On the menu at On the River

So, yesterday I never got around to my post about the menu at On the River, the new seafood place opening soon at 51 S. Main, between Monroe and Union on the Main Street Mall.

They have seafood entrees that you can purchase as a dinner, or in half pound, 3/4 pound, and 1 pound sizes.  Dinners come with two sides of your choice and huspuppies.  Entrees include 8 piece regular shrimp, 6 piece jumbo shrimp, fish and chips, lake perch, 4 piece catfish, buffalo, smelt, 2 piece whiting, red snapper, crawfish tails, and frog legs.  The frog legs are only available as a dinner, not by weight.  Dinner prices range from $6.99 (smelt) up to $10.99 (jumbo shrimp).

Sides include pasta salad, french fries, mixed vegetables, spaghetti, slaw, and chips.

They also have chicken and shrimp alfredo, which, judging by prices, look to be meals in themselves, although they apparently don’t come with sides.  They also have sandwiches, salads, desserts, and appetizer items like crab cakes and fried green tomatoes.

The menu says they’ll open for lunch and will be open ’til 8 PM Monday-Thursday and 10 PM Friday-Saturday.  Closed Sunday.

Wonder if this place will give the Flying Fish a run for its money… it’ll surely be a lunch hotspot for those who work on or near the Main Street Mall.

This week’s Memphis Flyer review: Best of Memphis edition

Time for my weekly look through the Memphis Flyer, for stuff relevant to Downtowners. Because it’s the Best of Memphis issue, this one’s going to be long.

p.6: State Place at South End ad: “Down here we don’t measure convenience in Applebee’s drive times.” Heh. That’s a shot at East Bumblefuck if I ever heard one. I like these people.

p.9: Good article about the push for Downtown to become dumpster-free. They’re right, the dumpsters attract vagrants and homeless who dig through them, and then leave garbage strewn about everywhere, which in turn attracts rats and pigeons. The article notes that vagrants also tend to go behind dumpsters to do their ‘business,’ making conditions even more unsanitary.

All right, on to the Best of Memphis awards.

Best Burger: Note that all three winners are Downtown restaurants (although #1 Huey’s is all over the city).

Best Brunch: I knew the bigger, more well-known brunches would win, but only the Majestic Grille has the “John D Breakfast” on the menu, so it got my vote.

Best Service: Chick-Fil-A? Really? This was another Majestic vote for me. Second-place Texas de Brazil certainly deserved to be in the top three.

Best Waiter/Waitress: Michelle from Calhoun’s won!!! Cool! Although, I must admit, I never thought of voting for her in this category, because I always sit at the bar when she serves me. But she works the tables too. Glad to see Calhoun’s in the awards. My vote went to Melissa from the Flying Saucer, although she’s been promoted to bartender since voting ended.

Best place for people-watching: The Flying Saucer. The Flyer lists the hot waitresses in miniskirts, and the tourists passing by the window, as reasons why. But they forgot one more reason – the BUMS!!! No place better for watching bums do their “tour guide” and “flower man” gimmicks than the Saucer’s garage windows. Even more fun now that I can call the Downtown safety patrol on them.

Best restaurant: This was a hard call for me to vote on. There are four or five I could have gone with. Circa and the Majestic were certainly on that list. I don’t really hang out at McEwen’s much, but I have no doubt it deserves its spot too. Great choices, although I’m sad to see Big Foot didn’t get a share of the Reader’s Choice award this year.

Best local band: Congrats to the Dempseys for sharing in the award again this year. They were my vote.

Best bartender: Michelle from Calhoun’s wins again!!! Nice! I left this category blank because I couldn’t decide. In my mind, it was a many-way tie between Max, Michelle, and Lauren from Calhoun’s; Karen and Nate from E&H; Melissa from Itta Bena; the entire Saucer; Troy from Big Foot; Hoop from Hoop’s Bar; and I know I’m leaving a couple more out. No way I could’ve picked one out of all those. We have some great bartenders Downtown.

Best after-hours club: Hollywood Disco! Damn right!

Best “cougar” bar: I never thought I’d use the words “best” and “Spindini” in the same breath, but the Flyer found a way for me to do it. Spindini got “BOM” status, meaning they won by a margin of more than three to one.

Best beer selection: Flying Saucer! Damn right!

Best happy hour: I love the Saucer but wouldn’t have voted for it here. 7 extra ounces of beer is nice but not enough to be called “best in town.” Right now I’d go with Circa as the best happy hour Downtown. As much as I hate East Bumblefuck chain restaurants, I can’t deny the appeal of “2-for-1 all day” at Chili’s.

Best dance club: SO glad to see Hollywood Disco/Raiford’s beat Senses this year. Memphians are starting to appreciate quality. If Atlas had won I would’ve started looking for another city to move to, but they weren’t in the top three.

Best jukebox: E&H! Damn right!

Best new bar: Even though it’s not Downtown, I have absolutely no problem with The Cove winning – with great ambience and hand-crafted drinks, it’s outstanding. Glad Calhoun’s made #2, although technically I wasn’t sure it was eligible, since it opened December 31, 2007. My vote, the Red Rooster, tied with the Downtown Monkey for third.

Best sports team: Memphis Tigers basketball! Damn right! Go Tigers!

Best local athlete: Joey Dorsey! Damn right!

Best local radio talk show: I voted for Thaddeus since I couldn’t vote for him for Best Blogger. He didn’t win though.

Best local blogger: Pleased to be sharing the top three with Thaddeus and MPD Enforcer 2.0. Again, genuine thanks to everyone who voted for me.

Best local place for men’s clothing: Glad to see my choice, Shelton Clothiers, made it to the top 3. I have several nice shirts and a great new wallet from Shelton.

Best local health club: Glad to see Downtown YMCA won, although, how would I know who the best is? I’m too busy drinking at bars to have time to work out.

Best Memphis failure: KING WILLIE!!!!!!!!!!!! DAMN RIGHT!

Best Memphis success: I voted for the new Downtown safety patrol, although I agree Steve Cohen’s defeat of Nikki Tinker deserves the award too.

Best Memphian: I voted for Sam from the Red Rooster using “why the hell not” as my reasoning. I’m quite happy with the actual winner, Steve Cohen, though.

All right, back to the rest of the Flyer.

p. 67: Blues Ball is this Saturday. I never go to the ball itself but it’s fun to hang out at Earnestine & Hazel’s afterward and watch the party-goers come in. I’ll probably catch the first hour of Funk de Ville at the Saucer Saturday, then head to E&H.

Back page: Not only is Mpact Memphis having a debate watch party at the Red Rooster Friday night, but afterward Aquanet plays! I have a party to go to that night elsewhere, but this is where I would otherwise be.

Off to the BOM party… see you later.


Just picked up a copy of the 2008 Memphis Flyer “Best of” issue… I won Best Blogger.  Thanks to everyone who voted for me, and I’m glad you enjoy the blog.  Haven’t had time to flip through the rest of the issue, but rest assured, I’ll have comments on it in the next day or two.  For those of you going to the Best of Memphis party tonight, I’ll see you there.

Also picked up a menu for the new “On the River Seafood and More” place at 51 S. Main.  Will blog about that in my lunchtime post.  Right now, gotta get back to work.

Quick morning update: Staying awake, trolleys, more

Here’s a WikiHow article that should be useful to Downtowners who like to go out to the bars on the weeknights: How to Stay Awake at Work. I’m disappointed that the article didn’t specifically mention Mountain Dew though.

I meant to link to this last Friday, and forgot, but it’s too good to leave behind: Bruce VanWyngarden from the Memphis Flyer took his car into the repair shop last week, and since the shop was on the Madison Avenue line he decided to use the trolley to commute to work. Read about his experience here. The public transportation system in Memphis is a complete joke.

New promo on the discount restaurant gift certificates I talk about from time to time: Enter FALL to get 60% off on them. These are $25 face-value restaurant gift certificates that normally sell for $10, but with 60% off they’re $4 for the remainder of the month when you enter the promotional code FALL at checkout. Scroll to the bottom of my blog’s right sidebar to find a box where you can search by zip code. Enter 38103 to search for Downtown restaurants (or your zip if you don’t live Downtown). A lot of Downtown restaurants participate – Big Foot, Stella, Pearl’s, Blue Fin, Blue Plate Cafe, McEwen’s, and many more. Note that some restrictions apply (generally you can’t redeem them for alcohol, for example) – be sure to read the restrictions before purchasing.  Yes they are legit – many of my readers have purchased them and have told me they used them successfully.

The Rapscallions didn’t make the top 3 in trivia last night, but at least we have $135 in prize money to show for our efforts over the past month. As opposed to the team of St. Jude scientists, who have not even one dollar in prize money for the same period.  I notice they didn’t use “Finding Cures and Drinking Beers” as their team name last night.  I’d suggest “Might as Well Face it, We’re Addicted to Losing” as an alternate name.

I won’t be at the Downtown Alive! Latino-themed party at Court Square tonight, even though it sounds like it will be a lot of fun.  Got a private event to attend elsewhere Downtown… more on that later today.

Tue update: College jewelry, concert in Court Square tomorrow, street vendors

Information on tomorrow’s concert in Court Square coming in a moment. But first, it’s time to roll out my new website:

College Logo Jewelry sells earrings, pendants, bracelets, charms, rings, navel rings, and similar items for over 100 of the nation’s top colleges, including merchandise for the Memphis Tigers, Arkansas Razorbacks, Tennessee Volunteers, Ole Miss Rebels, and Arkansas State Red Wolves. Like most of my recent sites, checkout and shipping is handled by Amazon.com, the Internet’s most trusted retailer, so you can rest easy that your purchase is secure and handled professionally.  This is a sister site to my College Logo Watches store, which has been doing very well lately.

On to the news…

This week’s installment of the Downtown Alive! concert series is the Latino Memphis Hispanic Heritage Fest in Court Square, tomorrow, September 24, from 4:30 to 8:30 PM. Music by Caribbean Sound starts at 5 PM, and there will be salsa lessons by Salsa Memphis. There will also be Aztec dancing. Vending will include margaritas and Mexican beers, the Crepe Maker, hot dogs, and tacos. They welcome picnics, blankets, and lawn chairs.  With the Downtown Security Patrol around, there shouldn’t be a problem with bums bothering people like there was at last year’s Court Square concerts.

A few days ago I mentioned the street vendors on the Main Street Mall near Court Square. Yesterday I received the CCC’s Downtown Developer newsletter, which says that outdoor vendors are encouraged, and the CCC rents facilities to set up to sell outdoors for as little as $38/week when a yearly lease is signed. We’ve seen Hippie Geek out there in recent weeks; maybe we’ll see more vendors soon.

Trivia tonight at the Saucer.  The St. Jude team will be back to get their ass kicked again.  Looking forward to it.

Who will be the October BFF of the Month?

September is drawing to an end, and that means in about a week it’ll be time for me to name the October BFF (Best Friend Forever) of the Month.  I forgot to appoint a BFF for September.  Let’s take a look at the candidates.

Jenny and Michelle

Jenny (far left, in the photo to the left) and Michelle (far right) are proposing I do a double BFF of the Month, as I did in August with Darbi and Kristin.

Jenny and Michelle’s main selling point is that they are scientists for St. Jude, doing important research to find cures for diseases that affect children.  They also like to hang out at the Saucer and drink beer, which is a plus, and they like to go see the Dempseys whenever possible.

The main argument against them is that their trivia team keeps losing to my team The Rapscallions week after week at Tuesday night trivia.  I remember boardroom scenes from The Apprentice where Donald Trump would say, “You have a lot of potential, but you keep losing. Nobody likes a loser.”

Then again, you can’t find a bigger loser than original BFF Meghan, so maybe they’ll be able to overcome their lousy showings at trivia.

They scored some points last night.  As you can see in the pic, they thought, “Maybe Paul will pick us as his BFF if we bring girls in tube tops to the Saucer.”  That’s not a bad strategy.


Lauren declared herself to be in the running for BFF of the Month this past Saturday, when I stopped in Calhoun’s, where she bartends, to have brunch and watch football.  “I think I should be the October BFF of the Month,” she told me, “because my birthday is in October.  And, I work at a bar that serves PBR.”

Lauren would have been the runaway favorite to win in October, but then she did something that cost her 82 million gazillion points.  She changed into an orange Tennessee Vols shirt.  I was still eating brunch, and nearly puked it back up when I saw that shirt.  What was she thinking?????  The Nuh-Uh Girl wears Tennessee stuff all the time, and you never hear her mentioned as being in the running for BFF of the Month.

Who will win?  I really don’t know.  The top two contenders are running neck and neck in my eyes right now.  If you have reasons why you think I should pick one or the other, or if you think there’s someone else I should consider for BFF of the Month, let me know.

Back at lunch with information on this week’s Downtown Alive! Wednesday night concert series.  They’re moving it back to Court Square, so I guess for one week it really will be a return to “Bands, Beer and Bums.”

Funk De Ville – great band playing Downtown Saturday night

At the Second Street branch office laptopping… just checked the calendar and discovered that a really good band is playing the Flying Saucer Saturday night.  Funk De Ville is a 9-piece band with horns that plays disco and other funky stuff.  If you like Dr. Zarr’s Amazing Funk Monster, you will love this band.  I caught them quite by accident back in July, meaning to leave after the end of half a beer when they started playing, and stayed for another two hours.  They dress up in ’70s costumes too.  Extremely high recommendation if you’re looking for something to do Downtown Saturday night.

Jumper Cable Guy is back

Jumper Cable Guy was seen on South Main this afternoon.  He’s a guy who approaches people, maybe talking on a cell phone as he walks up, looking like he is in need of help.  He’ll tell you his truck has broken down several blocks away, and he needs $7 and an odd number of cents for jumper cables.  If you tell him you have some he can borrow, he’ll claim that he has a heavy-duty Ford truck and needs bigger ones than what you have.  Let’s have a look at Jumper Cable Guy:

He was seen approaching a couple near the National Civil Rights Museum plaza this afternoon about 3:30.  The couple was stopped afterward and asked what he said… same old story.  That truck sure breaks down a lot.  Many, many times a day, in fact, if we are to believe Jumper Cable Guy is telling the truth.  And surely he wouldn’t lie!

We ran him out of Downtown this spring by simply yelling, “Hey, Jumper Cable Guy!” loudly every time we saw him.  Unable to fly under the radar, he had no choice but to leave the area.

Maybe it’s time to make him leave again.

Obama watch parties for this Friday’s debate

Last night I had people ask where there will be Obama watch parties Downtown for this Friday’s debate vs. John McCain.  Here are two that I know of:

Stop 345, 345 Madison (between Fourth and Danny Thomas)

Red Rooster, Second and Lt. Lee Ave., hosted by Mpact Memphis and Change Memphis

Click the links above to RSVP.

I also had someone ask about hosting a watch party at their house in East Memphis – they said they’d like to, but it’s a small house.  I noticed on the RSVPs that organizers can specify a venue capacity.  So you could register your house and specify a maximum of 10 RSVPs in order to ensure that the entire town doesn’t show up.