This is the Dawning of the Age of Asparagus

When the kale is in the seventh booth…
And pottery aligns with meats
Then peace will guide the radishes
And love will steer the beets!

This is the dawning of the Age of Asparagus…

This is the Dawning of the Age of Asparagus is the theme at Memphis Farmers Market this Saturday. Check out this Pinterest board for ideas for what to do with your asparagus. Tip from MFM: The thinner, slender stalks are the more tender ones. There will be live music from Bud Summers (8:30-10) and Steve Schad (11-12:30). The market is at the corner of Front and G.E. Patterson from 7 AM to 1 PM Saturdays.

Check out this week’s vendor chitchat with Teresa Harris of Jessie Harris Produce. Jessie Harris is her husband’s name and the name of their farm in Dyersburg. They use only organic products on their farm, and are best known for their tomatoes, being one of the first vendors of the Farmers Market season to carry them.

The Redbirds return to town tomorrow night with a 6:35 game time, and there will be a huge number of things going on. There’s a Papa John’s “Score 6” promotion where you can order a pizza online for half off the following day if the Redbirds score 6 runs. There will also be a baby race, a block party at 5 in the plaza, a Floor & Decor giveaway, a performance by Drums Unlimited, and fireworks following the game. Opponent is the Round Rock Express.

We now know quarterbacks are going 1-2 in the NFL draft. That could propel Memphis Tigers QB Paxton Lynch into the top 10.

Frank Chin has a photo gallery of Rajun Cajun crawfish fest.

Off to work. Possibly another post later today. Good luck to my Moody Ques teammates as they load in to Southaven Springfest.

Thursday update

BREAKING: Prince has passed away at the age of 57

Before we get started, a quick announcement to my Moody Ques teammates: Friday (tomorrow) is the deadline to let us know your T-shirt size. If you are a member, or if you have not paid yet but plan on being a member, fill out this form and let us know your size. We are ordering extras but cannot guarantee the size you want if you do not let us know by tomorrow.

The MyHQ alley party in Barboro Alley got rescheduled due to incoming storms last night. New date is Tuesday, May 3, when they will partner with Red Ball Project, and there will be music, drinks, games, art and more.

Pro tip: If you’re going to Southern Hot Wing Fest Saturday on Riverside, start stocking up on dollar bills. No, not to go to the strip club afterward, but to leave donations for the teams who feed you wings. Money in the donation buckets will go to the Ronald McDonald House.

Fox13 has photos of a car smashing into the South Bluffs guard shack.

Ready for your daily dose of stupid? Donald Trump thinks putting Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill is “a total P.C. move” and that we should put her on the highly-esteemed $2 bill instead. How does he get away with saying this stuff?

Good stuff from one of my favorite authors, Neale Donald Walsch:

Too often the past 12 months, I have chosen actions based out of fear. I think I will make it a personal goal to choose better actions in the short term, say, between now and the end of BBQ Fest.

Best Bet from Michael Donahue: Caldo Tlalpeno from Maciel’s. I have not tried that one yet, but based on my experience, anything from Maciel’s is a Best Bet!

The Majestic Grille is opening at 10 Sunday so you have time to brunch before Grizzlies playoff game 4. 901-522-8555 for reservations.

Susan Ellis from the Flyer has news on what is happening at Bluefin since the new owner took over.

There will be a Latin Food & Tequila Fest Sunday at the Cadre Building from noon to 7.

Learn to make Felicia Suzanne’s classic BGFLT salad at home in this video.

If you didn’t see the Downtown Olympics recap I posted early this morning, keep scrolling down and you will see it. Check back, because a third post is a serious possibility. Farmers Market news came in too late for this post but I will try to get it online this evening.

Max’s taking poll about smoking and more (Wed update #2)

If you’re a customer of Max’s Sports Bar, you might want to pull up their Facebook or Twitter page today and vote. Max is polling his customers on whether he should continue to allow smoking at his bar. The sports bar has been a smoking establishment since it opened as Calhoun’s on the last day of 2007.

I have mixed feelings about this but am going to hold off sharing them until the vote concludes, to avoid having undue influence on the results. I will say that I voted my personal preference, which is nonsmoking.

The Brass Door is closing at 3 today for a private event. Diamond Dave’s British Bingo will move to Thursday this week only, at 7:30 PM.

Looks like the South Bluffs guard shack took a direct hit from a vehicle sometime in the past day. I hope everyone is all right.

The MBJ has info on Grizzlies uniforms, which will change in the 2017-18 season to incorporate sponsor logo patches. The sponsor will be team-wide; individual player sponsorships will not be allowed.

Pranom Pop-Up, the nationally famous Thai street food vendor, is coming back to Memphis tomorrow evening. They will be at Earnestine & Hazel’s from 7 until they run out.

Alexander Hamilton is staying on the $10 bill, but Andrew Jackson will be replaced by Harriet Tubman on the $20. Replacing a man who owned slaves with a woman who led slaves to freedom… I applaud this. Excellent decision.

I’m going to lead off at the Silly Goose for happy hour, then I’ll go over and check out the My HQ alley party next to Bardog. Possibly an after-work post, so check back.

Wednesday morning update

This is last minute and not Downtown, but worth reporting anyway: There is a beer dinner at Aldo’s Pizza Pies’ Midtown location featuring the beers of next-door neighbor Memphis Made. In honor of 4/20 they’re calling it “Memphis’ highest beer dinner.” Four courses plus Memphis Made beer for $40. View the menu and get tickets here.

More not-Downtown news: If you live in 38111, 38117, 38119, or 38120, Chef Shuttle will deliver food from the Memphis Greek Festival on May 6 and 7.

Congratulations to Nick Scott, formerly of Bluefin and Flight, and his business partner Tony Westmoreland. They are about to become the new owners of Alchemy out in Cooper-Young.

Hollywood headlines the weekly Peabody rooftop party tomorrow evening. $10 cover with the first 200 ladies free. There will be a buffet of pizza rolls and mini-corn dogs from 7 to 8 PM. If you’re in VIP ($150 pass for the year), you have a second buffet of gourmet pizzas, sliders, and onion dip with crostini 7-9:30 PM. Mango is the featured margarita tomorrow.

If you didn’t make it to Downtown Olympics and are curious what synchronized drinking looks like, here’s a video I took of Liver Let Die (the Blind Bear team) competing in the event.

Not very synchronized, is it?

Off to work. Possibly back with another post at lunchtime or 5:30ish.

Tuesday update

Photo Apr 17, 2 03 35 PMPost-Rajun Cajun Crawfish Fest, we were channel-surfing at the Blind Bear. Bad Stepdaddy Pounded Her 4 was on. Random fact about me: I am not a big movie person and have not seen Bad Stepdaddy Pounded Her 1, 2, or 3. If Cerrito Trivia ever does a Bad Stepdaddy Pounded Her movie trivia night, don’t bother asking me to join your team. I will be useless.

It’s time to look ahead to this weekend’s festivals! Although the calendar is not as crowded as this past weekend, there are some good ones. The 36th annual Southaven Springfest happens at Snowden Grove Park this weekend. 38 Special will headline Friday night, and Loverboy plays Saturday night.

“Wait a minute,” you’re probably thinking. “Why is the Downtown blogger writing about a festival in Mississippi?” Valid question. The reason is that part of Springfest is a regional BBQ event, and guess who will be cooking? The Moody Ques! We are one of 39 shoulder teams entered, and we are aiming at a second Top 10 finish in the month of April. If you go to Springfest, be sure to stop by and see us!

Closer to home, the Southern Hot Wing Festival will happen on Riverside Drive Saturday. Cooking teams compete for the chance to become Grand Champion and win $5000. You can sample teams’ wings for a couple bucks’ donation to the Ronald McDonald House. Be sure to stop by and see my friends at Jack Pirtle’s who are sponsoring the event. There will be live entertainment on three stages, headlined by Black Oak Arkansas. The Moody Ques are not competing in this event but my friends on Squeal Street BBQ are, so I will try to stop by.

Sunday is one of the most debaucherous days of the year, Beale Street Wine Race. Teams from local restaurants and bars will compete in an opening parade, Queen of the Vine, a grape stomping competition, and four-person wine relays. The absolute can’t-miss event is Queen of the Vine which will happen around 1 in Handy Park. Many Call-a-Cabs are consumed over the course of the afternoon. I will be cheering for the Blind Bear of course, with my favorite pair of librarian glasses competing for Queen and B-RAD getting off work at 1:30 to come join the fun.

Check out One901’s recap of Memphis Brewfest. I was busy down on the south side and didn’t make it to Brewfest this year, but it sounds like a really good time was had by all.

Loflin Yard is hosting Silent Disco in the Coach House Saturday night from 10 PM to 1 AM.

The annual Bark in the Park, the day when you can purchase a special ticket and bring your dog to see the Redbirds, is this Sunday. I usually don’t go to this event because it’s always the same day as Wine Race, and watching near-naked women shake their stuff at Handy Park sounds better than watching baseball. Also, I don’t have a dog.

Memphis’ original beer, Goldcrest 51, is now available in cans.

That’s it for now. Possibly a second post later.

The dog ate my post

I could not function without Evernote. I keep everything in there. I have an “Important Facts” note with things like my mother’s address and phone number for when I need to fill out insurance forms. I have a “things to explore at work” note when I get ideas for work when off the clock. And I have a “things I need to blog” note that I copy and paste into WordPress and build a post around

So yesterday morning I attempted to cut and paste into WordPress. Except I got the paste part wrong and couldn’t undo it. Apologies if I talk about stuff I have previously mentioned. Just trying to remember six paragraphs worth of information that didn’t go on the blog yesterday.

Before we get to that, though, one of the best festivals of the year happens Downtown today! Rajun Cajun crawfish fest, between Union and Beale on the river, noon to 6. Buckets of crawfish, food trucks, carnival vendors, live music, free to enter but it’s a fundraiser for Porter-Leath so when you spend money, it goes to a good place. I will lead off at D-RANKS with B-RAD today then head down to the river about 12:30 if anyone wants to join.

Speaking of Porter-Leath: They are hiring for several jobs in the education field.

Today’s Redbirds road game in Colorado Springs is being postponed due to bad weather. It will be made up in June.

Memphis Made Brewing Co. is bringing back its popular sushi class on Sunday, May 22. For $40 you get everything you need to learn to make sushi, taught by the experts at Birmingham Sushi. This class was a huge hit last time, so you better register soon if you want to go.

Speaking of Memphis Made, I went up there Friday night to visit my friend Mike who lives down the street as well as my favorite pair of librarian glasses.

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Their new Dockside beer is really tasty. I would link to a description but they don’t have it on the website yet.

Sign outside Cafe Keough yesterday:

2016-04-16 07.18.37

Well, you know…

Improvements are being made to the Denny’s at Union and BB King Blvd:

2016-04-16 07.25.43 HDR-2

Having spent most of yesterday in South Main, I stopped at Rizzo’s Diner on the way back north.

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Cheeseburger soup is one of Chef Michael Patrick’s signature dishes. It is the perfect way to start a meal at Rizzo’s.

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(I think my iPhone may have rotated this 90 degrees, but whatever, it’s food, you get the point.) For my main course I got the Cajun seasoned chicken pot pie, with Andouille sausage, bell peppers, and seasonal veggies. Man, was this ever good! Thanks Chef for another awesome meal.

Finally made that trip to Nate’s bar at Earnestine & Hazel’s last night. Nate, it was good to see you again.

Happy birthday to my friend Mary, one of the most beautiful souls I have ever met. It has been wonderful to watch her find happiness this past year.

Tomorrow is Tax Day, or “file an extension so I can get to Bardog an hour earlier” day as I like to think of it.

Grizzlies vs. Spurs Game 1 on TNT tonight at 7. I have a feeling this ain’t going to be pretty.

Ballet Memphis performs Cinderella at the Orpheum at 2 today.

The University of Memphis’ student-run record label is presenting Hear 901 Fest tonight at the New Daisy.

That’s it for now. Time for a couple of D-RANKS then crawfish.

Segway for sale, 901 Fest lineup announced, and more Friday news

If you walked the streets of Downtown Memphis last year, you may have seen Paul Morris who ran DMC riding around on his infamous Segway. Now that he is no longer running DMC and is focusing on his family’s auto glass business, he no longer needs the Segway and is putting it up for sale. Hit him up at @memphismorris on Twitter. No reasonable offer refused.

There will be a Cinema of Canada film fest next month to showcase the movies of Memphis in May’s honored country for this year.

If you own a Windows computer with the QuickTime video player on it, you need to uninstall it immediately. Two new vulnerabilities have been discovered and Apple no longer supports QuickTime for Windows, so don’t expect a fix.

The Redbirds begin a road series for the next 8 days. Want to see Redbirds road games? You can, here.

901 Fest has announced its list of musicians, artists, and vendors. The festival will be May 28 at Tom Lee Park, replacing Sunset Symphony. Some of Memphis’ best food trucks are on this list. I’m rather surprised that only one local craft brewery, Ghost River, is a beer vendor.

The DMC is still searching for a qualified firm to manage Beale Street. Read the RFP. Submit applications to Jeff Sanford, Beale Street RFP, c/o DMC, 114 N. Main Street, Memphis TN 38103 no later than 4 PM June 24.

Underground Kitchen is coming to Memphis. The Flyer link has details. In 2011 when I was still part of the Ques Brothers, one of our cooks from Chicago ran a similar underground dining experience, and after BBQ Fest that year he brought the concept to Memphis for one night only. This was a fantastic experience. If you love food I would check the new underground kitchen out.

Can’t make it to the Farmers Market but love Claybrook Farms meat? You can order their April bundle.

Totally agree with this:

Here’s a look at what Josh Pastner will get paid at Georgia Tech as well as buyout structure. He’s taking a pay cut, but the pay is still in line with what typical ACC coaches make. Want to be one of Pastner’s assistants? I hope you don’t play golf.

That’s all for now. There may be a second post after work, but probably not one tomorrow morning. I have to get to South Main super early to hit the Farmers Market before Downtown Olympics begins. I plan on being there all day taking photos. I hope you see you at the Double J parking lot tomorrow!

Fresh produce news and more (Thursday update #2)

Bring It Food Hub out in The Edge announced that they have volunteer opportunities available. The food hub delivers fresh produce to subscribers locally at designated pickup points.

Speaking of fresh produce, Saturday is Let’s Dig In! at the Memphis Farmers Market. April is National Garden and Lawn Month, and you can spruce up your lawn and front porch with flowers and plants from the Farmers Market. Kids can get in on the fun as well, in the second installment of the Life on the Farm education series. They get to plant seeds in a pocket greenhouse to watch them grow. There will be live music from Toni Norton 8:30 to 10 and Tiffany Harmon 11 to 12:30. The Market happens every Saturday from 7 AM to 1 PM at the corner of Front and G.E. Patterson.

I know many people will be in the area Saturday for Downtown Olympics. If you’re coming to DTO but have never been to the Farmers Market, do yourself a favor and plan your arrival time 20-30 minutes early and stop by. This is an awesome resource for Downtown and as I have stressed, much more than just produce. I will be at DTO all day but I will take my own advice and arrive at the Farmers Market a half hour before DTO starts for my weekly smoothie and maybe some food truck fare.

This week the Market has a vendor chitchat with Teresa White of Studio 1688, a blown glass vendor.

Random thing I learned from today: Showers and storms that move east to west, opposite the normal direction, are called Crazy Ivan.

The broadcast schedule for Memphis Grizzlies playoff games has been announced. Game 4 (Sunday, April 24 at noon) will be televised nationally on ABC. Before or after commercial breaks, broadcasters often cut to live shots of Beale Street. The beginning of the second half will coincide with the starting time for Beale Street Wine Race’s Queen of the Vine competition. Oh my. ABC may be getting more than it bargained for with that view.

Work on the mural decorating 107 S. Main is underway. Have a look.

Bendy Brewski Yoga, the company that hosts brewery yoga at the High Cotton taproom Thursday evenings, is adding a monthly event at the Rec Room out on Broad Avenue. The third Sunday of every month will be Bendy Boozy Yoga at 11 AM. This is a one-hour, instructor-led private yoga class followed by the brunch cocktail of your choice for $20. Weather permitting (and it looks like it will be beautiful Sunday, April 17 for the first class) the practice will be held on Rec Room’s outdoor patio. Mats will be available and there will be additional drink specials too. I would TOTALLY be attending this, because you know how much I like exercise and drives past the Parkways, but Sunday is Rajun Cajun Crawfish Fest Downtown and I can’t miss that. I won’t make the May edition either, because that’s BBQ Fest load-out day and I will be at the Load-out Command Center at 115 South Main.

Register here for a chance to be drawn to take a half-court shot at a Grizzlies game. Win a Toyota RAV4 if you are chosen and make the shot.

Home from work, time for beer, see you tomorrow.

U of M hires Tubby Smith + Thursday news

So, Tubby Smith is the new Memphis head coach. My first reaction was “Eh.” Having grown up on Nolan Richardson’s fast-paced 40 Minutes of Hell at Arkansas, the Tubbyball style which is slower, more defensive-minded, stressing fundamentals, seemed boring to me.

However, I have come around to like the hire. Kids who come play here have all had enablers in their ear, telling them they are on the fast track to the NBA, and that they are too good to listen to their coaches. As a result, recent Tigers teams have tended to play AAU style ball at the college level, and of course that has not worked out well. Fundamentals and team ball concepts are exactly what our young players need to learn. This Sporting News article says it well.

Rumor has it Tubby will name Penny Hardaway as lead assistant. Although Tubby is not a strong recruiter and doesn’t know about recruiting in the Memphis area, I think recruiting will be just fine if we have Penny on board and retain Keelon Lawson as an assistant. Dedric Lawson has already said he will be back next season, which is a promising sign.

Welcome to Memphis, Coach.

If you didn’t make it to the Silly Goose last night to hear Charvey Mac, you have an additional chance to catch him Downtown this week. He will play the Harbor Town Crawfish Festival from 1 to 4 Saturday.

Historian Jimmy Ogle is hosting a free Memphis Music Tour this afternoon at 5:30. Meet at the Beale Street Caravan office at 49 Union. Free to attend.

There’s a Lip Sync Battle tonight at the Hard Rock Cafe tonight at 7. People who garnered the most online votes in a lip sync battle will compete, but there will be celebrities competing as well, including Al Kapone, Mayor Strickland, Gina Neely (Food Network star), Bev Johnson, and Bar-Kays vocalist Larry Dodson. $30 individual ticket or $50 for two, with proceeds benefiting Plus-1, the MLGW program that provides money to pay the utility bills for those in need.

2016-01-30 13.54.24Saturday is National Eggs Benedict Day. My recommendation would be to go to brunch at Rizzo’s Diner and have the Catfish Benedict. I had it back in January and it is the best Benedict I have ever had.

The River Rat Rounders poker league now has an app where players can access all their information in one place. Available for iPhone and Android.

Last month, a Los Angeles woman claimed abuse by Memphis Grizzlies forward Zach Randolph. She claimed he hit her in the neck and back, and showed bruises. Now she has admitted she was lying, and that a friend helped her make the bruises. I hope she faces punishment for filing a false police report, and if she put those accusations on an official court document and signed her name, I hope she gets charged with perjury too. I’m reminded of the saying, “When you tell the truth, it becomes part of your past; but when you lie, it becomes part of your future.” Congrats to Z-bo on having his good name cleared. I’m sure this was an unwelcome nuisance during crunch time at the end of the regular season.

Here’s a link to game times for the #2 Spurs vs. #7 Grizzlies playoff opening round. Note that all times are Eastern, so subtract an hour from what is listed. FiveThirtyEight gives the Grizz a 2% chance of advancing to the conference semis. Like I said yesterday, if you want a 2016 Growl Towel, better attend the April 22 or April 24 game at FedExForum.

I want to apologize to the Brass Door for having twice said I was coming up there after work and making it there neither time. The reality is, when you are on a BBQ team, all plans are tentative in the 5-6 weeks preceding BBQ Fest. This week I have had to remain in the Main/Gayoso/Peabody place area with my Director of PR hat on, to give my perspective on a few team matters. I hope to be back at the Brass Door soon and the absence will be temporary.

As if we needed one more thing going on Saturday, rapper Andy Mineo will play the New Daisy at 7 that night with Propaganda as part of his Uncomfortable tour. Tickets $22 in advance/$27 day of show or $45/50 for VIP tickets.

That’s it for now. A second post after work with Farmers Market info and more is a strong possibility.

Wednesday update

Round 1 playoff tickets are on sale at the FedExForum box office. There is a Plaza Party where you can grab your playoff swag. If you want to score a Growl Towel for 2016 you should probably buy a ticket to game 3 or 4 or both; I hate to be negative but let’s face it, the Grizzlies might not be around for game 6 or the second round.

Last week I announced that there would be a Downtown Public Safety Meeting Thursday at 5:30 at the Central Station board room. The meeting will still be held and the time is still the same, but the location has changed to the 5 Spot.

College students: You can intern with the Memphis City government this summer. Find out how.

Former Downtown resident, celebrity mainly because “he’s famous,” and reality show star David Gest has died in London at age 62.

The Memphis Daily News has a great profile of Paul Young, who became Director of Housing and Community Development for Memphis in January. He has a vision for South City, the mixed-income neighborhood that will rise in the place of Foote Homes. Foote Homes, the city’s last housing project, is on track to be demolished this summer.

A day before tribute band Zoso plays their material at the New Daisy, Led Zeppelin is headed to court to answer a claim that they plagiarized “Stairway to Heaven.”

British Bingo at the Brass Door will become Irish Bingo a special guest announcing the numbers tonight: Seamus. Free to play, starts around 7:30. $100 in prizes awarded over six games, $4 Fireball.

Trolley Stop Market has unveiled the fruits of a project they have been working on for some time: an all-natural sorghum syrup that is locally grown and chemical-free. It’s being sold at the market now and is said to be great on biscuits.

Great news for Memphis Tigers basketball. Dedric Lawson has withdrawn his name for the NBA draft and will return for his sophomore year.

Loflin Yard opens at 4 this afternoon and they posted that there will be live bluegrass music.

I’ve had a couple of team members compliment me on the member list on the sidebar of the Moody Ques website. Tip of the hat to Porkosaurus, from whom I stole the idea. I wanted to show on our website that every member is an important part of the team. I was also adamant that it be one list, and not board members listed separately from team members. I also like the member list because it gives us transparency: If you are thinking about joining or sponsoring the Moody Ques, you know exactly who we are. No surprises.

If you were expecting to see your name on the team member list and you don’t: PAY YO DUES

Streetdog Foundation will have adoptable dogs at Memphis Made Brewing Co. Saturday from 1 to 4.

Tubbyball coming to Memphis? I’m seeing several respected sports sources reporting that Texas Tech head coach Tubby Smith is on the short list of candidates the Tigers are considering for their head coaching position.

That’s it for now. Second post is a possibility after work. I will lead off at Silly Goose then probably over to Brass Door to play Seamus’ bingo.