Friday update

Friday the 13th! So far so good, and I hope it stays that way. I’ve been superstitious about Friday the 13th ever since a day in 2013 when my Saturn died coming off I-40 at Second Street, and it took months to find a competent mechanic who could diagnose the cause and get it working properly. I know at least one of my blog’s readers has been through a traumatic Friday the 13th in the past as well. Let’s hope today goes better than those.

By the way, I never told my readers what turned out to be wrong with the Saturn. A piece of carbon got sucked into the fuel line, shutting off fuel without which, of course, the car cannot run. This likely happened because I let the gas get down to 1/16 of a tank before filling up a few weeks before it happened. Since then I pull into a gas station every time my Jetta hits a quarter of a tank. Still loving the Jetta, by the way. I can’t thank my friends at Gossett VW/Porsche enough for getting me into it and out of the Saturn.

Games on Front returns to the courtyard outside the Cossitt Library, Front and Monroe, this afternoon from 4:30 to 7. Come out and enjoy free yard games and live music by a different artist every week, and this week it’s a good one: John Paul Keith. There will be beer and snacks as well.

The Redbirds host Iowa tonight at 7:05, with gates opening at 6. Block party in the Plaza before the game, with $2 beers. The Beale Street Flippers will perform before the game and at a break between innings. Don’t forget that it’s Free Stuff Friday with prizes every inning and one fan getting to roll giant dice for a chance at $10,000.

Chick-Fil-A has a Friday Family Pack Specialty Ticket. Purchase a minimum of four field box tickets at the link provided and also receive four free hot dogs, four free sodas, an extra large popcorn to share, and four Chick-Fil-A combo meal offer cards. It’s the specialty ticket that combines the joys of paying for Downtown parking and being 30th in line at Chick-Fil-A’s drive-thru.

The CA’s Jennifer Biggs has named brunch at Downtown restaurant Catherine and Mary’s a Best Bet.

The Memphis Daily News has an update on renovation in The Edge District of the former Wonder Bread building and other nearby buildings, as well as plans for a linear urban park. The hope is that the project will lead to a lot more people who work or go to school in The Edge living there too.

Mud Island River Park opens Wednesday. For the first time ever the park will allow dogs.

Kale, yeah! is the theme at the Memphis Farmers Market this Saturday. Whether you’re into kale or vegetables that don’t taste like ass, the Farmers Market has you covered. The University of Tennessee College of Pharmacy will have a table at the market 8 AM to noon to discuss diabetes awareness and prevention. Also, the federally-recognized organ procurement organization of the Mid-South, the Mid-South Transplant Foundation, will have a table from 8 to noon. Live music by Bud Summers 8-9:15, Amy Andres 9:30-10:45, and Bashville 11-12:30. The Market happens every Saturday under the pavilion at Front and G.E. Patterson from 8 AM to 1 PM.

The weekend before I started my new job, I made a post on Facebook, asking where is good to get lunch within a 10 minute drive of Poplar and Kirby Parkway. I got something like 60 comments, but one of the places that kept coming up over and over was West Street Diner, a diner much like Jerry Seinfeld might visit in New York, but instead located in the heart of Germantown. However, one friend told me that the place was small, parking was limited, and I’d probably want to get my food to go and take it back with me. I’m not much on eating lunch in office break rooms, so for several weeks I put West Street Diner on the back burner.

However, earlier this week I was flipping through Google Reviews and I saw some photos of the interior of the place. I saw it had a lunch counter with stools. So if I got there right at 11, I’d get one of the stools and not take up a 4-top in a small restaurant by my lonesome. Also, by getting there at 11 I wouldn’t have to worry about a lack of parking. So, yesterday I went out there. I had scoped out the menu online in advance, particularly taking note of their daily specials. I penciled in West Street Diner on the calendar for Thursday after noting that was turkey & dressing day.

I got a seat at the counter and was brought a menu. I placed my order, and my food was out in about 4 minutes. Makes sense; if it’s a small but popular restaurant you want to have the food ready quickly so the tables can turn as many times as possible.

Good, home-style turkey and dressing like you might have on Thanksgiving. I selected mashed potatoes and green beans from a list of about 14 vegetables and sides. Good-sized portions of everything, making me regret that I somewhat killed my appetite with a bag of Fritos earlier in the morning. I have to give the folks at West St. kudos on one small but important touch: they put the cranberry sauce in a plastic cup. I am not a big fan of cranberry sauce and don’t want it there on the plate, commingling with my dressing and gravy. The cup allowed me to put it aside and have it as a small dessert.

I read on Google Reviews that the place has a lot of regulars, and I met one of them sitting at the counter. The staff was very welcoming as well when I told them I had just started a job on Kirby Parkway and am exploring the Germantown lunch scene. My check was $13.15, $16.15 after tip. I don’t want a lunch tab that high every day, but I have to admit the food and service were worth what I paid. I plan on coming back Wednesdays when two of my favorites, meatloaf and chicken livers, are on the daily special. The country ham on the every day menu has caught my eye as well. West St. Diner is the latest place to earn top-tier status among my lunch spots.

As you can see, I’m still really enjoying my lunch spots out east, the people I meet while at lunch, my job and my co-workers. By the way I plan on doing a “how I’m doing these days” post in more depth sometime soon, maybe over the weekend. One thing I learned during my time off was that a lot of people followed my personal story and I even inspired a few people. That touches my heart and is a major reason I do this blog.

In other news about me, I had the good fortune to run into members of my second BBQ family twice in six days. I still do love you guys (even if I haven’t acted like it at times the past two years or so) and miss hanging out with you guys to the extent that we used to. I’ve never been mad at you guys; it’s just that there are some things you don’t know that I wish you did. I look forward to seeing all of you at BBQ Fest and I’m glad our booths are closer than they have been the past couple of years.

That’s it for now. Check back tomorrow when I’ll have news about a fundraiser for Hope House, probably another food photo and more news.