Drink a beer, support a firefighter (Tue update 2)

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Oct 062015

Want to support a local firefighter? Drink a beer. Firefighter/paramedic John Foote is having to travel for his cancer treatment, and travel expenses are adding up. At Station 3: The Memphis Fire Haus, you can add $1, $2, or $5 to your tab to help offset those expenses. Over $5000 has already been raised.

Last month I attended the DMC block party and got to tour the inside of the Chisca, particularly the back building, the former motor lodge that has been converted into apartments. It was a pretty neat space, and if you missed the party you have another opportunity to see it coming up. On Tuesday, October 13 at 6 PM, the monthly South Main Association will take place at the Chisca. Terry Lynch, one of the visionaries who made the restoration possible, will speak. You’ll be able to tour the new apartments, the restaurants, and a tribute to DJ Dewey Phillips who operated in the building in the 1950s. Complimentary appetizers and beverages. Free for SMA members, $10 non-members.

The 15th edition of South Main Sounds Night will take place this Friday night at 7 at 550 South Main. Kitty Dearing will return to welcome five new songwriters who will make their debut at this venue.

Radio host Kevin Cerrito reports that Memphis is in biscuit country for McDonald’s all-day breakfast. Not the entire breakfast menu is served all day, just the most popular items. For us (and most of the South) it means biscuits. The rest of the country gets McMuffins.

Photographer Frank Chin has an excellent Best Memphis Burger Fest album that mostly focuses on the burgers and the judges. Hey, there’s my team’s burger!

Ever seen a dog with a yellow ribbon on its leash? Streetdog Foundation explains what the ribbon means.

Democrats: Here’s an interesting article about how Hillary Clinton’s and Bernie Sanders’s campaigns raise and spend money. Even though I grew up in Little Rock and have met Hillary in person, every time I see or hear something from Bernie he feels more like my guy.

Time for beer. My plans have not changed since my lunchtime post.

Authentic Mexican in the Downtown core + Tuesday news

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Oct 062015

A few days ago I reported that a restaurant called Maciel’s Tacos and Tortas has opened on the Main Street Mall between Monroe and Union. From the look of the storefront I wasn’t expecting much and didn’t make going in there a high priority. However, yesterday the restaurant received compliments from two people who know a little something about good food. Deni Reilly, co-owner of the Majestic Grille, posted a photo of tacos and said she was excited about authentic Mexican food Downtown. Then Chef Michael Patrick of Rizzo’s said he was in there Friday, and it was delicious. Glad to hear it and I will have to stop by soon. Hours are 11-8 Monday-Thursday, 11-10 Friday-Saturday. The restaurant has a Facebook page that you can “Like” to keep up with what’s going on there.

Tonight is the first pre-season Grizzlies game. A short walk away over on Beale, Tin Roof will have a $15 buffet before and after all Grizzlies home games. There’s no line and no waiting, and a soft drink is included in price of purchase.

Friday night at 6:30 there is a charity poker tournament at the Blind Bear, the Wifflestock-St. Jude poker tournament. $20 buy-in with unlimited $20 rebuys until 8:00. All entries donated to St. Jude. There will be gift cards and great prizes for the winners, highlighted by two tickets to the Minglewood Hall event of the winner’s choice. As a veteran of charity poker tournaments at the Blind Bear, I have a word of advice: Don’t pat your opponents on the head.

Life is Good will have a Pink Pumpkin Festival October 30-31 benefiting the Memphis chapter of the Susan G. Komen Foundation. From October 25-30, you can come by and pick up a pink pumpkin ($5 a pumpkin) to carve and enter in the contest. Pumpkins must be turned in by 6 PM on the 30th. Voting will be held Friday and Saturday, the 30th and 31st, and winners will be posted November 1. Live music in front of the post office 7-9 PM on the 30th and 31st. Costume parade at 3 PM on the 31st, and there will be trick-or-treating at nearby Main Street businesses.

Marvel Universe Live comes to the FedExForum January 1-3.

Thrillist has a list of the the best late-night eats in Memphis. On the list are South of Beale’s duck fried rice, Blind Bear’s Hibernation fries, Bardog’s Grandma’s meatballs, and Earnestine & Hazel’s Soul Burger. I wholeheartedly agree with all of those recommendations.

MakeUseOf has a post that is worth a read: Devices that you do not want to connect to The Internet of Things. These are devices that have proved surprisingly easy for hackers to take control. I’ll go ahead and give you number one: Cars.

I have way more news but not enough time to post. Check back after work for a second Tuesday update. My plan for this evening is to lead off at Hanin’s bar at Silly Goose, then over to Blind Bear for a visit, then back to Goose at 10 for $2 local beers and Charvey.

Pit bulls and beer (Monday update #3)

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Oct 052015

There’s going to be an event at High Cotton Brewery on Saturday, October 24 called Pints for Pits. It’s in support of National Pit Bull Awareness Day, established to restore the image of the pit bull and change stereotypes of this dog breed and its owners. Memphis Pets Alive! presents this event, with tickets for $20 pre-sale and at the door. Attendees get a goodie bag including a Memphis Pets Alive pint glass and other treats, live music, a silent auction, and discounted $3.50 High Cotton pints. Joy Ride food truck will be on site and a portion of their sales for the evening will go to MPA as well.

While we’re on the subject of dogs, there is a shepherd mix that needs a home on Mud Island. You can adopt the dog for free.

Station 3: The Memphis Fire Haus has announced that they have NFL Sunday Ticket and Red Zone for your football-watching pleasure. When I was up there last week, I counted five large flat-panel TVs in the main room and a giant-screen projection TV in a side room. They are serious about wanting to be a sports bar for the next two months.

This is kind of old news but in case you spent the weekend attending festivals and watching football, the Grizzlies will have a Tony Allen Jedi robe giveaway this season.

A helicopter fell off a trailer this afternoon at Front and Overton.

That’s all for now. Headed out for beer. Back tomorrow with more news.

Full Burger Fest results are in + lots of Monday news

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Oct 052015

Final results have been posted for Best Memphis Burger Fest 2015. The Moody Ques’ two strongest finishes were 14 for veggie burger and 12 for margarita. We finished in the top half in a cooking category and did not finish dead last in any category. For a first-year team, I will take it. They posted each judge’s rating for appearance, taste and tenderness so we can look and see what we need to do to improve. We will be back in 2016!

Last weekend was burgers, this coming weekend is salsa. The first-ever Southern Salsa Festival happens Sunday, October 11 at the Water Tower Pavilion on Broad Avenue. Local restaurants and competitors in the best salsa competition will have free sampling for the public. Live music, import beer, margaritas. Admission to the festival is $5.

Here’s a news item for Shakespeare fans: On Friday, November 6 at 7 PM, Nearly Lear comes to the Halloran Center for the Performing Arts. Imagine Shakespeare’s classic King Lear told from the viewpoint of the King’s closest companion, his fool. The play is said to confound expectations of what Shakespeare “should be” and draws the audience into the story. Tickets are $15 general admission or $30 VIP. Tickets are on sale at the Orpheum.

Chef Demitrie at Cafe Keough Instagrammed his butternut squash soup with Chantilly cream. Looks like a delicious fall treat.

Tigers-OIe Miss has been announced for 11 AM on ABC on the 17th.

Here’s a Choose901 article about Memphis’ fifth craft brewery, Crosstown Brewing Company, that will open next year. There’s a Kickstarter for the brewery if you want to donate funds to help them get going.

RiverArtsFest has unveiled its list of artists for this year. This arts festival happens on South Main in late October and draws artists and crafts vendors from all over the region.

For computer nerds: Run Windows 1.0.1 in your browser. That version of Windows is 30 years old this year.

The city’s sewer system is being rehabbed. MUCH NEEDED.

That’ll wrap it up for now. I’m not out of news items yet but I am out of time, because I need to go get some food. There may be a third post after work, so check back. My plan for after work is the usual Monday one: Melissa Monday at Bardog, then over to the Blind Bear about 7, with side trips always possible.

Piggyback ride Monday

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Oct 052015

Well yesterday turned out to be an interesting day. Katie the vegetarian from yesterday’s post (not to be confused with Katie Mac or Katie (not Mac) who are frequently mentioned here) decided she was going to give me a piggyback ride at the Silly Goose. I realized there were two possible outcomes: a) fall off; or b) fall off and break one or more bones. I tried to get out of it but Katie insisted. Fortunately no bones were broken. There’s video on my Facebook timeline but I don’t think I will put it on here.

The Moody Ques scored 14th (that’s a correction; I had heard 11th previously) with our veggie burger entry, the pumpkin spice burger. I had hoped for top 10 but regardless, Saturday was the day we proved beyond a reasonable doubt (or at least a preponderance of the evidence) that we know how to cook. I am so proud of our cook team Frank, Clay and Erik. Great job guys.

I won’t name names but I heard there was a team who cooked their Burger Fest vegetarian burger on a George Foreman grill. Really?

Info Katie (the vegetarian, not Mac or (not Mac) (I’m a web developer, we love nested parentheses)) might want to know: Local cookbook author Bianca is teaching a Vegan Crunk class at Whole Foods on Wednesday. She’ll be demonstrating a whole menu of Southern comfort foods.

The Facebook event listing has been posted for the Stumbling Santa pub crawl the first Saturday of December.

From WREG Live at 9: Chef Max Hussey from eighty3 demonstrates making classic gumbo.

Historian Jimmy Ogle is giving a 10-hour tour of Downtown this coming Saturday. Free to the public.

Singer Charvey Mac plays the Silly Goose tomorrow night at 10.

That’ll do it for now. Time for the work week to begin.

The Moody Ques and Weekend at Porky’s @ Best Memphis Burger Fest ’15

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Oct 042015





It was a year of firsts for Best Memphis Burger Festival. It was the first year the festival was held at Tiger Lane next to the Liberty Bowl, having outgrown its former space at Minglewood Hall. It was also the first year my BBQ team, the Moody Ques, competed in the burger festival. Our good friends Weekend at Porky’s stepped up and entered the competition for the first time as well.

The weather definitely did not cooperate! There was a north wind all day and the temperature never broke 60. However, this time around we have a cooker that has no problem holding temp. The Moody Ques were fully prepared to make some noise in the Bloody Mary, Veggie Burger, Anything But, Margarita, and Best Memphis Burger competitions.


Head cook Frank likes his buns well done, apparently. No this was not a competition entry.


While my team was cooking veggie burgers, I went down to Weekend at Porky’s for one of Colin’s Bloody Marys with bacon-wrapped garnishes.


Pumpkin spice burgers for our Best Veggie Burger entry. “I hope the veggie burger judges are white girls. If they are, we’re in like Flynn,” I commented.


Frank with our Best Bloody Mary entry, a recipe by our teammate Dusty.


Bardog/Slider Inn team


Our Best Margarita entry


My favorite pair of librarian glasses, the “L” of team FML at the Blind Bear.


Blondes love me



Our entry for Anything But Beef


B-RAD propping Nate up. Brad was wearing Rahul’s jacket in this photo, but he wanted to make it clear that he and Rahul are not dating.


I doubt the shaved ice truck did much business yesterday.


We made Katie a meatless version of our Anything But entry. Vegetarians love the Moody Ques.





Quail eggs, one of the toppings for our Best Memphis Burger entry.




Putting it all together for Best Memphis Burger


B-RAD getting down at Weekend at Porky’s


Katie getting down at Weekend at Porky’s


This is the kind of thing that happens when there’s Fireball.


Whitney and Staci getting down at Weekend at Porky’s


Bales of hay were the seats for the bands and the awards ceremony


Tim and Seth, organizers of this awesome event. Thank you for putting this together.


Our friends the Fabulous Burger Boys made it on stage to collect a trophy.

Full photo album here (150 photos, and I made it public so if you’re not friends with me on Facebook you can still see the album).

THAT WAS A LOT OF FUN. At Tiger Lane there was plenty of space, and despite the weather I had an absolute blast yesterday. I definitely hope we can enter Burger Fest again next year.

I haven’t seen the results yet, but I think the Moody Ques showed a lot of progress in their cooking ability. The vegetarian burger in particular was one where I thought we knocked it out of the park. While not a vegetarian myself, I will occasionally order veggie burgers at Huey’s, and I think the Moody Ques’ entry without a doubt could hold its own against that restaurant. The other burger entries I thought were good too.

Plans for today: It’s a rare Sunday when I have to spend part of the day working. It’s fun work though, so I don’t mind. I will be able to make it out to D-RANKS with B-RAD this morning. I would also be game for a mid-afternoon trip to Station 3 Firehaus if anyone is up for it.


Meatball has been found

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Oct 022015

Just wanted to let my readers know that Meatball, the lost dog I posted about this morning, is home safe and sound now.

Pre-Burger Fest news update

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Oct 022015

There’s going to be a very interesting event at the Woodruff-Fontaine Museum in Victorian Village this weekend. It’s called Urban Barn Market’s October Market. You’ll be able to shop from antiques, vintage, and handmade items in the nostalgia of autumn days from years gone past. The list of vendors is way way way too long for me to list here, but you can click through to the Facebook page to see the complete list. This seems worth putting on your agenda if you are in the area this weekend.

The first Saturday of December every year, there is an event called the Stumbling Santa Pub Crawl to raise toys for kids that might not otherwise get Christmas presents. It starts at the Flying Saucer and crawls through four or five bars. The event has gotten bigger every year, growing to over 1200 Santas last year, way too many for any one bar to accommodate. They have started an Indiegogo to grow the event even more, raising money for a heated outdoor tent that will be large enough to hold all the Santas. Pitch in some cash if so inclined and help make this awesome holiday event even better.

“Let’s Treat Your Beast” is the theme of the Memphis Farmers Market tomorrow. Two MFM vendors, Farm House Barkery and Heart of Eden, sell products specifically for dogs. Or, you can throw your dog a bone from one of the Market’s meat suppliers. Music by Davy Ray Bennett 8:30 to 10 and Melinda Milligan 11-12:30. The Market is at the pavilion at Front and G.E. Patterson every Saturday 7 AM to 1 PM. Congratulations to MFM on being voted Best Farmers Market in Memphis in the Memphis Flyer 2015 Best of Memphis poll!

The Farmers Market has posted a photo album from MFM@Ten at the Tennessee Brewery. Hey look, it’s the Moody Ques! Look at those yummy Moody Ques skirt steak sliders. Frank Chin does such an impressive job with his photography.

Business news: First Tennessee has put its building at Third and Madison up for sale. The bank will continue to occupy most of the floors of the building, however.

Live music recommendation: The legendary Smoochy Smith will be signing his biography, The Real Me, and performing with Rock Cats, a rockabilly band from England, tomorrow night at the Center for Southern Folklore. $10 cover.

The Grizzline, the Memphis Grizzlies drumline, is holding auditions Sunday.

Expect increased security measures mandated by the NBA at Grizzlies games this year.

Downtown Yoga is offering a free lunchtime yoga class at noon Monday-Wednesday of next week.

Capriccio Grill in the Peabody has an October special for Breast Cancer Awareness Month: Lobster Ravioli with PINK Sauce. $15 with a portion of the proceeds going to the Susan Komen Foundation.

The Tin Roof is hiring servers and cooks. Email

From the MBJ: Facebook profiles are getting a visual overhaul.

The 2015 BBQ Fest trophy-winning Moody Ques did a practice cook for Best Memphis Burger Fest last night and were very pleased with the results. “We are going to surprise some people,” was the verdict of the cooks.

Photo Oct 01, 8 52 41 PM

Our product

One correction: Earlier I posted that our booth at Burger Fest is next to Squeal Street BBQ. I have since learned that is incorrect; rather, we are directly across the sidewalk from Squeal Street. Knowing that they can see directly into our tent, I wonder if Squeal Street will bring binoculars to try and steal some cooking tips from the MQs.

There probably won’t be a post tomorrow because I have to be at Tiger Lane all day. If we’re friends on Facebook, expect several updates throughout the day on there.

Missing dog: Meatball (attention Pinch residents)

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Oct 022015

2015-10-02 06.45.36

Stolen from a porch near Main and A.W. Willis yesterday evening. If you have info shoot me an email at and I will pass it on.

I have a news post 90% ready to go but am not going to have time to finish it before work. Will post at lunchtime.

Station 3: Memphis Fire Haus

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Oct 012015












Station 3: The Memphis Firehaus is open for business. Check my past posts if you want to know the history. It is worth checking out. Lots of craft beer, $6 regular, $10 large. Expect to see me frequently this month and next.

Back in the morning with a news post unless I oversleep.