Pollo Loco Tapatio @ Rio Loco

After 4 hours of drinking at the Saucer this afternoon, I decided it was time to take a break before the Memphis vs. Xavier game.  So I wandered down the street to Rio Loco.  Pollo Loco Tapatio was the Sunday special, on sale for $9.99, and I decided to give it a try.

Pollo Loco Tapatio consists of chicken topped with mushrooms, bacon, and Rio Loco’s cheese sauce.  Look at all the bacon!  I love bacon.  Bacon makes me deliriously happy.  But that’s not all I got…

I also got flour tortillas (not shown, unless you’re a complete dumbass you know what they look like), and sour cream, guacamole, and pico de gallo as toppings, along with the standard Mexican sides of rice and beans.  All of this for under 10 bucks on Sunday is amazing.  Even at the regular price of $11.49 (I think, don’t hold me to that) it’s still one of the best dining deals Downtown.

Majestic Grille 50% off gift cards to go on sale at 9 AM Wednesday, December 3

The Majestic Grille will do its annual 50% off gift card sale Wednesday, December 3 beginning at 9 AM.  These things are a great deal.  You buy them in $50 increments, paying $25 for each increment.  The catch is, you can’t use them until January 2, 2009, but once it’s next year you’ll be able to enjoy Patrick’s amazing filet for an effective price in the low teens.  Or you can get one of the best burgers Downtown for an effective price of only four bucks.  Or their delicious whole roasted chicken with garlic mashed potatoes for an effective price under ten… you get the idea.

These things will sell out fast.  Last year I seem to remember them running out around 1 PM.  I predict it’ll happen even faster this year, now that the Majestic tied for Best Restaurant in the Flyer poll.  Best advice for those who don’t work Downtown:  Go in late to work and show up right at 9 to buy gift cards.  If that isn’t possible, take your lunch break right at 11 and hurry Downtown.

Last year, I took $125 down there and bought $250 in gift cards, and as a result was able to enjoy many good dinners there in 2008.  I still have about 80 bucks left on last year’s gift card sale.  Note that the gift cards can’t be used to purchase alcohol; if that were possible, there’s no way I’d still have $80 left to spend.  This is a rule made by the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission, not the owners of the Majestic.

This sale, by the way, is not affiliated with the Restaurant.com discount gift certificate program I sometimes mention. This is the Majestic’s in-house program, and to be honest, it’s better than Restaurant.com’s program because it’s simpler to use.

Back with more news about happenings at the Majestic, but this gift card program is one of the best things of the year and warranted a post of its own.  I’ll have news about an upcoming event at the Rooster too.

Nominations sought for December BFF of the Month

There’s still a lot of partying left to do in November, but yet, the clock is winding down on the month.  That means it’s time to seek nominations for my December BFF of the Month.

Right now Stephanie (pictured at left) is probably the front-runner for December, but she by no means has it locked up, and there’s still a week left to go.  Stephanie has had a string of BFF near-misses dating all the way back to June… are there any other contenders I should consider, capable of handing her yet another loss for the last month of 2008?

Winner to be announced Monday, December 1.

Pics: Court Square holiday lights

Friday afternoon I went to the “Flip-the-Switch” party to turn on the Christmas lights in Court Square.

The festivities started with children caroling in the gazebo.

Then they flipped the switch and the lights came on.  Here’s a pic of the fountain’s lighting.

Here’s a crowd shot.  You can see the lighting and holiday angels on the lamp posts in Court Square in this pic.

Congratulations to the CCC and all the volunteers they recruited… they have done an incredible job.  All of Downtown – from Auction to G.E. Patterson – is decorated for the holidays.  You may not know this, but there has been a committee of volunteers hard at work planning this all year, going all the way back to March or April I believe.  CCC President Jeff Sanford commented that this is the best Downtown has looked for the holidays in at least 25 years, and things are just going to keep getting better from here.

We’ve got more fun on the way too – don’t forget that the Downtown Holiday Parade will be on South Main next Friday, November 28, at 5 PM, followed by a Jolly Trolly Tour with all the galleries and shops in the area open.

Seth Godin on the Big Three automakers’ financial crisis

Marketer Seth Godin did a blog post yesterday on what he thinks should happen regarding the impending failure of the Big Three automakers.  In my opinion he hit the nail right on the head:  Let them fail, then make it easy for new, innovative car manufacturers to go into business by removing as many regulatory roadblocks as possible.  A great post and worth forwarding to the people who represent you in Washington.  Read it here.

Dancing at Ground Zero

Last night we had a birthday party for our friend Jessica, which started at Bardog Tavern and ended at Ground Zero.  This pic from Ground Zero pretty much sums up what went on there:

It was the first time I’d been to Ground Zero at night to hear a band – previously I’d only been for happy hour.  I really enjoyed it.  Preston Shannon was playing some great blues, and the DJ spun all kinds of tunes when the band was on break.  Good-sized crowd – every table was occupied but the place was not overly packed.  If you’re looking to dance Downtown but want something a little more mature than the madness of Beale Street or the wildness of the Red Rooster, give Ground Zero a try.

By the way: I still have two “free appetizer with purchase of an entree” cards from Ground Zero to give away.  Ask me for one if you see me out.  I have them in my wallet so they’re always with me.

Party attendees:  I’ll upload pics to Facebook later today.  I’m going to have to do a lot of work on these in Picasa to see if I can salvage bad pics due to the less-than-ideal lighting.

I’ll be back later today with pics from the “Flip the Switch” Christmas lighting ceremony last night in Court Square.

More information on the Thanksgiving night party at Earnestine & Hazel’s

I just received more information about the big party that will be happening Thursday night at Earnestine & Hazel’s.  A $5 cover will be used to raise money that will be split between two charities, CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) and the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.  Some drinks and jello shots will be provided, and there will be a DJ.  This is the 7th year they have thrown this party… I went to the 6th annual party last year, and can tell you from first-hand experience, it’s a lot of fun.

Party runs from 8:00 until ?????, so I’ll have at least three hours to soak up Saucer beer and look at Saucer skirts before heading down there.  There isn’t a whole lot that goes on in Downtown Memphis on Thanksgiving night, so this E&H party sounds like the place to be.

Downtown Memphian edits Wikipedia’s article on Seven Wonders of the World; adds Calhoun’s

Wikipedia has gained fame over the past few years as the encyclopedia that anyone can edit.  If you’re browsing a Wikipedia page and you spot what you believe to be a factual inaccuracy, you can set up an account, log in and fix it.

Downtowner Mike King did just that recently, editing the Wikipedia article on The Seven Wonders of the World to add Calhoun’s Sports Bar on G.E. Patterson to the list.  King, who has previously claimed that the beer at Calhoun’s can whiten your teeth, remove wrinkles from your skin, and raise your IQ by 18 to 23 points, was stunned to find that the bar had been omitted from the list of the Seven Wonders of the World.

“I’m sure the Hanging Gardens of Babylon were nice,” King said, “But did they have 5 flat-panel TVs where you can watch the Tiger games?  No.  And while the Lighthouse of Alexandria may have held some importance to the Hellenistic Egyptians, you couldn’t get a PBR there for a buck-fifty.”  King also pointed out that consumption of Calhoun’s lunchroom pizza makes your feces smell like lilacs for 2 to 3 days following, and that President Woodrow Wilson signed the Treaty of Versailles ending World War I at Calhoun’s.

King expects that the inclusion of Calhoun’s on the list will spark a renewed interest in the Seven Wonders.  He predicts that tourism to the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt will rise 30% next year, given the added prestige of being included on the list with Calhoun’s.  “I wouldn’t be suprised if the people who maintain the Great Pyramid start handing out magic markers and inviting people to write on the pyramid,” he commented, noting that Calhoun’s provides markers for its patrons to write on the bar.

King’s next project is to try and convince the Food Network to do a 5-hour special on Calhoun’s Cheesy Potato Bites, a dish that would “surely put Wolfgang Puck out of business if only the world knew about it.”