Fri update: Gumbo crawl, V-Day partner yoga, Grizzlies promotions tomorrow and more

Beale Street will be doing a Gumbo Crawl on Fat Tuesday, February 9, from 11 AM to midnight. Many restaurants on Beale claim to have the best gumbo, but who’s truly qualified to judge? You are.

The way it works is, you go to the Beale Street spots of your choice and order gumbo. You then leave a vote in the jug indicating which restaurant serves the best. Each vote costs $1, benefiting the Church Health Center. (Note: The way I read the press release, each VOTE is a dollar. You still have to pay regular price for the gumbo. Beale Street officials, if I am wrong email me at and I will issue a correction.)

Downtown Yoga is offering a special partner yoga class for Valentine’s Day, Sunday, February 14 from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM. Register here (note that the class is more than a week out, so you will need to click the NEXT> button at the top to see it). Cost is $20 per person. The fee includes the yoga class as well as wine and sweets afterward. Beginners are welcome.

Hey B-RAD, Rahul and Tony said to tell you that they will be late getting to brunch on the 14th. “We’ll be there about 1:35, 1:40,” is what they told me. They didn’t offer an explanation as to why they would be late.

Tomorrow, Saturday, February 6, is a big night with the Grizzlies. They play Dallas at FedExForum at 7 and there are a couple of promotions going on. If you are one of the first 4000 fans in the gate, you get the second piece of “Mt. Grizzmore,” Mike Conley (without the mask). Tony Allen was the first piece, handed out earlier this year, with Z-bo and Marc Gasol still to come. Here’s a look at the complete Mt. Grizzmore set.

It’s also one of those nights when there is a ticket to a special craft beer tasting, this month featuring local brewery Wiseacre. Your ticket cost gets you a seat to the game, beer tastings, and a commemorative pint glass. The event starts at 5 PM, two hours before the game. The special ticket is $97.50 for a club level seat, with terrace level seats starting at $43. Note: Today is the deadline to order the beer tasting ticket. Here’s more info and how to order.

Supervalu, the parent company of Save-a-Lot, is interested in the former Kroger location at 544 Jackson.

Southern Living released its 2016 list of the South’s best bars. Number 17 was Earnestine & Hazel’s.

Keep up with what is going on with the city of Memphis. Sign up for weekly emails from the mayor here.

Daaaamn. Johnny Manziel got fired by his agent.

Max’s Sports Bar is giving away free stuff during the Super Bowl including a fancy cooler, shirts, and a neon brewery sign.

eighty3 is running a crawfish po’boy and gumbo lunch special today through Fat Tuesday for $15. That looks like a huge sandwich.

Those of you who have visited the Center for Southern Folklore’s Memphis Music and Heritage Festivals will be sad to learn of the passing of Minnie Bell. An elder of the Choctaw community, Minnie and her family taught basket-making, cooking and more at the festivals.

Off to run errands. Possibly a second post this evening.

Mangia! Mangia! Plus more Thursday news (update #2)

The eighth in the series of the Ten ’til Ten dinners has been announced by the Majestic Grille. These dinners are a countdown to the Majestic’s 10th anniversary this year, and each has a different theme.

The next one in the series will be at 6 PM on Tuesday, February 23, and it will be an Italian feast. It will be a multi-course meal, each dish served family style like they do it back in the Old Country. An Italian wine will be paired with each course. $65 per person plus tax and gratuity. Reservations must be made in advance by phone at 901-522-8555.

There will be a Mardi Gras celebration benefiting Grace House at the New Daisy this Saturday at 10 PM. Grace House is a licensed non-profit treatment center where women can get help with alcohol abuse, drug abuse, and mental disorders. Epic, JJ Wilson, Mylon Webb, Tree, and others will perform. $15 cover.

Children’s performance Moon Mouse happens tomorrow night, Friday, February 5, at the Orpheum at 6:30. Marvin the Mouse, stepping away from the “cool” rats who label him a loser and a geek, engulfs himself in his science books. He ends up building a rocket that takes him on the adventure of a lifetime.

One of my vegetarian friends tweeted about banana milk today. It’s a drink you can make at home that is an alternative to liquids like almond milk for vegetarians and vegans who don’t drink animal milk. Damn, that actually sounds pretty good! You can make it at home, and unlike almond milk, there are no preservatives. As a fruit-based milk, it may be more digestible to some than nut-based ones. As an option, you can blend in soaked oats for a drink that tastes like banana bread in a glass.

Speaking of liquids… one of my friends has recently had to switch from Miller Lite to PBR to cut costs. “Damn it, Pauly,” he told me. “For years I have looked down on PBR and thought of it as a shit beer. But now that I’ve gotten used to it, I have to admit you’ve been right all along. It’s pretty tasty.”

Groundbreaking for South Main Artspace Lofts will begin May 1. The live/work space for artists will be available to those making less than 60% of the median Shelby County income. The reasoning behind the need for the space, explained by Artspace’s vice-president of community development, is that artists may only be deriving a small portion of their income from doing the work they love.

Highly relevant tweet given what week this is, and so true:

Here’s a blog post of party snacks for the perfect party host, some with suggested pairings with local Memphis craft beers.

Back tomorrow with another post. I still have plenty in my queue of news, but I need to get this post published and get out to happy hour. Silly Goose bound.

Exciting fresh produce news and more

As longtime readers of this blog know, I am a huge fan of fresh produce. If you are too, I have some very exciting news to share with you today. Whitton Farms, located about 30 miles from Downtown Memphis, is doing CSAs for 2016. What’s a CSA? It’s a subscription service where on a weekly basis, you can receive a bag of veggies and fruits, or a bag of floral items, fresh from the farm. You can pick up your bag Thursdays from 7 to 9 PM at Trolley Stop Market, or Saturdays 7 AM to 1 PM at the Memphis Farmers Market. Information on how it works and how to sign up can be found here. Limited to 50 subscribers. The farm does not use synthetic herbicides, pesticides, or fertilizers.

This is going to make the Farmers Market feel like I’m opening Christmas presents every week this year. “Ooooh, this week I got some turnips! And some basil! And some eggplant too!” I am so jazzed about this!

UConn is in town to play the Memphis Tigers tonight. The game is at 8:00 and will be nationally televised on ESPN2.

Want to volunteer for Memphis in May? There will be a volunteer expo Thursday, February 18 from 6 to 8 PM at Central Station.

Tennessee Comic Con is Saturday and Sunday at the Cook Convention Center.

Article from the Flyer worth a read: The 1917 lynching of Eli Parsons, a part of Memphis history that few people knew about, until now. I have lived in this city almost 30 years and I had not heard of this before. Scary to think that 3000 people gathered for the lynching, and little kids skipped school so they could watch with their families.

Very good news: Google goes to war against fake download buttons. I hate those. I have downloaded malware a couple of times because I clicked on the wrong button trying to download a legit piece of software.

Very happy to hear about the success of Preteckt, a startup company that is a 2014 graduate of Start Co.’s Seed Hatchery. Preteckt’s software monitors all parts of a truck, predicting part failures up to a month in advance. This predictive ability increases uptime and profitability. Recently carriers Expediter Services and Trans-Carriers contracted to install the software in their fleets. These two significant contracts allowed Preteckt to raise an additional $300,000 to further develop its software. Apply for one of Start Co.’s 2016 accelerators and you may receive $25,000 in funding for your startup business.

Reminder to my Moody Ques teammates: We need you to go to our team website and pay your dues using the Paypal widget on the right sidebar (if you’re viewing it on a screen) or at the bottom of the page (mobile). We are reaching the point in the season when we have to write some significant checks and need dues money. Thanks to the early birds who have already paid.

RIP Jack Eaton. Here’s a clip of Big Jack calling the action as Jerry “The King” Lawler battles AWA World Champion Nick Bockwinkel in 1979.

Out of time and I still have a ton of news, making a second post today downright likely. Look for it about 5:30 (if I do it before going out) or 11:30 (if I do it after I get home).

Wed update

This one is going to be kind of short, but hey, I did post 4 times yesterday, including a food review.

This has been all over social media yesterday and today, but in case you missed it, Nashville-based television network CMT is turning Million Dollar Quartet into a TV series, and it will be filmed here in Memphis. There is a casting call in town February 13 if you are interested in being on the series. Those auditioning are asked to show up with 1950s attire and hairstyle.

The Chippendales perform at the New Daisy tonight at 8:30. $25-65 tickets.

From Toyland: If you’re lucky, this site will turn your rescue dog into a free plush toy. The catch is that they get the right to use your dog’s image to sell retail copies of the toy.

Good idea: Sell your vacation photos to help offset the cost of the trip

There’s a park ranger job open with Shelby County.

All right, time to go run errands and then mess around with XML this afternoon. I was so tired I missed Charvey at the Silly Goose last week but tonight I plan on making it. He plays from 10 PM to 1 AM.

Kale Caesar salad with garlic lime tofu add-on @ LYFE Kitchen

No kidding, I really ate this.
No kidding, I really ate this.

LYFE Kitchen, the new healthy restaurant in the Chisca, opened yesterday. The deal with LYFE is that they serve no dish over 600 calories and are known for having plenty of options for vegetarians, vegans, and those preferring a gluten-free meal. I didn’t get in there for the opening yesterday, but with the rain we had tonight I saw an opening. “Surely the place won’t be too busy in this weather.”

Indeed it wasn’t. I got there about 5:45 and a server asked if I’d ever been to LYFE Kitchen before. I said I hadn’t and she steered me in the direction of Art’s Unfried Chicken, chicken with a side of a mixture of brussels sprouts, butternut squash, dried cranberries, a cashew cream sauce, and Dijon vinaigrette. It sounded appealing but I had already looked at the menu online, and I knew what I wanted. I was determined to get as far outside the box as I could at this place.

“I’ll have the kale Caesar salad, with an add-on of garlic lime tofu,” I told the cashier. He offered to make it gluten-free or vegan if I wanted, but I had my limits. I thought about saying “extra gluten” but I wasn’t sure if that was a real thing. I got a freshly-squeezed classic lemonade to drink.

They gave me a number to take to my table, and I looked around. One thing you might not know is that LYFE serves alcohol. They have a bar with two large flat-screen TVs, with local craft beer on tap and they can make fresh versions of most common cocktails.

Although they are still learning the registers, which is understandable given it is the second day, the service was great. No less than six different employees, including the GM, came up to me. They wanted to be sure I liked my food, and they let me know that if there was anything they could do for me, all I had to do was ask. I definitely felt welcomed there.

As for the salad, let’s just say I thought waaaaayyyyy outside the box ordering it. I’m not opposed to ordering vegetarian items, but usually they are not way too different from what I normally eat. I’ll get the Button Man (veggie slice) at Aldo’s Pizza Pies; a version of one of the burgers made with a veggie patty at Huey’s; the bean nachos at Maciel’s. The kale Caesar with tofu, though, was the exact opposite of my regular diet.

Don’t get me wrong – if you’re into that kind of thing I think you would enjoy it at LYFE. They used quality ingredients including cherry tomatoes, parmesan, broccoli, romaine, and baby kale. There was absolutely nothing wrong with my salad, and the addition of fresh cracked pepper (on every table) helped. It’s just that if anything, I learned that the next time I go to LYFE, I should stick to items more in line with my traditional diet. like the unfried chicken the server recommended, or the Farmhouse burger made with 100% grass-fed beef.

Give LYFE Kitchen a try; I think you will like it. If I had one minor criticism of the place, it would be that it was a bit too warm in there.It wasn’t unbearable but it was mid to upper 70s inside. I know it sounds ridiculous to turn on the air conditioner on February 2, but it was in the 60s and humid outside and the place would have been more enjoyable had it been cooled off a bit.

In the after-LYFE I walked north to Blind Bear and sat at the bar and watched basketball. I didn’t play Tuesday night poker because it would keep me up too late. Walking home, I stopped at City Market and looked in their grab & go. They had two chicken tenders with honey mustard for dipping for $3.49. If you want to have the best chicken tenders EVER, have them as a late-night snack after kale and tofu for dinner.

4 posts in one day. I guess that’s enough. Off to bed.

Tue update #3

If your sweetheart is a Redbirds fan, you can purchase a custom Valentine’s pack to be delivered by mascot Rockey on Thursday, February 11 or Friday, February 12. There’s a Sweetheart pack ($75) with 6 chocolate-covered strawberries and 2 dugout tickets to the Saturday, April 9 game which is the first post-game fireworks of the season. There’s also a Cupid package ($100) that contains the items in the Sweetheart package plus a half-dozen roses from Lynn Doyle Flowers. Rockey can only make 40 deliveries, so contact Marketing coordinator Savara Linsdey at 901-722-0285 as soon as possible if interested. Noon on Monday, February 8 is the deadline to order and recipients must live within 30 miles of AutoZone Park.

The Commercial Appeal reports that Arepa & Salsa out in the Edge is being replaced by a restaurant called Sabor Caribe on March 1.

Scoops Parlor, a gelato and crepe shop, will open in South Main this week at 106 G.E. Patterson. That’s in the old Harry’s Detour location across from Max’s Sports Bar and Cheesecake Corner.

Holly from the I Love Memphis Blog reports that there will be a Black Restaurant Week in Memphis March 7-13. It will work similarly to Downtown Dining Week, with restaurants offering special menus. Downtown participants include DeJaVu and The Office @ Uptown. Full list of participating restaurants will be released this week.

Next Tuesday, February 9, the South Main Association will have its monthly meeting in the Central Station Boardroom. Alex Turley of Turley Company and Archie Willis of Community Capital will discuss South End and South City, and what these new communities mean to the historic arts district. Social at 6, program at 6:30, with catering by Hard Rock Cafe and beverages by SMA. Free for members, $10 for non-members.

The Memphis Business Journal reports that millions of dollars are available as the city works to fill in the gaps Downtown.

If you live in Southaven or Horn Lake, eat at the Hardee’s at Goodman and Interstate Blvd. this week. It opens tomorrow and they are donating 10 percent of the first week’s sales to St. Jude. (credit I Love Memphis)

Home from work, having just missed the rain. Since I don’t have a regular happy hour bartender on Tuesday, I think I may try to go find something new and different to eat before I get out to the bars. Back tomorrow.

Tuesday update #2

Truck yeah! My Memphis Farmers Market commemorative T-shirt and koozies have arrived. I got these for becoming a Friend of the Market last fall.
Truck yeah! My Memphis Farmers Market commemorative T-shirt and koozies have arrived. I got these for becoming a Friend of the Market last fall.

This is my second post of the day, and there was a lot of good stuff in the morning post, so make sure you keep scrolling at the end of this post and check out the earlier one.

A new study has found that being a regular at a small, local bar is good for you. Bar regulars are found on average to be significantly happier, to have more friends, and to have better life satisfaction than most people.

You remember my post from last September, when an intoxicated homeless woman fell and hit her head on a trash can, and 911 had to be called? It took 9 minutes on hold before a dispatcher picked up. I commented at the time, if the call had been about a heart attack or a gunshot wound, the person would have been dead. Mayor Strickland and his team have deemed this unacceptable and are hiring 30 new part-time dispatchers to handle the phones. Thank you, Mr. Mayor.

Next Tuesday, February 9 at 5:30 PM there will be a Fat Tuesday celebration at St. Mary’s Cathedral benefiting the Hospitality HUB. There will be a red beans and rice cookoff and also fresh beignets. There will be live jazz. The event will be family-friendly and vegetarian-friendly. $7 admission, $4 for kids, $22 for a family of four or more.

A biotech startup in the San Francisco Bay area is promising lab-grown pork within five years. Interestingly, the company is named Memphis Meats. Perhaps at BBQ Fest 2023, the Moody Ques will become the first team to win Grand Champion cooking animal-free pork.

If you need to bring a food item to your Super Bowl party, Local can help. They have party platters with Spin Dip, wings, Local burger sliders, and Nashville hot chicken sliders that can feed 10-12 people. Call for pricing.

There will be an Artspace Lofts Town Hall Meeting tomorrow at Stock & Belle at 387 S. Main at 6 PM. Come hear about the transformation of United Warehouse into living space for artists.

Out of time. I still have more news so there may be a third post after work. There is already pooling water on the roads and storms are expected this afternoon, so be careful driving home and take it slow.

Tuesday morning update

Coffee lovers: The Qahwa location at 100 N. Main has a new nitrogen bar. This bar offers nitrogen-infused drinks, not only coffee drinks but grapefruit hop soda, horchata, and red and green tea.

Another tribute band is coming to Memphis: Zoso, the Led Zeppelin tribute band that has toured for more than 20 years, will play the New Daisy Thursday, April 14 at 8 PM.

Madison Line Records is having a music showcase called The Living Room Sessions next Tuesday, February 9 at 7:30 PM. Many genres will be represented, including punk, soul, blues, and gospel and worship. The event will be at the Visible Music College at 200 Madison.

Martin Lawrence brings his “Doin’ Time” Uncut Live Tour to the Orpheum Saturday, April 2. Tickets go on sale this Friday.

The High Cotton taproom is hosting an event Thursday February 25 from 6 to 8 PM called Drink and Draw. The concept is simple: You bring your favorite drawing tool and whatever you want to draw on, and enjoy camaraderie and creativity. Free to participate, and you pay for your own beer,

The High Cotton taproom will host Cookies on Tap Thursday, March 24 from 4 to 7 PM. Four High Cotton beer samples will be served, each perfectly paired with a Girl Scout cookie. Tickets are $20 and proceeds will benefit the Troop 901 endowment. The tasting is go at your own pace, so if you can’t make it by 5 it’s not a problem.

I notice both of these events are on Thursday evenings… wonder what they’re going to do about Bendy Brewski Yoga those nights?

For my blue-eyed readers: We may all be descendants of one 10,000-year-old ancestor.

This is interesting: What fruits and vegetables looked like before we domesticated them

Trying to decide where to watch the Super Bowl this Sunday. It occurs to me that I have never watched a Super Bowl at Max’s Sports Bar and that seems like kind of a shame. Perhaps it’s time to correct that error.

Off to work. Possibly back at lunch or in the evening with more news.

Monday update

LYFE Kitchen is officially open. I am excited it is there, not only because of the diversity it brings to Downtown dining, but because of its location. There is no more “dead block” of South Main between MLK Ave. and Pontotoc. That block will now be bustling with activity, making South Main safer and more connected to the core.

I’ll probably go in there for dinner one day this week. Looking at the menu… hmmm what to get? There’s a kale Caesar salad to which I could get garlic lime tofu as an add-on. I think I would rather eat a bug, but maybe I will order it just to challenge myself. It’s nice to know I can get my salad gluten-free or vegan upon request.

Here’s a map of the Salty Dogs run for tonight. It’s a 4.58 mile figure-eight departing from Bardog at 7 PM. There is no cost to participate and new people are always welcome.

Tickets are on sale for Mix-Odyssey 2016, a mixology competition benefiting Volunteer Odyssey. It will be Saturday, February 27 from 7 ti 10 PM. Sample 7 cocktails (or 10 if you go VIP) from bartenders across the city. Among the participants are Downtown bartenders Daniel Lynn (South of Beale) and Cady Smith and Stephanie Waugh (Cafe Pontotoc). Also hobbyist Grant Whittle (I went to college with him). There will be music and fortune tellers who will predict where you will volunteer next.

Pink Diva Cupcakery is holding a women’s only event called Cupcakes, Cursing and Cocktails next Wednesday, February 10. It’s an informal cocktail to discuss women’s issues, relationships, or anything you just want to get off your chest. Admission is $8, or $5 when you bring your own wine glass. Pink Diva is at 936 Florida just south of Downtown. The cupcakes at Pink Diva are vegan-friendly.

Vegan cupcakes and kale salad… this is almost becoming, like, “the health blog” or something. I need to go order the nachos from Huey’s and throw a photo of ’em on here to undo the damage to this blog’s reputation.

The Metal Museum is having Champagne Sunday next Sunday, February 7 from noon to 2, a free event with champagne, chocolate, cupcakes and wine from The Stemmed Glass. The gift shop will be open for your Valentine’s Day shopping.

Going to WWE Smackdown (tomorrow, FedExForum) or NXT (Thursday, Minglewood Hall) this week? The Cerrito Live podcast has a preview.

A Talent Development Agency has opened on the Main Street Mall next door to the Blind Bear.

2016-01-31 15.39.13

No idea what kind of talent they develop.

Did you know that Tennessee is home to the National Cornbread Championship? It’s in South Pittsburg near Chattanooga. April 23 and 24 are the big days. Hmmm I hovered over the Events menu and one of the events is “Church Service.” I’m thinking this might not be the spring break for adults that BBQ Fest is.

Just in case I have any readers who like mac & cheese, here’s a recipe for mac & cheese waffles.

All right, time for me to run down the street and get my eyes checked out. Tonight I will be checking the TV and social media for Iowa caucus results. I’m hoping Iowa feels the Bern and that a completely unelectable Republican wins their caucus (Ted Cruz would be good). Back tomorrow with more news.


Blackened catfish Benedict @ Rizzo’s Diner + Sunday news

Ever since the new location opened at South Main and Butler, I have heard good things about the blackened catfish Benedict at Rizzo’s Diner’s Saturday and Sunday brunch. Although I usually stick to the Downtown core on the weekends, beautiful weather yesterday gave me reason to walk south and check it out for myself.

2016-01-30 13.54.24

Growing up, I hated eggs. As an adult I have warmed up to them a little, but still, if I let you cook me eggs in any form other than scrambled/omelet it means I really trust you. If there is anyone I am going to trust to serve me eggs right, it is Chef Michael Patrick. He did not disappoint.

The dish consists of blackened Lake Farms Mississippi catfish topped with spinach, English muffins, poached eggs, and Cajun Hollandaise sauce. It all fits together perfectly and the spinach absolutely makes this dish a hit. I enjoyed every bite and the portion was generous enough that I did not leave the table feeling hungry. No less of a foodie than the Nuh-Uh Girl said this is her favorite Downtown brunch dish and I could not disagree. Easily the best Benedict I have ever had.

I sat at the bar, and bartender Nikki was a complete professional. She made sure I had everything I needed and engaged me in conversation. When I ordered my third mimosa and mentioned I had pre-gamed at Bardog, she said, “Tell me you’re getting an Uber when you leave, or walking.” I told her I lived in the Downtown core and assured her that driving is never on the agenda when I go to bars.

For those who are not into fish, there is a Southern version of the Benedict with slow-roasted pork shank confit. Also, I’m not sure if I have any readers who like Rizzo’s and are vegetarian, but on the off-chance I do I will mention that they also have a vegetarian version of the dish with oven-roasted tomatoes.

Has anyone tried the Bandera Memphis at Rizzo’s? It is pork belly chicharones, Andouille sausage, blackeyed peas, grits, steak tips, a sunny-side-up egg, and fresh avocado. It sounds delicious and a Google Images search produced a couple of yummy-looking photos of this brunch dish.

I drank mimosas but I noticed they had several locally-produced craft beers from Wiseacre on tap.

My conclusion: Why have I not been going to Rizzo’s more often??? Yesterday was my first trip there since May. At the old restaurant I had an excuse for not going; I prefer to sit at a bar, and there wasn’t one. The new location that has been open since March, though, has a beautiful bar. There’s really no valid reason I have been denying myself this wonderful food. I’m putting Rizzo’s brunch on the regular Saturday agenda. It may not happen every week, but when I leave my normal first stop at Bardog, I am going to consider walking down there.

Walking down to Rizzo’s, I saw staff in training at LYFE Kitchen in the Chisca. The quick and healthy restaurant opens tomorrow. Here’s the menu. I want to go in there tomorrow and stand in line to order and ask, “Can I get the chicken nuggets?”

I bet LYFE Kitchen will be a prime yoga pants watching spot.

There is a rare apartment opening in South Main: Three bedroom, three bath, overlooks the Civil Rights Museum. Tile floors, skylight, oversized Jacuzzi tubs and showers in each bathroom, all appliances, washer/dryer, newly painted. Must pass credit check. The landlord is a very interesting person who is looking for the right Spirits to rent his property. $1750/month with all utilities included. Hit me up at or on Facebook if interested and I will give you the landlord’s phone number.

For those staying in town an extra day after IBC and are looking for some live music, I recommend checking out the Memphis Jazz Orchestra’s rehearsal at Alfred’s at 6. It’s not blues but it is a unique experience. It’s a full orchestra and people swing dance to it. Then hit Blues City at 9:30 for jam band FreeWorld.

“But what do we do until 6?” you’re probably thinking. I am glad you asked. Come join me at the Blind Bear Speakeasy for Hung Over Like a Bear brunch/D-RANKS with B-RAD. The bar opens at 11, and there are brunch and drink specials until 6. It’s on the Main Street Mall, second door down south of Gayoso. The food is great, the service is great, and the regulars are an entertaining bunch indeed. That is where I will be for most of the afternoon. Come join!