4th annual Feed the Soul party at The Warehouse Thursday, October 6

MIFA has announced its fourth annual Feed the Soul party. It will be held at The Warehouse, on G.E. Patterson across from the Memphis Farmers Market space, from 6 to 10 PM Thursday, October 6. It’s a celebration of MIFA’s four decades of service in Memphis.

Entertainment on the inside stage will be provided by Walrus, Michael Jackson tribute artist Pam Caudle, and Elvis: Pieces of My Life star Bryan Lee Howell. Outside, V101’s Stan “The Bellringer” Bell will provide the music. There will be an outdoor dance floor, a champagne bar, an oxygen bar, a cigar bar, a Scotch bar, Boscos beer, a raffle and more. Food will be served from 7:00 to 8:30. Dress is casual.

I went to this party last year (disclosure: they gave me a ticket) and it was absolutely a superb time. Warehouse owner Kris K. knows how to throw a good party and he and MIFA pulled out all the stops for this one. So much to see and do… if you don’t go, you are most definitely missing out! Tickets are $40 each and can be purchased here.

Thur update: Downtown Museum Day, live music at Felicia’s, new event space, Walgreens/Foursquare, GOP debate recap

Recently I lamented on Facebook that I’ve been a Downtowner for almost 10 years, yet have never taken a tour of Sun Studio. That’s pretty unacceptable, to be that out of touch with my city’s heritage. Saturday would be a good day to do something about that: It will be Downtown Museum Day, when many of Downtown’s museums will offer admission for half-off or free. In the case of Sun Studio, there will be free admission and tours all day. Kerry has a complete list of Downtown Museum Day discounts here.

Live Music in the Courtyard starts back up at Felicia Suzanne’s tonight. Blues and jazz singer Deborah Swiney will perform from 8 to 10 PM. Cocktail and snack specials will be available.

The old National Bank of Commerce building, the 6-story building on Monroe next to One Commerce Square, will be available for event rental soon. Pinnacle Airlines is currently using the building as a staging area for its move, but won’t need it after November 1. The space will be renamed The Columns at One Commerce Square, and REG will be renting it out for weddings, corporate functions and charity fundraisers. More details in this CA article.

If you visit the Downtown Walgreens this week – or any Walgreens really – and you’re a Foursquare user, be sure to check in. For each checkin this week, Walgreens will donate a flu shot to someone in need.

If you missed the GOP debate last night, Time has an excellent recap here. A tweet from @BorowitzReport today said it all: “In the 1980s Ronald Reagan emptied the mental hospitals, and last night we saw the results.”

Time to grab some BBQ nachos then back to work… I’ll be out Downtown later tonight.

Wed update: Fashion party, rent your toilet, new apartments, a supernova and more

There will be a block party tomorrow night, Thursday, September 8 in South Main, and fashion will be the theme. In conjunction with international Fashion’s Night Out, the party will feature a sidewalk fashion show, $3 draft beer, and live music by the Patrick Dodd Band. More details here.

Live Downtown and want to make a little extra money? You can rent out your toilet to people looking for a clean place to go nearby.

The Memphis Daily News reports that new apartments are being planned for Mud Island in the area south of the A. W. Willis Bridge.

The Majestic Grille has finished their interior work and will re-open for dinner at 5 tonight, with the place looking super spiffy.

Attention astronomy nerds: A supernova is visible this week. You’ll need binoculars to see it. Supernovas happen when the biggest stars die in massive explosions. This is the best chance in 25 years to see one.

My team the Rapscallions didn’t play trivia anywhere last night, but I was at the Flying Saucer and got to watch the first week of their “new, improved” trivia. The first round is current events, and my advice to you is to study sports scores from the day before, as well as any named storms (tropical storms and hurricanes) currently churning. Prizes are slightly better – 50/35/15 I think, upgraded from 50/25/10. There was a second game at 10 but I didn’t stick around for it.

Got the Foursquare mayorship of the Brass Door back. Will probably go there at some point tonight and defend it. Right now, time for a quick lunch then back to work.

Lunch tip and other Labor Day news

LUNCHBOXeats will be open today, and it’s their first birthday. If you’ve never eaten there because you work too far away to get there for lunch, today is your chance. It’s on Fourth Street, half a block south of the FedExForum. Eat Local Memphis had an excellent review of the restaurant last year, for those of you unfamiliar with the place.

What to do after lunch? How about a little baseball? The Redbirds play the last game of their regular season today at 1:05. Bring your glove, because fans are invited onto the field to play catch after the game.

One thing not to do today – go to the Majestic Grille to eat, because it won’t be open. They’re closed today, tomorrow and Wednesday lunch to spiff up the place with paint and a new kitchen floor. They’ll re-open Wednesday at 5.

I had the best Bloody Mary ever yesterday. The Silly Goose has a deal every Sunday from open ’til 5 where you can make your own Bloody Mary for $3. They supply the vodka and the ice, and then you can choose from several mixes and about 30 different ingredients. This was my recipe:

  • Fill with Zing Zang up to about 3/4 inch from the top
  • A generous squirt of sriracha (as my friend Frank calls it, “the bottle with the chicken on it”)
  • A dab of horseradish
  • A few shakes of celery salt
  • A few shakes of black pepper
  • Olive
  • Celery stalk
  • Piece of okra

Mix and enjoy. I let a couple of my friends taste, and they agreed, I’d made a pretty kick-ass Bloody Mary. Can’t wait to go back next Sunday and do it again.

We started the day with brunch at the Majestic, and since it was raining when we got done, the Memphis Music & Heritage Festival wasn’t an option. So we went to the Saucer, and were pleased to learn the A/C had been fixed. It was good to have nearly the entire Sunday brunch crew back there for the first time since June. It was also good to have our friend Pete back for a day; he’d come to town for a college reunion. I challenged Pete to a game of pool, and 10 minutes later he was thinking this:

I also got the pleasure of playing three games of pool with our inspirational leader/father figure. The gang has been going to Bardog a lot lately on Sundays, and Bardog is a fine place, but Sunday Fun Day is not the same without a pool table.

Dan Wolken had a good column today on how to keep the Big 12 from imploding – and it involves adding Memphis as a basketball-only member. Clever idea. Read it here.

I intend to spend Labor Day enjoying the fruits of my labor. Specifically, the fruits I will be enjoying will be limes squeezed into a glass of Dos Equis Special Lager. Pint Nite at the Saucer starts at 11 AM! Almost all drafts only $3 a pint. Later in the day (after 4:30), I plan on stopping by Max’s Sports Bar, where new bartender Whitney will be training. Not 100% sure that poker at the Goose is happening tonight, but as far as I know it is, so unless I hear otherwise I plan on being there at 9 for drunk poker and a PBRtini.

Another Downtown bar gets NFL Sunday Ticket

When the NFL regular season starts next week, Downtowners will have one more place to watch all the games. It will be particularly handy for those who live in Fielders Square and points east. Sky Grille at 668 Union has announced that they will carry the NFL Sunday Ticket. They’ve also announced the followins specials during NFL games:

  • $8 Budweiser, Bud Light, Bud Light Lime & Michelob Ultra, Coors Light & Miller Light Specials (5 beers per bucket)
  • $5 Rolling Rock & PBR Pitchers
  • $7 Bud Light & Shock Top Pitchers

$5 PBR pitchers? SCORE!!! I haven’t been to Sky Grille yet, and while it seems odd for a bar to be a nightclub on Saturday and then a sports bar on Sunday, there is a precedent; Red Rooster did both well. Hopefully Sky Grille will too. Sky Grille is located in the old Quetzal space near Union and Marshall.

Paul’s Picks: Memphis Music & Heritage Festival for Sunday, September 4

The Memphis Music & Heritage Festival continues today on the Main Street Mall, between Peabody Place and Gayoso. Here are some of my top picks for today:

  • Barbara Blue, blues, Comcast Folklore Hall stage. 2:00 PM
  • Yao Tan of Wang’s Bistro, cooking demo, Yao’s signature dish, 2:00 PM
  • Valerie June, blues, Folklore Store stage, 4:30 PM
  • Craig Dorff of Blue Fin, cooking demo, sushi, 5:00 PM
  • Mr. Del, gospel rap, Tennessee Arts Gayoso Street stage, 5:00 PM
  • Michael Patrick of Rizzo’s Diner, cooking demo, skirt steak using Neola Farms beef, 6:00 PM
  • Salute to Rufus with FreeWorld and special guests Marvell, Vaneese and Carla Thomas and James Govan, R&B/soul, Comcast Folklore Hall stage, 7:15 PM
  • Bluff City Backsliders, jug band, Folklore Store stage, 9:30 PM
  • Blind Mississippi Morris and Brad Webb, blues, ArtsMemphis Peabody Place stage, 9:45 PM

I’m totally unfamiliar with Mr. Del by the way, but “gospel rap” sounds interesting enough that I’ll have to check it out, at least for a few minutes.

In addition to yesterday’s “what to do between bands” suggestions, I’ll add a few more for today:

  • Enjoy brunch at one of the restaurants within the festival boundaries. My top pick would be the Majestic Grille. They serve Sunday brunch from 11 AM to 3 PM.
  • Walk around the corner to Second Street and enjoy 99 cent Bud Light all day long at Kooky Canuck. (unfortunately it’s outside the borders of the festival, so you can’t get to-go cups)
  • Check out the final fireworks show of the season following the Redbirds’ 6:05 game. I’d estimate the fireworks would start sometime around 8:45 to 9:00, depending on the length of the game.

You can view the full music schedule and cooking demo schedule online. My plans for the day are somewhat up in the air; I was going to do brunch at the Majestic, then the Flying Saucer, then the festival, but the A/C was not working at the Saucer yesterday. Unless it’s fixed I’ll probably spend a minimal amount of time there today, maybe just one quick beer in order to defend my Saucer mayorship on Foursquare.

If college football caused you to miss the Memphis Music & Heritage Festival yesterday, come on down. You’ve still got a full day left to enjoy it!

Best bowl of soup I’ve had in my entire life!

I’ve never really been a big soup eater. I wasn’t growing up, and as an adult I’ve tended to pass over soups at restaurants in favor of more substantial choices. However, yesterday I made an exception when the Brass Door posted its specials to Facebook. They have a sandwich of the day and a slider of the day, as well as a Hot Pot, which is a soup or stew of the day. Yesterday’s Hot Pot consisted of smoked ham hocks, chicken, black-eyed peas and collard greens. “That sounds delicious,” I thought. Late in the afternoon, I took a break from the Memphis Music & Heritage Festival and wandered north to the Brass Door. Here’s a pic of yesterday’s Hot Pot.

It was even tastier than it sounded on Facebook! It was seasoned with just the right amount of pepper, and the ingredients complemented each other for a delicious experience. It was so good that I contemplated ordering a second bowl. This was easily the best bowl of soup I’ve ever had, and it has convinced me that I need to try more of their Hot Pots of the Day.

They usually have the same Hot Pot for 3-4 days before changing to a new special. This one was first seen on Friday, I believe, so it’s possible it may return today. You can find out by “Liking” the Brass Door on Facebook or following them at @TheBrassDoor1 on Twitter. They usually post their specials around opening time of 11 AM. If this Hot Pot returns, I highly recommend you stop in and give it a try.

One more post to come. Time for me to look through today’s lineup at the Memphis Music & Heritage Festival and make “Paul’s Picks.”

Paul’s Picks: Memphis Music & Heritage Festival for Saturday, September 3

A fantastic regional music fest is happening on the Main Street Mall today and tomorrow. I’ll be at the Center for Southern Folklore’s Memphis Music and Heritage Fest nearly all day today, with occasional stops at nearby bars to cool off and check football scores. If you’re unfamiliar with the bands playing the festival, here are a few of my top picks for today:

  • Watoto Memphis, children’s dance, Tennessee Arts Gayoso Street stage, 11:00 AM
  • River City Tanlines, rock, ArtsMemphis Peabody Place stage, 5:45 PM
  • Jonathon Plumlee, cooking demo, chicken tips with bell pepper & pineapple chutney, 6:00 PM
  • The Bo-Keys, soul, ArtsMemphis Peabody Place stage, 6:45 PM
  • The Subteens, rock, Tennessee Arts Gayoso Street Stage, 7:15 PM
  • Hope Clayburn and Soul Scrimmage, Comcast Folklore Hall stage, 9:15 PM
  • Exodus, reggae, Tennessee Arts Gayoso Street stage, 10:00 PM

What to do between bands?

  • Go to the Center for Southern Folklore’s Folklore Store and purchase regional music, arts and crafts
  • Go to the Center’s kitchen (it’s to the left of the Folklore Hall stage) and get Ella Kizzie’s greens and hot water cornbread
  • Enjoy a drink on the patio of the Majestic Grille, Bar None, Silly Goose, Wang’s, Local or Blue Fin
  • Do a little shopping at Shelton Clothiers (men’s) and Christine’s (women’s)
  • Check out the art at Art on a Hot Tin Roof
  • Check out the 20+ arts and crafts vendors at the festival
  • Get some Las Delicias guacamole – they’re one of the food vendors

You can view the complete music schedule and cooking demo schedule online. There are samples for the audience at the end of each cooking demo. Free food? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up.

Festival is on the Main Street Mall between Peabody Place and Gayoso. For parking I’d recommend the Peabody Place parking garage between Main and Second, or Parking Can be Fun on Union.

Look for me in my red Arkansas Razorbacks T-shirt at the festival. It’s time to CALL THOSE HOGS!!!