine Race will be on the same day for the first time in several years. Dammit Jesus, why couldn’t you have been crucified in February when there’s nothing going on? I wish the two fests could figure out a way to waive the open-container law on Beale between Second and the river that day. It would be sweet indeed to get a Call-a-Cab from Wet Willie’s as a walkaround and walk it back to the crawfish festival.

Winter weather is a possibility tomorrow night. has the details.

Like long-range forecasts? Yesterday I discovered that AccuWeather does a 45-day forecast. Of course, who knows how reliable it can be that far out, but here’s the good news: Only 2 of the next 45 days are predicted to have highs in the 30s, and no highs in the 20s. Also, after a week from tomorrow, no lows below freezing are predicted. I hope they’re right!

Another thing I like about AccuWeather? They don’t name winter storms. None of that Cleon, Dion, Electra BS. I’m getting sick of the Weather Channel and am going to rely on AccuWeather from now on as my national weather website.

If you won’t be in front of a TV tomorrow, here’s how to watch the Super Bowl online.

From the Consumerist blog: Hold your burger this way to keep toppings from squirting out when you bite into it. You’re welcome.

The Tigers play a road game against SMU at 1 today. Game will be on CBS Sports Network. A lot of people don’t realize that this is a big game. SMU is a very good team but doesn’t have the reputation of our foes Louisville, UConn, and Cincinnati. I won’t make a prediction on the outcome of today’s game but I will make this prediction: As today’s game goes, so will go the Tigers’ chances of making the Sweet 16 in March.

Random pro wrestling video of the week: CM Punk’s matches in TNA 2003-2004. You may have heard that Punk, one of WWE’s top stars, walked out on the company this week, right in the middle of the buildup to WrestleMania. The video linked here is two and a half hours of footage from the days when CM Punk was young and TNA didn’t suck.

That’s the news for now. As usual I will be out at Bardog at 11, then figure out the rest of the day.