New Memphis Discount Dining site, BBQ team, I want a Big Mouth Billy Bass, and other notes

– Several times in the past month, I’ve posted a link to a site where you can buy restaurant gift certificates for 60-70% off ($25 for $10, or $10 for $3). Some of the most popular restaurants in the city participate in the program – Stella, Big Foot Lodge, Grove Grill, Napa Cafe, Cafe Ole, and Molly’s La Casita just to name a few. Several of my readers have told me they’ve purchased and used these certificates.

Well, there’s now a site where you can view all the participating Memphis restaurants, as well as any special offers – Memphis Discount Dining. They’re currently running another special – until February 28, enter code DINE at checkout, and get 60% off – which would mean $25 certificates for $4, or $10 certificates for $1.20. This is definitely one to bookmark for the future.

– In other news… well, my big news is that I’ve joined a BBQ team for Memphis in May BBQ Fest. Got the invitation to join last night, and I jumped at the chance. I visited quite a few teams’ booths last year, but have never been a team member myself… I’m looking forward to it. Reminds me, I’ve got to put in a request to take Wed-Fri of BBQ weekend off when I get back to work. Wait, is Uncle Paul coming back this year? Maybe I need to take the entire week.

– Been searching online for a Big Mouth Billy Bass, the plastic mounted fish that sings “Take Me to the River,” so I can buy him and hand him over to the Flying Fish’s adoption service. (see my previous post for details about that) I want my name on the wall! Anyone know of any stores that sell them locally? I suspect that if I hopped in the car and took a drive to Frayser, I could probably find a Billy Bass.

While doing my search, I came across a site for Linux users that shows you how to hook Billy Bass up to your computer, hack his software, and make him say anything you want. Um… yeah… okay. Some people really don’t have enough to think about.

– Just found out about yet ANOTHER event to happen Saturday the 24th… Staxtacular, the annual fundraiser for the Stax museum. Tickets are $150 a person but you KNOW this will be a blowout of a party. It’s hosted by Brian and Danielle Cardinal, Damon and Natasha Stoudamire, and Pau Gasol. Live music by the Memphis Soul Survivors with Miss Nikki. Man… the 24th is absolutely packed with big events… usually you only see this many events jammed into one night in April and September when the weather is more agreeable.

– Tonight I’ll get a little work done at home, and then I’ll head to the Flying Saucer to see my waitresses. Tonight’s live entertainment at the Saucer will be provided by Swelter and by drunk Morgan Keegan accountants. Last night was “buy the beer, keep the glass” night, and the beer was Stella Artois, which comes in the nicest glasses of any beer I’ve seen. So I bought one, and when the guy next to me at the bar walked out without his glass, I got a second one.

All right… gotta make a Schnucks run before I head back to the cubicle. I’m outta here for now…

Pics: The Flying Fish

Tonight after work I walked to The Flying Fish, the new casual seafood restaurant on Second, to get some take-out. While there I snapped some pics. Let’s start with the most important pics, those of the menu (click the pics to view them in a larger size):

Okay, I know I’m going to gross some people out but I’m going to say it anyway. Fried chicken livers… YUM. When I was a little boy KFC had chicken livers on their menu. For a while I was scared of them, but my grandmother always got them, and after a while I tried one and liked it. From then on I ordered livers as much as I ordered chicken. Unfortunately, most people didn’t like livers as much as I did, and KFC removed them from the menu in the late ’80s. Since I’ve been in Memphis I’ve rarely seen them… I tried them at Pirtle’s one time and they were disgusting. So I’m thrilled to see them on the Flying Fish menu… I have no doubt they’ll do chicken livers right.

Here’s a pic of the Billy Bass adoption center:

If you don’t want your talking, singing Billy Bass plastic mounted fish anymore, you can bring it in and they’ll give you a free 3-piece filet basket. I wonder if they’ll also take his cousin, Travis Trout?

In the past I’ve thought that if I ever have a son, maybe I’ll name him Billy Bass Ryburn… so far I have yet to find a woman who’ll agree to that though. No wonder I’m single.

You can also bring in your fishing pictures and they’ll hang those on the wall.

A few more pics:

That sign in the last pic says, “We love kids, but please keep yours at the table! …Unattended kids will be given a shot of espresso and a free puppy.”

They have bottled beer in a refrigerator by the register… I didn’t count but I’d say about 15-20 varieties in all, domestics and the most popular imports.

They have a patio section on which, much like sister restaurant The Flying Saucer, they open the windows when the weather’s nice for open-air dining. They were lucky enough to open on a day when the temps are in the 60s.

Here’s a pic of my dinner – the salmon filet plate with rice, grilled squash and zucchini, and beans:

The Fish is open 11-10 pm most days. It’s located at 105-107 S. Second, just north of Gayoso.

Wed update: Steve Cohen, folk festival, Eureka Springs

Happy Wednesday! Today’s post is being brought to you by the free Wi-Fi at High Point Coffee.

– Rep. Steve Cohen will be holding a town hall meeting tomorrow night, February 22, at the National Civil Rights Museum at 6:30. If you live in the 9th District and want to give your congressman some feedback, this is your chance to do it.

Steve will be bringing Congressman John Conyers (D-MI) with him. Conyers is most famous for his work on the 1974 Judiciary Committee that worked to investigate the Watergate scandal. He’s now the chair of the Judiciary Committee, on which Cohen serves.

– The Folk Alliance is hosting a convention downtown this weekend, and Saturday will be their North American Folk Music and Dance Festival, with 150 bands on 10 stages from 6 PM to 1 AM. Wow! The event will be at the Cook Convention Center, and tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door.

Dammit… I want to go to this so bad… why did it have to happen the night Sleep Out Louie’s closes? The folk festival sounds so different and unique that I may have to alter my plans of spending the entire evening at SOL, and split my time between the two events. Anyone reading this plan on going to the folk fest?

– Suggestion for Sleep Out’s: I’ve heard you guys are bringing a lot of dignitaries, former regulars and former employees in for the final night. I’d like to suggest that you fly Diana, the Romanian waitress who worked there from July to October, in for Saturday night’s grand finale. Do this and I promise I’ll give your new steakhouse lots of free publicity in my blog, when it opens. You want the place to look its best for the final night, don’t you?

– While surfing the Web this morning, I read that Eureka Springs, Arkansas has voted to decriminalize marijuana. A spokesman who voted in favor of the proposal explained that it still doesn’t mean the town thinks it’s acceptable to smoke weed; but rather, they just don’t feel that people’s lives should be permanently ruined with a criminal record just because they were caught with a joint. I tell ya, a lot of people tend to write Arkansas off because it’s a Southern state, but it’s a lot more progressive than people realize.

– Looks like Philip drunk-posted last night. In his post he mentions that he bought a pair of Speedos, and I’m sitting here thinking that I’m glad I haven’t eaten today, because my breakfast surely would be all over the floor here at High Point if I had.

– I’ll probably give The Flying Fish a try tonight. I have a lot of work to do – I’m rolling out a new website tomorrow, and there’ll be an announcement about it here – so I’ll probably get the food to go.

– The Rapscallions took third place in trivia last night, bringing our gift certificate total to $345. Pete the Trivia Guy was out of town, so Charles the trivia guy from the East Bumblefuck Saucer filled in for him. Charles has a slightly different style, offering two free beers for the team with the first correct answer to each bonus question. That almost caused us to rush up there with incorrect guesses a couple of times. We gotta be careful to resist the temptation to do that; besides, how would we split two free beers among 13 team members?

I had the best Mardi Gras beads that I’ve collected over the past 5 years around my neck, because one of this blog’s regular readers indicated that she might come to the Saucer, and she might be convince to flash me for beads. But alas, she didn’t show. Guess she had to work late. One of the Saucer’s cutest Beer Goddesses attempted to sweet-talk me out of the purple strand of beads with a shot glass hanging from them, but I resisted.

– And, lunch hour’s over. Back to the world of the cubicles. See you later…

Flying Fish to open tomorrow

Sitting here at the McGuinness Branch Office getting a little work done at lunch… walking down here from the parking garage, I passed the Flying Fish and noticed a sign saying “OPEN WED.” painted in the window. Today is Tue., so I guess that means they open tomorrow. They look like they’re hurrying to have it ready.

The Flying Fish is on Second, just north of Gayoso, in what used to be a wholesale clothing store. It will serve catfish, shellfish and other seafood. It’s owned by the same group that owns the Flying Saucer down the street.

Here’s a link to a Center City Commission article about the Flying Fish.
Says they’ll be the official Billy Bass Adoption Center for Downtown. You remember Billy, the singing mounting fish they sell at Walgreens around Christmas.

All points bulletin: Someone stole Louie!

Someone has stolen Louie, the mascot of Sleep Out Louie’s. Management has asked me to put out an APB. If anyone has seen a 5-foot-tall doll who looks like he spends all his time sitting at a bar, please contact SOL management.

Someone also stole the Bass Ale Sleep Out Louie’s sign that was hanging in the window… I hear management is PISSED about that one, to the point where they may press charges if they find out who did it.

Yeah, it’s looking like this is going to be the Sleep Out Louie’s blog this week.

Plans for this week

Tuesday: The usual trivia night at the Flying Saucer, of course, but it’s also Fat Tuesday, which means I’ll be easily convinced to stay out afterward and celebrate. One of this blog’s regular readers has indicated that she might flash me if I bring her beads.

Thursday: Lantana Projects is hosting an event at the Fogleman Center at the University of Memphis. Lantana brings international artists to Memphis to do residencies, and their current artist-in-residence, Barbara Bickart, will be giving a lecture in room 123 at 6:30 PM, talking about her inspirations and plans for upcoming projects in Memphis. After the lecture there will be a reception for her at RP Billiards on Highland, which should get started around 8:00. Come on by for one or both; Lantana brings something new and different to Memphis, and deserves support.

Friday: I’ll be stopping by Sleep Out Louie’s for Bobby Durango, Smokin’ Lemon, and Crash Kole. Smokin’ Lemon: “We’re going to rock it out Friday night.” After their first set I’ll head down to South Main for Trolley Tour and a friend’s party. I hear it’s going to be 73 Friday; time to break out the summer clothes.

Saturday: Sleep Out’s final night with a performance by Pam & Terry. Wouldn’t be anywhere else. I had earlier posted that I might head out to East Bumblefuck to catch the Dempseys at Mulligan’s 64; obviously those plans have been changed now that I know it will be my last chance to hang out at SOL.

Sunday: Sunday brunch, The Next Generation. Looks like most of the brunch crew has agreed upon The Majestic Grille as our spot, at least for a while. Their new brunch menu isn’t on their site but you can view it here. Come on by and join us. Early risers: Keep in mind that the Majestic opens at 11, not 10:30 like Sleep Out’s did.

Not sure what I’ll do tonight and Wednesday… I probably ought to stay home, as I have plenty of projects I need to work on.

A lot of people have Presidents’ Day off but I’m not among them… back to the cubicle for an exciting afternoon of SQL Server stored procedures.

Downtown Night with the Grizzlies: Saturday, March 3

Got a flyer on my door about this… due to a schedule conflict I won’t be able to attend, but wanted to pass on the info.

Saturday, March 3 will be Downtown Night at the Memphis Grizzlies game vs. the Detroit Pistons. Downtowners will get discounts on tickets that night: Plaza seats for $65 (regularly $106.75), Club for $90 (normally $130.75), and Terrace for $25 (normally $71.75).

In addition to the 7:00 game, your ticket will get you into a pre-game party with UNLIMITED BEER AND HORS D’OUEVRES from 4:30 to 6:45. There will be a cash bar for those who want liquor. The Grizzlies and the dance team will be there, and there will be door prizes given away, including floor seats to upcoming games, Grizzlies merchandise, and prizes from Downtown businesses. After the game, all Downtowners will be invited to take a shot on the Grizzlies’ court.

For tickets call (901) 888-4467 ext.2.

Also, The Dempseys will be playing the Flying Saucer that night starting at 9:30, so that’s a post-game entertainment option.

Friday, February 23: SXSW Poor Musicians’ Benefit

Rachel and the City asked me to post this to help promote this Friday’s upcoming event at the Hi-Tone, so here you go. Music by Snowglobe, Giant Bear, Jamie Randolph and the Bloodsuckers, Jump Back Jake, Holly Cole and DJ Witnesse. Looks like this is a benefit to help some of these musicians get to the SXSW competition in Austin next month, which is one of the music world’s most important events. It’s definitely worth it to help our fellow Memphians do well there.