Root beer float without the root

Yesterday afternoon I got some Sudafed and brought my allergies under control, at least to some degree. Feeling better, I headed to the Flying Saucer for Pint Nite.

The waitresses were all oohing and aahing at an advance copy of the Saucer’s new menu. Since I’m on friendly terms with them (well, almost all of them) they gave me a peek.

One of the items is a variation on a root beer float, but without the “root.” It’s chocolate ice cream and Young’s Double Chocolate beer. Ummm. Beer and ice cream. I don’t know how I feel about that. I guess I’ll keep an open mind and give it a try though.

They also have Buffalo Bill’s Pumpkin Ale back in stock, in bottles. That was one of my favorites last year. Of course, I didn’t drink one last night because it’s sacrilege to order bottled beer on Pint Nite. I’ll have one tonight when I go back for trivia night though. Seasonal pumpkin ales make me wish it could be Halloween/Thanksgiving season year ’round.

Time to pop a Sudafed and turn myself into Crackhead Paul and head to work. I have more stuff to post, so look for a lunchtime update.

Recommended reading

Been catching up on some of the other blogs around town… while cruising RachelAndTheCity’s site I read a post of hers entitled “Remembering September 11th.” (edited: Crap. That link isn’t working. Just click on the link to her main site and scroll down to the September 10 entry.) Rachel lived in New York City at the time, two blocks from Ground Zero, and was at home with her boyfriend when the attacks happened. Her post is a really good first-hand account of what she saw and heard and what she was feeling at the time. I recommend you check it out if you haven’t seen it already.

Plans for this week:

Tonight – my allergies are killing me to the point that I may not go out at all. But if I do, Pint Nite at the Saucer, of course.

Tuesday – trivia night at the Saucer. Susie, you coming?

Wednesday – the big party I’ve mentioned a couple of times. I’ll post more about this the day of.

Thursday – dunno.

Friday – South Main Trolley Art Tour.

HUGE news: Downtown Blue Monkey to reopen by Thanksgiving

This weekend I heard some GREAT news. The space formerly occupied by Alice’s, next door to The Corkscrew on S. Front near GE Patterson, is being taken over by the owners of the Blue Monkey. They will remodel it and reopen it as the temporary Downtown Blue Monkey while the real Downtown Blue Monkey is being rebuilt. From what I hear, the plan is to have it open in the old Alice’s space by Thanksgiving. Having our Monkey back (in any form) will truly be something to give thanks for.

That’s all I know for now, but I ‘m going to try to get out to the Midtown Monkey for lunch tomorrow and talk to the owners and get additional details.

My schedule for today: Bouncing back and forth between Sleep Out Louie’s and the Flying Saucer between now and about 6:30, then heading to the rooftop of Pembroke Square for Steve Cohen’s fundraiser. My allergies are really acting up today, so expect to see Sneezy Paul if you run into me today, to be replaced by Crackhead Paul tommorow after I run by Walgreens to get my allergy medicine.

(Edited to add a note for Philip)

Ole Miss lost yesterday, 27-3, to football powerhouse WAKE FOREST. Great job guys!

HOTTY TODDY
GOSH A’MIGHTY
WHO THE HELL ARE WE?
HEY!
FLIM FLAM
BIM BAM
WE SUCK
BY DAMN!!!

Now go write a blog post about how your team at least beat the Memphis “Tiggers.” Like I care.

Memphis dining: Quetzal, Destiny Diner and more

I may not be Leslie Kelly from the Commercial Appeal, but at least for this post and the next one, this will be the Memphis dining blog.

My friend Mikey (who, by the way, says hello to everyone) tells me that Quetzal at the corner of Union and Marshall plans on remodeling. They opened about a year ago as an Internet cafe, and have since extended their menu and got a liquor license. Now they plan on building a bar in the middle of their big room and serving liquor there. Sounds good. Quetzal is a huge space and there’s so much they can do with it. In the back they have a pool room and a private meeting room. They also plan on staying open later. Last night they were open until at least 11:45 even though they officially close at 10. “We stay open as long as there are people here,” they said.

With Quetzal expanding and Hattiloo Theater planning on opening a cafe, The Edge neighborhood in the Madison/Marshall/Monroe area is becoming quite the destination. Of course, you also have the Complex for live music, Kudzu’s as the neighborhood bar (which now has a neighborhood to go with it), and various art galleries.

Oh. And of course we can’t forget Downtown Dolls, the new “adult” club in the old Six-1-Six building. One Downtowner told me, “The trouble with going there is, you see people you know, and you don’t want to be seen there and they probably don’t either.” Downtown may be a walking neighborhood, but if that’s your kind of entertainment maybe you’d be better hopping in the car and driving out to the Mt. Moriah Center for the Performing Arts.

Reminds me… someone told me that the Center for the Performing Arts has some Romanian girls dancing there. Let me make it clear that these are NOT the Romanians I’m friends with, who live and work downtown. But still… even though I’m not a fan of strip clubs, the thought of Romanians taking it all off may be enough to convince me to pay a visit to the ol’ Purple Church.

Last week at the Cooper-Young festival, someone handed me a menu for a new restaurant in Midtown that looks really interesting. It’s called Destiny Diner and is at 326 S. Cleveland, which I believe would put it right next door to Printer’s Alley, just south of Vance. They have the most unique menu I’ve seen in a while. They have the usual stuff like appetizers, pizzas, and sandwiches, but they also have something called “Destiny Dining.” You pick chicken, shrimp, vegetables or tofu sauteed in one of their marinades. The marinades include a Spanish one, an Indian Tikka Masala one, a garlic/oregano one, a super-hot jerk one, a mango/honey/ginger one, and a lime/cilantro/garlic/red pepper/mustard one. I’m really not doing them justice here with my descriptions. You gotta see the menu. You get a choice of rice or garlic mashed potatoes as the side.

They also have some unique burgers, including a Paradise (cooked in jerk sauce with three cheeses and onions), the Piggy Back (topped with bacon, ham, and cheddar), and the Old McDonald (topped with chicken, ham, American and Swiss – I don’t think I’ve ever seen chicken as a burger topping before).

And, they have a “Creative Dept.” where they invite you to design your own plate. They list their breads, meats, cheeses, veggies, specialty items, and sauces, and invite you to design your own dinner. Very cool. I gotta give this place a try. Anyone want to head out there with me and check it out?

The past couple of times I’ve walked down Madison, I’ve noticed that King of Wings has been closed. Anyone know the story? Is it closed for good, or are the owners just taking a break?

One other note – I’ve been told that the restaurant that used to be Elvis Presley’s Memphis will reopen next month (I’ve been trying to get the name of the new restaurant off the downtownmemphis.com site, but it looks like their server is currently bogged down). They reportedly plan on catering to locals, and have told several Downtowners, “The upstairs bar, that’s for you.” Very cool. Now we have several Downtown business going after locals – Sauces plans to, the Majestic Grille always has, and BB King’s is trying to come up with promotions to get more locals in the door. Downtown – it’s not just for tourists anymore.

Oh that reminds me – I have several VIP passes to BB King’s to give away – was told to give them to people who are local and will actually use them. If that sounds like you, get in touch with me and I’ll give you one.

I have one more Memphis dining-related announcement to make, but this one is such big news that it’s going to get its own post. Check back later tonight or tomorrow – I have some very, very good news.

Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto

I have a friend who is in Nashville this weekend apartment-hunting… although I just met her she has apparently been reading my blog for some time. Just wanted to let her (and anyone else who has a connection to Nashville) know that the Nashville version of me is Mr. Roboto, who writes a blog called Thursday Night Fever. Roboto comes to Memphis now and then and he and I have hung out at Earnestine & Hazel’s and discussed blogging. Good guy. Roboto is also good friends with the elusive Master Polo/Chuck D, and anyone who hangs out with Chuck D has gotta be good people.

Instant Karma’s gonna get you

I’ve been on a John Lennon kick (his solo post-Beatles stuff) lately. The song I currently have stuck in my head is “Instant Karma!”

Instant karma’s gonna get you
Gonna knock you right off your feet
Better recognize your brothers
Everyone you meet

You know, now that I think about it, the lyrics of that song are a good start at summarizing my religious/spiritual beliefs.

Why in the world are we here?
Surely not to live in pain and fear
Why on earth are you there?
When you’re everywhere
Come and get your share

Interesting fact about “Instant Karma!”: John recorded it on January 27, 1970, and it was in the stores on February 6, a mere ten days later. Five days after that, John performed it on the British TV show Top of the Pops. He was still officially a Beatle at this point (their breakup was not announced until April), but nevertheless he released this single which more or less defined the kind of work he’d be doing during his solo career.

How in the world you gonna see
Laughing at fools like me
Who on earth do you think you are
A superstar?
Well, right you are

Well, we all shine on
Like the moon and the stars and the sun
Well, we all shine on
On and on and on, on and on

Well, we all shine on…

Drunk post

So I went to the Saucer tonight to hear The Dempseys. I stayed through all three of their sets and left about 1:30. About 11 my waitress (from Romania) got cut and asked if I’d tab out with her. I asked if she wanted her tip in money or kisses. She said money. Damn!

I am no longer dateless for Wednesday night’s party. While at the Saucer, about midnight during the Dempseys’ second set, I met a regular blog reader who works at a major corporation downtown and she indicated that she’d love to go. So I asked her.

She said to let everyone know that Precious Cargo, at 381 N. Main in the Pinch, has the most incredible vegan food in the city, and to try their vegan chocolate cake in particular. I’m not a vegan (I enjoy eating dead animals) but nevertheless, I’ll check it out sometime soon. I went there a few times in the late ’90s and enjoyed it very much.

“Thunder Road,” from which The Dempseys get their song “Ballad of Thunder Road,” will be on in an hour at 3 AM (it’s Thursday night/Friday morning as I type this) on Turner Classic.

Now I’m at home eating a microwaved can of Stagg Chili. It doesn’t come in airtight boxes anymore. It comes in cans like all the other brands of chili. The Dynamite Hot and White Chili (with chicken) varieties are da bomb.

Guess I’ll go to bed now.

Their plate, your canvas

The Nuh-Uh Girl sent me a link to this Memphis Business Journal article about Sauces, the new restaurant to open this fall on Main Street between Union and Gayoso. Their motto is “our plate, your canvas,” and is taken from a menu they have where you select a meat and then top it off with a signature sauce. (They also have a regular menu if that’s not your thing.) The article says they will have eight regular sauces, with featured sauces rotated weekly.

The article goes on to say that Sauces wants to focus on locals, Downtowners who will come back more than once a week. It says they will have a full bar with beer, wine, and liquor, as well as martini and mojito menus, so it sounds like Sauces has a good understanding of what Downtowners like in a restaurant.

The article lists sandwiches at $7-8 and entrees at $10-15, so it sounds like it will be affordable. And, “the interior of it is going to be the coolest thing on South Main,” said one of the owners.

I haven’t looked forward to a restaurant’s opening this much since rumors started flying about the Majestic Grille about this time last year. Should be a great addition to the Main Street Mall.

This should be fun: Steve Cohen fundraiser, Sunday 9/24 at 7 pm downtown

A fundraiser is being held for Congressional candidate Steve Cohen this Sunday, September 24 at 7 pm. It will be held on the top of the rooftop at Pembroke Square at the corner of Main and Gayoso. Suggested donation to attend is $25, or $5 for students. Of course, if you want to give more I’m sure they’ll take it!

Rooftop parties on downtown apartment buildings are always a blast. So come on down and support Steve! I plan on being there (hmmm… that means I’ll have to take it easy on the booze during the day at Sleep Out’s) and hope to see you there as well.

Wed. update: dateless, Dempseys, festivals, fairs, etc., etc.

First of all, congrats to my friend and fellow blogger AngieDawn who returned to Memphis a few days ago. AngieDawn has landed a great job promoting the city (I’ll let her tell you about it in her own blog) and Memphis is lucky to have her. Welcome back!

Sitting here at High Point Coffee on Union. Memphis’ poet laureate IQ is here, and he reminded me that Hattiloo Theater opens for its first season this Friday, so I figured I’d pass the word along.

So, I think I mentioned that I have a really cool party to go to next Wednesday the 27th, thrown by a weekly arts & entertainment paper that releases a new issue every Wednesday. As of yesterday I am dateless to this party – I had someone I was going to go with but I revoked her invitation (won’t go into why – I try to refrain from airing personal dirty laundry on my blog). If I have any secret admirers who read this blog, now might be a good time to reveal yourself.

The annual Clanjamfry Festival is this weekend, at Evergreen Presbyterian Church on University across from Rhodes. It celebrates Scottish heritage. Never been, may stop by on Saturday.

Court Square Concert Series tonight from 6 to 8. This week it’s hip-hop week with P-Smoov, Tom Skeemask, Lex G and The Memphis Movement. Usually I refer to the Court Square series as “Bums, Bands, Beer, and Pigeons.” Regular reader ML writes, “This week it’s Bums, Bling, Blunts, and Pigeons.”

After the concert I’ll probably stop by the Saucer for one or more beers (length of stay depending on whether the girl who had her party invitation revoked is there), then head over to Blues City Cafe to catch The Dempseys. I believe the show starts at 9.

Tomorrow night I’ll be back at the Saucer for another dose of the Dempseys. They take the Saucer stage at 9:30.

The Mid-South Fair starts tomorrow. I’ve come up with a new slogan to describe my attitude toward the fair:

“Mid-South Fair? Don’t care.”

Haven’t been once in the 19 years I’ve lived in Memphis, and I have no intention of going this year.

You may have noticed that I’ve added a Cohen for Congress button to my blog. Click on it to learn all about Steve Cohen and why he is the most qualified candidate for the 9th Congressional district seat. I was very pleased to see that the Tri-State Defender is taking a pro-Cohen stance.

The Rapscallions took third place last night at trivia, bringing our gift certificate stash to $60 total. Remember, they’ve started expiring in three months rather than a year, so we gotta plan a party before too long… I don’t have them with me but I believe the first one will expire in mid-to-late November.

That’s all for now… lunch is over, back to work.