Pastrami hash @ Pontotoc Lounge and Monday news

After a couple of weeks’ absence at Pontotoc Lounge’s Sunday brunch, I was back yesterday, and I brought my appetite (and my troll). Several new items were added to the brunch menu at the end of January, and I wanted to give one of them a try. After two other people at B-RAD’s bar ordered the pastrami hash, I decided to make that my breakfast as well.

The pastrami is house-made, as are many of their meats. Brad told me they sous-vide the pastrami so it doesn’t get super salty. It’s served in a skillet with potato hash, topped with two fried eggs. A delicious start to a Sunday at Pontotoc. It’s served in a hot skillet and I had to wait a couple of minutes to take a photo so the troll could stand next to it without melting.

Another person sitting near me got the hangover Benedict, in which poached eggs sit atop Memphis pulled pork. That looked quite good too and it my have to be my next stop on the menu. Also new to the menu are a quiche of the day, a waffle French toast of the day, and a vegetarian-friendly frittata of the day. There’s also a yogurt granola berry parfait. They’re not new to the menu, but I’ll mention their drink specials as well: The mimosas have a taste of cognac in them, and the Bloody Mary recipe is made with duck fat.

Public service announcement:

The Brass Door will be closed today for Presidents Day. At first read, that seemed like kind of a weird day to close, but I guess not, given that it is located near several banks. I guess a lot of the people who would normally come in for breakfast or lunch on Monday have today off.

I frequently link to statistical analysis website FiveThirtyEight for their articles on sports and politics. However, every Friday they have a regular column that is a lot of fun. They post challenging mind games in The Riddler. Every week there is a Riddler Express for those who don’t have a lot of time, as well as a longer, classic riddle. This week’s Express is a number maze, while the Classic looks at one of the games on The Price is Right.

The New Wing Order food truck will be at Cordelia’s Market this evening from 5 to 8.

Happy Presidents Day! If Mueller releases his obstruction report today, that would be the ultimate troll job. Enjoy your day off, for those of you who have it. Back tomorrow with more news.

Sunday update: Edge Motor Fest and more news

As your #1 source of news and information about The Edge, it is my pleasure to inform you of a new festival coming to that neighborhood. Edge Motor Fest, celebrating the district’s history as the original auto row in Memphis, will take place at 645 Marshall on Saturday, April 27 from noon to 6 PM. This event, coinciding with the opening of Edge Motor Museum, will feature classic cars, live music, food trucks, and local vendors. This event will be family friendly and proceeds will be used to create even more vibrancy in The Edge. I plan on being there!

Meddlesome Brewing Co. and the Peabody Hotel have announced a partnership where Meddlesome will brew a series of beers, available exclusively in the hotel’s lobby bar and the Corner Bar, commemorating the Peabody’s 150th anniversary. The first of these will be Meddling Duck Cream Ale at 5.5% ABV. Cream ale is an American beer style that was first created to mimic the pilsners of Germany.

Dustbowl Revival comes to the Halloran Centre March 2. They blend New Orleans funk, soul, pre-war blues, bluegrass, and roots music.

Couple of big events coming up at FedExForum this week. Tyler Perry’s Madea farewell tour will be in Memphis Tuesday night. Then on Saturday, KISS brings their End of the Road World Tour to the arena.

I’ve finally made it! Look at this offer to monetize my blog!

Hi there,
I just read July 2009 ? Page 2 ? Paul Ryburn?s Journal, I’ve shown it to some colleagues and we think a collaboration between us could work well.
I represent a digital marketing agency. We would like to feature a unique piece of content on your site on behalf of our client. For the privilege, we’d be happy to pay you somewhere in the region of $15.

Would you also be willing to accept link placements on pre-existing content on your site? Let me know your thoughts.
Best wishes,


Fifteen whole doll hairs! Or “in the region of” fifteen, so maybe more like eight. Just for inserting some crappy, spammy links in a ten year old post! I’m rich! I guess I can go ahead and book that 2-week cruise to St. Kitts and Nevis!

That’s it. Time to go eat pastrami hash and deal with ass clowns. Back tomorrow with more news.


Saturday update: Help find Grizzy

Here are photos of Grizzy, the dog who escaped from a doggie day care at Monroe and Danny Thomas last week.

From Lost Pets of the Mid-South on Facebook:


Memphis, TN Medical District

Grizzy has been spotted at
Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital (Poplar & Dunlap) and near Health Science Park (Madison & Dunlap)
Memphis, TN

*He has SEVERE separation anxiety and will likely run away if approached. If you see him, please call the number listed before attempting to catch him.
*He will jump in a vehicle and responds to remote car lock & unlock sounds.
*Grizzy is a sweet boy…he is NOT aggressive but, if you do attempt to catch him, please note that due to his severe anxiety, he could bite or become aggressive if he feels scared or threatened.
*This is a precaution as fear aggression is not uncommon in dogs with severe anxiety.
*He loves to eat; food may help keep him stationary.

Yesterday I blogged about the Cornish hen I had from Flying Sobies. Well, they’re not the only ones in Memphis who make that dish. In his new series Classic Dining, profiling iconic Memphis restaurant dishes, Michael Donahue has a look at the BBQ Cornish hen from Cozy Corner.

Hot Wheels Monster Trucks Live comes to FedExForum today. There are shows at 1:30 and 7:30.

Memphis 901 FC single game tickets for March and April are about to go on sale:

In 1995 the Convention & Visitors Bureau published a list of things to do Downtown if you’re underage: “Go to Prince Mongo’s.” They’ve now updated the list for 2019 and made it specific to Beale Street. Read the list here.

Regina’s Cajun Kitchen at 60 N. Main is hiring a bartender.

Ranch-dipped pizza flavored ranch is a thing.

That’s it for now. Time to get out to Bardog and enjoy a Saturday. Back tomorrow with more news.

Friday update

After publishing yesterday’s post, I walked over to Court Square for the weekly Thursday food truck rodeo. Having visited nearly all the trucks by now, my mind was on a return to Flying Sobies for another one of their deep-fried Cornish hens. I found the truck and went up to the window.

“Could I get a hen with Spicy Memphis Gold sauce and beans and slaw, please?” I said. Spicy Memphis Gold is a blend of their Buffalo sauce and their mustard BBQ sauce. I like the traditional sides of beans and slaw, but the hens can also be ordered with fries or with waffles.

“You sure can, do you want your hen deep-fried or smoked?” said the lady in the window. A smoked Cornish hen – never had one of those from Flying Sobies before! I rold her I wanted a smoked hen, and five minutes later I had my food and walked back to my apartment.

The smoky flavor of this bird was perfect. I would put this hen up against any piece of chicken I have ever had at BBQ Fest. The Spicy Memphis Gold sauce hit the spot too and complemented the smoky flavor well. I picked every last piece of meat off my hen. The sides were delicious too.

We’re only a month away, for the first time in more than a decade, from having a movie theater in Downtown Memphis. Malco’s Powerhouse Cinema, next door to Central Station, will open in March. Job applications for the cinema including kitchen staff, usher, bartender, concessions, and box office. The theater will have 7 screens, a full bar, and a pizza oven.

The Round of 16 in the Memphis Flyer’s beer bracket is now open for voting.

Clayborn Temple kicks off its In This Place speaker series Monday night. Speaker topics will cover restoration of the temple, as well as social, racial, and economic injustice in Memphis.

Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris delivers the State of the County speech at the Halloran Centre this afternoon at 3.

Zeke Johnson continues his Blues Birthday series tonight at the Center for Southern Folklore. Tonight he will be celebrating Fats Domino and Will Shade. Show starts at 7:00.

More live music options this evening: Drew Parker plays Tin Roof at 7:30. FreeWorld plays The Dirty Crow Inn at 9.

Don’t forget that today is 50% off Valentine candy day at Walgreens. February 15, you da real MVP!

MyRecipes reports that there’s a new form of yoga called rage yoga in which participants swear and drink beer. Now that’s making yoga accessible to the masses. YOGA!

Local fishing pros will offer tips and seminars at Bass Pro at the Pyramid today at 6:30, Saturday at 1:30 and 3:30, and Sunday 1:30 and 3:30. There’s a rod and reel trade-in going on today through March 3.

Random thing I learned yesterday: There’s an app called Tudder which was inspired by Tinder. Tinder is an app for finding your mate. Tudder is an app for farmers to find mates for their livestock.

@PimpBillClinton won Valentine’s Day with this tweet:

Tonight I’m going to party like it’s 1929. I’ll be attending the Blind Bear’s St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. Drink and food specials, costume contest, live music, photographer. Come join me! (Just don’t dress better than I do and cost me the costume contest.) Back tomorrow with more news.

Thursday update

The first round of the Memphis Flyer Beer Bracket Challenge is now open for voting. Go vote for your favorite local craft beers. I will try to post links for subsequent rounds as they open, but follow @memphisflyer for the latest information on the brackets. If you want to try some of the beers before casting your vote, Aldo’s Pizza Pies Downtown has all 24 of the beers in the bracket.

Volunteer Odyssey’s annual fundraiser, Mix-Odyssey, will happen Saturday, March 2 7-10 PM at Memphis Botanic Garden. They’re partnering with some of the best cocktail programs in town, including The Gray Canary, Sweet Grass, Hog and Hominy, P.O. Press, Alchemy, and the Beauty Shop. Tickets include food, beer, fortune tellers, music from the Grizzlies’ DJ Justin Baker, hors d’oeuvres from D’Arthur Scott Catering, and a few other surprises. There will be a jewelry pull by Kendra Scott. This year they’re adding a Judges’ Experience ticket where you can make the rounds with the judges and hear all their tasting notes. Tickets are $75 general admission, $100 VIP, $250 Judges’ Experience and your ticket purchase helps Volunteer Odyssey spread the word about the many fulfilling volunteer experiences in our city.

Wow… a Rhodes College student was charged with hacking into the school computer system and changing his grades. A professor noticed he had a higher grade than the one he had been given, and an investigation began with the FBI eventually being brought in. He has been expelled and he could face up to five years in prison, although probation is more likely.

The CA has 5 things to know about FedEx Logistics’ move Downtown into the Gibson Guitar space.

The Flyer’s Michael Donahue has a Best Bet: Creamed spinach at 117 Prime. Man that looks good! At the bottom of the article there is a post showing how chef Alex Switzer prepares the spinach.

NBA All-Star Weekend kicks off tomorrow. From SBNation: Which competitor in the NBA dunk contest are you? I got Vince Carter and I don’t mind that at all.

Regina’s Cajun Kitchen at 60 N. Main is having a Mardi Gras crawfish boil Saturday, March 2 from 3 to 6 PM. This is a $25.99 all you can eat event. There will be drink specials including their signature King Cake cocktail.

Very sad news: The Red Bar at Grayton Beach on the Florida panhandle burned down. I never got to go there but I have several friends who told me how special that bar was to them. The owners have said they plan to rebuild.

The Edge District Neighborhood Association has announced their next meeting, to be hosted by Chris Liberto at 691 Marshall on Tuesday, March 12. Representatives from Orion FCU will be there to give an update on their plans to move to the neighborhood.

Hope Clayburn will perform at Loflin Yard Saturday, February 23.

Tickets are now on sale for the Memphis Craft Food and Wine Festival to be held on June 23 at The Columns at One Commerce Square.

Tequila fans: There’s a Jose Cuervo train you can ride in Mexico that features all-you-can-drink tequila for the duration of the ride. Tickets start at $111.

The president’s schedule was leaked to the media recently, revealing that he spends sometimes as much as 6 hours of his workday in “Executive Time.” Previously it was thought he spent that time watching Fox News and tweeting. However, that may not have been what he was doing. Trump had a room-sized golf simulator gaming system installed in a room at the White House. The simulator allows him to play an entire 18 holes of golf without going outside. I looked up pricing and simulators cost anywhere from several thousands of dollars to well into 5 figures. Plus there’s the fact that we’re paying him $400,000 a year to pretend to play a game.

That’s the news for now. Time for me to brave the wind and walk over to Court Square to see what food trucks are out. Back tomorrow with more news.

Wednesday update: Downtown is booming!

I hope you’re having as happy a Wednesday as the GEICO camel is! Buckle yourselves in, we have a lot of news to cover today, and it’s good stuff.

It’s official: FedEx Logistics is coming Downtown, to relocate in what has been the Gibson Guitar factory. The move will bring nearly 200 jobs to Downtown Memphis (I’ve read 662, 680, and 689 from various sources). No matter which number it is, a lot more people will be working Downtown, enjoying its amenities during their lunch break and after work. That will be great for the Downtown economy. If I have any FedEx Logistics employees who read this blog, welcome, you’re going to love it down here!

That in itself is huge news for Downtown. However, it was not even the last piece of news about a major development on South B.B. King Blvd. yesterday. The Clipper, a modern 8-story office building and hotel, will be constructed across Dr. MLK Jr. Ave. from FedExForum and the new FedEx Logistics building. The office building part will include 250,000 square feet of Class-A office space, with retail on the ground floor as well as multi-level parking.The hotel portion of The Clipper will contain 250 rooms and a rooftop deck.

Downtown is booming! This is all fantastic news.

Make a furry friend your Valentine this year. Memphis Animal Services has a deal called Valentine’s Day Sleepovers. Participants take a shelter dog home on Valentine’s Day (pick up from the shelter between noon and 7) and take him back Saturday, February 16 between 1 and 4 PM. It’s win for everybody – you get a Valentine’s date who appreciates you, the dog gets a couple of days of love and attention, and MAS gains valuable information on how the dog is in a home, which can help get the dog adopted. Dog food will be provided and they have a limited number of kennels for those who need them. If you decide the dog you take home is The One, MAS will have a special adoption fee of only $20 for you on Saturday.

I want to give a shout-out to Commissioner Tami Sawyer on the outstanding monthly email newsletter she sends out to constituents. It keeps them informed of opportunities to get involved in their community, and spotlights people in the community making good things happen. She also provides news on critical votes, and announces an upcoming town hall. I wish every elected official went this far to inform the people whom they serve. Great job, Commissioner!

The Downtown Memphis Commission has announced a BuildDowntown Master Plan Design Studio for the week of February 25-March 1. This will be a planning and visioning session for Downtown to grow and evolve over the next 10 years, and anyone who has a stake in Downtown – business owners, residents, employees of Downtown businesses, those who like to come Downtown because of all its amenities – is invited to participate. It will be held in 100 Peabody Place, in the former Life Is Good location on Main Street next to the post office. There will be daily pin-up sessions and project updates, with a different theme each day:

  • Monday, February 25: How will Downtown Memphis grow by 2030? Housing strategies, retail strategies, office space.
  • Tuesday, February 26: How do we improve the Downtown Memphis experience? Topics such as walkability, amenities, and reducing blight will be among those discussed.
  • Wednesday, February 27: How will Downtown Memphis evolve by 2030? Mobility, utilities, and infrastructure will be some of the topics.
  • Thursday, February 28 – Redraw, Refine, Test using feedback they have received the previous three days.
  • Friday, March 1 – Redraw, Refine, Test Again with open office 8 to 11:30 for a last call for the public to provide feedback.

Monday evening, February 25 from 5:00 to 7:30 there will be a BuildDowntown Kickoff Party across the street from the design studio, at the Center for Southern Folklore’s Folklore Hall. This is open house format, so stop by when you can.

There will be a first look at the master plan that results from this week of brainstorming in April, likely on a Tuesday.

Big opportunity for girls in 6th through 12th grades this Saturday:

Memphis Made has announced the 2019 Music Fest lineup. Dave Matthews Band, The Killers, Cardi B, and Khalid are among those headlining.

Community Alliance for the Homeless has several jobs open.

Nike also has several positions open, in the field of human resources.

I noticed that City Market has dropped their price of 16 oz. beers on draft to $2.99. That’s a really good deal on some beers that might cost $5-6 at a bar or brewery taproom. They have a seating area where you can look out onto Main as you drink your beer.

The Memphis Medical District Collective needs volunteers for Lights On! on Thursday, February 21 from 5:30 to 7:30 PM. Volunteers will travel by car on designated routes and report any street lights that are out. Refreshments will be provided.

Action News 5 reports that MLGW has rolled out a new mobile-friendly website. This was badly needed! Many Memphians own a smartphone but not a personal computer. The website redesign ensures that MLGW’s customers will have a good experience regardless of the device they use.

I ate at sushi/noodle restaurant Fam again last night and noticed they have a family dinner pack special available Monday-Saturday 3 to 6 PM: Take home three rice bowls for $20. That’s a good deal if you don’t feel like cooking after work.

City Hall is pushing for the coexistence of redevelopment of Tom Lee Park and the continued success of the Memphis in May festivals. Apparently there was a perception that because the city supported the redo of Tom Lee Park, that the city is anti-Memphis in May. That’s not true.

Again, it’s reported that the festivals will have to move for one year, in 2020. I wonder where they’re going to put Music Fest and BBQ Fest, if the intention is to keep them Downtown? Maybe Mississippi River Park, along with blocking off Riverside down to Union as they did for RiverArtsFest, and adding in Memphis Park for additional space? Maybe, but that doesn’t seem big enough and would be a mess. Court Square? Definitely not big enough and you lose your river view. The park on Mud Island? Could work but would river flooding be a concern, and how would Island residents feel about having their park all torn up? Not to mention thousands of drunks making noise right outside their front doors. MLK Riverside Park? Technically not Downtown and really inconvenient for those living/staying Downtown to get to.

The Daily Memphian has a good article about Ben Johnson, the new Memphis Redbirds manager. Johnson’s local roots mean a lot. He played for the Memphis Chicks at Tim McCarver Stadium, and eventually he made it as an outfielder in the big leagues with the Padres and Mets, where he once hit two home runs in the same game. His most exciting moment did not happen on the field, but instead was the time he got to meet legendary baseball announcer Harry Caray.

Here’s a tip from Food and Wine for those willing to road trip for good food: Some of Mississippi’s best BBQ is inside a bait and tackle shop. It’s called Clay’s House of Pig and is about an hour and a half away in Tupelo, birthplace of The King.

Whew! Productive morning so far. I was feeling energetic and hopped out of bed at 4 AM. Since then I’ve written about some upcoming events in the personal journal I keep, took care of some to-dos, made a Walgreens run, knocked out a couple of BBQ team-related items, and written this very long and newsy post. The Army says, “We get more done by 9 AM than most people do all day.” Maybe I should join the Army – well, except that I’m too old, they wouldn’t like my hair, and I have a rebellious nature to authority figures. Anyway, I’ll be back tomorrow with more news.

Tuesday update: Memphis Flyer beer bracket unveiled

Yesterday I went to Aldo’s Pizza Pies for the unveiling of the 2019 Memphis Flyer beer bracket. 24 beers from the 6 local craft breweries will compete in a March Madness-style competition, with public voting to determine which beers move on from one round to the next. In previous years they’d matched similar style beers against one another. This year, however, they are doing it differently. They are letting the breweries choose which four beers they want to compete, with beers placed on the board randomly.

They had a very professional presentation, with the unveiling of each beer on the board being broadcast on Facebook Live. When it was all said and done, this was the final board (click the image to view it in a larger size):

Representatives from all six local breweries were in attendance for the event. In an interesting twist this year, each brewery got to swap one of their beers with another beer on the bracket, avoiding an undesirable matchup. Although the beers are not grouped by category this year, an IPA vs. IPA matchup was randomly drawn for the first round. However, that matchup will not happen; when it was one brewery rep’s turn to do a swap, she moved her IPA, avoiding a first round against Crosstown Traffic IPA.

Voting will begin tomorrow, and the rounds will progress rapidly, so it might be a good idea to follow @memphisflyer on Twitter to keep up with when a new round is started. The breweries will re-convene at Aldo’s on Thursday, February 28 for the awarding of the VanWyngarden Cup to the winning beer. Aldo’s, by the way, has all 24 competing beers, either on tap or in cans. Great place to do some research before you vote!

When people vote in the poll, they’ll have an opportunity to submit a photo of themselves with one of the competing beers for a chance to win a prize. Knowing this, Perjorie T. Roll had her photo taken with Memphis Made Junt.

Fun event for sure, and it got really busy there for a while. I got to talk to the Wiseacre sales manager for a few minutes and told him how excited that they are opening the new Downtown location.

Breaking news: The CA reports that Governor Bill Lee is in town this morning to make an economic development announcement outside the former Gibson Guitar factory on B.B. King Blvd. It is believed that FedEx Logistics will be announced as a new tenant, bringing many jobs to Downtown Memphis.

You may remember how there was a contest to find Golden Tickets in bars of Willy Wonka chocolate, with those who found them earning the right to tour the chocolate factory. Well, to celebrate its 20th year, AutoZone Park is giving away a Golden Ticket of its own, and you can enter to win it through March 1. The holder of the Golden Ticket is entitled to

  • Season tickets to 2019 Memphis Redbirds games
  • Season tickets to 2019 Memphis 901 FC games
  • Tickets to the “Battle of the Birds” pre-season exhibition game between the Redbirds and the St. Louis Cardinals
  • Tickets to the Triple-A national championship game to be held at AutoZone Park in September
  • Tickets to any other event held at AutoZone Park during 2019. This could include any baseball or soccer playoff games held at the park, as well as any home soccer friendlies added to the schedule.

Just as Golden Ticket holders got to bring someone with them to the chocolate factory, the holder of AutoZone Park’s Golden Ticket will be entitled to bring a guest to all games and events.

Edible Memphis has a good article about how locally owned grocery stores are fighting the giants, building customer relationships, becoming part of the community and managing to stay afloat and prosper. Two local groceries, Cordelia’s Market and City Market, are spotlighted in the article.

Anasa Troutman, executive director of Clayborn Temple, is a contributing writer in the upcoming book, Resipiscense: A Lenten Devotional on Dismantling White Supremacy. Click the link to learn more about the book and to pre-order a copy.

The Grizzlies are back at home tonight, hosting the San Antonio Spurs at 7. This will be fans’ first chance to get an up-close and personal look at our new players.

On Friday, February 22, the Grizzlies will give away a Jaren Jackson “Shoot” dance figure to the first 5000 fans.

The Green Beetle is looking for an experienced server to join their staff. They are looking for someone who is available on weekends, and who has at least 4 years experience in bar or restaurant that serves liquor.

That’s the news for now. This is a relatively early post (it’s not even 9:30) so I’ll come back and do a second one if needed.


Monday update

We had a Moody Ques planning meeting for 2019 yesterday that went really well. Team members will get an email in a few days, but at the end of this post I will give a quick summary of what was discussed. First, though, let’s get the news covered.

Big event coming up at FedExForum this Sunday 11 AM-2 PM: Soup Sunday to benefit Youth Villages. You’re given a container that holds four soup cups, and you get to walk around and sample soups, breads, and desserts from 50 of Memphis’ best restaurants. When you’re done eating you get to vote on what soup you liked best. It’s considered a big honor for a restaurant to win Soup Sunday.

Okay, those of you who have been reading this blog for over a year can skip the next paragraph. You know what I am about to say.

Soup Sunday is not an event where you want to show up fashionably late. The best restaurants will be running out of soup not long after 12. You want to be standing at the door at 10:55, waiting to be let in. Also, when you get to the FedExForum concourse, you don’t necessary go to the first soup table you see, because that’s what everyone does. Go farther to the back and there will be plenty of tables with no line at all. There’s a reason your container holds 4 cups of soup; fill it up with 4 before you start eating. Also, if there are particular restaurants whose soups you really want to try, find out where they are set up as early in the day as possible (I think there are maps).

Edible Memphis posted that they were invited to stop by Comeback Coffee, opening in the Pinch next month, and meet the new chef there. He turned out to be a familiar face – Cole Jeanes, who opened Kinfolk in the 409 South Main food hall and who was more recently involved in P.O. Press out in Collierville. He plans to have seasonal menus with ingredients that are as fresh as possible. There will be toasts and pastries in the morning, with breakfast tacos an idea for Saturdays. There will be plenty of sandwiches, with bread made in house, for lunch as well as salads. Gluten-free and vegan diets will be covered by the offerings at Comeback.

Your Inner Yogi at 10 N. Second will start offering Lunch Box Vinyasa Flow Wednesdays at noon beginning this week. This is a 45 minute quick yoga fix to loosen up any kinks you might have and keep you strong through the remainder of the day. $15 drop-in or class pass. YOGA!

Do I have any readers who make their own tacos? I’m pretty sure I do.Why wrap your tacos in flour tortillas when Costco sells cheese wraps? They come in Parmesan, Jarlsberg, and cheddar. In addition to adding even more cheese to your tacos, they are a low-carb alternative to tortillas as well.

On Your Feet!, the story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan, begins its week-long run at the Orpheum tomorrow.

News from the BBQ meeting

One thing about being on a Top 10 shoulder team – and we learned this in 2008 with the Ques Brothers, our old team – is that once you get up on stage and get that trophy, everyone wants to be a part of your team. I have had at least five people approach me about joining this year, and I know other members have had people inquire as well.

What we are going to do is hold off on adding new members until after March 15, to give our current members a chance to renew their spots. In the meantime, we’ll build a waiting list of who is looking to join. After March 15 we will see how many spots we have open (I expect it to be between 6 and 15) and start contacting people on the waiting list. Those who indicated they could work when they expressed interest will be given preference. There are various ways to help – load-in, build, painting, bartending, bringing side dishes, running errands (keg runs/ice runs/etc.) during the festival, cleaning up the booth to get ready for presentation on Saturday, load-out.

We continue to draw interest from sponsors; in fact, in the 48 hours before the meeting I had two companies indicate an interest in a sponsorship. One is a large company and we have to figure that one out, considering we already have two sponsors and a membership cap of 60. We might be able to take on additional small sponsorships. Two liquor companies and two local breweries have expressed interest. The breweries are all going to be at the Memphis Flyer’s Beer Bracket Match-Up Monday at Aldo’s Downtown today. I had planned to go to that anyway and now I am going to make sure to wear my Moody Ques shirt.

Very little will change as far as the booth and the competition shoulder cooking. We are entering a few ancillaries this year, including wings (which my neighbor Mac is very excited about) and a brand-new ancillary category, turkey. It was stressed that when possible, we want to cook enough of the ancillaries so that team members get to sample them.

Dues will go up by a very small amount, around 5%. This is necessary to meet rising Memphis in May and vendor costs. For new members there will be a small initiation fee.

We are entering Best Booth again, building a booth facade that spotlights the honored place of the year, which is Memphis itself. In other words, we need to build a facade that is SO Memphis. I made two suggestions: One was a convenience store with a sign reading “PREPAID CELL PHONES & HOT WINGS SOLD HERE” in the window, and the other was 201 Poplar. Both ideas were rejected. We decided to delay facade planning until we see what materials we can borrow from our booth sponsor.

It was a really good and productive meeting, and thanks to Jamie and Aaron for hosting us and providing snacks. It’s a totally different vibe when you have the first planning meeting after finishing 7th out of 57 teams rather than 53rd out of 57.

After the meeting I stopped by Max’s Sports Bar, where I had the pleasure of talking BBQ with Squeal Street pitmaster Bones for about half an hour. They expect to be moving closer to our location; they are a growing team and had to move up to the same size booth as we have. That would be fun, if we were neighbors. From what I heard from Bones, it sounds like Squeal Street may be joining us on stage for a competition cooking trophy.

All right, time to hit Publish and get this day started. The ATM ate my debit card that had a huge crack down the stripe Saturday, so I have to go to the bank and get a new one printed. Thank goodness the ATM let me withdraw cash before it chewed up the card. After that I’ll make a quick stop at Silly Goose, followed by a trip to Aldo’s for the Flyer’s beer bracket matchup. The sales manager of one of the breweries just loves Perjorie T. Roll and I know she will be so excited to get to see her this afternoon. Back tomorrow with more news.

CONVEY THAT PICK! plus dinner at Fam and Sunday news

Here’s something I was thinking about yesterday afternoon. What if you turned on the TV to watch a Grizzlies game in February, March, or April, and you couldn’t hear Rob Fischer and Pranica and Brevin because there was a nonstop chant throughout the arena, so loud that it drowned out the announcing team:


I would love to get a chant like that going at games to show owner Robert Pera how disgusted Grizzlies fans are with the front office and in particular with general manager Chris Wallace. Think about it. The Grizzlies’ goal this season, as defined by Wallace, is not to win an NBA championship. It’s not to earn a playoff berth. It’s not even to be as bad as possible and throw our raffle ticket for the Zion Williamson sweepstakes into the hat.

The Grizzlies’ goal, as defined by GM Wallace, is to finish no worse than ninth, so we can convey our top-8 protected first-round draft pick to Boston. A draft pick we agreed to trade for Jeff MF’N Green, thanks to Wallace.

And how are we going to get to that ninth-place finish? By re-activating Chandler Parsons, a prima donna who feels he is too good to accept an assignment to the Memphis Hustle for evaluation purposes. Chandler Parsons, who was offered a max contract by GM Chris Wallace. A contract that left the Grizzlies so financially inflexible that we had to trade the face of our franchise to Toronto.

Sadly, Wallace’s goal of conveying the pick is the right one, given the status of things at this time. And yet it is such a completely absurd thing to be cheering for – if fans start loudly cheering for Memphis to convey the pick, maybe it will wake Robert Pera up to all the bad decisions the front office has made over the years. Two different sources (Grizzly Bear Blues, Daily Memphian) have suggested Shane Battier as a hire for head of basketball operations. That sounds ideal to me.


Yesterday was a good day. I started off at Bardog, where there were fun times with friends, good basketball on TV, and several rounds of shots. By 5:00 I was starving. I decided to walk down Madison to Fam, the new sushi, rice bowl, and noodle bowl restaurant across the street from the Brass Door.

Friday I had been in the Blind Bear, where my friend Mary was bartending. She was getting Uber Eats orders ready for pickup, and she said, “I just realized, I can order from Uber Eats too!” and she ordered lunch from Fam. She got a curry soba noodle bowl with spicy corn, carrot, and onion. It looked and smelled delicious, so when I went to Fam yesterday I ordered it. You can add chicken for $3 or shrimp for $4, and I added chicken.

The curry bowl was a meal in itself, but I wanted to sample around the menu a bit, so I got a spring roll with shrimp as well.

This was fresh, delicious, and the greens in the roll were the same color as my troll’s hair, which made her happy. Fam is well worth a visit if you’re into Asian food.

If you’re interested in purchasing season tickets for Memphis 901 FC, account executives will be at AutoZone Park the next two Saturdays, February 16 and 23, from 10 AM to 2 PM. They will help you find the seats that you want to watch Memphis soccer.Call 901-721-6000 or email to schedule an appointment.

Looking for a build-your-own Bloody Mary bar? Sunrise Memphis has one:

The Daily Memphian’s Wayne Risher went on a World Class Tour of Memphis International Airport recently. The tour covered FedEc Express, the airport’s biggest tenant and a huge job creator in Memphis. Also discussed was what the airport is doing to recover from Delta’s pull-out of Memphis as a hub several years ago. There was some interesting trivia, including why the airport employs wildlife biologists and why fire trucks at the airport are yellow rather than the usual red. These tours are open to the public and the next one is April 4.

Kafe Kirk returns to the Halloran Centre tonight at 6. This series, centered around jazz musician Kirk Whalum, brings groovy, jazzy musical excitement to the stage. This month’s show features Everette Harp, a saxophonist who was ahead of the game in the 1990s when smooth jazz artists began incorporating hip-hop and R&B grooves.

The Flying Saucer is spotlighting their veggie burgers this week.

Let’s get ready to BATTLE! We put a new spin on our burger battle this week with some delicious veggie options. The “Flat Earther” is a handmade black bean patty dressed with crisp marinated cucumbers, Tabasco aioli, and arugula. The “Bruce Lee” is an Asian influenced impossible patty, grilled with a ginger honey glaze and topped with hoisin aioli and wasabi cole slaw! Get in here before they’re gone!!

Bluefin is hiring… I think???

Yesterday I was at Bardog talking to one of my neighbors, and she lamented that there’s no longer a bar Downtown that has NTN/Buzztime trivia. It’s addictive and customers tend to spend hours playing the games.

Rizzo’s will host a Blue Note Bourbon/Rye Dinner at its temporary location in the 409 South Main food hall on Tuesday, February 12. This will be a four course dinner paired with pairings of Blue Note Bourbon and River Set Rye. Chef says that if you love local craft bourbon, this is the event for you. He also notes that if you’re in the service industry, this would be a great way to celebrate Valentine’s Day early with the one you love.

From WREG: Arkansas Delta town Elaine is learning about the massacre that happened there 100 years ago, when 200 African-Americans were slaughtered after an attempt by black sharecroppers to unionize. Reading about how horrible our ancestors were is disconcerting, but necessary if we want to make sure history does not repeat itself.

Trolley Stop Market invites you to celebrate Valentine’s Day as a family. There will be cupcake and cookie decorating, movies, face painting, door prizes, and kids can make Valentine’s Day cards for loved ones.

Big day today. The leaders of the BBQ team are getting together to begin planning for 2019. We won a 7th place trophy in Shoulder last year, and the way we see it, we’ve got nowhere to go but up. This should be a very fun meeting. My troll, who is senior deputy director of public relations for the team, is so excited that she put on her BBQ Fest pig ears.

Back tomorrow with more news, and probably an update on the Moody Ques website as well.

Saturday update

Just wanted to give one last reminder that the Bluff City Mafia, the supporters’ group for soccer in Memphis, is having their One Month Away party (one month away from Memphis 901 FC’s first regular season home game) today at Brass Door beginning at 4 PM. You’ll be able to talk to them about what it means to be part of Bluff City Mafia, and if it sounds good you can join for $25. Membership gets you a scarf, a sticker, preferred seating in the supporters’ section, and other perks to be revealed throughout the season.

The Handy Band will start playing a regular Monday night gig at Blind Bear at 7:30 PM. The 7-piece ensemble has been practicing at the Bear, and I have to admit that at first I wasn’t sure what style of music they were aiming for. Now, however, it all makes sense – they’re playing the early blues by somgwriters like W.C. Handy, and the music of the 1910s and Roaring Twenties. So, what they play might be the music you would have heard if you’d walked down Beale Street 100 years ago. That’s very cool!

Hatiloo Theater’s I, Too, Am America will play the Halloran Centre this morning at 10 AM. The lives of black historical figures such as Ida B. Wells and Sojourner Truth will be recounted, and scenes from the Montgomery Bus Boycott and other events of the Civil Rights Movement will be acted out.

Next door at the Orpheum, Dancing with the Stars: Live! will be on stage this evening.

The Orpheum will host two week-long theater intensive camps July 29-August 2. There will be a musical class where participants will receive instruction from Broadway professionals. There will also be a technical and design class where participants will get to learn from some of the best technical theater minds in Memphis.

New Downtown website design & digital marketing firm LAB Design Creative has a good article about color psychology in branding.

Everyone be on the lookout for Grizzy, a 7-year-old dog who escaped from Downtown doggy daycare Mutt Island. Grizzy is new to the area and may not know how to find his way back home. Despite the business’s name, Mutt Island is actually out in The Edge, at 320 Monroe, so folks in that neighborhood especially need to me on alert. Perhaps if there are any dog lovers who maintain a Facebook page about the Edge neighborhood, they could post a link to the story.

Earnestine & Hazel’s will open at 11 AM tomorrow for those who want to pre-game for the Memphis Tigers vs. UConn game at FedExForum at 1.

Memphis in May has concerns about the redesign of Tom Lee Park and whether it will reduce capacity for Music Fest and BBQ Fest. Not only would the festival lose revenue if the capacity were reduced, but Memphis could lose hotel stays and other tourism dollars. The Memphis River Parks Partnership says capacity will not be reduced for Music Fest, and BBQ Fest will accommodate the same number of team booths if not more. The festivals may have to be relocated in 2020 due to park construction and alternate locations Downtown (good, not Tiger Lane!) are being looked into.

Ghost River Brewery is having its Valentine’s Market in the taproom with several vendors selling their wares today from noon to 4.

That’s it for now. We have a BBQ planning meeting tomorrow, so I am headed to Bardog for a pre-planning session with president John D and senior deputy director of public relations Perjorie T. Roll. Perjorie and I came across an interesting opportunity last night that I want to present to the team. Back tomorrow with more news.