Tue update #2

I bet there are a lot of you who have wanted to try the Ghost River taproom, but you haven’t made it there yet. I bet there are also a lot of people out there who were customers of Double J, and who have not yet had the chance to try the Double J Egg Roll Express food truck but would like to. Tomorrow you can kill two birds with one stone. The Egg Roll Express truck will be parked outside Ghost River’s taproom and will be selling food. Another good reason to go tomorrow is that it’s Flight Night, where you can try five different beers for only $8. The taproom will be open 4:00-10:30 tomorrow, with happy hour 4 to 6.

Don’t forget that tonight is the DNA/SMA holiday party at Jack Robinson Gallery on Huling, 6 to 9 PM. Food by Rizzo’s, music by Eddie Harrison, cash bar.

WALRUS will play Loflin Yard on New Year’s Eve. This extremely popular band will take you back to the music you played in the cassette deck of your first car. The band will be rocking the Coach House, there will be bonfires outside, and at midnight there will be a champagne toast. $20 cover. Purchase tickets in advance here.

City Tasting Tours has announced a supper club called CONCOCTIONS | Toast and Taste with two events coming up early next year at Belle Tavern. The January event is a gathering for rum lovers and foodies. Attendees will raise their tiki cocktails as they savor the taste of appetizers paired by Belle. The Intimate Affair and Mahaffey Tent & Rentals will decorate the space to make the presentation exotic. The February CONCOCTIONS event will pair red wines with Belle’s appetizers. Tickets are $40 for each event.

iPhone and iPad users: Update your operating system to avoid scary security bugs.

Have you ever thought about volunteering for MIFA’s Meals on Wheels program, where drivers deliver nourishing meals to the elderly and disabled? Volunteer Odyssey blogger Heather has a post about her first day delivering meals.

The best-kept secrets of Memphis Comedy, Comma Comedians, will be back at Memphis Made Brewing Co. Thursday, December 15 at 7:30 PM. $2 entry, doors open at 7:30. Use the York Street entrance. Here’s a video of the Comma Comedians in action.

Bleu in the Westin across from FedExForum launched its new website this morning.

On the evening of Thursday, December 22 and Thursday evenings thereafter, Miss Cordelia’s and Cordelia’s table will have free grilled cheese for kids with the purchase of a regular sandwich or meat and two plate. Kids get a free cookie as well.

This pop-up care village for the homeless is something I would love to see replicated in Memphis.

Here’s an interesting read on how tonight’s Memphis-Monmouth game came to be.

That’s it for now. I’ll hit happy hour at one of my usual spots after work. May walk down to the DNA/SMA party too.

Tue update #1

Want to help those not so fortunate as to have a warm place to sleep inside during these cold winter months? Nikki of Nikki’s Hot A$$ products reports that donations for the homeless can be dropped off at Tuscany Italian Eatery on South Front Street across from AutoZone. They are always in need of blankets, scarves, socks, gloves, and hats. For my readers who are not Downtowners, High Point Pub out east is accepting donations as well.

Breakfast news for folks on the island:

The Memphis Tigers men’s basketball team hosts Monmouth tonight at 8 at FedExForum. This would be a win that would look really good on the Tigers’ resume come March. AAC Player of the Week Dedric Lawson will hopefully help make that happen this evening.

If you’re looking for work, Shelby County has plenty of jobs available.

Congratulations to Marc Gasol on being named NBA Western Conference Player of the Week for the week of December 5-11.

High Ground News has the scoop on what’s going on with the new riverboat docked near Union and Riverside. It was formerly the Treble Clef, a four-story casino boat based in Davenport, Iowa. It has been bought by Memphis Riverboats and will be renovated into an event space for dances, dinners, and weddings.

The Memphis Flyer has an article on crowlers, the can version of glass growlers for beer. The can version prevents beer’s flavor from morphing over time as it does in glass.

LUNCHBOXeats has released its holiday menu. Let them do the cooking for your holiday dinner or party.

The Daily News has a story on the opening of The Edge Triangle, bringing greenspace to a district that previously didn’t have any.

I’ll have more news at lunchtime, so check back.

A Christmas card from me to you


I don’t mail out Christmas cards, but if I did, this would be the photo I would use.

I led off at Bardog yesterday morning, where Panda gave me my PBR logo Christmas tree ornament. “What am I going to do with this? I never put up a tree,” I thought. Later in the day over at the Blind Bear, the plan came together. My troll (I’ve decided I’m keeping it, it’s no longer a Christmas present) supervised the hanging of the ornament on a can of PBR while Grandson of Koozie kept things nice and cold.

C’mon, if you saw a Christmas card from me in the mail and opened it, wouldn’t you rather find this than a photo of a couple of kids in sweater vests?

On to the news… the Memphis Public Library is having a book sale at 101 S. Main from 11 to 5 today and tomorrow. A variety of genres will be available for purchase.

Undercurrent is having its final event of the year tonight at a historic location: Clayborn Temple. Have a look at this revitalization project and enjoy the music of Future Everything. There will be three bars inside and food trucks outside. No cost to attend. RSVP here.

Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy are coming to Memphis. The “We’ve Been Thinking Tour” comes to FedExForum on April 14.

This week, the Grizzlies have a ticket package that includes yoga on the court at FedExForum Saturday morning, December 17, at 10 AM (9:30 check-in time), and a seat at the Grizzlies vs. Jazz game Sunday, December 18, at 5 PM or the Grizzlies vs. Celtics game Tuesday, December 20 at 7 PM. Get this special ticket here. Tickets start at $70 for Pinnacle Level, $30 for Terrace II, and $25 for Terrace IV. You get a Grizzlies/Methodist Healthcare yoga mat that is yours to keep, and $5 of the ticket amount goes to the Methodist Healthcare Foundation. YOGA!

Get your name in the drawing for a Life is Good gift basket next Monday:

WMC has photos from the first weekend of the Fourth Bluff ice skating rink.

On the Cerrito Live radio show this past weekend, Jerry “The King” Lawler explained why he was removed from WWE pre-shows broadcast on the WWE Network. It was not that execs were unhappy with his performance in any way. Rather, it was that after he was taken off Smackdown, his salary was absorbed by the pre-shows, making them very expensive to produce.

Earth, Wind & Fire will play the Orpheum on March 22. Tickets on sale this Friday at 10 AM.

The CA has a list of restaurants that cook to-go Christmas dinners, and restaurants that will be open on Christmas.

Here are some good tips on Lifehacker on how to talk your way out of a bar fight. The tips are by bar and nightclub security staff.

Yesterday I was on here talking about how good the Hibernation Fries are at the Blind Bear, and how pleased I was that they made the main menu. When I went in there yesterday, I got another pleasant surprise: They made the brunch menu too! Jeannette said they tried to put “a little of everything” on the brunch menu. That’s a great idea – not everyone wants breakfast food for brunch, especially considering Hung Over Like a Bear brunch lasts until 6 PM.

Yet ANOTHER concert announcement… Norah Jones will play Mud Island on June 8.

The Crossover by Sports Illustrated has given their first-quarter awards. If the season ended today, Coach Fiz would get their nod as Coach of the Year. Grizzly Bear Blues has some thoughts on the way several players have developed this year. It’s a good read.

That’s it for now. I’ll be out after work, haven’t decided where yet.

Sunday update: Crab soup, peach butter, and new additions to the Blind Bear’s menu

Yesterday morning I walked south to the Memphis Farmers Market’s winter market. On the way down there I noticed that American Apparel has the entire store at 50% off in anticipation of its closing at the end of the month. If you need anything you have a couple of weeks to get by there.

I was greeted at the Market by one of my favorite volunteers, Terre, who was working the front table. She thanked me for my Thursday post outlining what’s happening at the winter market. I appreciate that. It’s always nice when I go out of my way to promote a Downtown event and the organizers thank me.

I expected the winter market to be small, thinking maybe half the main aisle of the pavilion would be occupied by crafts vendors. That was not the case! The entire main aisle and most of the side aisle were occupied with vendors, and nearly half of them were selling produce. There were carrots and fall vegetables like gourds. There was kale too. Kale never seems to go out of season. The market was by no means crowded but there were more people there than the last markets in November, for sure.

“I notice the popsicle vendor didn’t make it today,” I commented to Terre. It was about 30 degrees outside at the time I was there.

“He’s here, just selling something different,” Terre replied. “He’s selling soup today.” Oh, really? I walked toward the back. Sure enough, there was a food truck I had never seen before, The Daily Soup. I walked up to the window, and sure enough, there was Popsicle Guy. “Your winter business?” I asked.

“Yeah, this is a lot more profitable than selling popsicles,” he told me.

I had been recommended the chicken and corn chowder soup on the way down there, but once I saw the menu, my stomach was set in a different direction: The Maryland crab soup. It came with my choice of cornbread or oyster crackers. I got the cornbread.


I got the most prime seat in the entire Market, the table on the main aisle, just off the side aisle, in the seat facing the entrance. There was no wind and it was really peaceful, sitting there eating my soup and watching the world go by.

After eating I visited my friend Boo in her pottery booth. I mentioned that I had just got a new toaster, one which burns the PBR logo into the bread. Toast by itself is boring, though, I told Boo. I needed to get something to put on toast to make it interesting. “Dodson’s Farm!” she exclaimed, pointing a few booths to her left. I walked down there and checked out the booth of the Forrest City, Arkansas farm. I selected a jar of peach butter which I cannot wait to try.


Here’s a list of their jams and jellies, which I grabbed from their Facebook page: Apple Butter, Apple Rosemary, Basil Jelly, Bellini, Blackberry, Blueberry, Caramel Apple Jam, Cherry Amaretto, Cowboy Jam, Fig Preserves, High Dumpsie Dearie, Jalapeño Peach, Jamboree, Mimosa, Mint, Muscadine, Nectarine Vanilla Bean, Caramelized Onion, Peach, Peach Butter, Pear & Apple Butter, Pear Honey, Mild Pepper, Medium Pepper, Hot Pepper, Plumcot, Strawberry Limeade, Tomato Basil Jam, Tomato Marmalade, Zucchini Marmalade, and Spicy Zucchini Jam. You won’t be able to visit them at the Memphis Farmers Market until the 2017 season starts on April 1, but it looks like Curb Market out in Midtown carries their products.

Good catching up with my BBQ vice president Erik who is a board member of the Market. Hard to believe we are five months away from BBQ Fest!

After the Market it was time to pay Clarence a visit at Earnestine & Hazel’s. Clarence had been polling the regulars as to whether he should be open Christmas Eve or Christmas Day and what hours. He has made a decision and asked me to pass it on. E&H will be open from 10 AM to approximately sometime around 11 PM or midnight Saturday, December 24, Christmas Eve. It will be closed on Christmas.

People from Nashville who had heard of Clarence came in. “Tell us stories,” they requested. Clarence referred to E&H as a “working women’s house” from 1960 to 1992, which I suppose is a polite way to put it.

In my coat pocket I had a Christmas present for one of Clarence’s other regulars. She didn’t show up though.


Don’tcha just love those crazy trolls?

From E&H I walked over to my home away from home on the south side, Max’s Sports Bar, to have a couple of beers and watch Tiger basketball. Then it was time to wander back north to see what was going on at the Blind Bear. “The new menu is out!” Jeannette told me, and when I saw Colin put an apron on, I knew good things were in store. Colin’s chili was going on the menu! Jeannette described the various ways you can have Colin’s chili:

Combine Pepperjack Mac & Bear Chili
A cup of Chili
A bowl of Chili
Add Chili to your Hotsy Totsy (Baked Potato)
You tell me

The new menu is not a major overhaul. Don’t worry, popular items like the Bear Balls, Mexican Pizza, Gangster Philly, and Pepper Jack Mac & Cheese are still there. They still have hot sauce behind the bar too, for those who like to add it to their mac & cheese.

A Caprese Salad is new to the menu. This is slices of Buffalo mozzarella with tomatoes and basil, drizzled with a balsamic reduction. It’s nice to see an additional vegetarian option on the menu.

The Hibernation Fries have been promoted to the main menu – no more waiting around until the clock strikes midnight so I can order them off the late-night menu. For those who have never had them, these fries are the best thing ever. The Bear Rub Fries are topped with spiced ground beef, melted pepper jack, fresh jalapenos, tomatoes, and bacon crumbles with a side of ranch. The jalapenos are what makes this dish so good, and you will definitely want to have something cold nearby to drink when you eat these fries.

Also new to the menu is Hotsy-Totsy, a baked potato with sour cream, cheese, butter, bacon, and chives. For $2 more you can load it up with any or all of salsa, blue cheese, ranch, Jager BBQ sauce, pepper jack, tomatoes, grilled onions, jalapenos, mushrooms, and peppers. For $3 more you can make it a meal and add buffalo chicken, spiced ground beef, Bear chili, or grilled asparagus. Add steak for $5 more.

All right, I am going to shake things up a bit this morning. B-RAD has the week off from the Blind Bear, so I am going to lead off at Bardog. I feel really bad about missing so many Saturdays there the past few months. It is absolutely no fault of their own; I just had something I needed to do in another part of town. So, I am going to make it up to them this morning by leading off there. Panda told me she has a PBR Christmas ornament for me. Not exactly sure what I will do with that since I don’t have a tree. Blind Bear will be stop #2 on my Sunday agenda. Think I may give the Hotsy-Totsy with ground beef a try. Back tomorrow with more news.

Saturday update: Optimal Dirty Santa strategy and much more

I’d be willing to venture a guess that at least a few of my readers are attending a Dirty Santa party tonight. For those not familiar, every attendee brings a wrapped gift, often limited to a certain dollar amount. A drawing is then done to determine the order in which each person selects a gift. When it’s your turn, you have two options: You can open a new gift, or you can steal the gift of anyone who went before you, in which case they open another gift. Obviously the person in the best position is the person who goes last, because they’ve seen all the gifts except one. Statistical analysis site FiveThirtyEight has determined the optimal strategy for your turn in Dirty Santa, regardless of where you are in the order.

Barboro Alley, the alley running from Front to Second between Union and Gayoso, is gettin’ pretty!

This is great. Ten years ago that alley was poorly lit and not safe to walk down at night. One of my friends got knocked out in that alley and had his wallet stolen Memorial Day weekend 2006. And now the alley is well lit, there are cameras, there are entrances to Belle Tavern and The Lofts at Barboro Alley, and now an art installation is going in. Big win for the Downtown core.

Sports fans: The Daily News’ next Newsmakers Seminar will feature newsmakers in Memphis sports. It will happen at the Brooks Museum on Thursday, January 26. Tom Bowen, the athletic director at the University of Memphis will be the keynote speaker. Panelists will include Steve Erhart, executive director of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl; Craig Unger, GM of the Memphis Redbirds; and Jason Wexler, president of business operations for the Memphis Grizzlies. Following the program, there will be a wine and cheese reception.

Jojo’s Mad World Love tour is coming to the New Daisy Sunday, April 16. Tickets are $25 with a VIP meet and greet ticket for $125.

Elmo Makes Music with Sesame Street Live is in Memphis this weekend at the Cannon Center. Performances are at 10:30 and 2 today, and 2 tomorrow.

Singer/songwriter and storyteller Dr. Rice Drewry plays the Center for Southern Folklore tonight at 8. $10 cover.

Yesterday I posted that the $25 million the city and county are investing to build infrastructure in The Pinch would come from neither the city’s general operating fund or from property tax revenue. So where is the money coming from, then?. The city’s CFO says most of it is coming from sales tax collected in the Downtown Tourism Development Zone.

Random thing I learned from Twitter yesterday: Have you ever seen coins placed on a gravestone? You shouldn’t touch them. They were left by a veteran paying respects to a fellow serviceman or servicewoman. It’s a way to let the world know that the deceased person has been visited.

Over $55,000 collected from the Beale Street Bucks program will be donated to several local charities. The program was put in place to address overcrowding and safety on Beale on Saturday nights. There was a $10 cover charge to get on the street, and those who paid received a $7 voucher to spend in Beale restaurants and shops. The remaining $3 went toward administering the program. After the program was implemented, there was a $30 reduction in safety issues.

Some of the $7 vouchers went unredeemed, which is where the $55,000 comes from. Charities receiving donations from this pool of money will be announced every Thursday. Among the first of the recipients is Porter-Leath, the primary resource for Memphis’ at-risk children and families (and presenter of Rajun Cajun Crawfish Fest, and beneficiary of the Stumbling Santa toy drive). Also receiving a donation is the Blues Foundation’s Handy Artist Relief Fund (HART Fund), which covers health care costs for aging blues musicians without insurance.

Downtowners, if you have a reason to travel to Midtown, stop by 901 Grille and Market at East Parkway and Central and see the new place that our friends Sunny and Hamida (owners of City Market) opened. Grab you some wings, a burger, a salad or a pita while you’re out that way.

Give the gift of Rizzo’s this year. Starting Monday, Rizzo’s gift certificates will be available for purchase. You get $10 off any purchase of $50 or more. Who wouldn’t want to find Rizzo’s in their stocking this Christmas?

High Cotton has announced that they have reached their limit for supplies they can take to Gatlinburg given the size of the truck they are renting, and can no longer accept any additional donations. Don’t forget that they are opening the taproom early for their Navy vs. Army Watch Party this afternoon. They will be giving away 75 High Cotton Navy glasses and 75 High Cotton Army glasses. Central BBQ will have its food truck parked outside.

The Bar-Kays and Confunkshun will play the Cannon Center as part of the first annual Freedom and Funk Celebration Weekend on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend. The event will be on Saturday, January 15 at 8 PM and will be hosted by Stan “The Man” Bell.

Thank you to my apartment building Number 10 Main for a fine Friday night at their holiday party. Amy LaVere, John Paul Keith & their band provided the tunes. We had ham, brisket, shrimp, salmon, pork tenderloin, turkey… pretty much all of the meats. I was well fed by the end of the evening.

People are starting to talk of a winter storm event coming through here next Sunday evening. Now, that would be the perfect time for a winter storm. The ideal winter storm starts about 10 Sunday night, so that everyone gets to enjoy their weekend, then dumps enough snow and ice so that offices close, but not so much that bars close. Bardog has $2 Fireball when it’s snowing!

Here’s the problem with that, though: The source I trust most, MemphisWeather.net, says in its forecast that for the week including next Sunday, “Temperatures near average; precipitation above average.” The average low for Sunday, December 18 is 34. It may snow or sleet but it ain’t stickin’ unless the temperatures drop to well below average.

Time to head to the Memphis Farmers Market winter market! I’m hoping there is a vendor selling jellies or preserves, since I now have a PBR toaster and need something to put on my toast. After the Market I will spread a little sunshine at Earnestine & Hazel’s, if anyone pre-gaming for the noon Tigers game wants to join. Back tomorrow with more news!

Memphis Never Gave Up: Friday news

Singer Karen Waldrup will unveil her new song “Memphis Never Gave Up” at Songwriter Night #43 at South Main Sounds, 550 S. Main, tonight at 7 PM. Also performing will be Jimmy Stephens Jr., Eric Crays Music, David Cousar, Mark Edgar Stuart and McKenna Bray. This place gets packed every time they have a songwriter night, so get there early to get a good seat.

Remember to clean up after your pets, Downtowners! Here’s a deal for 540 dog poop bags for $9.

There’s a free wine tasting tonight in The Pinch at Pyramid Wines and Spirits from 5 to 8 PM.

While we’re on the subject of The Pinch, the official announcement was made by Mayor Strickland yesterday: the city and county are investing $25 million to improve the infrastructure from St. Jude’s campus west to the river. The investment will not tap the general fund which is used for essential city services, nor will it come from property tax dollars. For its part, St. Jude expects to raise $8 billion in private donations for an expansion that will create 1800 new jobs.

In case you don’t get enough live music at Memphis in May’s Beale Street Music Fest May 5-7, you’ll get more at FedEcForum the following evening: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers have announced a concert date for Monday, May 8. It’s part of their 40th anniversary tour.

If you can’t make it to the Memphis Farmers Market winter market tomorrow but want to purchase some pottery, Erica Bodine Pottery will have a shop in the event room of the Memphis Made taproom on Sunday.

The Whiskey Chute Smugglers play the Center for Southern Folklore tonight at 8. $10 admission.

For those of you who use Chrome as your web browser (I do), you can make America kittens again. The Chrome extension finds headlines with President-Elect Cheeto’s name in them and replaces the associated images with photos of cute kittens. It turns the New York Times article profiling the cheeto’s Cabinet nominations into a kitten party.

Ballet Memphis will perform The Nutcracker tonight through Sunday at the Orpheum. Tickets are $10-78.

The DMC has a list of stocking stuffers you can purchase in Downtown Memphis. Keep your shopping dollars local with these buys.

If you need to buy a Christmas gift for an old-school wrestling fan, check out these books from MemphisWrestlingHistory.com.

The intersection of Second and Peabody Place is about to get lit up: ServiceMaster has been granted a variance from Downtown’s sign code to place 10 signs on its new headquarters.

That’s it for this post. I will hit Silly Goose happy hour after work for a quick minute, then I have my apartment building’s Christmas party. Back tomorrow with more news.

Thur update #3: What’s happening at the winter market this Saturday

When you think about reasons to go to a farmers market, is “learn to dance” among them? It will be this Saturday at the Memphis Farmers Market Winter Market. At 11 and again at noon, folks from Cat’s Ballroom will give mini-lessons on the basics of ballroom dancing. You can sign up for a chance to win free private lessons. You can also purchase packages for Cat’s Ballroom if you want to learn more.

For the kids, there will be two crafts activities from 10 to noon. You can make bauble tree ornaments with Dixon Gallery & Gardens, and Christmas characters magnets with the Memphis Farmers Market.

Felicia Willett of Felicia Suzanne’s will be there selling her line of Flo’s products. These include tomato jam, pickled jalapenos, pepper jelly, bread & butter pickles, and jalapeño pimento cheese and tart shells. A little Flo’s will perk up your Christmas dinner for sure.

Saturday is your chance to purchase cookbooks that promote healthy eating, chat with the authors, and get them signed. Jennifer Chandler will sign her cookbooks and husband and wife team Justin Fox Burks and Amy Lawrence will sign The Chubby Vegetarian and The Southern Vegetarian Cookbook.

Now here’s a vendor I can personally recommend. The very first weekend of the 2016 Market, I bought some Papi Joe’s Tennessee Pepper Hot Sauce. I used it on all kinds of food and it was delicious! Papi will be selling his BBQ sauce and his Bloody Mary mix at Saturday’s market as well.

Farmhouse Barkery will be selling all-natural, fresh, oven-baked dog treats. Your dog needs a Christmas present too!

If you need some serving dishes or food-safe drinkware for Christmas dinner, visit Erica Bodine Stoneware Pottery at the winter market. She has locally crafted ornaments for your tree too.

Lydia’s Healthy Edibles will be selling gift baskets for the gluten-intolerant. The baskets are filled with gluten-free cake mixes along with utensils. You will be able to buy gift cards for flours and other gluten-free cooking ingredients as well.

It just wouldn’t be the Memphis Farmers Market without some crazy in the mix… I am talking of course about Crazy Good hot sauces. They will be on hand selling holiday gift boxes for the sauce aficionado in your life.

Adam Levin will provide the live music for the market, which will be under the pavilion at Front and G.E. Patterson from 9 AM to 1 PM. If you lost items at the market this year, this is your last chance to visit lost & found and retrieve them. Bring your list, both naughty and nice! Of course, I haven’t been a bit naughty at the Farmers Market this year so I am sure Santa will be good to me! Hope to see you there!

Thur update #2: Jerry Lee to play on NYE, Dirty Santa Bingo, ping pong bar and more

Jerry Lee Lewis will play a concert at his club on Beale New Year’s Eve. Jason James will kick things off that night at 8 PM, and then Jerry Lee will take the stage at 10. To purchase tickets, call General Manager JJ Spencer at 901-474-4535. If you want to send Jerry Lee fan mail, send it to

Jerry Lee Lewis Cafe & Honky Tonk
Attn: New Year’s Eve Concert
310 Beale St
Memphis, TN 38103

Dirty Santa Bingo by Cerrito Bingo comes to the Green Beetle next Wednesday, December 14 from 7 to 9 PM. If you get a bingo, you can steal a gift from a previous winner or pick a new gift. Winners are automatically entered into Cerrito Bingo’s contest to win a Nashville trip and a VIP Yazoo brewery tour. $3 Yazoo pints while playing bingo. Bingo is family-friendly and no RSVP is required.

A new ping-pong bar is coming to Midtown. Blazing Paddles will be located at 2166 Central.

Penelope Huston has been named new vice-president of the Downtown Memphis Commission. Most recently, Penelope was Director of Marketing for Memphis in May, and before that, she worked at the Memphis Flyer. I met Penelope the very first time I ever went to Raiford’s, in September 1997 when she threw a Flyer party there. Excellent hire!

I got a chance to talk to the folks at the RAWK’n Grub food truck on the way out of the High Cotton event for Gatlinburg last night. I had been stalking their menu online earlier that day, and I really wanted to try the Blue Suede Shoestring Potatoes, shoestring fries covered with a smoked blue cheese ranch dip, and topped with candied bacon, scallions, and blue cheese crumbles. Unfortunately all the tables inside were taken and it was too cold to eat outside, but I will look for you guys soon!

High Cotton had some people who couldn’t make it to the Gatlinburg supply drive last night, but who still wanted to donate. They will try to take donations through Saturday evening. Contact them at taproom@highcottonbrewing.com and they will make arrangements. (I’d appreciate it if you mentioned in your email that you read about it here.) They are going to try to pack everything into one vehicle (so much has been donated that they may have to rent a semi) to take over on Monday. If you want to donate and like football, perhaps a good time to bring your items would be their Navy vs. Army Watch Party Saturday from 1 to 4.

Saturday is one of this season’s doubleheaders at FedExForum. The Tigers men’s basketball team hosts UAB at noon, and then the Grizzlies play the Golden State Warriors at 7. My friend Nate who works there will be working a double, and on days like these I like to think about what a hard-working guy Nate is as I sit at the bar at the Blind Bear and sip a PBR and watch TV.

Christmas party recipe: Festive Fireball Fudge

I don’t know if I have any vegetarians who read this blog, but on the off-chance that I do, they might be interested in Michael Donahue’s Best Bet for this week. Donahue, a fan of faux food, reviews McEwen’s faux hot wings made of cauliflower.

The Crosstown Concourse job fair is Saturday from 10 to 4 at 438 N. Cleveland. They will be hiring for over 100 jobs with a dozen Concourse tenants. First 100 attendees get pizza.

That’s it for now, time for lunch. Probably a third post after work about the Winter Market at the Memphis Farmers Market Saturday.

Huge haul for Gatlinburg last night and music event Saturday to support Memphians injured in fire

When High Cotton Brewing Co. announced its Paying it Forward for Gatlinburg event, a donation drive for items needed by those displaced by fires in Gatlinburg and Sevier County, I saw an opportunity. As I have mentioned before, I work in Horn Lake, Mississippi for the organization that sanctions the card game bridge in North America. Our largest regional tournament happens in Gatlinburg every spring, and it is so popular and well-loved that the attendance is often not far off that of our three annual national tournaments.

I went to HR and got permission to send out a solicitation email to all our headquarters employees. I explained that I was dropping items off at the donation drive Wednesday night, and if anyone else wished to donate items I would be happy to drop theirs off too. Several co-workers responded and we had a nice little haul of travel-sized toiletries, baby food, diapers, and travel toothbrush kits:


I took the stuff down there about 5:40 yesterday evening. “Hopefully I will beat the crowd,” I thought. I didn’t! I had to park two blocks away. When I got inside, they directed me to the room in the back, where a MASSIVE haul of donations was being assembled. It was easily five times what I expected them to take in – and remember, when I got there, there were still more than three hours for people to drop off donations. They’re going to have to find a pretty big truck to get all that stuff to East Tennessee.

I’m aware that the local media mines my blog for news stories. I know it’s after the fact, but you might want to give the organizers a call and see if you can get at least a short sound bite or a blurb for print. This is a fantastic example of how the community can come together on short notice to do good for others.

The Memphis music community has the back of three brothers injured in the Gatlinburg-area fires last week. Brothers Brandon, Jared, and Wesley Summers are recovering as they mourn their parents who died in the fire. A benefit, organized by musician Sydney Carty, will be held at South Main Sounds, 550 S. Main, this Saturday.

Tonight is the celebration of the opening of the Edge triangle, creating useful greenspace for humans and their pets. Food vendors, music and other activities will happen at the triangle from 4 to 7 this evening. You remember when I blogged about this several weeks ago and said I WILL BE THERE? Well, I wasn’t expecting freezing cold temperatures tonight. I won’t be there.

The Grizzlies’ 2016 Ugly Sweater Pub Crawl will happen on Sunday, December 18. Register at Bardog starting at 12:30 PM. The crawl will leave Bardog at 1:45 to walk to the Silly Goose, then will depart the Goose at 2:45 for the next stop, Tin Roof. Contest winners will be announced at Tin Roof at 3:45, then at 4 it will be time to walk over to FedExForum for the 5:00 game vs. the Utah Jazz. There will be door prizes and trivia throughout the crawl, and the ugliest sweaters will be entered for a chance to win courtside seats. Tickets are from $25 for Terrace IV, from $30 for Terrace II, and from $70 for Pinnacle III.

Ghost River is having holiday movie nights in its taproom this month. Here’s the schedule:

WMC has a photo gallery of the Downtown ice rink that will open this weekend.

High Ground News has an article on Dr. Bean’s Coffee, which is being sold at grocery stores around town and which is set to open a brick & mortar location at 72 Madison next year.

Here’s an excellent article on Butch Jones, coach of the 2016 college football Life Champions. “Those close to Jones paint the picture of a good man with good intentions.” Good intentions are exactly what are needed to bring home that Life Championship trophy.

Linda McMahon, wife of WWE Chairman Vince McMahon, has been picked by President-Elect and WWE Hall of Famer Donald Trump to lead the Small Business Administration.

Grab you a copy of the 2017 Memphis Redbirds schedule here.

The Silly Goose is having its annual Christmas soiree on Thursday, December 22. Since Christmas Eve is on a Saturday, many people have the 23rd off, making the 22nd an effective weekend night for them. This party could get wild. There will be punch and live music and Santa will be there. If it is the same Santa as previous years, he really really likes it when pretty girls sit on his lap. Ladies: If the line for Santa is too long, you can sit on my lap instead.

The Grizzlies host the Portland Trail Blazers tonight at 7 at FedExForum.

Off to work… possibly back at lunchtime with another post.

Wed update 2: Grilled cheese fest, Wassailing for Water, interesting student art exhibit and more

It’s time for another food festival this weekend, one that is very appropriate for winter. The Memphis Grilled Cheese Festival happens Sunday from noon to 6 at the Hi-Tone on North Cleveland. This is a competition event and teams will compete in five different categories: Most Ridiculous, Most Cheesiest, Best Tomato Soup, Fan Favorite, and Grand Champ. You can vote for your favorite grilled cheese by putting a donation of any amount in that team’s donation box. All donations will go to ALIVE Memphis pet rescue. The team that raises the most donations will receive the Fan Favorite award. Live music in the Hi-Tone, grilled cheese eating competition at 3:30, two bars.

I wonder if food festivals have a Life Champion award the way college football does?

Wassailing for Water happens Saturday from 8 to 11 at the Brass Door. This is a charity event to help build wells for water in communities around the world that need them (donation page here). There will be raucous caroling led by Michael Rhodes and the Brass Door Wassailers.

Halima Morafa, currently a junior at Houston High, went home to visit her family in Nigeria in 2014. The vivid memory of the problems she saw there connected her to problems Memphis faces, including hunger, crime, and racial disparity. She expressed her feelings about that connection the only way she knew how: through art. She founded ArtRevival as a way to spread the salvation art gave her to students who were not otherwise able to receive resources and education for the visual arts. She wanted to empower those students, to show them that through art everyone has a voice. On Saturday from 1 to 4, Kingsbury Middle School students who have completed Morafa’s ArtRevival program will showcase and talk about their work at Art Village Gallery at the corner of South Main and Huling. The event is free and open to the public.

Donald Trump tweeted that the new Air Force One plans that have been ordered from Boeing are ridiculously expensive. “Cancel order!” All that proves is that President-Elect Cheeto is a stupid idiot. The current Air Force One fleet has been in service since the first Bush was president. Those planes are getting old and it is getting very hard to find parts because companies flying the commercial equivalents of the current Air Force Ones are retiring their planes. As a result, it now costs nearly as much per flight hour to operate current Air Force One as it does to operate a B-1 stealth bomber. Fitting the cheeto’s private 757 jet with presidential security measures won’t work because the plane isn’t big enough. Canceling the order would endanger the safety of the cheeto as well as future presidents.

I bet I will be sent to a re-education camp sometime next year…

Ptohographer Frank Chin was on the scene for Stumbling Santa. The Flyer has his photos.

Claybrook Farms has announced its December discount bundle. Get four 12 oz. ribeyes, two 8 oz. filets, four 12 oz. strip steaks, and four 1.5 lb. packs of ground beef, a $185 value, as a bundle for $150. Their beef is naturally raised and humanely handled, with no added hormones or antibiotics. It is dry-aged for 21 days.

Air Canada will start offering direct flights between Memphis and Toronto starting May 1. These will be the first international flights out of MEM since 2012.

Booze news: Buster’s has added online ordering and pickup

That’s it for now, outta here, I’ll be out after work, blah blah blah, the usual stuff I wrap up a post with.