Chicken Tortellini @ Majestic Grille

Recently I met a friend for lunch at the Majestic Grille. I long ago worked my way through the entire lineup of appetizers, salads and flatbreads, so I decided to try something different: One of the entrees, the chicken tortellini.

The pesto alfredo sauce was incredible. Just uploading the photo makes me want this dish again. It has shitake mushrooms as well, and I love mushrooms. As is typical for the Majestic, they gave me a huge serving, and I hated it that I could finish only half of it. You can ask for a to-go box though.

Although the tortellini was yummy, I have to say that penne is my favorite type of pasta, because it’s shaped like little miniature tube tops.

Come hang with us for your first smoke-free beer at the Flying Saucer Friday night at 7:30

Next Friday, July 1, the Flying Saucer goes smoke-free. A bunch of the regulars are planning a “First Smoke-Free Beer at the Saucer” party for 7:30 that evening. This is not an event planned by management; rather, it is an event planned by us, to show management our support. We want to reinforce that the Saucer did indeed make the right decision by going smoke-free. They may lose a few regulars who complain about their “rights” being violated (which is BS), but they will gain many new regulars.

Come join us. Here’s a link to the Facebook event. If you plan on coming click the “I’m attending” button.

Let me remind everyone that it will still be Tube Top Month when the smoke-free party happens. Tube Top Month has been extended through the end of July 4 weekend, so let’s see those tube tops! You won’t have to worry about them smelling like smoke the next day!

July 1 will also be Kooky Canuck’s Canada Day party, with food and beverage specials and a poutine eating contest. Kooky is smoke-free as well, and is located one block down the street from the Saucer, so you can easily hit both parties and have a fun-filled night.

Sat update: Green Beetle, Trolley Night tip, diet margarita, Hustle & Flow, Madison cookout, and things to do tonight

The Ghost River beer tent at South Main Trolley Night last night. Brittney understands the secret to maximizing beer sales: Wear a tube top.

Last night I was at the Saucer, having a couple of pre-game beers before I headed to South Main Trolley Night. I pulled out my iPhone and caught up with Facebook. Someone had posted that the Green Beetle looked open. I finished my beer and headed south to check it out.

The doors were open, but they were not serving food. I talked to one of the people with a Beetle shirt on. “We’re not open yet, but we hope to be by next weekend,” he told me. “We’re shooting for July 4 at the latest. We’ll serve lunch and we’ll have food late-night.” Very very cool. I know a lot of people are waiting for the Beetle to open. This means I can hang out at Max’s Sports Bar and Earnestine & Hazel’s, then walk north and get Paul’s Drunkass Food from the Beetle to take home.

Insider tip for those attending Trolley Night: When you get there, go immediately to Harry’s Detour courtyard, around the corner from Main on G.E. Patterson. Every month they have a cookoff between South Main residents, and you get to be the judge. Really good food this month, including beef filet with risotto and lettuce wraps with pork belly. When I got there it was 8:00 and they were already wrapping up, so you want to make this one of your early stops to be sure you get samples. Free food? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up.

In other news: For those of you watching your weight, I walked by Rio Loco last night and saw a sign in the window about a new diet margarita they have.

The Orpheum will show the critically acclaimed indie drama Hustle & Flow next Friday, July 1 at 7:15. Before the movie begins, filmmaker Craig Brewer will give a brief talk.

The Madison Hotel is holding a cookout on the rooftop on Sunday, July 3. Chef Chris Windsor will grill a selection of locally produced products including Black Angus hamburgers, hot dogs, grilled chicken and more. Live music, a la carte beverages. Dinner begins at 6:30 with fireworks starting about 9. In case of bad weather, July 4 will be the rain date. Event is reception style with limited seating available, so if you want to go call 901-333-1224 and make reservations now. $35 per person.

All right, let’s take a look at some things going on Downtown tonight:

Bar None will have an ’80s party tonight at 9. DJ Jack spinning ’80s tunes, prize for the best ’80s costume. $2 Jello shots, $5 Long Island Tea, $4 Fireball, $4 Kamikaze and $1 off domestic beers. Ya know, I just realized, this is probably the one time when you can pop your collar and not be a douche. Then again, I remember 1985 when people did it and it was pretty douchey back then too. Pop at your own risk.

The Dancing Fire, Memphis’ troupe of fire dancers, will perform The Hidden Art II at the Rumba Room at 7:30. Their show is described as “a show of belly dancers, fire dancers, circus style performers, manipulating fire with staves, hoops and poi on fire. All the while these dramatic performers are practicing their craft, add to the mix continuous DJ music from all around the world and live drummers and you have an evening that is both a departure from the usual and exciting!” $10 cover, and you can stay for salsa afterward. More details here.

Stomp is at the Orpheum tonight. I’ve seen it before and this is a great show. I’ll just summarize it as an exploration of all things percussion. I most definitely recommend this show. It’s not a conventional musical with a plot and storyline; rather, it would be better described as performance art.

Jam band FreeWorld takes the stage at the Flying Saucer at 9:30.

Over at the Old Daisy, there will be a great night of soul music beginning at 7 PM. It will be a tribute show to Al Green and Willie Mitchell.

As far as my plans for tonight, I plan on at least checking out ’80s night at Bar None for a little while, although I don’t have an outfit. Definitely won’t be “heading south” for the stupid karaoke night my friends go to. Funny, even the guy who likes to sing songs William Shatner-style admitted to me he’s sick of going there, but a couple of people insist on going every week. Time to find a new Saturday night activity maybe?

Sorry for taking an extra day to make my comeback. I’d said I’d probably resume posting yesterday, but I had to use my entire lunch break (and then some) running my car through the inspection station. Thank goodness it passed; with older cars it’s always a worry. I’m now fully back, though, and regular posting schedule will resume.

Taking a break

I need to take a short break from the blog. I had a situation happen Tuesday night that upset me so much that it made me physically sick for a while. It’s not something that should be talked about on here. Just know that I’m OK, and it’s not a serious/permanent situation like someone dying or anything like that.

I’ll try to be back tomorrow with a regular news post. I hate it that this happened during Tube Top Month. You know, it’s funny, a lot of bloggers routinely go 3 days between (substantive) posts, and yet I feel like I’m going eons without posting and letting my readers down. Thanks to all of you for your support, and I’ll be back soon, promise.

Getting the band back together, plus a ton of news on upcoming events and parties

We’re getting the band back together! The Rapscallions trivia team re-formed last week at the Silly Goose, after merging with another team to become the Deep-Fried Rapscallions. We want that $300 cumulative prize for the team with the most points June through August, and we’re also interested in adding another first-place $50 gift certificate to our stash. Starts at 8, same format as the old Saucer trivia that Pete and Mikey used to do. They’re good about wrapping it up quickly at the Silly Goose, usually over by 9:30 so you can get a full night’s sleep. Or, you can stay and listen to live music. Come on down and join us! Looks like our team will be adding a new member this week.

I want to let you know about a couple of other good Tuesday night options. Friends of mine have given me more details about steak night at the Downtown Blue Monkey. They told me that the steaks are filets, from Charlie’s Meat Market, and I can’t remember the exact prices but I think they were in the teens, which is just an excellent deal. We have a team member who writes a food blog, and if he needs to miss trivia to try out steak night at the Monkey, we will completely understand.

There are, of course, two really good trivia nights Downtown on Tuesdays, the other being trivia night at Ferraro’s Pizzeria and Pub. It just keeps getting better. Last week they started the $15 all-you-can-eat pizza and all-you-can-drink PBR deal. This week, they’re moving trivia into the party room. This is a very good move. Trivia there had become so popular that they were running out of space. Now they’ll have tons more, and people who want to stand and congregate around the bar rather than sit in booths will have that option. The Rapscallions ended up at the Goose because it’s closer to where most of us live, but I wholeheartedly endorse Ferraro’s. Kevin Cerrito is an excellent trivia master. Again, if the food blogger on our team needs to skip Goose trivia to “find” the $15 all-you-can-eat food at Ferraro’s, the team will completely understand and support his decision.

There’s lots going on Friday night, and here’s yet another event: Memphis on the Rocks. Bartenders mix up some of the best spirits across the Southern Region, including Vodkas, Gins, Whiskey, Tequilas, Bourbons, Rums, Cordials, Wines and even Beers. Also enjoy food from some of Memphis’ finest restaurants and hear the live sounds of a live juke joint band. Tickets are $45 singles and $65 couples. Get tickets here. Event will be at 409 S. Main, and it’s also Trolley Night so there will be plenty going on outside.

Here’s something kinda cool: Excellbook, which makes your Facebook feed look like a spreadsheet, so you won’t get caught surfing Facebook at work. I wonder if it supports linking to YouTube music videos? If so, I know someone who will be very excited about this program.

The Orpheum will have a “test-drive your seats” event Thursday from 10 AM to 6 PM. Come by and try out seats until you find the perfect ones for the coming season. Purchase season tickets that day, and you’ll receive 6 free tickets you can use for any of their summer movie series.

Couple of parties coming up at Kooky Canuck. The first one is this Thursday, when they will have a Sports Ball kick-off party from 5:30 to 7. You’ll be able to order your Sports Ball gala tickets there, while enjoying $2 beer, wine, well drinks and complimentary light appetizers. There will be a raffle and appearances by sports personalities. Free food? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up.

Kooky Canuck will also have a Canada Day celebration on July 1. These will be the food and drink specials:

$2.00 All Canadian Bottles
$5.00 34oz 40 Tea

Soup: Split Pea Soup
App’eh’tizers: Perogies and Poutine
Entre’eh’s: Montreal Steamies and Tourtiere
Desserts: Butter Tarts and Nanaimo Bars

Everyone is encouraged to wear their Canadian colors in whatever way or shape they see fit. How about a tube top, eh? There will also be a poutine eating contest, which means that after the contest the Nuh-Uh Girl will swoop in for leftovers.

I made it to the final table at Silly Goose poker last night but didn’t win. No Monday night appearance by Brick unfortunately.

Time to grab a quick lunch at Zaxby’s and then it’s time for a 2-hour staff meeting at work. Yay. Looking forward to hanging with our new trivia team member tonight.

Mon update: Party for the Cure, Farm to Fork dinner, who will make a fool of themselves for drink tickets?, and poker with Poker Jon and Brick at the Goose tonight

Friday night there will be a Party for the Cure at Rehab Disco. DJs will include MatthewEss, Scotty B, and Yo! Santos. $7 cover at the door, and funds raised will go toward the funding of Ashley Davis and Angela Ladner’s participation in the San Francisco Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure. Over the course of 3 days, Davis and Ladner will walk 60 miles in support for awareness and fundraising for breast cancer research. Without a cure, one person will die from breast cancer every 13 minutes in the U.S. Party kicks off at 9 PM.

Also on Friday, there will be a Farm to Fork dinner on the rooftop of the Madison Hotel. The dinner menu will include items such as Black Angus beef from Neola Farms, seafood from Paradise Seafood and chicken from West Wind Farms, as well as fresh produce from Tims Family Farm, Ly Vu Family Farms, Mai Home Grown Produce and Fletcher Farm – all accompanied by locally brewed beer from Ghost River Brewery. The meal will conclude with decadent desserts made with peaches from Jones Orchard and honey from Peace Bee Farm. $55 excluding tax and gratuity. This is a fundraiser for Memphis Farmers Market, and 30% of the proceeds will be donated to the market. You can RSVP on their Facebook event page.

I mentioned that the Peabody gives out goodies to people who pay attention to Twitter during rooftop parties. Last Thursday they offered two free drink tickets to the first person to come to the VIP table, flap their arms, and start quacking like a duck. Who was the first to do it? See the video on Otto’s blog. Hint: It’s the same person who usually comes running anytime there’s free stuff.

That’s all I got. Slow news day. Plans for tonight: Pint Nite at the Saucer (should arrive about 6) with almost all drafts only $3. Then I’ll move over to the Silly Goose for poker with Poker Jon and Brick. Maybe Brick will wear a tube top tonight. She’s in for a double dose of harassment at the poker table, as I will likely be joined by Hurricane Zane. With three poker tournament wins under my belt from the weekend, I’m in the mood to extend my streak. Poker starts at 10 PM. You gotta be kind of a bad a$$ to attend a poker night that starts at 10 when you work the next morning, but some of us are and some of us aren’t…

Just a real comfortable neighborhood bar

I finally got the South Main night I’ve been wanting for a while. Wandered into Max’s Sports Bar about 8. The bar was a little less busy than usual, and I got a seat, a PBR, and a little blue crack box. What do I mean by “crack box?” Well, it’s the controller for this:

Max’s has the Buzztime game network, and has one TV dedicated to poker and one to trivia (as well as 8 other TVs showing sports). Trivia is always available, and even if no humans are playing poker, you can play against four “bots,” each of whom has a different playing style. I figured I’d take a shot at trivia. Looking at the TV on the right, it’s too bad John D wasn’t there. He would have done very well.

The bartender, Michele, had other ideas. Not long after I asked for a crack box, she said, “Paul, let’s get a 1-hour poker tournament going.” She’s able to use the bar’s master account to set up custom poker tournaments of any length and structure. So we talked 5 more people into playing, and she set the time at 1 hour, starting blinds of 25/50 with stacks of 10,000 chips for each player.

The photo taken above was the first hand of the tournament. I must have had something really bad, because I folded (I play under the handle PROFPR, “Prof” because I used to teach at the U of M). Usually I’m willing to see a flop with most any two cards. The blinds increased every six minutes, moving up to 50/100, 100/200, 300/600, 400/800, 800/1600, 1000/2000 (and higher, but that was the last level we ever reached). I hit some good cards near the end and won the first tournament. “Let’s play another!” Michele said. I busted out in 3rd place in that one, but I came back to win the 3rd and 4th tournaments. I’m pretty happy with the result of winning three of the four, but I have to admit I got lucky! There are some very, very good poker players who hang out at Max’s. A couple of them were giving me so much difficulty post-flop that I wished they’d go down the street and get their eardrums tortured at crappyoke night.

Michele, by the way, is one of the best bartenders ever. Here’s a pic of a PBR she poured me a couple of weeks ago.

Did you know it was possible to fit 17 ounces of beer in a 16 ounce pint glass? I posted this pic to Facebook, and one of the Saucer managers left a comment lecturing about the proper way to pour beer, leaving enough head to get the aroma and all that jazz. Then another bartender, one who has worked at the Saucer and Max’s before, followed up with this comment: “Dude it’s just a PBR.”

A very laid-back evening, good times with good friends. The thing with Max’s is, it’s just about all regulars, and some nights that can be a good thing. And despite the fact that we didn’t have to deal with terrible singing or douchebags in Affliction shirts, we still managed to have two shining examples of tube top dress hotness in the bar (sorry no pics, was busy concentrating on poker).

My only regret is that Max’s is the only stop I made last night. You can actually make an entire itinerary out of South Main on a weekend night. Dinner at Harry’s Detour or 5 Spot, then Max’s Sports Bar, then Earnestine & Hazel’s is a pretty fine plan. If it’s a Friday the Blue Monkey can be an additional stop as well. (Ya know, typing this just made me realize, I’ve never eaten at the 5 Spot. I really need to do something about that soon.)

Plans for today: Majestic, then Saucer. You know, I should write a WordPress plugin that inserts “Plans for today: Majestic, then Saucer” into every post I create on Sundays. Would save me time. Happy day to all the fathers out there.


It’s about time

Last night I walked in the Saucer and saw this beautiful sign hanging over the entrance to the bar:

Very happy their corporate office made this decision. Now people will be able to enjoy their beer and food without having to breathe cancer-causing secondhand smoke. People will also be able to come to the Saucer without their hair and clothes stinking to high heaven. I’ve started a few threads on Facebook and Twitter about this, and the response has been nearly entirely positive. Quite a few people (including a few tube top hotties) have said, “I quit coming there because the smoke was so bad, but after July 1 I’ll come back.” Even some smokers have applauded the decision.

But Paul, how am I supposed to drink beer without smoking a cigarette too? I’ve actually had smokers raise this issue. You know what? I’ve had at least 1,000 beers at the Saucer – my purple plate on the wall is testament to that fact – and not one of them was consumed along with a cigarette. You can do it too.

Kudos to Saucer corporate on looking out for the health and well-being of their customers. Yes there will be a few whiners who throw their UFO card on the bar, complain that the place is turning into “Chuck E. Cheese” and walk out never to come back, but you know what? Screw ’em. Can’t wait to have my first smoke-free beer on July 1, and I can’t wait to enjoy my first smoke-free Sunday Fun Day on the thirth, er, third of July.

Rant over. Now, on with the news…

Bar None will host an ’80s party on Saturday, June 25. There will be prizes for the guy and girl who have on the best ’80s costumes.

Speaking of the ’80s, the FedExForum has announced that Journey will play the arena September 14, along with special guests Foreigner and Night Ranger.

Another concert announcement: Alison Krauss and Union Station have been announced for the Orpheum for August 25. Tickets will go on sale at 10 AM next Friday, June 24.

If you’re looking for something to do tomorrow afternoon, bluesman Eric Hughes will play a solo/acoustic set at Superior Bar from noon until 4.

There’s a PlayDate Memphis night tonight at the Doubletree at Third and Union. It’s a public game night – Monopoly, Taboo, chess, Twister, Uno, poker and many more games. $10 cover, food and cocktails, must be 21 to play.

I’m kind of in the mood to go to Max’s Sports Bar and play some Buzztime poker/trivia… think I’ll do that either tonight or tomorrow night. Need to stop by Earnestine & Hazel’s and see Miss Karen as well. Right now, though, gotta grab a quick lunch and prepare for a 2:00 meeting. A few more hours and it’s over for the week.

Please don’t hurt my liver too bad, Shawn and Lana

Just got home from Kooky Canuck’s 6th birthday party. A few pics:

Nikki and Chad
A very nice close-up view of Nikki
Me and tube top hottie
The Nuh-Uh Girl and Hurricane Zane

Yeah I forgot to rotate the pic of Nikki’s ass clockwise 90 degrees. Just deal with it. Pick up your monitor and turn it sideways if you’re that concerned about the view. I’m drunk and going to bed now.

Thur morning update: Rooftops, Grizzlies, free Whoppers, David the Worm’s new gig

Suzy should win a Golden Globe award for this pic. Two of them, actually.

Believe it or not, I actually got up early enough to do a post before work this morning! Got a good night’s sleep, visions of tube tops dancing in my head. I’m wide awake now, though, so let’s hit it!

Tonight is one of the biggest Peabody rooftop parties of the summer. Lucero will rock it out, along with indie southern rock band The Bohannons. Buffet (included in price of admission) will be all-American this week, with burger sliders, potato salad, and deviled eggs. The VIP buffet will have hot dogs, baked beans and pasta salad. Cover goes up to $15 this week because of the band. Includes your first drink though. Ladies free til 7. Free food? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up. Actually, new pics of the Nuh-Uh Girl eating will probably land on this blog in a day or two, and they won’t be rooftop pics.

Tip: Follow @peabodymemphis and the #pbodyroof hashtag on your phone during rooftop parties. They do giveaways to people who are paying attention. This is why you see the Nuh-Uh Girl checking her phone so often on the rooftop.

Speaking of the Nuh-Uh Girl… I bet she’s been watching a lot of TV lately. You can get free Whoppers at Burger King by watching video of Whoppers.

Big party on the Madison rooftop as well, as Amy LaVere will be playing Sunset Atop the Madison. Doors open at 5:30, sunset at 8:16. $7 cover. Cash bar and tapas menu available.

Congrats to the Grizzlies, who ESPN Magazine ranked the 9th best sports franchise out of 122 in the four major North American leagues (MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL). This is sure quite a turn-around from a year ago, huh?

My friend David the Worm has a new DJ gig: Alternative Nation on Sunday nights at Sky Grille. It’s in the former Quetzal building near Union and Marshall. This is going to be a hard one for me to get to since I start drinking at 11 AM Sundays, but if you’re more of a late-night Sunday person, this is worth checking out.

Fun night last night, and thanks to Bardog Tavern and Budweiser of Memphis for the free Bud. Y’know, I’m an only child, so I don’t know how sibling relationships work. But if there were a free Budweiser event three blocks from my front door, and my brother was a Bud rep, and I only found out about the free beer because I read someone’s blog, I’d be about ready to beat that ass. Just sayin’.

Plans for tonight: Well, I was going to eat Squeal Street BBQ at Shelton Clothiers for the Third Thursday block party, but it looks like those plans may be changed as I help a buddy apartment-hunt. Later tonight I’ll be at a crazy, wacky party thrown by some people from up north. If more news comes in there will be a lunchtime post.