Thur update 2: Host Super Bowl party without getting sued, new Seed Hatchery teams, new Local specials, crawfish, Grizzlies watch party tonight has a good article on how to host a Super Bowl party without getting sued. The NFL is protective of their trademarks, but not as protective as they were a few years ago.

Six new Seed Hatchery teams have been chosen for 2013. Seed Hatchery is an intense 90-day program where startup businesses go through a variety of tasks to learn how to succeed, and get mentoring from those who have been there. Congrats to the chosen teams.

Local will have new specials beginning tomorrow evening, February 1. See them here.

The Flying Fish just got its first shipment of crawfish for the season.

Official Memphis Grizzlies watch party at the Blind Bear at 7.

Outta here for now… my buddy Duck Finkley wants to hang out with the new mayor of the Silly Goose. Grizzlies watch party after that.

Thur update: Gay/Haddadi traded, car sharing may be coming to Downtown, International Blues Challenge, YMCA Social Fitness

The biggest news of the day is that the Grizzlies have finally pulled the trigger on the Rudy Gay trade. Gay and Hamed Haddadi are off to Toronto. We will get several players and a second-round draft pick in return. Grantland has an analysis of the trade and its effect on all three teams involved.

The Commercial Appeal reports that car sharing may be coming to Downtown Memphis through a company called ZipCar. This kind of service would be perfect for people who live and work Downtown, who don’t need a car every day but occasionally need to make trips to other parts of the city to buy groceries, meet friends, etc.

The International Blues Challenge is in full swing, and a band was playing at the Flying Saucer last night when I walked in. Bands are in nearly every club on Beale as well. Quarterfinals continue tonight. Don’t forget there’s an International Blues Challenge smartphone app that you can use to plan which bands you want to see.

There’s a new Social Fitness Club for members and friends of the Downtown YMCA. The goal is to increase awareness of the Y as a community organization, and not just a gym. Their meetups are the first Tuesday of every month at the Brass Door from 5 to 7 PM. They sent me the following information:

Social “Fitness” Club Meet-Up
Memphis Grizzlies Ticket Giveaway!
Join us Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at
5-7 p.m. at the Brass Door, 152 Madison
Open to Y Members and Guests

Everyone who shows their Y membership card will get a chance to win a pair of Grizzlies tickets for the February 22 game.
Must be present to win!

Don’t Forget! Y-Night with the Grizzlies on February 10 and 22, buy your tickets today!
See our Facebook group for details

Follow us on Twitter @YMCAFogelman
Share your #socialfit Healthy Living, Social Responsibility and Youth Development

That’s all the news I have time to post right now. There will be a second post tonight, unless I forget. And now, back to a fun-filled afternoon of software training.

Wed update: State offices on Civic Center Plaza, parking meters/credit cards, movement to reform TN’s beer laws, Tigers, king cakes

Bad news for Downtown this morning: Gov. Bill Haslam wants to close the state office building on the Civic Center Plaza between Poplar and Adams. I understand the state’s desire to save money, but the last thing we need is a large vacant office building on the Downtown Memphis skyline. The good news is that the governor intends to keep the 900 employees working in the building Downtown. Hey Gov. Haslam, there’s about to be 13 floors of premium office space available in One Commerce Square at Main and Monroe. Why not relocate your employees there?

Plans are moving ahead for Downtown parking meters to accept credit cards. A lot of people don’t have change when they park, and simply don’t pay, choosing to take their chances that they’ll get their business done before being written a ticket. With an additional method to pay, the city hopes that fewer people will make that gamble.

A move is underway to fix Tennessee’s beer taxes. The tax reform would make it easier for craft breweries to operate within our state. Memphis will have three craft breweries by this summer. Let’s fix the tax and encourage a dozen more to open!

The Tigers play an away game at ECU tonight at 6. There’s no TV.

Looking for a King Cake for Mardi Gras? Miss Cordelia’s has them in a limited supply.

That’s all, apologies if any spelling/grammar errors, still on a very short lunch break. Will be out about 6 tonight, probably Silly Goose first stop.

Antipasto platter @ Bardog

Photo Jan 29, 9 08 56 PM

So, I think I told you, we’re in software training at work for day 2 out of 12. In order to get every bit of instructor time we can, we have barely more than 30 minutes for lunch rather than the hour I’m accustomed to. I’ve fought desperately to do my normal 8-to-5 job while still bringing you a semblance of a blog during my halved lunch hour. Monday I had nothing to eat at all. Today I had half a bag of Mexican Doritos that were rolled up like taquitos.

Tonight I realized I couldn’t take it anymore. It was after 8 and I hadn’t eaten yet. I wanted to eat dinner, and I wanted enough food left over for lunch tomorrow. I remembered I had seen a couple split an antipasto platter at Bardog a week before. Perfect!

Ham, salami, cheeses, mushrooms, cherry peppers, banana peppers, black olives. All the tastes worked well together and easily enough food for two. Or, if not two people, two meals. I ate as much as I could and asked for a to-go container. One of the bartenders, realizing the remainder would likely be scattered all over the 38103 zip code if I boxed it myself, expertly loaded it into the container. It looked as pretty to-go as it did in the picture above. I’m not at all surprised. Bardog once again proved why it was my vote for Best Service in the 2012 Memphis Flyer poll.

I beat the rain home and am ready for a stormy evening in bed. I just have to remember to take the food to work tomorrow, since I’m not used to that. I hope everyone stays safe in tonight’s severe weather. Rain is pounding against my living room windows as I type this last paragraph. My talent for barely avoiding storms has held up once again.

Tue update 2: Kudzu’s/dive bar shirt club, innovation article, Commit to Quit class, Redbirds Valentine’s Day packs, new brunch at Mesquite

Downtown restaurant/pub Kudzu’s has had their logo T-shirt selected to be part of the Dive Bar Shirt Club. Members of this club pay $22 every month to receive a T-shirt featuring one of America’s best dives.

There’s a great post on a Wall Street Journal blog about how on how Memphis is becoming an innovation community, with more and more pieces in place to help entrepreneurs develop their ideas into viable businesses. One of the businesses co-founded by the author, Meg Crosby, is Downtown’s very own Brass Door Irish pub.

The Church Health Center will start a 4-week Commit to Quit class on Tuesday, February 5 at 6 PM. This smoking cessation course at 1115 Union could change your life.

The Redbirds have Valentine’s Day packs on sale now. For $40, fans can purchase their valentine an exclusive ticket package that includes two Dugout Box ticket vouchers, $10.00 in Redbirds Bucks, and a flower arrangement from Lynn Doyle Flowers. For an additional $35, fans can have mascot Rockey the Redbirds personally deliver this package to their sweetheartís home or office on Wednesday, February 13 or Thursday, February 14. Only ten Rockey delivery packages are offered (Rockey deliveries must be located within 30 miles of AutoZone Park). Please call for availability. Number is 901-722-0295 and last day to order is Monday, February 11.

Mesquite Chop House started a Sunday brunch this week. Check Kerry’s blog post for details and photos.

Exhausted for a second long day (of 12!) of software training. Going to grab a few beers before the storm hits.

Tue update: New trivia night, Blind Bear news, National Free Thinker Day, DMC’s 2012 year-end report

Kevin Cerrito, host of Tuesday night trivia at Ferraro’s Pizzeria and Pub and Thursday night trivia at the Green Beetle, has added a new event to his lineup. Every Wednesday he will host trivia in the 1884 Lounge inside Minglewood Hall. Starts at 8, doors open at 7. Limit 8 per team. Prizes for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and best team name. This is the only trivia night in town where you can win Minglewood concert tickets as your prize. More details at

The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre party will return to the Blind Bear Saturday, February 9. This year the party will benefit Ronald McDonald House and FedEx Family House. $10 at the door. Roaring ’20s costume contest, live music, silent auction, blackjack tournament. to buy advance tickets or donate.

Also, look for news about live music at the Bear Thursday the 7th and 21st of next month. Waiting on an email from Jamie for details, but there will be some names you might know if you’re familiar with the local music scene.

It’s National Free Thinker Day! Here’s a WikiHow article on how to think for yourself:

The Downtown Memphis Commission’s 2012 year-end report has been released. Read it here.

30-minute lunch break, that’s all I have time to post now, more after work.

G. Parrish Anxiety Disorder (Gary Parrish Roll) at Bluefin

Tonight I kicked it off at Pint Nite at the Saucer. By about 7:30 I hadn’t eaten yet all day (just didn’t have time at lunch at work) and was starving. I decided I’d earned a treat and headed to Bluefin, the popular sushi lounge on South Main. Friday night I had my plate party at the Saucer, and my friend Ciara who waited on us told me I needed to try the Gary Parrish roll at Bluefin.

2013-01-28 19.48.57

The roll is named for Gary Parrish, who is a radio host in afternoon drive-time for 92.9 FM in Memphis, and he’s also a columnist for CBS Sports. The actual name on the sushi menu is the “G. Parrish Anxiety Disorder.” The roll is topped with smoked salmon, avocado, sriracha and eel sauce as shown above.

2013-01-28 19.59.38

Inside the roll is shrimp tempura, crab stick, and cream cheese. If I had to describe this roll in one word, it would be “complete.” Complete in the sense that there’s not one thing that could be added to this roll to make it better. It’s the equivalent of going to a pizza parlor and ordering the super supreme with extra cheese. There are probably more toppings you could add, but it wouldn’t improve it anymore. I’m not sure if this is the best sushi roll I’ve ever had (I’ve had some good ones at Bangkok Alley as well) but this one is in the top three. You can get the Parrish Roll for $11.

Since one sushi roll is not enough to fill up, I decided a supplement was in order. I was leaning toward the edamame, but when I saw I could get a spicy crawfish roll for the same price ($6) I went with that, using the ginger to cleanse my palate as I went back and forth from one roll to the other. Despite the sriracha, one of my favorite toppings ever, on the Parrish roll, the crawfish roll was far spicier. I like spicy, though, so it’s all good.

I ate at the bar, located to the right of the restaurant, with its own entrance. Bartender David took fantastic care of me. If I had to find something minor to gripe about, it would be that their two HTDVs weren’t showing the Grizzlies in HD. Overall, though, first-class meal. I hear Bluefin recently changed ownership and I saw no sign that it had declined in quality.

David told me the Parrish roll was one of several new ones on the menu. It was his favorite of the new items, along with the Bengal roll (shrimp tempura, jalapeño  and cucumber, topped with spicy salmon, eel sauce, sweet chili sauce, and scallions).

They had some great music playing in the bar. It was all kinds of British Invasion classics including George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord,” some Animals and Kinks live, and some American bands from the period that fit in. I asked David what Pandora station he was playing and he said he searched for “Waterloo Sunset by the Kinks.” My friends Jeffrey and the Pacemakers would have loved it.

A fine dinner. Thanks David and Bluefin.


Mon update 2: Margarita news, French cooking class Tuesday, Brass Door to show USA vs. Canada game, severe weather

Very late notice on this but Zac’s Bar and Grill, the restaurant in the Hampton Inn at Peabody Place and Third, is doing Margarita Monday. Buy one, get one on margaritas.

There’s a cooking class at Urban Workspace tomorrow night from 6 to 8. It’s called “Date Night French Bistro” and it’s a virtual visit to France with a delicious meal. Winter squash bisque, roasted tenderloin with a bordelaise sauce, and root vegetables confit. They posted about it to social media this morning. That means there are probably still seats available, even though they like to keep class size small. Visit the website for more info or to sign up, or to find out about the many other cooking classes they offer. (BBQ fans: There’s a class on Memphis BBQ sauces and dry rubs coming up in Fabruary and March.)

The Brass Door will show the USA vs. Canada soccer match tomorrow night (Tuesday) at 8. They will also have 2 for 1 fish and chips after 5, and Diamond Dave will be cooking up his famous curry.

Be careful if you get out tomorrow night, though. We could have our first severe weather event of 2013, most likely between 9 PM and 3 AM. The blog has the details.

Whew… this training at work is killing me. Today at lunch I had 35 minutes to run and get gas, make a brief blog post, and do the web updates that I normally have all day to do. I’m learning tons of good stuff though, and I certainly see the value of soaking up every minute of instructor time we can get. Home for the day, and I certainly feel that I’ve earned a beer or two. On my way to Pint Nite now.

Mon update: Startup conference moved, kids’ night at Central

Please excuse brevity and any spelling mistakes in my posts this week. On a VERY tight schedule.

The Daily News reports that the Startup Conference will move from the Peabody to the Convention Center. They need additional space. Unfortunately the training I’m going through at work will cause me to be unable to attend the conference.

Central BBQ has announced a kids’ night at its Downtown location. It will happen every Monday and Tuesday, starting at 5 PM.

That’ll do it for now, perhaps a second post after work. I’ll be at the 8:30 poker game at the Silly Goose tonight, with beers at Saucer beforehand.

Sun update: Waterfowl Symposium, Buffleheads, Pinnacle office space, Grizzlies, Blind Bear special and more

Action News 5 reports that the Ecology and Conservation of North American Waterfowl Symposium will take place today through Thursday, January 31 at the Peabody. Held at the home of the famous Peabody ducks, the conference will focus on understanding and sustaining the habitats of ducks, geese, and swans. Those of you in town for the symposium, welcome to Memphis!

Up until a couple of days ago, I would have had a question for symposium goers. Where I work in Horn Lake, we have a large pond. This time of year, anywhere from two to six mallard ducks show up to swim in our pond during the day. However, lately another bird has been showing up too. It’s about half the size of the mallards. I wondered if it was a duckling, but it didn’t have the yellow feathers that are typical of a baby. Also, this “baby” swims faster than any of the mallards – it reminds me of a motorboat as it speedily travels from one side of the pond to the other. I noticed that it has markings similar to those of a Canada goose, but it was way too small to be a goose.

Wikipedia to the rescue. The tiny, speedy swimmer is a female Bufflehead, one of the smallest of the duck species.


I hope it sticks around our pond for a while. I sure do like that Bufflehead!

The Memphis Business Journal reports that backfilling the Pinnacle Airlines office space in One Commerce Square will be a tall order. That’s true, but the building has some advantages that it didn’t have a few years ago. For one thing, the Pinnacle Airlines space on floors 2-14 was renovated into Class A office space before the airline moved in. Whoever takes over those floors is going to get some very nice space. Also, because the building was bought at a very reasonable price, the owners are able to keep the rents reasonable. They’re looking to rent a floor or two at a time, rather than find a big tenant who wants all 13 floors.

The Grizzlies have a home game at the FedExForum today. They play the New Orleans Hornets at 5 PM. Come see All-Star Zach Randolph and the rest of the team!

I wonder if the waterfowl symposium people will go out for a drink at the Silly Goose after they finish their day’s proceedings? Seems like the logical choice.

Yesterday a friend and I were hanging out at Bardog, and we relocated to the Blind Bear right as it opened at 3 PM. “Do you want appetizers? Better order them now!” bartender Amanda exclaimed. I looked at the TV and saw that there was :06 left in the Tiger game. The Blind Bear has half-priced appetizers during all Grizzlies and Tiger games (special starts one hour before tip-off). I hurriedly ordered a sausage and cheese plate, barely beating the buzzer. I got a huge plate of smoked sausage, three kinds of cheese, pickle spears, honey mustard and fruit for $3.50. One of Downtown’s best deals!

Looks like the “Rule of 60” will apply this Sunday Fun Day: If at any point in the day, the temperature is expected to reach 60, I wear shorts. It’s a good rule. As usual, I’ll kick it off with mimosas at the Majestic at 11. Since Blind Bear has reverted to its 3 PM opening time, I’ll probably make the Flying Saucer my bar of choice from noon to 3.

A quick reminder that my lunchtime post schedule will be interrupted Monday-Thursday because I’ll be in training with a short lunch break. I’ll find alternate times to post. All right, that’ll wrap it up, happy Sunday Fun Day.