Arkansas Outlaw @ DeJaVu + Saturday news

Last Saturday I followed my usual routine: Brunch with Bloom at Bardog (Panda is now the bar manager) and then over to Blind Bear. About 3 I got hungry and wanted something different. It occurred to me that I had never been to DeJaVu since they opened the new Main Street location, although I don’t know if I should even refer to it as the “new” location since it has been open over a year know. I had been to the old location on Florida Street which is now Pink Diva Cupcakery, so I already knew the food at DeJaVu was delicious.

I tried to go to the DeJaVu location in the Downtown core, at 51 South Main, a few weeks after it opened. However, as was the case last weekend, it was a Saturday about 4 in the afternoon. I was told that the place was closed; it opened 11-2 for lunch and 5 to 9 or 10 (can’t remember exact hours) for dinner. That doesn’t work for a lot of Downtowners. A lot of us down here are not people who eat breakfast between 6 and 8, lunch between 11 and 2, dinner between 5 and 8. We eat when we get hungry. This is especially the case on the weekends, and a lot of the time we get hungry mid-afternoon. Fortunately the folks at DeJaVu have realized this and now stay open through the afternoon on Saturdays.

I was seated and looked over the menu. DeJaVu’s serves Creole food that makes you feel like you are in New Orleans for Mardi Gras. Although it doesn’t matter to me personally, I should also mention that DeJaVu’s menu is vegetarian and vegan friendly, with items that fit those diets marked as such on the menu. Although the menu was loaded with items I want to eventually try, there was no doubt what would be my order on my first visit: The Arkansas Outlaw.

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The Outlaw is a huge piece of catfish covered in crawfish etoufee, cooked to perfection. I have only been to New Orleans one time, but I can say the etoufee at DeJaVu is up there with the best places I ate when I was in NOLA. The service at DeJaVu was probably in the top five I have experienced in my 13 years Downtown. Truly first-rate. I got red beans and rice as my side.

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Outstanding meal, outstanding experience that left me wondering why I ignored this place for over a year. It won’t be another year before I go back. On my list to try next: Alligator Stew, Toni’s Voodoo Roux, New Orleans Creole Sampler (on a day when I’m really hungry), Big Keith’s Bayou Classic, Mardi Gras Pasta.

A different kind of Deja Vu will happen tonight at 7:30 at the Halloran Center for the Performing Arts. The Collage Dance Collective will open its sixth season with ballet performances from each of its first five home seasons.

If you like to fish, head to Bass Pro this afternoon at 1. There will be a fall fishing seminar covering pretty much all aspects of fishing.

Monday at the Halloran Center, there will be a fundraiser called Broadway and BBQ. It will be a dinner concert by the Memphis Men’s Chorale and Women’s Chorale. There will be dinner by One and Only BBQ and beer by Memphis Made. $50 single, $90 couple. Get tickets here.

Last night Seth from Best Memphis Burger Fest announced that preparation for next Saturday’s festival at Tiger Lane is complete. 35 teams, 21 vendors, 10 food trucks, over 10 craft beers. Two teams to watch out for in 7 days: The Moody Ques (my team) and Weekend at Porky’s. I’m not promising either of us will get on stage to collect a trophy (although the Moody Ques did at BBQ Fest) but I will promise you this: We’re the best parties in the entire damn park.

(Crap, I went back to make an edit and WordPress deleted the last three paragraphs of my post. Putting them back now.)

A public defender posted a touching story yesterday. As part of a plea negotiation, she had to get bus fare for her indigent client to travel from Memphis to her home in Miami. She contacted the Hospitality HUB, thinking “I’ll throw this out there, but I’m not expecting much.” The Hospitality HUB responded almost immediately, saying they would pay for half the bus fare. Later they were in contact via email and phone about her client’s itinerary. The Hospitality HUB is a wonderful organization that helps the homeless get to a better place in life. If you want to help the homeless, consider donating or volunteering. It will do a lot more good than giving money to a panhandler on the street.

Personal note: I do not lie. Well, that’s not entirely accurate. Have I ever said “that new dress looks great on you” while thinking, “I had no idea that was a new dress?” Sure. We all have. But on matters of substance I do not lie. I will either tell you the truth or say “I don’t feel comfortable discussing that.” Many people have proved recently that they are true friends who get that about me. But I have to say I am VERY DISAPPOINTED in some people I have been friends with for close to a decade, who are believing things that are being said about me, who believe I am capable of mendacity on a grand scale. To those people: We really need to talk. I will be at D-RANKS with B-RAD at Blind Bear tomorrow from 11 to 3 if anyone wishes to talk. This message is especially aimed at the south side.

All righty. Listening to Led Zeppelin Pandora radio and doing laundry and other Saturday chores. Brunch with Bloom at Bardog at 11 then will figure out the rest of the day.