Tue update: Double J trivia/spaghetti, nacho news, vote for president via glassware, Peabody jobs, Fielder Square for sale, Idaho Spuds samples, Aldo’s Pizza Pies and Central BBQ news, new poker night coming to Cooper-Young

I’m pretty excited as I type today’s post. The “Found Dog” post I did Saturday morning resulted in a 7-year-old terrier being reunited with its owner yesterday. The owner had just moved here 2 weeks ago and the dog probably wasn’t familiar enough with its new surroundings to find its way home. Very happy to have helped.

There’s a new trivia night Downtown beginning tonight. Double J Smokehouse and Saloon will be doing trivia on Tuesdays at 7 PM. That means you have easy access to a trivia night whether you live in South Main (Double J), the core (Flying Saucer, 7:30 and 10), or Uptown/The Pinch (Ferraro’s, 8:00).

The Double J is also doing a $12 special for a big plate of spaghetti and meatballs tonight.

Nacho news: Kevin Cerrito, cohost of MemphiSport Live and host of the Ferraro’s trivia night I just mentioned, tweeted that Neely’s BBQ nachos will no longer be for sale at the FedExForum. Both Memphis-area Neely’s restaurants are currently “closed for renovations,” Kevin reports. He says that a new BBQ vendor will be in place at the FedExForum in time for Grizzlies opening night.

If you’re a customer of the Flying Saucer, you don’t have to wait until November to cast your vote for president.

Buy an Obama or Romney glass to show your support for the candidate of your choice.

Looking for a job in accounting? The Peabody has two positions open in their Accounting department, Accounts Receivable Clerk and Payroll Clerk. View open positions at the Peabody here.

Want to own an apartment complex? Fielder Square is for sale. It is the 5-building complex that runs from Madison to Union just east of AutoZone Park.

An Idaho Spuds food truck will be here this weekend, serving up free samples of Idaho Spuds Naturals. Unfortunately none of the locations are Downtown, but I’ll post the list anyway in case you happen to find yourself near one.

  • October 13: Kroger 540 South Mendenhall, Memphis, Tennessee from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • October 13: Walmart 8445 US HWY 51 North Millington, Tennessee from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
  • October 13: ‘Park After Dark’ at Shelby Farms, 500 North Pine Lake Drive from 7 p.m. to 9
  • October 14: Walmart 798 West Service Road, West Memphis, Arkansas from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.
  • October 14: SuperLo Foods 945 West Goodman Road, Southaven, Mississippi from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Free food? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up.

Maddison serving a Pauly Lager (Pacifico with extra limes) at Pint Nite at Aldo’s Pizza Pies

Aldo’s Pizza Pies tip: Look at the bottom of your receipt. Last night I went over there with my friends Bob and Mike. Mike ordered to-go food, and when he got his receipt he noticed it said, “Bring this in on your next visit for 15% off.” This morning Mike sent me a message saying “That pizza I took home was just about the best veggie-style pizza I ever had.” He got the Button Man pizza.

More Aldo’s news: Starting tomorrow, the pizzeria will have Central BBQ pulled pork atop its Memphis BBQ pizza. Also, they’re giving Maddison several bar shifts a week, so if you can’t make it on Monday for $3 Pint Nite you have other opportunities to see her.

And speaking of Central BBQ: Did you know that military, EMTs, firefighters, police, and teachers eat for half-price every Tuesday? That includes the new Downtown location. I bet there are some very happy firefighters at the South Main station today.

Cooper-Young folks: If you’ve been reading about the poker nights we have at Downtown bars, good news – a poker night will be coming your way soon. Muruako who hosts poker at Silly Goose on Mondays and at Double J on Wednesdays told me that he will be hosting a new Thursday poker night at Cafe Ole starting this week.

Last weekend I made fun of a soccer-mom-in-training’s checkins at Home Depot, Kroger, and Big Lots. She messaged me to say thanks for that. No problem at all!

Plans for tonight: With poker nights Downtown five nights a week, I can pick and choose when I play. Due to Maddison’s bartending shift at Aldo’s I took last night off from the Silly Goose (although I did stop by later for Paul’s Drunkass Food). However, tonight I feel like playing. About an 80% chance I’ll show up at the Blind Bear for Jamie’s Tuesday night game at 8. Before that I’ll pre-game at the Saucer, extending my streak to 104 days there.

Mon update: Canuck Thanksgiving, Yo-Yo Ma, job fair, The Sandlot @ AutoZone Park, Spay & Neuter Services open house and more

At left: Mason jar goblet that my friend Clay bought for me on a recent work trip to South Carolina. I’m going to use it as my mayor goblet at the Blind Bear.

I have more info on the Canadian Thanksgiving celebration happening today at Kooky Canuck. You can get a traditional Thanksgiving meal for $6.99 at lunch or $11.99 at dinner. Looks like Canadians eat the same stuff we do for Thanksgiving: Roast turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce, and a roll. They’ll also have 99 cent Labatt Blue all day.

Yo-Yo Ma will perform with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra on October 22 at the Cannon Center. Details here.

Attn job seekers: At least 30 companies will hire at a job fair tomorrow in Raleigh. Lots of big-name companies and some government agencies too.

To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the movie, AutoZone Park will have a screening of The Sandlot Friday, October 19 at 7 PM. The film’s writer, director, and voice David Mickey Evans will introduce his film and explain where the idea for it came from. He will also host a Sandlot trivia contest with the winner receiving a pair of PF Flyer sneakers. After the film Evans will host an autograph session with a portion of the proceeds going to charity. Get tickets at the Memphis Redbirds website. Tickets are $7 or a pack of four for $20. Evans’ presentation will start at 7, movie at 7:30.

Want to learn more about Mid-South Spay & Neuter Services, the charity for Best Memphis Burger Fest? Next Monday, October 15, they will have an open house at 854 Goodman Street from 4:30 to 7 PM (this is by the U of M; not the Goodman Road that runs through Horn Lake and Southaven in Mississippi). You can RSVP at msnsopenhouse.eventbrite.com. You’ll get to learn about the nonprofit’s efforts to reduce pet overpopulation. Refreshments will be served. Free food? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up.

Another fun Sunday Fun Day yesterday. I started at the Blind Bear, where I watched NFL Redzone, the channel that shows every touchdown from every game. I thought to myself, we need a channel similar to Redzone, but for tube tops rather than touchdowns. After the Bear I went to the Saucer, where Foursquare informed me it was my 102nd consecutive day there. Next up was a stop at Aldo’s Pizza Pies for their Slice of the Day, a particularly good one with mozzarella, proscuitto, arugula, and poblano cream sauce. That was my first time trying the poblano cream and I really, really liked it. After that was the Blind Bear again, where I hung out on the couches with friends (wish I’d known they were there, would’ve got there sooner) and then got a late start at poker, sitting down about 30 minutes after the game started. I came in fourth, but because Jamie is ineligible I won third-place points toward the final table.

Monday is becoming the latest day affected by “too much to do” syndrome. Pint Nite at the Saucer. Also Pint Nite at Aldo’s Pizza Pies, with Maddison behind the bar. Good deals on sausage and cheese plates at the Blind Bear (wine specials too, but I drink PBR there). Poker at the Goose at 8:30. I’ll make it to some but not all of these. Will make a game-time decision tonight when to go where.

Sun update: Door guys, beer news, concert, Butcher Shop and more

So, I’ve been getting feedback from a small but vocal subset of my readers recently. One of the door guys at the Flying Saucer commented, “You mention the Saucer all the time but you never mention us. I understand, the girls in the skirts do and should get the lion’s share of the attention. But can you not give the door guys our 15 minutes of fame?”

So, here you go. This is Graham, who made the request. He does a fine job at the door.

In other Saucer news, one of the managers tells me there’s a rumor that double and triple dry-hopped Stone Ruination IPA may show up soon. I hope that’s true. Ruination is not cheap (last I checked it was $13 for a big bottle) but it’s the best India Pale Ale the Saucer has.

It’s time for another concert in Court Square. 2 Mule Plow will play from 4 to 6 this afternoon. Blankets and coolers are welcome. Pets too if you pick up after them.

I heard from someone who works there that the Butcher Shop on Front Street will close later this month. The owner wants to convert the building to apartments or condos. If you want to have one last meal there, better do it soon.

Congratulations to Michael Bean and Colin of the Blind Bear. Yesterday they entered a Blind Bear team into a chili cook-off benefiting The Exceptional Foundation of West Tennessee. They came in third. Bean hosts poker at the Bear tonight at 6:30.

Nice meeting Rick Trotter, the voice of YOUR. MEMPHIS. GRRRRRRRRRRRIZZLIES!!!!!!!!!!!! last night. I’ve got to to better about getting to games this season. The Grizzlies defeated Real Madrid last night 105-93, with a double-double for Marc Gasol and 18 points by Mike Conley.

Up too late to meet friends for brunch. I’ll probably hit the Blind Bear about noon, then the Saucer later in the day.

Bored with dull suburban life? Come play Downtown

Last night I walked out of the Flying Saucer about midnight. The temperature had dropped from 80 to 46 since I had gone out, and I had only a T-shirt on (at least I had the foresight to wear jeans instead of shorts). Even worse, as I got about a block toward home, at Second and Gayoso, the skies came open. I was caught in torrential rain. I scurried for the cover of Second Street Shopper’s awning. As I stood there, freezing and soaked, I thought to myself, “There are people who spent their Friday nights in cookie-cutter suburbs. I’ll take cold and soaking wet walking home Downtown over that lifestyle any day.” Let’s examine some reasons to come play Downtown.

I’ll start off with 100 of them. The Downtown Memphis Commission published a brochure called 100 Reasons to Celebrate Downtown Memphis. It’s a good starter guide to why the locals like it down here so much.

Another reason to like it down here is how I dealt with the rain. After a few minutes under Shopper’s awning, I darted to Havana Mix’s awning, and then to the next one… which put me at Kooky Canuck. The rain showed no signs of stopping (actually, it would be gone in a few minutes, but I had no way of knowing that). “Might as well go in and have a beer,” I thought. Of course, at Kooky that means a Super Cold 34 ounce beer. “Do you want to look at a menu?” the bartender asked, and I said sure. The Canadian-themed restaurant has added a lot of new items to the menu lately, and last night’s rain refuge was a good excuse to try one of them. This is what I got:

This is the skillet buffalo mac & cheese ($7.99), with chicken added for $3 more. It’s mac & cheese with Kooky’s buffalo wing sauce mixed in. Rather than elbow macaroni, they use shells, which I love, topped with crunchies. The taste was so different and good that I found myself picking around the chicken – it really wasn’t necessary to make this a delicious meal. While not to the point of buying Bianca’s cookbook and converting to a vegan lifestyle, these days I’m more open to the idea that dishes and meals do not have to have meat in them to make them complete.

Speaking of the Canuck, another reason to love living Downtown is what will happen there this Monday, October 8. Those wacky Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving a month early, and Kooky will have a traditional Thanksgiving menu all day. They will also have $3 34 ounce Labatt Blue draft.

Another reason to love Downtown: One of my friends moved into Barboro Flats, the new apartment building on Main in the space that used to be the big gaping hole, yesterday. In her welcome packet were two Bardog Tavern wooden nickels. Each wooden nickel entitles the bearer to a pint of the coldest PBR in town for only 5 cents. That’s a warm welcome indeed!

Bardog, by the way, in order to make their happy hour more female-friendly, is stepping it up with the specials. They’re doing $5 Stoli martinis, all delicious flavors, during happy hour 5-7 Monday-Friday. Bardog has already been voted the best happy hour in Memphis, so whether you’re a martini drinker or not, come see why.

Are you ready for some football? If you are, then there’s a new reason to love Downtown this week. Double J Smokehouse and Saloon has installed NFL Sunday Ticket. Why not get there early tomorrow and watch all the noon games on 36 feet of HDTV? While you’re there you can eat Miss Katee’s chicken and waffles, bacon and sausage, sausage gravy, and eggs however you like them. Come talk football with Jeff!

I was going to do a mini-rant here about a server in the Downtown core’s excessive use of profanity in front of customers, but to keep this post positive I’ll save it for later. Apologies in advance to my readers, though, because I will have to drop a lot of f-bombs in a future post to make a point. Hey, Downtown is great, but I never said it was perfect.

My plans for this morning and afternoon contain plenty of more reasons to love Downtown. At 11 it will be time for my team to lose again (this week to Auburn), so I’m going to head down to Max’s Sports Bar to watch the carnage. Good opportunity to catch up with Max, Renee, Ciara, Jose, Mikey, and whoever else shows up. I’ll have to pay for my own Fireball this week, but hey, you can’t win ’em all. Maybe after the game is over I’ll walk over to Central BBQ and have my first sandwich at the new Downtown location. As I go through my day I’ll pull up Foursquare now and then, and snicker when I see one of my suburban friends check in at Home Depot, Kroger, and Big Lots. Then I’ll walk home, passing places like Silly Goose, Majestic, Blind Bear, and Local on the way. So nice to know I can stop in those venues anytime I want.

48 degrees going to 60. Sounds like a perfect day for the PBR hoodie, shorts and sandals combination. Think I’ll put that on and start my trip south. If I get there before Max’s opens, I can always poke around Memphis Farmers Market for a few minutes. Another glorious Saturday in Downtown Memphis! It’s great to be alive!

Found dog

This isn’t about Downtown, but it’s hard to say no when asked to do this kind of post. Last night on the way home from Live at the Garden, one of my readers found a dog. She’s a female terrier, small to medium sized, blonde with a little black. She was found on Poplar about a block east of East Parkway. She was not wearing tags, but was well behaved and my reader believes she must be someone’s pet. If this is your dog, email me at paul@paulryburn.com and I’ll get you in touch with the person who has her.

Fri update: Good burger, Max’s opens early for Cards, Irish festival, Oktoberfest, FreeWorld gets their note, Pride festival & parade on Beale

Yesterday afternoon after work, I looked at Twitter. Seth, the organizer of the Best Memphis Burger Festival, was talking about a burger he had Sunday that was one of the best things he ever ate. What was really surprising was that it was a burger cooked by a chain restaurant, BGR The Burger Joint. Knowing that Seth usually prefers to eat local, I thought to myself, that burger must have been amazing.

So I went to BGR’s menu page and looked up the burger he mentioned, the Wellington. I read the list of toppings – roasted mushrooms, caramelized onions, garlic with a touch of mustard seed and blue cheese – and thought to myself, “hey, I judged that burger on Sunday!” Remember how I said two of the burgers were average, one was very very good, and one was possibly the juiciest, tastiest burger I’ve ever had? I’m just about positive the one that got my highest marks was the Wellington. If that’s the case, then that burger is absolutely worth a trip to East Memphis. I cannot praise it enough.

Speaking of the burger fest, Seth emailed all the judges this morning and told us that $5500 was raised for Mid-South Spay & Neuter Services! Great job to all who participated!

In Downtown news, Max’s Sports Bar will open early this afternoon, at 3:30, for the Cardinals game. Max’s has $3 shots of Fireball and $1 dogs every Friday for happy hour until 7 PM.

Several things going on outdoors tomorrow on what will be a chilly 60-degree day. First of all, there’s an Irish festival in the Pinch. Celtic band Reel McCoy will perform, as will the Swamp Katz. Irish menu at Mulligan’s and Westy’s. Opportunities to learn about the Pinch’s Irish history, including a free walking tour by historian Jimmy Ogle. The Grizzlies street team will be there, and prizes will be given away including tickets to a pre-season game. 2-8 PM. The Pinch is the portion of North Main north of the I-40 overpass.

Over on the island, Tug’s will have an Oktoberfest celebration Saturday and Sunday, with German food and beer under the big tent.

At noon Saturday, popular jam band FreeWorld will get their note on historic Beale Street. FreeWorld recently celebrated their 25th anniversary, and they jam all over town including their weekly Sunday night gig at Blues City. Happy to see the band receiving this much-deserved honor.

The Mid-South Pride Festival and Parade will happen all day Saturday at Robert Church Park, on Beale just east of Fourth. This is the largest gay/lesbian event of the year. The parade marches down Beale at 4 PM.

Time for a trip to hell – well, not really hell, but Walmart, almost the same thing. I’ll be out about 6 after work. Will probably start at the Saucer, then figure out the plan for the evening as I go along.

Thur update: Flyer party, Jack Magoo’s, Peyton Manning/Grizzlies, falcon, flopping, Downtown Dining Week, new South Main gallery, C-Y Beerfest

Last night I hopped in a cab and headed to the Broad Avenue district. The Memphis Flyer throws a party every year for the winners of its Best of Memphis poll, and the parties are always in fun, hip, off-the-beaten-path venues. This year didn’t disappoint. The party was in a huge warehouse underneath the water tower on Broad, with the parking lot turned into a courtyard for live entertainment.

One of the best things about the Flyer’s BOM parties is that the winning restaurants are invited to cater the event. Below is one of two plates of food I had.

Clockwise, from top: Chicken wing from Gus’s, sushi from Sekisui, BBQ nachos from Central BBQ, black bean roll from Cafe Eclectic, and Soul Burger from Earnestine & Hazel’s. I posted this pic when I checked in on Foursquare, and within a few minutes the Nuh-Uh Girl commented, “Jealous.”

This may be surprising coming from me, but the real star of this plate was the black bean roll. The spiciness of the black bean patty and spicy mayo was perfectly contrasted with the coolness of avocado and tomato. I would definitely make the journey across the A.W. Willis Avenue bridge to get this at Little Cafe Eclectic in Harbor Town.

I noticed that the party was across the street from Jack Magoo’s, the Broad Avenue sports bar. I had never been there, and decided to duck out of the party early, about 8. “One beer at Magoo’s to look around, then I’ll catch a cab back Downtown for rounds two and three of trivia at Blind Bear,” I thought.

I took a seat at the bar, ordered a PBR, and heard “Pau Pau!” to my right. Only one person calls me that – Lana Danko from Kooky Canuck. She and Shawn were at the bar. More friends came in a few minutes later. I looked around. The downstairs alone had more TVs than Max’s Sports Bar, which means there are a LOT of TVs. When the bartenders heard it was my first time in, they took me on a tour of the place. There’s an entire second bar upstairs, plus pool tables, air hockey, and a Wendesday and Thursday night poker game. Outside is the largest courtyard in town, with live music and they’re in the process of getting murals painted on the walls. I felt right at home at Jack Magoo’s and am going to try to get a group of Downtowners together for a field trip out there soon. I had such a good time that “just one beer” turned into “three PBRs and five shots of Fireball.” Ouch!

The Best of Memphis winners are now online. You can view them here.

Chris Vernon had a major scoop on his radio show today: Peyton Manning has agreed in principle to become part-owner of the Memphis Grizzlies. He will join Penny Hardaway and Justin Timberlake as part of the minority ownership group.

Bad news for the pigeons: A peregrine falcon has been spotted Downtown. Do falcons hunt at night? Lately there have been more rats than usual running around the Main Street Mall after dark.

Bad news for the L.A. Clippers: The NBA is instituting fines for flopping.

Downtown Dining Week has been set for November 5-11. Many Downtown restaurants will offer three-course dinners for the low price of $20.12. Even better, Athens Distributing, Ketel One Vodka, Woodford Reserve Bourbon and Coppola Wines are sponsoring the week, so there will be drink features as well.

A new gallery on South Main, the Ewing Entertainment Museum, shows photos of R&B and soul artists of the past 30 years. You can also rent classic movies on VHS or DVD there, and the space is available for rental. The gallery is at 304 S. Main.

The Cooper-Young Beerfest has partnered with Guidebook for an app related to the festival. It’s available now, and will be continuously updated through next Saturday with information about brewers, beers, the Beer Tent Revival schedule and more. Info on how to get the app here.

Outta here for now. Once again, thanks to those who voted for me in the Flyer poll.

Wed update: Third place in BOM, Downtown Central BBQ, beer fest in Harbor Town, Rendezvous to deliver, IBC tix on sale, shuttle service to Grizzlies games

I’ve learned that this blog has tied for third in the Memphis Flyer Best of Memphis 2012 voting. Thank you to all who voted for me, and all who read this blog. I’m happy that you find it informative and entertaining. I Love Memphis took first place again, with Eat Local Memphis finishing second, and Dining with Monkeys tying me for third. I’m in very good company in the top three.

The Downtown Central BBQ location will open to the public Friday. It will be open 11 AM to 10 PM. It’s at the corner of Butler and St. Martin, across from the Civil Rights Museum. I haven’t been in the place yet but I’ve been told it’s a really neat space with garage windows similar to those in the Flying Saucer.

Movie & Pizza Co. has announced the first annual Harbor Town Beer and Food Festival Saturday, October 20 from 2 to 9 PM. Breweries already committed are New Belgium, Ghost River, Lazy Magnolia, Blue Moon, Sam Adams, Blackstone, Yuengling, O’Fallon, Angry Orchard, Abita, Henry Weinherds, Abita, Magic Hat, Shiner Bock, Schafly, and Yazoo. There will be food pairings from Miss Cordelia’s, Tug’s and Movie & Pizza. Charvey McLemore will play 7 to 9 PM. Tickets are $33 in advance, $38 at the door. More info here.

The Rendezvous tweeted this morning that they will start Downtown delivery of their BBQ via bike next week.

Tickets for the International Blues Challenge (Jan.29-Feb.2, 2013) are now on sale here. There is perhaps no better place to hear the blues in Memphis than this winter festival on Beale. It draws competitors from all over the world.

MATA will be offering shuttle service to all Grizzlies home games (including pre-season). Pickup and drop-off points will be Germantown, Bartlett, Laurelwood, Poplar Plaza, and Halle Stadium. Fare is $4 one way, $8 round trip.

I’ve been watching the Memphis Flyer Twitter feed of the BOM winners this morning. Alchemy has been all over the first-place votes. I still have not been. We Downtowners need to catch a cab and invade the place one night. If we get 7 of us in a van it won’t cost that much…

I’ll be at the Best of Memphis party tonight. Leaving work early so I can catch a cab out there. I’ll try to post some pics to Twitter and Instagram.

Tue update 2: 45 lb. burger pic, On the Border/Mid-South Spay & Neuter, Bass Pro, metal Repair Days, Downtown artwork, Taxi magic app, and book on 2011 LSU season available on Kindle

Easily enough news to warrant a second post today. Let’s see what we’ve got…

The past two days, I’ve been telling people about my experiences as a judge at Best Memphis Burger Fest. I didn’t judge the Extreme category but I saw the 45 lb. burger that Kooky Canuck entered. A lot of people said, “I wish I’d seen that!” when I described it to them. This afternoon I saw a pic of it. Here it is. Behind the burger are Seth from Best Memphis Burger Festival and Shawn from Kooky Canuck.

By the way, tonight is “Super Tuesday” at Kooky Canuck, with all their 34 oz. signature drinks only $5.

If you didn’t get by the festival to make a donation to Mid-South Spay & Neuter Services, you have another chance to support the cause tomorrow. On the Border will donate 10% of the cost of all purchases tomorrow, October 3, to the charity. All you have to do is bring a copy of this flyer and present it to your server.

The MBJ reports that construction on Bass Pro in the Pyramid will be delayed a few months because the shop has decided to add a 190-room hotel inside the structure. That will require extra seismic work, which has already begun.

If you have metalwork that needs repair, this weekend (Thursday-Sunday) will be Repair Days at the Metal Museum. More info on their website.

My friend Sarah Copeland, an artist who used to live in Memphis, has some of her artwork online for sale. Some of her images are of the Downtown Memphis skyline and her site sells them in a print-on-demand format. You can view her work here.

After my problems catching a cab Sunday, one of my friends at the Saucer recommended a smartphone app called Taxi Magic. “I used it, and a cab was there in 7 minutes,” he told me. “If you enter a credit card number, you can even pre-pay for your cab. It also shows you maps of the route that your driver should be taking,” which helps keep drivers honest. I have to take a cab to a party tomorrow night and will give this app a try.

Local sports author Ryne Hancock now has his book Say Goodnight, Cassie: The Unsung Journey of the 2011 LSU Tigers available in Kindle format for only $7.99. If you don’t have a Kindle device, there are free apps for reading Kindle books available for PCs, Macs, and iOS and Android devices. Buy the book here.

All right, that’ll do it for this evening. Time to go find a good place to have a beer.

Tue update: BMBF results, Arepas & Salsa, wine discounts at Blind Bear, John Lennon glass @ Saucer, Tigers’ “three big things,” electoral tie possible?, CA layoffs, stolen BBQ trailer

The results from the Best Memphis Burger competition are now live on the site. View them here. Congratulations to “I Like Big Burgers and I Can Not Lie” on their first-place win in the Best Memphis Burger category. Scores for all teams are listed in each category, and “some guys with a grill” type teams did very well against established restaurants.

The Flyer’s Hungry Memphis blog has a post about a new restaurant, Arepas & Salsa, that has opened at 662 Madison in the former Burly’s Burgers space. It is a Venezuelan restaurant, and I am quite intrigued by the picture of the sandwich with an arepa as a bun. Years ago, when I was teaching at the University of Memphis, I would walk over to the Highland Strip for lunch. For about a year there was a Colombian restaurant with very similar sandwiches. They were delicious. Delighted to have a restaurant serving arepas within trolley distance of my front door. Will have to try the place soon.

The Blind Bear is selling bottles of Buehler Chardonnay, Liberty School Cabernet, and Bear Boat Pinot Noir for $20 until they run out. These wines normally sell for $10 a glass at the Bear, so you’re getting quite a deal. Wine experts: Suggestions for which would pair best with their pepper jack mac & cheese?

Tomorrow night the Flying Saucer sells their annual tribute glass in honor of John Lennon’s birthday (actual birthday is the 9th). Here’s a pic. Glasses will go on sale at 7 PM and will run out pretty quickly.

This was all over social media yesterday, but in case you missed it: ESPN is writing “three big things” columns about men’s college basketball teams projected to be in the preseason top 20. Yesterday’s column was three big things about the Memphis Tigers. I agree with all three of these points.

This is interesting for fans of electoral math: FiveThirtyEight posted that new polls raise the possibility of an Electoral College tie. A result of 269-269 would not be good for President Obama, since the election would be thrown to the House where most state delegations are dominated by Republicans. Although these scenarios are possible, it should be noted that every one of them has the president losing Florida, where he’s currently leading in the polls.

I hate to report a couple of pieces of bad news: First of all, there were more layoffs at the Commercial Appeal yesterday. This time it was the newsroom including several senior positions. My sympathy goes out to the talented writers who are now without a paycheck, and I hope all of you get back on your feet soon. If you work for the CA and survived this round of layoffs, I strongly suggest you be proactive and get a resume together now.

My sympathy also goes out to Memphis in May BBQ team People’s Republic of Swina, who had their trailer stolen this week. The trailer took 6 months to build and was valued at $15,000. It was used for less than a year at regional competitions and BBQ Fest before being stolen.

The trailer was taken this weekend from a facility off Shelby Drive. If you have information that can help locate it, please call Crime Stoppers at 901-528-CASH.

That’ll do it for now. Possibly a second news post after work.