Grilled salmon @ Flying Fish

Last night I wrapped up Sunday Fun Day with a couple of beers at the Flying Saucer. The Sunday night bartender was wolfing down some grilled salmon from the Saucer’s sister restaurant the Flying Fish down the street. I’m not kidding, she was ANNIHILATING it. It made me hungry. So after brief stops at the Saucer and Goose tonight, I went to the Fish for to-go food.

A huge salmon filet, red beans and rice, squash, zucchini, and pico de gallo. (It’s hard to see the squash but it’s under the salmon.) Remember this configuration; in a minute I’m going to rearrange things.

Hula poppers: Jalapenos stuffed with cheese and shrimp, wrapped in bacon. Never had them but damn they sound good.

Couple of other Fish specials I want to report: 1) If you’re a University of Memphis student or faculty member, show your ID for 20% off. 2) Rolling Rock $1.50 during happy hour 4-7 PM.

And then there was this:

Why yes I am having a PBR while I wait for my food at the Fish. Too bad that this delicious beer can’t find its way down the street to the Fish’s sibling the Saucer. Despite the fact that FIVE OTHER SAUCERS have PBR on the regular menu. One of the other regulars did the research.

So, this is what I did to my meal. I chopped up the fish, zucchini and squash over the red beans and rice. Then I dumped the pico on top of it and mixed it up. Then I dumped a sample bottle of RedHot sauce (acquired at BBQ Fest) on top and mixed it again. Simply awesome.

Home just a little after 10. I planned to stay out longer, but apparently some Downtowners are not capable of putting on a tube top and hitting the bars 7 days a week. Fine. Whatever.

Dreams and “alternate Downtown”

Last night I had a number of really weird dreams. Has anyone else had the experience of creating an alternate version of a city in their dreams? After I woke up, I realized that I have an alternate version of Downtown that I dream about from time to time. Some of the features of my “alternate Downtown”:

– When I look out my windows, on Main Street facing south toward Monroe Avenue, I don’t see what is really there. I don’t see the One Commerce Square building, which dominates my real-life view. In my dreams, if I look to the left I see a grassy field, where all sorts of interesting things happen. To my right I see the Main Street Mall, pretty much as it is in real life minus the high-rise office building.

– In my dreams there are several other high-rise apartment buildings within a few blocks of where I live. I dream about a prominent one where the Madison Hotel is in real life. I’ll often dream I’ve moved there and regret moving out of Number 10. When I wake up I’m always relieved to realize it was a dream and I didn’t actually move.

– I also dream of a long brick apartment building just south of Main and Monroe. It’s an older building, about 12 stories high. I don’t think I’ve ever “moved” there but I go there to visit friends.

– Cool, trendy restaurants tend to pop up in my dreams where the Renaissance Apartments are in real life. Across the street there’s a Walgreens, rather than Jack’s Food Store which is there in real life.

– I’ve dreamed over and over of some good restaurants across from TJ Mulligan’s in the Pinch that have walk-up-to-the-window service. In particular I’ve dreamed of a Mexican restaurant of this type at least a couple of times. Good queso.

– Several times I’ve dreamed that there’s a harbor to the north of the Pinch district, with a riverside park that’s a good place to go relax, to sit and read a book. Events are sometimes held there.

– My alternate Downtown apparently doesn’t exist south of Union. I’ve had dreams of being in places I frequent in real life (Saucer, Goose, etc.) but can’t remember any buildings that are out of place.

I wonder what these dreams mean? Could I be viewing one of a number of alternate realties that could have happened, but didn’t? Or perhaps I’m looking at Memphis around the year 2100, after an earthquake has re-routed the river, placing the harbor to the north of the Pinch. Who knows.

I also had a dream last night – it happened at the time the thunderstorms were moving through – that a wind blew underneath me, lifting up my entire body except for my head, which remained on the pillow. I could look up and see my feet. That was the first time I can recall levitating in a dream. Then the wind blew me completely out of bed, landing me at the foot and I had to climb back in. Of course this really didn’t actually happen. I was lying under the covers, in the same position, the entire time. To some extent I think I knew it was a dream and was enjoying it, both for the physical sensations and because I realize how healthful and regenerative lots of good REM sleep can be.

In a third dream, I was on the 12th and top floor of a building, taking photos of something across the street. Can’t remember what – a school maybe. It wasn’t Downtown; at least that much I’m sure of. Anyway, I wasn’t supposed to be in the building and had no recollection of how I got up there. I was standing on about a 4′ x 4′ concrete fire escape. I got lots of photos, but I couldn’t figure out how I was going to get down. The fire escape door was locked. Jumping would likely mean a broken leg if not worse. Trying to jump to lower fire escapes was risky. And if I yelled for help or banged on the door, there was a chance I could go to jail for trespassing. Like the previous dream, at some level I realized I was dreaming, and eventually I solved the dilemma by waking up.

Not sure what caused those bizarre dreams. I went to bed early, and these happened between 5 and 6 AM, so my body would have processed any alcohol left in my system hours ago. I don’t do any other drugs. Not sure what caused the hallucinations. Maybe it was the thunderstorms.

Sadly none of my dreams were about tube tops.

Mon update: My home has a new living room, Unveil Downtown winners, trivia at Ferraro’s, wine dinner at Paulette’s

I got up too late for brunch at the Majestic yesterday, so I started the day at noon at the Flying Saucer. When I got there, I discovered something new. My home away from home has a new living room.

They’ve converted the former stage area into a lounge area. The three benches that were previously there are gone, and in its place are comfy couches, tables, and chairs. I really like it. For years servers complained about getting that section, because it was the most unappealing part of the entire bar. Not so anymore.

So, what happened to those benches? They’ve been moved to the little nook behind the pool table.

I hung out at the Saucer until 3, then migrated to the Blind Bear. From there the group decided to hit Bardog for some of those $2 Coronas. Unfortunately they had run out, with another shipment due Tuesday. Not that we minded much though – it’s Bardog, never a bad place to spend a Sunday. Our friend Buddha put Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs” on the jukebox and we rocked out.

Me rocking out to "War Pigs." This is the kind of thing where the hair comes in handy.

After Bardog, I went back to the Blind Bear, where frequent blog reader Kelly was hanging out. Now, I’ve given Kelly a lot of grief on this blog lately, but I have to say that I am very proud of some of the decisions she made yesterday. For one, let’s look at what she was wearing:

She’d been out with her family at Texas de Brazil and Beale Street earlier in the day. She was too hot in the clothes she was wearing, so she bought a tube top dress and changed into it.

Speaking of that trip to Texas de Brazil… she was there for brunch. That meant that they had lobster bisque and breakfast meats on the salad bar. She got a bowl of the lobster bisque and used it as a dipping sauce for her bacon and other meats. Where did she learn to do that? Right here.

In other news around Downtown, prizes were awarded to three Unveil Downtown artists. Elisha Gold (work on display at Lansky 126), Rebekah Laurenzi (work on display at Art on a Hot Tin Roof), and Jimpsie Ayres (work on display at Thai Bistro) were the winners. You can see their work through June 20.

It’s been announced that Tuesday trivia with Kevin Cerrito at Ferraro’s will soon have an earlier end time. That’s very good news. Having played on a team for five years, I can tell you that professionals who work 8-5 jobs really appreciate it when trivia wraps up at 10 or earlier. Don’t forget that there’s $1 PBR and Rolling Rock at Kevin’s trivia. It starts at 8 PM on Tuesdays.

Paulette’s is having a wine dinner tomorrow night, Tuesday, June 5. It will feature Argentinian wines that scored in Wine Spectator’s 89-92 range. Details here. The River Inn is also offering special room rates in conjunction with the dinner, should you choose to stay the night.

All right, time for a quick bite then back to work on my current PHP/MySQL project. Plans for tonight: Pint Nite at the Saucer.

Rare beers lead to a rare hangover.

So yesterday, I decided to start the day off with PBR at Panda Manda’s bar at Bardog. It turned out to be a good move, for a couple of reasons. For one, I discovered that they had $2 Coronas for the entire month of June, which means I will abandon PBR as my drink of choice there until July 1.

Another reason I was glad I went to Bardog is that nearly the entire gang showed up. Usually there are three or four of us at Panda’s bar at noon on Saturday… yesterday there were more than TEN. Usually that big a group does not accumulate in one place while the sun is still up. Good to hang out with everyone.

So I slammed one Corona after another, running up what was probably my largest tab at Bardog ever. By about 4:00 the group was ready to migrate to Blind Bear, but I realized that food and a break from beer was necessary. So I got the Dog of the Day to go – yesterday’s Dog was topped with chili con queso and pico. I paid an extra $1.99 to upgrade my side to a cup of the Soup of the Day, chicken poblano pepper.

After eating, it was time to hit the Saucer for their 15th birthday party. You know, it’s funny – five years ago, when the weather was nice I would divide my time between the window seats and the bar. Now I hang out at the bar almost exclusively. Not sure why. Anyway, I saw a friend in the window and joined him. Beautiful weather and good tube top watching. Katie commented that she’d been working there since August and it was the first time she’d waited on me, other than people’s plate parties. I let her pick my beers from the 15-rare-beer tap wall and she made excellent selections. Most of the beers were in the 8.3-10.5% ABV range. Combined with the Coronas earlier in the day, I was feeling mighty good by 10:00 or so.

Then I walked over to the Blind Bear and took a seat on the patio. Despite the lack of tube tops, there were still plenty of photo opportunities.

Because of my adventures in drinking earlier in the day at Bardog and the Saucer, I was having trouble operating my iPhone. At one point I tried to take a pic but I accidentally had it in video mode. Turned out to be a lucky accident, though, because I captured this piece of awesomeness (0:03. Click the link, trust me, it’s worth it). (EDIT: Dammit the video isn’t playing! If you see me out, ask to see it on my phone. I’d put it on YouTube but I don’t know if the stars of the show would appreciate that.)

Unfortunately my drinking adventures did have one negative consequence: I forgot to check in at the Blind Bear on Foursquare! So I’m one day closer to losing the mayorship, and the one free beer per day that comes with it. I think I’m safe missing a day though. The former mayor told me he’s 8 days away. I don’t think Puckett is a threat to the mayorship anymore. That “Kristin” chick who likes to erase the mayor chalkboard at the Goose may be within 10 days of the Bear mayorship, but I’m not sure.

I’m still on my soapbox about the Memphis Saucer carrying PBR. It’s not like it would be hard for them to get it in the bar; last time I was in their sister restaurant the Flying Fish which is right down the street, I saw PBR there. Charge $3.50 for a 16-ounce can and surely you’d be making as much profit as you’d make from, say, a pint of Guinness. Plus dishwashing costs would decrease since most PBR drinkers prefer to drink out of the can. And in my case, lime costs would decrease. $3.50 is high compared to what other bars charge for a PBR can, but I think people would pay it for the privilege of being in the Saucer. The Saucer is just about the last holdout… even Local and Alfred’s have climbed aboard the PBR train in the past year. The ticket at the Nashville Saucer described PBR as “the fastest growing beer in North America.” Why would you not want a beer like that in your bar? Especially when you willingly carry swill like Coors Light?

Oh that reminds me… I posted yesterday that Aldo’s Pizza Pies would have 20 taps on the wall. Turns out I got that wrong. Actually it’s THIRTY taps. Bud Light and 29 craft and import beers, I’ve been told. They will have PBR in some form, either cans or bottles.

Checking social media to see what everyone has been up to… I see one of my Facebook/Foursquare friends is in Little Rock (and she had a tube top dress on last night). She checked in at “Little Rock, AR” on Foursquare. That’s a perfectly fine checkin since she’s a tourist. However, another Foursquare friend of mine, who lives in Downtown Memphis, checked in at “Downtown Memphis” yesterday. Nothing screams LOSER more than a checkin like that. I’m not going to name names but there may be a photo of her somewhere in this post.

It’s 11:20 as I type this, so I guess I’m not going to brunch this morning. About noon I’ll wander over to the Saucer and not drink a PBR.

Beer news. Bardog good, Saucer bad.

I started the day at Bardog today. Unfortunately I didn’t get a window seat where I could watch Scratchy and tube tops pass by, but you can’t win them all. When I walked in I noticed this sign.

$2 Coronas. As someone who loves a good Mexi-beer I was excited to see this special come back for a second year.

Amanda was so excited about the $2 Coronas that she danced on the bar.

While I was at Bardog I kept an eye on my phone. I received this text from a friend of mine who went to Nashville for a scooter rally:

For those of you not familiar with the ticket above, let me explain. If you are a member of the UFO Club at the Flying Saucer, you swipe your card at the computer and print out a ticket to drink one of their 200+ beers. This ticket is from the Nashville Flying Saucer. As you see, it is for PBR.

Just to prove he wasn’t lying, he texted this photo of a PBR 16 ounce can, next to a Saucer coaster, on what is obviously a Saucer bar, in front of what is obviously a Saucer cooler. Bartender in Nashville told him they have had PBR cans since he started 6 years ago.

I always thought the decision not to carry PBR was a corporate-wide one. I guess I was wrong. It must be a local one, left up to each GM.

Kirk? Explanation?

If you’d like to see PBR at the Memphis Saucer, here’s the Make Contact form.


15 rare beers at the Flying Saucer today

Last night about 10 I was in the Flying Saucer, where they were getting set up for their 15th birthday party today. They set up a special tap wall, where 15 rare beers will be on tap. Because this is an extra wall, all 75 regular draft beers will be available as well, plus another 125 in bottles, plus beer mixers, plus beer flights. If you can’t find something you like at this place, you just don’t like beer. And even if you don’t like beer, they have Abita Root Beer on tap too.

Ladies, this is your chance to out-dress the staff. They have cute Beer Goddess tank tops, cute fitted T-shirts, short skirts… but they don’t have tube tops. So, put on a tube top and look hotter than the Saucer girls.

Under construction

The blog will be under construction today and may look funny or incomplete at times. I’m swtiching to the Suffusion theme for WordPress, which is more configurable and up-to-date than the Atahualpa theme I’ve used for the past two years.

In the meantime, check out this water slide in a Denver theme park. It has the best name ever.

Fri update 2: Central BBQ food truck, Aldo’s Pizza Pies, Enchilada Doritos, Delta Does Memphis

A rare Friday when there’s enough afternoon news to warrant a second post.

The Downtown Central BBQ at Butler and St. Martin isn’t open yet, but the Central BBQ food truck was parked outside the new location. People who went there for lunch were told they can expect to see the truck there every Friday until the restaurant opens. The truck will also be at the Memphis Farmers Market every Saturday.

The Hungry Memphis blog has some photos of Aldo’s Pizza Pies. CANNOT WAIT to be in there eating pizza and drinking beer. One minor complaint about the blog’s post: Where’s the pic of the tap wall? I haven’t seen it myself yet, but have been told they will have 20 beers on tap.

I’ve been told that Jack’s Food Store carries those Enchilada flavored Doritos I talked about in my lunchtime post.

If you’re fed up with the way Delta treats Memphians in regard to airfare prices, “Like” the Delta does Memphis Facebook page. Fans of this page are hoping to send a message to Delta that its prices are arbitrary and unfair. It’s sometimes cheaper to drive to Nashville and fly Delta to a destination city with a connection in Memphis than it is to fly Delta directly from Memphis to the destination. The last time I flew them, my company paid the ticket so I have no prices to complain about, but three of the four legs of my flight took off an hour or more late. Delta just sucks, plain and simple.

If you’re still trying to decide what to wear tonight, let this picture be an inspiration:

Another pic from BBQ Fest. It’s cooled off since then, but it’s still warm enough to be tube top weather tonight. Let’s see those tube tops!

Who plans on being TUBE-TOP-TASTIC this weekend?

If you’re not sure how to be TUBE-TOP-TASTIC, see the photo above for an example. This pic was taken Friday of BBQ Fest week. Not only did she show up in a tube top dress, but she brought me several bags of the new and somewhat hard-to-find enchilada flavor of Doritos. This is how it’s done, people. Take notes.

By the way, my BBQ teammates generally agreed with me that the enchilada flavor is one of the best ever.

Aldo’s Pizza Pies is getting ready to open, and they will be holding open interviews next week for cooks, bartenders, servers, dishwashers, and bussers. You can interview in Midtown at the Slider Inn on Monday, June 4 from 2 to 6 PM; or, you can interview Downtown at Bardog Tavern Wednesday, June 6  from 2 to 6 PM.

Blogger Joe Spake found some good sites that present historic Memphis in photos. Check out his post here.

At the Brass Door, Planet Reel plays the Cavern tonight. $5 cover.

Grace Askew plays the Double J tonight at 9.

The Orpheum is showing Breakfast at Tiffany’s tonight at 7:15. Buy tickets here or at the door.

In the news: The Riverfront Development Corporation and Friends for Our Riverfront disagree about something for the 1,745,889th time. This time it’s the proposed top of the elevator shaft at Beale Street Landing. See the artist’s rendering in this Flyer article and judge for yourself.

Quick lunch them back to work. Not going to Italian Fest tonight. Will be Downtown.