Crop Hop 5K, a race and fundraiser for the Memphis Farmers Market, was last night, starting and ending at the pavilion next to Central Station. The Market wanted to show its runners and participants how much they were appreciated for coming out and supporting, so the Market’s organizers turned to one of Memphis’ most well-known BBQ teams to feed everyone: The Moody Ques. We were looking to do a practice cook anyway, and we wanted to try out our new smoker, so we embraced the opportunity. We practiced our championship shoulder and cooked beef brisket as well.
“So you need me at the pavilion at 5 AM to help unload, I assume,” I texted head cook Frank a few days before.
“No,” Frank replied. “We need you in a different role this time. Think of the role James Harden played when he was with the OKC Thunder. When the opponents were worn out, Harden came in and unleashed a flurry of offense that they couldn’t handle. That’s what we need you to do today.”
“But Frank, this isn’t BBQ Fest, we don’t have opponents,” I protested.
“Just go with it,” Frank said, and so I did. I got there about 5:45 in the afternoon, 45 minutes prior to the start of the race.
Frank taking the last of the shoulders off the smoker
We shopped local when we purchased our new smoker. Check ’em out: Tucker Cooker Company at 122 W. Carolina in the south end of Downtown. Look at the thermometer! It’s holding temperature right at 250! Bevo couldn’t always do that!
We ran out of propane, so we couldn’t use the BBQ device I’m no longer allowed to mention to clean the smoker.
(I mentioned the BBQ device I’m no longer allowed to mention )
First fruits of the smoker
The bone came right out of our first shoulder.
Recently engaged team members Justin and Roglly in the buffet line
The Rowdy Friends Band. Any band that plays the theme song to “The Jeffersons” is all right in my book. I mighta busted out the George Jefferson strut, if you weren’t there, you don’t know.
All the volunteers at the Farmers Market were SO NICE. One of the volunteers at the beer stand walked over with a Memphis Made Ananda IPA for me. “Paul, I know you’re working hard, so I figured you’d like a beer to cool off,” she said. I really enjoy the Farmers Market, not only because of the diverse array of items you can purchase there, but because of the people too.
Congratulations to all the runners. Great job supporting a great organization.
About 7:20 I checked the radar, and saw that I had about 15 minutes until the next band of rain from the remnants of Tropical Storm Bill moved through. Not having time to make it back to the Downtown core where I live, I darted into my home away from home on the south side, Max’s Sports Bar.
About 30 minutes later, after the rain had passed, a runner came in. We recognized each other because we had been at the registration table at the same time. She told me that the last of the runners got caught in the rain. Ugh, that must have sucked. I told her I am on the BBQ team that cooked for the after-party. “Oh, really?” she said. “A lot of people were talking about how good the BBQ was. They were saying, you HAVE to try the brisket.” Sounds like we impressed some people. Frank told me he learned a few things cooking on the new smoker. There will be more practices before BBQ Fest ’16.
The runner was a relatively new Memphian and didn’t know what I meant when I said I live in the Downtown core. Maybe I need to do a post about Downtown neighborhoods for new Memphians.
As I walked home, I passed by two new businesses on South Main. The first was Snaps, a new comedy club at 414 S. Main, in the building next to Onix that has housed several restaurants over the years, including Wendell’s World Beat Grill. Nice to have something different in there. South Main is truly blossoming as a destination in 2015.
Farther north, at 344 S. Main, I saw another addition to South Main:
Guiltfree Pastries, a place that serves desserts that are all natural, grain free, gluten free, and vegan. Probably not a place where you will find me often, but a surprisingly high number of vegetarians and vegans read this blog, so it’s worth a mention.
On to the news…The City of Memphis has officially applied to rename Third Street after B.B. King. That is a move I have absolutely no problem supporting. He deserves to be honored.
The Juneteenth urban music festival is currently happening at Church Park, on Beale east of Fourth. The festival started yesterday and runs through tomorrow.
BBQ restaurant Cozy Corner is the latest Downtown business to apply for a Mission Main Street grant. Vote for Cozy Corner here.
Stats site FiveThirtyEight has an article about the winners and losers of the Women’s World Cup group stage. Team USA are most definitely winners: They are projected at 33% to win the Cup. Germany is technically a slightly stronger team, but they face Sweden and France en route to the final match, while USA won’t see anyone in the top 10 in strength until at least the semis.
If you’re a fan of Fire Eater, the cinnamon competitor to Fireball, I have a tip for you. Fire Eater left the market recently (which does not surprise me, it tastes horrible) but Max’s Sports Bar still has some. If you’re a fan of one of the most godawful liquors ever poured in this city, you can go there to get it. I watched people order it the three times I have been there this week and watching them drink it makes my stomach turn inside out.
Question from one of my neighbors who reads this blog: Is any Downtown business showing the Grateful Dead 50th reunion? It’s going to be on July 4 on pay-per-view. If anyone knows shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will pass the info along.
Red Velvet, the vintage shop at 509 S. Main, celebrates its one-year anniversary today. 15% off purchases, Batlash Pop-up Shop, Red Velvet Cake Pops, rum punch.
Qahwa is having a Hookah Night tonight at 9 with hookahs, coffee, food, and belly dancers.
Time to hit Publish and get this day rolling. The laundry is not going to get dry in time for a morning trip to the Farmers Market, so Panda Time at Bardog at 11 will be the first stop. I’ll figure out the rest of the day – and really, the rest of the weekend – from there.