Summer cocktails and beer specials at Circa

My BBQ Fest teammate John Bragg, chef at Circa, e-mailed me yesterday to let me know about the restaurant’s new line of summer cocktails, and also about some re-arranging they’ve done with the beer menu. First of all, here are the summer cocktails:

Circa Sangria $9
Dry Red Wine, Cointreau, and Aged Rum, with a hint of bubbles.
Warning: May be habit forming.

White Sangria $9
Chardonnay, Passion Fruit Rum, and Cointreau
(We are on to something)

Lime in de Coconut $9
Wild, restorative blend of Rangpur gin, coconut rum,
and of course, coconut and lime

Washington Apple $9
Refreshingly crisp blend of Crown Royal,
Apple Pucker and cranberry

Serial Girlfriend $9
X-Rated Fusion & Peach Vodka martini
with pineapple and Peach Schnapps

The Latin Lover $9
Cachaca, Tequila, Fresh Lemon and Lime
Que Rico!

Orange Creamsicle $9
Creamy, chilling blend of fresh orange, vanilla vodka and cream.

Bellini $9
You don’t have to go to Venice for the ultimate cocktail: with
prosecco and fresh white peach

Those summer drinks would go well on Circa’s outdoor patio.

John also told me he has made a few revisions to the beer program, most notably some big price cuts and daily beer specials on selected imports/micros. John is also cutting out some obscure beers that don’t sell too well, but until he gets rid of existing inventory they’ll be on $3.50 “fire sale” every day. Here’s a list of what Circa plans on keeping in stock:

Drafts (Pints)

  • Yazoo Pale Ale (Nashville, TN) $3.50
  • Bosco’s Cream Ale (Memphis, TN ) $3.50
  • Bosco’s Brown Ale (Memphis, TN ) $3.50
  • Spaten Lager (Germany) $4.50
  • Blanche de Chambly Wheat (Canada) $4.50

Imports & Microbrew bottles

  • Stella Artois (Belgium) $4.50
  • Paulaner Hefe Weizen (Germany) $4.50
  • Guinness Stout (Ireland) $4.50
  • Theakston’s Old Peculiar (England) $4.50
  • Tilburg Dutch Brown (Holland) $4.50
  • Tiger (China) $4.50
  • Abita Light (Louisiana) $4.50
  • Weekly Feature Beers – ASK!

Domestic Bottles

  • Budweiser $3
  • Bud Light $3
  • Miller Lite $3
  • Coors Light $3

Looks good to me… some of those prices are substantially less than what they were before (Guinness used to be $7 I think). Not only that, but some of the prices are cheaper than the same beers at the Saucer!

WOOHOO!  I am home.  But not for long.  Time to stop by my other home – the Saucer – then go have that steak at the Majestic.

5th post of the day: Trivia, King Willie my new BFF?, film winner, carjacking

Interesting fact I discovered while surfing Wikipedia:  Cheeta, the chimpanzee from the 1930s Tarzan movies, is still alive!  He’s 76 years old and is in the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest living non-human primate.

See?  Read this blog and you learn interesting stuff.  I bet Pete the Trivia Guy uses that for an upcoming trivia question.  Tuesday night one of the questions was, “What city was the 1970s sitcom Good Times set in?”  I knew the answer immediatly (Chicago) because I’m a huge Good Times fan.  When I was a kid J.J. was my hero.  DYN-O-MITE!!!!

There was also a question about FedEx:  “What color is the “Ex” in the FedEx Ground logo?”  And would you believe Pete asked it on a week when NONE of our teammates who work at FedEx were there!  Normally we have at least three.  We got the answer anyway though (green).

Found out that one of the people who runs Thursday night trivia at TJ Mulligan’s reads my blog.  She’s the one who sent me this message through Air Traffic Mike:

One of these Thursdays I’ll have to wander up to Mulligan’s and meet her in person and play some trivia.  I’ve heard good things about that night at TJ’s.  Does Frenchie work on Thursdays?

Apparently a lot of Memphians who are on Facebook have been receiving add friend requests from none other than Willie Herenton.  Or someone claiming to be Willie Herenton.  Someone commented to me that since Willie is looking for friends, maybe he could be my new BFF, since I’m now in the market for one.  Wouldn’t that be awesome?  We could sit up late at night and Willie could tell me all about his baby mamas and his backroom deals.  Fun fun!  I’ll wait for him to contact me and request to be my BFF though.  When you reach a certain level, you don’t have to seek BFFs out, they seek you out.

Congrats to my friend Harmony Stewart, who took third place in ArtsMemphis’ film contest.  I’ve mentioned her film and linked to it a couple of times from the blog.  Glad she made it into the prize money.

There was a kidnapping and carjacking on Mud Island last night at the Riverset Apartments.  Details can be found here and also here.  Kinda sucks to hear that terrifying crime has found its way onto the Island.

That’s all for now… Circa post still to come.

Music Fest reminder list

Here’s a reminder list for those going to Music Fest – tips to help you stay safe and have a good time.

  • Wear sunscreen. Saturday and Sunday look like they’re going to be sunny days… easy to get burned if you forget to protect your skin.
  • Carry a disposable rain poncho. You can buy little disposable ponchos for two or three bucks that are small enough when folded to fit in a pocket or purse. These come in real handy if it rains. A lot of the gift shops on Beale Street sell these. I believe Downtown Walgreens does too.
  • Take an allergy pill if you have allergies. Grass pollen is really, really high right now, and you’re going to get plenty of it at Tom Lee Park.
  • Don’t buy tickets from scalpers on the street. Ticketmaster has a new e-mail delivery system for tickets, which is really cool because you don’t have to go pick them up or stand in a “will call” line. But, because the tickets can now be printed out on a color printer, they’re easier than ever for scammers to copy. Memphis in May scans the bar codes on the tickets and knows when someone is trying to get in on a ticket that’s already been used.
  • Make sure you know what you can and can’t carry into the park. Here’s a complete list. Cameras are allowed, but professional cameras and cameras with detachable lenses are not. Backpacks larger than 12″ x 12″ are not allowed this year. It can really suck to park half a mile from Music Fest, walk all the way down there and then be told that you have to walk back to your car to put up items you can’t bring in.
  • Know your transportation options. Here’s a list. Drinking and driving = very bad idea, the cops will be out watching for it. Trolleys will run extra late for Music Fest (’til 2 Fri and Sat and ’til 11 Sunday).
  • If you park in a garage, make sure you pay the real attendant. Fake parking attendant scams are numerous in Downtown Memphis.
  • If you park in a metered space, do not pay anyone to park there. Metered spaces on the street do not have attendants. If you park before 6 PM Friday, put enough money in the meter to pay through 6 PM. After 6 on Friday metered parking is free for the remainder of the weekend.
  • Don’t give money to panhandlers. Most likely you are not “helping the homeless” by doing this, but enabling someone’s addiction. If you feel the need to help the homeless, you’ll do a lot more good by donating to the Union Mission, Calvary Episcopal Church or other organizations that aid the homeless Downtown. Just say “sorry, I can’t help you” and keep moving if approached. If they get aggressive call Downtown safety patrol at 281-9146 and give them a description of the person.
  • Look for the Blue Suede Brigade if you need directions or have questions. These are the CCC’s Downtown ambassadors who can be spotted in their white shirts and white hats. They can answer whatever questions you have. Beware of panhandlers who try to act as tour guides.
  • Don’t leave anything valuable in your car. I’m not just talking about big-ticket items here. Even something as insignificant as a CD or a pile of loose change left visible can lead to a broken window.
  • Don’t take shortcuts down alleys. I understand that you may be parking several blocks away and you’ll be in a hurry to get to Tom Lee Park, but alleys should be avoided. Walk where it’s well-lit and well-traveled.

I don’t mean to scare anyone with those last few bullet points… Downtown Memphis is generally very safe. I’ve lived down here more than 6 years and have never had a problem. Just be aware of your surroundings, stay safe, and have fun.

I deserve a steak today

So I’ve been sitting around today thinking, “The Dempseys play the Saucer tonight at 9:30, but that’s way later than I usually go out… what am I going to do between the time I get off work and 9:30?”

And just now it occurred to me… I deserve a steak today!  I’m so delighted with my decision to kick my BFF to the curb, that I deserve a steak today!  So I’m going to load up my wallet with one of my leftover gift cards and enjoy one of the best meals in Downtown Memphis – the Filet Mignon from the Majestic Grille.  According to their dinner menu, you can now get it with a peppercorn crust with brandy.  That sounds like a winner!  I’ll have to decide whether I’m hungry enough to step up to the new 12 oz. filet.  I’ve got enough $ on the gift card to get it if I so choose.

I’ll probably start with a couple of Happy Hour beers at the Saucer, then head over to the Majestic for steak.  After that it’s back to the Saucer to catch the Dempseys.  If I have any energy left afterward I may hit McGuinness or the Rooster for a little while.  Two places that will definitely not see me tonight:  Big Foot, and Atlas.  My former BFF goes to Atlas sometimes when she has Thursday nights off.  She brags about how she never has to pay for her drinks there.  “Look at this face, Paul,” she once told me.  “Do you think this face ever has to pay for anything?”  Don’t you just love her?  I’m sitting here reading that quote and wondering why I didn’t kick her to the curb weeks ago.

Obviously I didn’t have the lunch buffet at Leonard’s BBQ if I’m thinking about having steak for dinner.  I’ll grab a bag of chips on the way back to the office.

Still to come:  A post about having fun and staying safe at Music Fest, and a post about goings-on at Circa.

The “what’s going on Thursday night” post

Today’s Thursday, so it’s once again time to survey what’s going on Downtown this week.

  • The Ugli Stick on the Peabody rooftop.  6 to 10 PM, $5 cover, ladies free until 8.
  • Joyce Cobb on the Madison rooftop, 5:30 to 10:30 PM
  • For the second week in a row… THE DEMPSEYS AT THE FLYING SAUCER!!!!!  You better believe I’ll be there again!  First time they’ve ever scheduled the Dempseys back-to-back weeks.  Wish Downtown Huey’s would give this a try sometime on Sunday nights.  When’s the last time we had a Dempseys show there… December?
  • Not sure who’s at the Red Rooster… their website says Chris Sturt and their MySpace page says Rocky4Phoenix.  Not that it matters… I go for the beer specials more than the music.  The Rooster rocks!
  • Q107.5 patio party with Garry Goin and G3 at EP Delta Kitchen, 8:30-til.  They updated the calendar on their website!  Finally!
  • Ladies’ night at Tug’s in the River Inn of Harbor Town.  Ladies receive half price drinks all evening.

The Rooster, by the way, has a very good band tomorrow night, Friday, May 2… Kings of the Delta will play there.  I’ve heard them many times at the Saucer, and they’re going to sound great on the Rooster’s stage.  Something to keep in mind for post-Music Fest entertainment.

I’ve already received several “THANK GOODNESS YOU FINALLY KICKED YOUR BFF TO THE CURB!” e-mails this morning.  Yep, it was time for her to go.

Coming soon… a post about Circa’s new summer cocktails and beer specials.  Chef John Bragg is now a member of our BBQ team.

Speaking of BBQ… fighting the temptation to hit Leonard’s BBQ Buffet for lunch.

A new month, a new beginning: BFF kicked to curb. Also: Bloody Marys @ Rooster, Grizzlies Foundation, Kentucky Derby

I’ve decided it’s time to listen to the collective voice of my readers.  This BS has gone on long enough.  As of this moment, my BFF is officially kicked to the curb. She’s dumped, she’s finished, she is no longer my Best Friend Forever.  I will appoint a new BFF on Monday and I think I’ll do the “BFF of the Month” thing that AL suggested.  If you have suggestions on who my new BFF should be e-mail me at

Had a great time at Downtown Night at Itta Bena last night.  They had shrimp cocktails as the free appetizer and I had several of the $5 well drinks served by Sam.  I’ve been told they will have a miniature version of Downtown Night next Wednesday, as the entire building (BB’s and Itta Bena) has been bought out from 6:30 on.

From there I went on to the Saucer, where the featured “Buy the Beer, Keep the Glass” glass was a DOS EQUIS glass!  So I had a Dos Equis Lager and picked one up… very cool glass, hand-blown with a green tint.  From there it was on to Big Foot, where I had my last beer served by my BFF while still my BFF.  Big Foot is now off my Wednesday night schedule, so I’ll be going back to my old habit of closing the Saucer and possibly hitting McGuinness afterward.

The Red Rooster’s latest ad mentions “The biggest Bloody Mary party in town!” on Sundays.  Hmmmmmmm.  I’ll have to talk to the people there and get more details.  I won’t be there this Sunday (I’ll be at McGuinness – Amy needs the support – and then Music Fest) but definitely soon.

Mpact Memphis is hosting a special After Hours with former Tiger basketball star Elliot Perry and the Grizzlies Foundation Tuesday, May 13 from 6 to 8 PM in the FedExForum’s Blue Note Lounge.  Perry will talk about his work with the Grizzlies’ charitable arm and how you can get involved with the foundation.  Complimentary food, wine, and beer for Mpact members.

Yesterday I asked on behalf of a reader where the Kentucky Derby will be shown Downtown on Saturday… not surprisingly, Calhoun’s responded and said they’d have the Derby on.

That’s all for this morning… got to get to work.  Later today I’ll do a “what’s happening on Thursday night” post.