Chorizo Scramble @ Pontotoc Lounge

What a morning I had yesterday. My troll kept asking me, “Paul, can I stand on a butcher board to practice for the festival next Sunday?” I had to explain to her that the Butcher Board Festival is not a cooking competition, and even if it was, we are not competing; we will just be there to eat and drink and socialize. I also told her that her standing on various objects at BBQ Fest contributed absolutely nothing toward the Moody Ques’ 7th place shoulder finish. I think that hurt her feelings a bit.

So, by the time Bardog opened at 11 yesterday, I was in quite the mood. Usually I turn down shots, but when offered at Bardog I downed a Jameson. Next stop was the Blind Bear and by 1 PM it seemed like my head was spinning and I needed to get something to eat.

Now, normally when I need food on Saturday afternoon I walk over to Oshi, but that’s not an option anymore. The Bear has great food but I’ve eaten it so many times that it’s too familiar. Same with Majestic down the street. So I decided to take a walk down to Pontotoc Lounge at 314 S. Main. They have the brunch menu on Saturdays as well as Sundays now and I ordered the Chorizo Scramble.

Cheesy, cheesy scrambled eggs with a generous portion of chorizo sausage mixed in. This is the first dish for City Tasting Tours‘ Brunch So Hard tour and now I understand why. I was never into eggs growing up, but then, I never had eggs like this before. Give this dish a try the next time you find yourself on South Main on a weekend.

No news to report today, other than I’m way more excited about the WWE Extreme Rules pay-per-view tonight than I am about the World Cup finals. While everyone else is cheering for France or Croatia, I will be cheering for Bulgaria, hoping that Rusev unseats A.J. Styles as champion. Back tomorrow with more news.

 

Saturday update

Several fun things happening around Downtown tonight. For starters, Allison Krauss plays the Mud Island Amphitheater tonight at 7 along with special guest Dee White.

Meanwhile, over at the Orpheum at 8, Modest Mouse will perform along with special guest Mass Gothic.

There will be a Beale Street beer pong tournament tonight at 341 Beale. Registration from 11 PM-12 AM with games starting at 1 AM. In addition to beer pong, there will be a flip cup tournament and a wet T-shirt tournament. Free to watch, $10 to enter.

The Daily News has a very nice article about Grizzlies’ TV voice Pete Pranica living the dream.

Downtown cakery/cupcakery Two Girls and a Whip will host a four-course cupcake dinner at Zebra Lounge Wednesday, July 18 at 6:30 PM. Three savory and one sweet cupcakes will be expertly paired with a drink. Here’s the menu:

Angel-hair pasta with marinara “cupcake”
with a garlic parmigiano-reggiano crostini meatball
topped with marinara and fresh basil

Pesto fettuccine alfredo w broccoli “cupcake”
with Grilled lemon herb chicken
topped w prosciutto wrapped asparagus

Veggie lasagne “cupcake”
with asiago ricotta cream
topped with a stuffed tomato

Cinnamon ricotta cupcake
with mascarpone icing
topped with chocolate chips and a mini cannoli

Call 472-CAKE to reserve your spot at this intimate dinner.

For lunch yesterday, I had the pleasure of meeting my friend Sarah at West Street Diner. We hadn’t seen each other in a while and it was a fabulous time catching up. I got one of the Friday lunch specials, the veal parmesan (also available for Sunday lunch) along with Italian spinach and purple hull peas.

I have to say, this just might be the best entree I have had in all my trips to the diner. The veal was tender and the tomato sauce gave it a great flavor. Sides were delicious too.

Funny thing happened at the checkout counter… the cashier said, “I just love y’all’s accents.” I guess Sarah’s English accent and my Little Rock, Arkansas accent were music to her ears.

Bardog is first up for me this morning. The Breakaway-Bardog 5K and Monroe Avenue Fest are barely more than a month away, and maybe I’ll get some news about the event to share with you. Back tomorrow.

Friday update

Mannheim Steamroller Christmas by Grammy award winner Chip Davis returns to the Orpheum on Sunday, December 16. This show will combine Christmas classics with selections from Davis’ Fresh Aire series. The band is celebrating the 30-year anniversary of the release of their first Christmas album. Tickets go on sale Friday, July 27.

In more current Orpheum news, 1989 movie Honey, I Shrunk the Kids plays on the big screen tonight at 7. This is the story of a scientist father who accidentally shrinks his two kids and two other neighborhood teens. Come early for movie-related events and photo booth.

Want a job in soccer? USL Memphis is currently seeking an Account Executive, Ticket Sales to help fill AutoZone Park when Memphis’ new USL socccer team takes the pitch next year.

Heh. I actually used the term “pitch.” When I watch soccer with friends who are big-time into it, I call it a “field” just to annoy them.

Speaking of soccer, the Memphis Flyer’s Meghan Stuthard checked out the World Cup craze at The Brass Door and had some conversations with owner Seamus. The Door is a regular meeting spot of both the Memphis Gooners and American Outlaws Memphis. Seamus sponsors a recreational soccer team and the podcast Roundtable of Hooligans, recorded live from the Irish pub. Seamus also is the soccer analyst you hear when you listen to the Chris Vernon Show.

On the Jason & John Show yesterday, former Memphis Tiger Antonio Anderson, part of the 2008 team that went to the final game in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, says that there will be a lawsuit against the NCAA to restore vacated wins. The wins were vacated when a member of the team, Derrick Rose, was found to have competed when ineligible despite being told by a compliance office that he was good to go. D-Rose himself is expected to join the lawsuit once they find some lawyers who will fight for them.

The Memphis Farmers Market offers you the berry best this Saturday under the pavilion at Front and G.E. Patterson from 8 AM to 1 PM. Dixon Gardens & Gallery will be onsite from 10 to 12:30 to help kids make pop-up strawberry greeting cards. The Grizzlies Team Mentor Program will be at the Market all day. You can learn how to become a mentor, enter a raffle, pick up some giveaways, and speak with current mentors about the joy of “paying it forward.” There will be reading led by Shamichael Hallman, branch manager of the Downtown Cossitt Library, at 10 AM, and this week’s book will be The Berry Book by Gail Gibbons. Live music all day long.

Also, save the date: The Memphis Farmers Market’s annual Farm Fest is coming up on Sunday, September 30 at the South Main Market at 409 S. Main. After the past couple of years when Farm Fest was held outdoors with temperatures soaring into the upper 90s, I’m pleased to see it move into an air-conditioned venue. I plan on being there!

High Ground News has a photo essay about the historic homes of Uptown that stand alongside new development. The area now known as Uptown was Memphis’ first subdivision and building began there in 1849.

A New Orleans-based co-work center is coming to Downtown Memphis. It will be located in the Toyota Center next to AutoZone Park. Individuals and small companies will be able to lease space, and amenities will include locally roasted coffee, local artwork, and educational programming.

If you’re a fan of the tubs of garlic sauce that come with Papa John’s pizza, check out this garlic sauce recipe.

The past couple of weeks when I’ve been out, people have asked how the new job is going and where I’ve been eating lunch lately. “Have you been to Red Koi yet?” several of them asked, and I told them I had not. “Oh, man, you have got to go, their sushi is so fresh and so good,” they told me. So yesterday I decided to check it out. I prefer to go to lunch at 11 AM, but I had some things to work out with another developer at that time, so I delayed going until 1. I hate going to lunch right at noon when the crowds are the biggest.

Unfortunately going at 1 didn’t help at all! The place was packed and I was told I could either go on a waiting list or sit at the bar. Sitting at bars is something I have a little experience with, so I was fine with that option. They brought me out a complimentary spring roll and then I ordered Sushi Lunch Combo #1, which comes with your choice of two rolls from the regular sushi menu and 3 pieces of chef’s choice nigiri, as well as either a bowl of clear soup or a house salad as a starter.

As you can see, even though from the regular menu rather than a specialty menu, these rolls were quite substantial! On the left is the Memphis Roll, a fried roll with eel, crab stick, cream cheese and smelt roe, topped with Red Koi sauce. On the right is the Florida Roll, with spicy crab, avocado, cream cheese, shrimp tempura, spicy mayo, and seaweed paper on the outside. This was a lot of food! Next time I will not get so much, but after all the good things I had heard I wanted to sample around a bit. Actually, the next time I go back I want to try the Bento Box that has shrimp and vegetable tempura, steamed rice, four pieces of California roll, and two gyoza.

I wish my troll had been at lunch with me. She likes sushi because all the rolls have the same last name as she does.

Breaking news: 12 Russians have been indicted on charges of hacking Democrats and Hillary Clinton’s campaign in 2016. The Russians are all members of the GRU, a Russian intelligence agency. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein informed President Trump of the indictments earlier this week. Nevertheless, Trump has continued to refer to Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation as “a witch hunt.”

That’s it for now. Back tomorrow with more news.

Thursday update

Before we get to the news, let me share with you a “blogger problem.” Let’s say it’s a Wednesday night, and I’m relaxing after work at the Blind Bear. I take out my iPhone, open the Twitter app, and start surfing. I come across a tweet from @BardogTavern with a photo of their Fried Green Tomato BLT sliders that they are offering for $5.99 for Memphis Flyer Burger Week through July 17. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I would love to embed that tweet in my next blog post.

If I were at home on my laptop, using the Web version of Twitter, it would be easy. All I’d have to do is click the tweet’s side menu, select Embed Tweet, and it would give me HTML code which I could copy and paste into WordPress’s editor, and boom, the tweet including the photo would show up in my next post.

However, when I’m using the app, the tweet’s side menu has a bunch of unhelpful choices, including I Don’t Like This Tweet, Mute @BardogTavern, Unfollow @BardogTavern, and Report This Tweet. No, no, no. I don’t want to be mean to Bardog. I want to promote their slider special! But the only thing I can do from my phone is to email myself and tell myself to get on Twitter in the morning and get the embed code. Except, half the time I forget to look at my email the next morning. Is there any way to generate a tweet’s website embed code from a phone? Maybe a different app besides the official Twitter one?

Anyway, here’s a look at Bardog’s offering for Burger Week:

And here’s Carolina Watershed’s offering:

Unapologetic/Goner Downtown Meltdown is tonight in Barboro Alley from 5 to 9. Live entertainment includes Oblivians + Stephanie McDee, Cameron Bethany, Benni, Preauxx, and Kid Maestro..There will be pop-up shops by Goner Records and the Unapologetic GARMENTS brand. This event is sponsored by the Downtown Memphis Commission and the Goner and Unapologetic crews.

Ashley McBride with Mitchell Tenpenny perform live tonight at KIX on Beale, a free all-ages concert, at Handy Park at Beale and B.B. King Blvd. tonight at 7 PM. Listen to KIX 106 for chances to win VIP tickets.

Down the street on the Peabody rooftop, one of my favorite acts to play there, Aquanet, headlines tonight. If you’re into tunes by Motley Crue, Ratt, Poison, Warrant, Bon Jovi and other ’80s hair bands, this show is for you. Ladies and hotel guests free before 7, $10 cover, $20 to go VIP. Admission includes a buffet of spanakopita and hummus with chips and crackers. VIP has a second buffet of Mediterranean chicken kabobs, lamb meatballs with Tzatziki, and red pepper hummus with pita bread.

You just can’t fix stupid: Man arrested for DUI contests charge by saying he didn’t actually drink while he was driving, but only when he was stopped at stop signs.

Not Downtown news but this is great news for Memphis as a whole: Cash Saver will be opening a new store at the Southgate shopping Center on Third. That will bring healthy and affordable food to an area that had been considered a food desert since the Kroger closed in that center.

Streetdog Foundation, an organization that rescues dogs and finds them foster homes and forever homes, tweeted yesterday that they are in need of volunteers. Here’s how you can help.

The Memphis Daily News has an article about the Butcher Board Festival coming up on Sunday, July 22. I am so excited to get to go to this event!

The Metal Museum is hosting Sangria Sunday this Sunday from 3 to 5. Enjoy complimentary sangria as you browse the Museum Store. Shop art and jewelry from metalsmiths across the United States.

If you want some crawfish mac or a Gangster Philly or some Bear Balls, you no longer have to leave the house. Blind Bear is on Uber Eats now.

I was sitting at the bar at the Bear last night, watching the Texas Rangers game, with Bartolo Colon as pitcher. I looked him up on Wikipedia and learned that at 45, he is the oldest player in Major League Baseball. His nickname is Big Sexy and he wants to trademark it and sell apparel. Umm… has anyone told pro wrestler Kevin Nash about this?

That’ll wrap it up. Back tomorrow with more news.

Wednesday update

Big development news for Uptown. Yesterday the City Council approved the sale of the former Community and Housing Development division office at 701 N. Main to a partnership including Billy and Benjamin Orgel for $452,000. The partnership plans to develop as many as 400 multifamily and single-family apartments on the site, and they are in negotiations with a craft brewery and a golf entertainment complex for the site as well.

Memphis Flyer Burger Week begins today. From now through the 17th, enjoy some of the city’s best burgers for $5.99. Downtown participating restaurants include the Green Beetle, Bardog Tavern, Huey’s, Carolina Watershed, the Flying Saucer, and Tin Roof.

The Orpheum announced a Postmodern Jukebox show for November 16, with tickets going on sale this Friday.

Elmwood Cemetery will show the film The Bad Seed as part of its Cemetery Cinema series this Friday at 8:30 PM. The movie starts as the final rays of the sun disappear, and it will be projected onto the roof of the cemetery’s 1852 Cottage. Films are shown outdoors, so keep the weather in mind when deciding what to wear, Lawn chairs and coolers are welcome, and there will be libations and food truck food available for purchase.

Councilman Edmund Ford Jr. had a talk with the folks at MATA about finding the funding they need to transform the organization so it can offer public transportation that is among the best in the U.S. So happy to see they get it that great public transportation offers improved opportunity and quality of life for all.

Wiseacre has received a certification from the Brewers Association as a true independent craft brewery. This is a big deal because there are many “craft brewers” out there that really aren’t, companies that started as independent but have since been purchased by Big Beer, or which were started by Big Beer as fake craft breweries.

You can win a 2011 Harley-Davidson CVO in the Orpheum’s 2018 raffle. Other prizes include a Broadway season in a luxury suite, a table at Dinner on Stage, or a night at the movies with popcorn and soft drinks. Raffle tickets are $100 each.

I gotta say a little bit more about my decision to stay out of South Main for a while…

Friday afternoon I got to Max’s Sports Bar about 6 PM and took a seat at the bar. Five people, four of whom I considered longtime friends, were at the table next to the 2012 and 2017 group photos. After a while, they got up and went to the back patio. I looked over at the empty table and noticed that the people who had been sitting there had positioned the menu stand to cover up my image in the 2012 group photo. I have absolutely no doubt they did it on purpose.

I just don’t feel like being in an environment where I am disrespected like that anymore. I have so many alternative environments where I am well respected, listened to, and understood.

Apologies to Max and the folks who work there for not being around for a while. I assure you it is nothing against you. You are still my “home away from home on the south side” and I will be recommending you anytime I hear someone ask where’s a good place to watch the game.

Trump

Trump, at the NATO summit, said Germany is totally controlled by Russia when in fact he is totally controlled by Russia. This is called “projection” and it is a very common behavior among narcissistic sociopaths.

That’ll do it for this post. Back tomorrow with more news.

Tuesday update

The Memphis Hustle will have to begin a search for a new head coach, Glynn Cyprien has accepted a new position as an assistant at Texas Tech. Previously, Cyp was an assistant coach for both the Grizzlies and the Tigers. The Red Raiders have got themselves a talented man.

Congratulations to local craft brewery Meddlesome, whose Broad Hammer took second in the American Brown Ale category at the U.S. Beer Open recently. Over 6500 breweries competed in this event.

Spindini has announced its July wine dinner on July 25. Check Spindini’s Facebook page for the details and menu.

Yahoo has a good article on how the trade war is affecting businesses in Tennessee.

The Grizzlies are hiring a social media & digital content producer.

Kind of a short post today. Back tomorrow with more news.

Monday update #2

I had a few people check on me after this morning’s post. I am fine. I’ve just decided to stay away from South Main for a while (with the exceptions of Pontotoc Lounge, Civil Pour and maybe the occasional meal at Rizzo’s). Too often I feel like an outcast among my friends there lately. Better to just say “F it,” walk away, and spend more time in the places where I am listened to and respected. Even without South Main, I still have quite an abundance of awesome people to spend my time with.

It really broke my heart to hit the unfriend button on a few people this morning, but I felt it had to be done.

Speaking of Pontotoc Lounge, I got an insider tip from one of the other customers there. Get a side of greens (which I believe they only have on the weekends) and mix them in with the Mississippi Pot Roast. If desired, add a little Louisiana hot sauce.

Another customer got a salad that was so good, she asked to personally speak to the chef and thank him. The salad had goat cheese and pecans.

While at Pontotoc yesterday I had the pleasure of talking to Cristina from City Tasting Tours. She had a group of 12 at Pontotoc yesterday, where they had the chorizo scramble. I asked her what the other Brunch So Hard Tour stops were, and she told me they go to Rizzo’s for the blackened catfish, the The Vault for eggs Sardou and chicken and waffles. Of course, the tour includes a brunchy drink at each stop. No wonder those tours are so popular! It’s a great way to meet people and get familiar with the great food of South Main.

It is absolutely a miracle that eight boys have been rescued from the cave in Thailand. Along with the rest of the world I am praying for the four remaining boys and their coach.

Back tomorrow, hopefully in a better mood.

Making some changes

This morning I realized I’ve been making a mistake.

I have an abundance of people here Downtown who make me feel respected, listened to, and understood. Why in the world have I been hanging out with those kinds of people 75-80% of the time, when I can hang with them 100% of the time?

To the owners/staff of a couple of Downtown businesses: If you don’t see me as much in the coming months, it’s not you or your place. I just need a break from the crowd.

I unfriended some people on Facebook this morning too.

Sorry for the weird post. Back at lunchtime with whatever news I can scrape together.

Sunday update

This was the scene from the crafts table at the Farmers Market yesterday. Beans were the theme of the week and kids could make portraits using all different kinds of beans. I posted this photo to Facebook and my friend Jasmine commented, “So seriously jealous. Not even kidding.”

I had to re-route my plans yesterday because, as I was walking south to the Market, I heard “Paul!” from across the street. It was B-RAD, arriving at Pontotoc Lounge. He was picking up a shift and working day bar. I had a quick beer at Clarence’s bar at Earnestine & Hazel’s, did my arts and crafts at the Farmers Market, then was back at Pontotoc for opening time right at 11.

B-RAD put the World Cup on for those who wanted to watch. Steve Cohen posted to Facebook that he was rooting for Croatia in their match against Russia. I commented that it would be quite the coup for Russia if they could win a World Cup and a U.S. presidential election within 24 months of each other.

Pontotoc’s owner Daniel came in and I picked up a piece of news about one of his other businesses: The Silly Goose is getting a wood-fired pizza oven soon.

After B-RAD got off and award-winning bartender Cady got behind the bar, I took a couple more photos of the Smoked Manhattan at Pontotoc.

Hmmmm I wonder if a BBQ Fest version of a Smoked Manhattan would be possible. I will have to run that idea by our bar manager… er, I mean, our quartermaster Chad.

After Pontotoc I hit Oshi Asian Kitchen for some sushi.

A little inside information: If you’re a fan of Oshi’s food and want to eat there one more time, I would advise you to go today. There might be some specials.

Bluff City Soap on Main just north of Gayoso is having a 10 for $40 sale this weekend, in-store only. Mix and match soaps, bath bombs (including the one that makes you smell like a stripper), and shower fizzes.

I ended up at the Blind Bear last night, where the conversation topic was who has the scariest astrological profile. Sun in Scorpio, moon in Scorpio, Aquarius rising. I think I win this.

If you missed The Rusty Pieces last night at Blind Bear, you have another chance to see them Downtown this weekend. They play Belle Tavern at 5:30 tonight. It’s a weekly Sunday gig for them.

Don’t forget that tonight is Sunset Pop-Up Jazz in Court Square from 6 to 8 PM.

In other pop-up news, there’s a Young Entrepreneur Pop-Up Shop today at Jack Robinson Gallery at 44 Huling.

Woof River Animal Rescue is the non-profit of  the day for the Redbirds. Buy tickets to today’s Redbirds game through their link and $4 of the ticket price goes to the rescue. Plus, this special ticket gets you a free Redbirds hat. First 2500 kids get an ice cream treat and kids run the bases after the game. First pitch is at 2:05.

The Brass Door has 2 for 1 brunch drinks today 10 AM to 3 PM.

That’ll do it for now. Back to Pontotoc for more D-RANKS with B-RAD. Back tomorrow with more news.

Mabuhay! Saturday update

Tonight AutoZone Park turns into Hogwarts as the Redbirds celebrate Harry Potter Night. Prior to the game there will be a parade for those dressed up in costumes. There will also be a photo booth, Butterbeer (alcoholic/non-alcoholic), and fireworks after the game. The Redbirds will be wearing special Harry Potter jerseys, which will be auctioned after the game to benefit the Redbirds Community Fund. There will be a Handmade Wand Specialty Ticket entitling the holder to their choice of handmade wand. Opponent is Omaha and first pitch is 6:35.

The Redbirds’ Patrick Wisdom has been selected to compete in the upcoming Triple-A Home Run Derby.

Carolina Watershed is having a Second Sunday in July: Luau at Brunch tomorrow from 10 to 3. Come dressed up in your best luau attire, whether that means leis, a hula skirt, or however you want to play it. Best dressed gets a bottle of champagne to share with their table.

City Market Downtown is hiring full or part time. They need people 6 AM to 2 PM full time, 9 AM to 9 PM part time, and 2 PM to 11 PM part time. They are looking for reliable, experienced cashiers. Must be available to work weekends. Pay is $9 to $12 per hour. Email info@citymarketmemphis.com if interested.

Very sad to hear of the passing of my college classmate, actor and educator Greg Krosnes. Where many choose only to wade ankle-deep in the pool of life, Greg was the type of guy to jump full in with gusto… and who inspired others to do the same. The Flyer’s Chris Davis shares memories of Greg.

There’s an open mic with comedy, poetry and music at Regina’s Cajun Kitchen, 60 N. Main, today at 4.

The Rusty Pieces play the Blind Bear tonight at 10.

There’s a ghost tour at the Woodruff-Fontaine House tonight at 7:30.

The Brass Door will be open for the Sweden vs. England World Cup quarterfinal today at 9.

For the first time in my life, I had Filipino food yesterday. I drove out to 670 North Germantown Parkway to Estelle’s Philippine Cuisine (entrance is actually around the corner on Trinity). While they had items like Pork Blood Stew on the menu that I have heard are delicacies, I decided to pick something that sounded a little less gory. I decided on the Kare-Kare, an oxtail stew in a rich peanut sauce.

The dish came with a side of rice. There were chunks of meat as well as a full ox tail in there, along with Filipino veggies. The server brought me shrimp paste which I was not quite sure what to do with. Later a Filipino friend of mine told me that the paste is like a condiment – you add a little to every bite of ox and rice. The stew was quite delicious, a flavor that is recognizable as Southeast Asian but different from any other ethnicity of that region. The server was very helpful and friendly. I was her only table! I was like, are you kidding me, people are eating the hell out of some crappy corporate food at Rafferty’s down the street and missing out on this fantastic authentic Filipino cuisine? Fine, I’ll just have the place all to myself. I will be back, although maybe not too often given that Estelle’s is just about the outer boundary of how far I can drive to lunch from work.

Senator Tim Kaine had the best response to the news that Donald Trump send Kim Jong-un a CD, an Elton John compilation that included “Rocket Man,” a nickname that Trump used for Kim in the past. Kaine replied that he bet Kim sent Trump a CD back: American Idiot by Green Day.

Farmers Market then Bardog this morning. I’ll squeeze in a quick Earnestine & Hazel’s stop if time permits.