Monday update

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Jul 272015
 

There are even more road closures Downtown this coming weekend than I realized, and they will last from Saturday to Monday (not all streets closed the entire period). WREG has a list. The closures are for a TV show that will be filming scenes.

This Friday, July 31, is the last Friday of the month, which means it will once again be time for South Main Green Bus Night (referred to as South Main Trolley Night by some people). Many of the shops and galleries in South Main will stay open until 9 or later, and it is a good chance to get out and shop and mingle with your neighbors. I will be posting special events happening during Green Bus Night as I hear about them, but I am already aware of one: There will be a book signing at South Main Book Juggler. Author Stacey Wiedower will autograph copies of her new book Now a Major Motion Picture.

Two months from now, it looks like I will get to revert to calling it South Main Trolley Night. MATA has identified the five trolleys from the old system in the least need of repair, and will fix them and have them back on the line in September. Then they will identify the next five, and so on. The trolleys have been offline for about a year after two trolley fires in six months in 2014.

@CopelandCoach has posted yet another prime position that is open in Memphis: Director of Marketing at Memphis College of Art.

From The Onion: Opening staff at restaurant rails against incompetence of closing staff. I know The Onion is a satire site, but I have witnessed this in real life a few times the past couple of weeks.

Video: Memphis Animal Shelter wastes grant money

Former Tiger Austin Nichols has committed to Virginia. He will have to sit out a year, then have two years of eligibility beginning in 2016-17.

Have a really ugly front yard? Tell the TV show Desperate Landscapes about it and you might get the chance to have your landscape transformed.

Shout-out to the folks in the smoothie truck at the Farmers Market from the Market’s new mayor on Foursquare! That has become my favorite stop at the Market since the tandoori truck stopped coming several weeks ago. I usually get the Berry 4 Ever smoothie. You know what would be really romantic? If I had a lady with whom to share a smoothie at the market. Hey B-RAD and Katie (not Mac), do you know of anyone who goes to the Farmers Market regularly who might want to share a smoothie with the mayor? She and I could have two straws, or we could have just one straw and take turns sipping… we might go for a sip of smoothie at the same time, and our faces would touch, and… mmmmm, there’s just no telling what might happen next.

I am SUCH a brat. :mrgreen:

Time for some PBR at Melissa Monday at Bardog. Back tomorrow with more news.

Sunday recap

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Jul 272015
 

Yesterday I was sitting at the bar at Blind Bear for D-RANKS with B-RAD, reading through some of the posts I made last week. Sunday, August 2 some streets will be closed Downtown because a movie will be filmed. Second from Jefferson to Union, Union from Second to Riverside, Madison between Second and Third. I’m assuming that means I can’t cross Union at Main. Am I going to have to go all the way around to Adams and then Third to get to the Blind Bear?

Katie (not Mac): Good seeing you yesterday! I hear you got’s some mad photography skillz. Thanx 4 texting muh WOMAN a pic of me ‘n lettin’ her know I wuz waiting for her a week ago Sunday!!!

Lots of bad behavior at Blind Bear yesterday. B-RAD had to be put in timeout.

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Meanwhile, Rahul and Tony managed to invent a new drink even more girly than the drinks they have previously been known for drinking:

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B-RAD ate at Oshi Burger with his family on his day off Saturday and loved it. One of B-RAD’s regulars Staci also ate there recently and is very impressed. From everything I have seen, heard, and eaten, that place far exceeds expectations.

B-RAD’s kid at Oshi eating a $9 hot dog: “This is good. It reminds me of Costco.”

I didn’t make it to the BBQ meeting so I am going to have to catch up with the team leaders this week and see if there is any news that needs to be posted.

That’s the recap. Another awesome Sunday Downtown. B-RAD has the best regulars in the world. Back at lunchtime or after work with Monday news.

(Okay, before “muh WOMAN” has a heart attack and stroke simultaneously: I am JUST KIDDING. Chill out, chick. Sunday, August 2 is the one year anniversary of the day we met. You should come up to the Blind Bear and sip a mimosa and mess with your phone for an hour and a half and not talk to anybody. That would be fun!)

Fresh produce has a new mayor

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Jul 262015
 

2015-07-25 10.02.04

Peaches, squash, zucchini, kale, tomatoes, peppers, catfish, bacon, goat cheese, ciabatta, hot sauce, pottery, sunflowers, listen up… as of yesterday you guys have a new mayor. Yesterday I got down to the Memphis Farmers Market about 10 and checked in on Swarm by Foursquare… and became mayor of the Farmers Market. To be mayor, you have to check in more than anyone else over the past 30 days. I have been mayor of a lot of places Downtown, but never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d get the Farmers Market.

Not long ago, Blind Bear shared a mayor with the Flying Saucer… now it shares a mayor with the Farmers Market. My how times have changed.

Later in the day, my fortunes continued to improve as I walked up South Main and discovered an ice cream truck parked at the MLK Jr. Ave. intersection.

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While I was at the Farmers Market, I ran into my buddy Frank who is president of the MFM board and also the head cook of my BBQ team. He gave me some unfortunate news: I have to be an adult today. The team leaders have a budget meeting at the Silly Goose at 1 this afternoon, and due to my role on the team as “Mr. Load-in” I am expected to be there. I have a feeling this is not going to be a short meeting either; an hour and a half to two hours is what I am predicting. This kinda punches a hole right in the middle of Sunday Fun Day and I might need Dusty to make me several duck farts for me to be able to cope.

Fortunately I will be able to get a couple of hours of “me time” in before I have to be an adult at the meeting. I’m gonna fully embrace the two hours between 11 and 1 at D-RANKS with B-RAD at the Blind Bear! Hey, you know what I just realized? I get one free beer a day at the Bear because I am its mayor. I wonder if I get anything from the Farmers Market for being mayor? Like a free bag of kale or something? I will ask Frank about this at the meeting.

The Memphis Music Hall of Fame opens to the public tomorrow at 10 AM at 126 S. Second. The Memphis Flyer has an article about the hall and the never-before seen memorabilia you will find inside, including guitars, pianos, cars, and outfits.

The Redbirds play Iowa tonight at 6:05. First 2500 kids get an ice cream treat, and kids run the bases after the game.

Spindini is having a Farm to Table wine dinner Wednesday night at 7, featuring wines by Zenato Winery and food grown in Shelby and neighboring counties. Four courses. $50 plus tax and gratuity. 901-578-2767 for reservations.

A band called The Ricecookers plays the Hard Rock at 8 tonight. Am I a horrible person for wondering if this is an Asian band?

There’s another new food truck in Memphis. This one sells popsicles.

The Center for Southern Folklore’s Memphis Music & Heritage Festival now has as a Facebook event page for 2015. Join the event to keep up with details about the festival.

Time to hit Publish and get out and have some D-RANKS while I can! Sunday Fun Day!

 

Your daily news update for this Fresh Produce Saturday

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Jul 252015
 

It’s Saturday, or Produce Day as I like to call it. It is my favorite day of the week, because it is the day when I get to go down to the Memphis Farmers Market where there is fresh produce. It’s not that I BUY and CONSUME fresh produce, because I don’t. However, I feel that just being IN THE VICINITY of fresh produce makes me a healthier person. A fact that is lost on most of the Western world is that plants have consciousness just like humans and animals do. The kale may not have eyes and ears, but it can sense that I am there, and it sends be-healthy-Paul vibes my way. Thank you, kale.

The Memphis Daily News has an article about the blighted 107 S. Main building owned by Allan H. Long: Partial roof collapse revives concern about Downtown Memphis eyesore. Yes, it is an eyesore, and it is holding that block back – the demonstration block of Downtown’s potential. Mr. Long doesn’t care apparently. An inspection was done in the spring, and a report concludes, “This by definition suggests that unless action is taken soon toward restoration, structural collapse becomes likely.” If walking down the Main Street Mall, I would advise you to walk on the other side of the street.

Speaking of restoration – and this is good news not bad – the New Daisy is getting some major renovations. A new sound system is going in, and major improvements are being made to the lighting, seating, and bar access. With a national company taking over booking for the New Daisy. the live music venue’s future is looking bright.

A bunch of my friends figured prominently in Pam and Terry’s photo gallery for their Thursday, July 23 performance at Blind Bear. From what I have been told, they finished their second set and were ready to call it a night, but the crowd kept going, “No, we don’t want you to leave” and stuffing fives and tens and 20s in the tip jar. I hear it was a late night for the duo, and they had a guest performance on a Johnny Cash song.

The Big 12 is bound to expand in a few years so they can have a conference championship game. John Martin of 92.9 FM had ESPN’s Brett McMurphy as a guest on his radio show, and asked him what Memphis needs to do to get one of the expansion spots. McMurphy said it is simple: Be the best football team available at the time. Win the AAC, have the highest ranking among teams not in a power conference, get invited to a Big Six bowl.

From WREG: Downtowners say the aggressive panhandler law is working. The new law, in effect since July 1, allows repeat offenders to get jail time instead of just a citation. 45 arrests have been made this month, with 26 of them repeat offenders.

Speakers have been set for the inaugural Memphis TEDx event. The headliner will be Kimball Musk, brother of Elon Musk.

Friends of mine tried Agave Maria last night for the first time and loved it. They sent me photos. I hope I have these captions right. Using Evernote to take notes in a crowded bar is not easy.

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Pork shank tacos

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Duck tacos

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Hot sauces. That Roja sauce is the one I was talking about on my blog a couple of weeks ago, that was so good on my shrimp enchiladas. It didn’t have a label at the time.

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Black beans

From Mashable: Seven unsung iconic American foods that do not get the credit they deserve. NUMBER SEVEN. DATE SHAKES. There’s a restaurant about halfway between the California-Arizona border and San Diego that sells these. Get one if you ever have reason to travel through the area. They will change your life, I promise.

Gonna be a hot walk to the Farmers Market this morning, but I don’t mind. There is nothing I would not do for fresh produce. After that, dranks with my “DAWG” John D at Bardog, and then I will figure out the rest of the day.

Friday update 2: Geese grow fast, Downtown street closures Sunday August 2, I-55 bridge news, sushi news and more

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Jul 242015
 

The geese in our pond at work had four goslings this summer. Here’s a photo of the goslings on June 4:

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And here are the goslings on July 24, with the mother leading the way:

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Damn. Geese grow fast.

NOTICE OF STREET CLOSURES next Sunday, August 2: A movie will be filmed in Downtown Memphis and the following streets will be closed between 5 AM and 9 PM: Second between Jefferson and Union; Union between Second and Riverside; and Madison between Second and Third. If you park in one of the garages along those routes and you need to drive that day, better figure out a plan.

Good news: TDOT halts plan to close I-55 bridge

Seen on Twitter today: Coming soon: South Main Sushi & Grill. Anyone got details? Email paul@paulryburn.com if you do.

GREAT news: MATA is exploring extending the Madison trolley line to Overton Square. PLEASE let this happen. This should’ve happened when they built the Madison line to begin with.

On Sunday, August 9, High Cotton Brewery is doing a rare Sunday opening for Sunday Fun Day and an art show. It starts at 1 PM that day and will feature art by Amy Hartelust Fine Art, Billy Moore Folk Art, Bridgman Pottery, David Butler Art, Don’t Blink, Dorothy Art, Get Arch’d, Heather Howle ART, Hillary Butler Fine Art, M.Russell Art, Mary Claire White Candle Co., Michael N Foster, Tintype Photography, Paper&Clay, and Rebecca Phillips Art. The brewery taproom will have $3.50 pint specials, and the Gourmade food truck will be parked outside. Artist Michael Foster will come up from Oxford, Mississippi, and he will take your photo and create wet plate tintypes of your portrait.

I would definitely consider taking an hour off from D-RANKS with B-RAD to go to this. As of August it will have been 14 months since my last visit to The Edge, and with this event that Sunday and the Moody Ques cookout the day before, it’s possible I could be there twice in consecutive days.

There’s a sushi food truck now. Follow @SushiJimmi on Twitter to keep up with its whereabouts.

Tickets are now on sale for Star Trek: The Ultimate Voyage live concert at the Orpheum.

I see my buddy Dennis had a chicken fried steak for lunch today. Great choice, Dennis!

Home from work. Time for happy hour at the Silly Goose then I will figure out a plan for the rest of the evening.

Friday update: 107 S. Main roof partially collapses, plus more news

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Jul 242015
 
If 107 S. Main is structurally sound, why did SERVPRO have to be called after heavy storms dumped rain on the roof?

If 107 S. Main is structurally sound, why did SERVPRO have to be called after heavy storms dumped rain on the roof?

Paul Morris who runs DMC reported yesterday that the roof of 107 S. Main has partially collapsed and water was flowing into the building after yesterday’s heavy storms. The water endangered the building’s neighbors. The fire department had to be called. This is the building DMC took to court for blight, but the court dismissed the case and the city inspector said the building was safe. Guess the city inspector was wrong.

The Orpheum is holding a Fright Night double feature for its Summer Movie Series tonight beginning at 7. Friday the 13th will be up first, then Nightmare on Elm Street.

Kingfish Ingram and Gary Burnside will play a free concert tonight at Memphis Jams on Beale at Handy Park, at the corner of Third and Beale. The concert is presented by Whitney Entertainment Brokers and start time is 6 PM.

The Redbirds are back in town tonight and will be giving away Jacob Wilson T-shirt jersey replicas to the first 2000 fans. Wilson is a Bartlett native and a former Memphis Tigers star. Campbell Clinic is sponsoring the giveaway. The Iowa Cubs will be the opponent, the first pitch is 7:05, and gates open at 5 for a block party with live music by Chinese Connection Dub Embassy and select $2 domestic drafts.

The MBJ reports that Downtown restaurant Itta Bena is expanding to Orlando. Midtown music room Lafayette’s is expanding to that city as well.

“Let’s Get Peachy” is the theme at the Memphis Farmers Market this Saturday, July 25. We are right in the middle of high peach season, which is June through August. However, with canning you can have peaches all year around. There will be a canning and preserving demo at the Market this week. At 10:15, Carolyn Dodson King of Dodson Farms will show you how easy it is to can your Market bounty. Then there will be a demo of Foodsaver, a vacuum-sealing system that keeps food fresh up to 5 times as long as other storage methods. From 7 until noon there will be a presentation by folks from The Elephant Sanctuary, the largest sanctuary in the U.S. for endangered elephants. The habitat is not open to the public, but at the Farmers Market you will learn what you can do to help provide these elephants with a natural, lifelong habitat. Live music by Bill Stanek 8:30-10. 7 AM to 1 PM, at the pavilion at the corner of Front and G.E. Patterson.

I look forward to learning about the elephants, because I WILL be at the market this Saturday. Earlier this week I posted that I was considering a hiatus until October 1. I have decided against the hiatus after several people have told me “We would miss seeing you at the market, and are worried you wouldn’t write about us as much if you weren’t here.” As for the lady who caused me to consider the hiatus, I hope we can sit down and talk soon and work through our differences as adults. I would sincerely like to be friends with you.

I’ll also mention one more time that the Farmers Market’s annual Rock ‘n Wild Picnic is this Saturday at 5 PM. Pizza from Rock ‘n Dough, gourmet wraps, beer, wine, live music, and the event is picnic-style on the lawn so you can bring whatever you would like to sit on. Buy picnic tickets here.

A couple of Memphis Tigers alumni made it to the pros this week. The Detroit Pistons announced that Adonis Thomas has officially signed with the team. Over in South Korea, Joe Jackson has signed with the Goyang Orions after being selected in the second round of the league draft. Joe will earn about $140,000 next season. Congratulations to both.

The Memphis Tigers football team has sold more season tickets as of yesterday than they did for all of the 2014 season. Not surprised.

Time to go to work. Possibly back at lunchtime or late afternoon with another post.

Thursday update 2: Police precinct to move plus tons more news

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Jul 232015
 

This is the second news update of the day, so scroll down to this morning’s update for info about the Peabody rooftop party, Orpheum movie, and more. I got up early and blasted out a news post before work.

The police precinct currently in Central Station is moving to make room for a movie theater, hotel, and apartments. The precinct will be relocated to space in MATA’s North End Terminal.

There will be a vegetarian cooking class and feast at Bring It Hub/The Cannery out in The Edge at 694 Madison, 3 PM Saturday. $65 per person; email memcooks.exchange@gmail.com to register (the Downtown Memphis calendar has memcooks.excange without the “h” but I’m assuming that’s a typo. You could always email both addresses just to be safe.). Entry fee includes instruction, recipes to take home, and wine. I must admit I had never heard of Bring It Hub/The Cannery. Bring It Hub is a distributor of local fruits, vegetables, and other local farm products. (FRESH PRODUCE!!! :mrgreen: ) The Cannery is a commercial kitchen that can be rented in 3-hour increments.

Trolley Stop Market has extended its closing through Sunday. The market will re-open Monday, July 27.

Quench is having another wine tasting tomorrow evening. Starts at 4 PM. By the way, today is Thursday Ladies’ Day, with ladies receiving a discount on purchases.

MLGW has a program called Share the Pennies. You can agree to round your utility bill up to the higher dollar – so if your bill was $154.33 you’d pay $155.00 – with the extra pennies going to help the elderly and disabled pay their utility bills.

News from the FiveThirtyEight Significant Digits newsletter: McDonald’s is considering making breakfast available all day after successful trials in Nashville and San Diego.

One day left in the Moody Ques’ “name the smoker” contest. Send your suggested name to paul@paulryburn.com and I will forward it along.

Have you voted in the Memphis Flyer’s 2015 Best of Memphis poll yet? If you want to vote for this blog as Best Blog, type paulryburn.com/blog when you fill out the Best Blog field in the poll.

Bloggers who use WordPress: If you don’t have your site set to auto-update, manually update your site now. A critical vulnerability was found.

VERY cool: NASA has found a rocky exoplanet orbiting around a G2 star (the sun is also a G2) in the planet’s habitable zone, sufficient for an abundance of oxygen, which means this is a planet capable of supporting life. The planet is 6 billion years old (Earth is about 4.5), is 60% larger than the Earth, and is 1400 light-years away.

Even if life is not found on this planet, it might be an indication of the Earth’s future. The sun is getting brighter, and as a result the Earth will heat up. Scientists predict that by Earth’s 6 billionth birthday, it will no longer be in the Sun’s habitable zone, the oceans having boiled away. We better learn how to travel to other planets and inhabit them sometime in the next billion years.

I’ll be out at Silly Goose happy hour after work. Plans after that TBD.

Thursday update, and yes I mentioned chicken fried steak again

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Jul 232015
 

Got up early so you get a post before I head to work.

Your Girlfriend is the featured entertainment at tonight’s Peabody rooftop party (that’s a band name, not your actual girlfriend). $10 cover, doors open at 6, ladies free until 7. Admission includes a buffet (7-8) of hot dogs and chips. If you’re in VIP there’s a second buffet of Chicago Dogs, New York Dogs, and Memphis Dogs. Blackberry margaritas will be on special, and there will be a raffle to win a $50 gift card to Sammy Hagar’s Red Rocker Bar & Grill.

Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music, the most successful movie musical of all time, will be shown on the big screen at the Orpheum tonight at 7. Sing along with the movie’s classic tunes. Come early to win prizes at trivia, get drink specials, and use the selfie station.

My friend Phaedra, wife of B-RAD of Sunday brunch D-RANKS with B-RAD fame, posted an interesting article from IFLScience about a tree that can grow over 40 different kinds of fruit. We need to get the owner of one of these trees to be a supplier to the Memphis Farmers Market. As you all know, I am a big fan of fresh produce, and this tree grows bushels and bushels of it.

From Thrillist: 9 tricks bartenders use to get more of your money

Great news for the University of Memphis: They’re finally going to build a pedestrian bridge over the railroad tracks next to Southern. I can’t tell you how many times those stupid trains made me late to class when I was in grad school.

Last night I was in Blind Bear for happy hour, and my happy hour buddy Roger, who is from Texas, told me he was deeply hurt that I said chicken fried steak and country fried steak were the same thing. Chicken fried steak, he told me, uses the same batter used to fry chicken, and the gravy must be a white cream gravy. Country fried steak, he continued, uses more of a cornmeal batter. I posted this to Facebook and people tended to agree. I guess I learned something about Southern cooking this week. Roger did agree that the billboard I saw in New Mexico, with a chicken holding a skillet, would probably have led me to a restaurant with an excellent chicken fried steak.

Roger recommended a burger from Flynn’s on Beale Street: The American Lava Loosie, American cheese between two all-beef patties topped with grilled onions. I will have to try it sometime, although I will try to choose a time to go to Flynn’s when it is NOT karaoke night. Roger recommended the strawberry cake too.

Roger had to head home to start on two pounds of brisket he got with a Central BBQ gift certificate. A Texan, Roger approves of Central’s brisket. Too bad he didn’t get any Moody Ques brisket when we cooked at Crop Hop 5K. We had compliments from at least one Texan; I’d be interested in knowing if it would get his stamp of approval.

Bad news for my fellow Arkansas fans: Three Hogs basketball players were arrested on forgery charges after allegedly attempting to pass counterfeit bills.

Possibly back at lunch or after work with more news.

A spelling bee, a comedy show, bingo and more Wednesday news

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Jul 222015
 

Here’s an event that I don’t think has ever happened at a Downtown Memphis bar before: A spelling bee. Bardog is having one Tuesday, April 4 at 9 PM. Sign up by emailing bardogtavern@gmail.com. There is a $5 entry fee and proceeds benefit Literacy Mid-South. $3 Yazoo beers for the event.

Dave’s British Bingo is making its return. Dave will host bingo tonight, and every Wednesday night, at the Brass Door. 7:30 is the normal starting time, but he said for tonight, “after the U.S. game.” I had no idea what he was talking about, so he explained, “Soccer.”

In other Brass Door news, there will be a comedy show there next Tuesday at 8, sponsored by Chase the Vape. Doug Gillon and Kyle Kordsmeier are your hosts. Also performing are Jennifer Lynch, Tommy F. Oler, Joshua McLane, and Benjamin Aviotti.

Just south of Downtown news: Pink Diva Cupcakery, the vegan cupcake shop currently in Midtown Crossing, will relocate to the original DeJaVu building at 936 Florida. Chef Gary Williams, who now operates DeJaVu out of a building on the Main Street Mall, believes in what Pink Diva is doing and gave the restaurant’s operator the space.

Chicken fried steak continues to be a topic of conversation among my group of friends. You know, that reminds me, I have a story. In 2000 I moved to San Diego for six months. I was driving out there, and I was in western Arkansas, approaching the Mena exit off I-40. “Maybe I should make a left turn and relocate to Mena instead,” I thought. “It may not have the ocean and the beach and the perfect weather that San Diego has, but I bet you can get a damn good chicken fried steak there.”

Last weekend we were discussing places to get a chicken fried steak, and the general consensus was that Lambert’s is the ultimate place to get a chicken fried steak, although you’ll have to travel to Sikeston, Missouri to get it. Also, they will throw rolls at you, so watch out for that. The chicken fried steak there is the size of a manhole cover.

Locally, Blue Monkey has a chicken fried steak (they call it country fried steak, but same thing). Last night I was surfing restaurant sites on my phone and saw a chicken fried steak at the Green Beetle, but when I pull up their website on my laptop I don’t see it on the menu, so not sure whether they have it or not. Can anyone confirm?

It’s not often that Blind Bear cook Michael Bean pays me a compliment, but he did Monday: “You’ve never passed out on the ground outside.” Apparently this makes me a preferred customer at the Bear.

Possibly a second post right after work, then I will get out to happy hour at either Silly Goose or Blind Bear, will be a game-time decision.

Moody Ques update, a story about fresh produce, and Tuesday news

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Jul 212015
 

Moody Ques: I have confirmed the address for our Saturday, August 8 cookout. It will be at 444 Monroe, in The Edge district about half a block east of Danny Thomas. Holliday Flowers’ new warehouse is there, with 30,000 square feet and a commercial kitchen. More details to come, but this should be a fun event, and our food gets better with each practice cook.

Our BBQ team head cook Frank posted a photo of a French martini he made, except instead of pineapple juice as an ingredient, he substituted a Jones Orchard peach puree. There is truly no end to the things you can do with locally grown fresh produce from the Memphis Farmers Market.
Do YOU have a story about something creative you did with MFM produce? Email it to paul@paulryburn.com and I will share it on the blog.

A friend of mine who lives in the northwest part of 38103 had some stuff stolen recently. Be on the lookout for some guitars and other electronics, and particularly a Beretta 92 40 S&W (hope I got that right, I know nothing about guns). He’d like to recover all his stuff but is particularly interested in getting the gun off the street. Call 545-COPS if you have information.

If you want to try new Mexican restaurant Agave Maria and meet some of the city’s entrepreneurs, inventors, and creators, Start Co. is having its Lounge there tomorrow night 5:30-7:30.

Frozen will be shown on the big screen in a free viewing tonight at 8:30 at Beale Street Landing.

There will be a parade at 11 tomorrow, starting at City Hall, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The Crowne Plaza will receive $7 million in renovations. With its proximity to Bass Pro and the Cook Convention Center, owners want to upgrade the hotel so it does not appear outdated compared to others in the area.

Fun night last night. After leading off at Melissa Monday at Bardog, I went over to Blind Bear, where Mary was bartending her first closing shift by herself. I was her only customer for a while, and we swapped stories, including waking up following a Purple Haze late night and finding a phone number written on your arm; how bookstores were great places to pick up women about 15 years ago; how one night in 2009 I met a woman at South Main Trolley Night, and Michele snuck us out the back door of Max’s Sports Bar so her friends couldn’t cockblock us. Fun times.

Outta here for now. Not sure where to do happy hour tonight. Really, all of my “Big Five” are an option. Possibly a second post around 5:30.