Wed update: Chocolate buffet, sushi, wine dinner, new bread at Majestic, Church Health Center IT job, Waffle Shop opens and more

I don’t normally blog a lot of Valentine’s Day events, but this one sounds particularly cool. The Madison Hotel is holding “Achocolypse” from 8 to 11 PM tomorrow night. It’s a chocolate buffet with 20 custom chocolate creations. $32 per person. Call 901-333-1200 for more information.

For those who do want a complete list of Valentine’s Day events happening Downtown tomorrow, check out the event guide. Tomorrow is absolutely loaded with listings.

Lee’s famous sushi, found for years at a gas station out east, is now available Downtown at the BP on Riverside. See this Hungry Memphis post for more info. The post also has info on an upcoming Oregon wine dinner at Felicia Suzanne’s.

The Majestic Grille now has Bluff City Bakery, headed by executive chef Jason Doty, making their breads. Chef Jason used to work for the Majestic so it’s a homecoming of sorts. I’ll have to get in there and try their grilled cheese with Jason’s new bread (and BACON!!!) sometime soon.

Techies: The Church Health Center is hiring a software and database coordinator. Details here.

The Calvary Waffle Shop opens tomorrow for the Lent season and will be open Monday through Friday for lunch through March 22. There’s also a “Waffle Shop After Dark” hour from 5:15 to 6:15 PM. (Is it really dark at 5:15?)

The Valentine’s Day glass goes on sale at 7 PM at the Flying Saucer. Theme this year is “Love Swallows.”

FINALLY done with 12 days of intensive software training. It will be good to be back at my desk tomorrow. I don’t observe Lent so I’m heading out for an evening of beer and read meat, followed by a liter Mountain Dew in the morning and some Fireball this weekend.

Aldo, your grandmother has some huge balls

So, Sunday I went to the Majestic for mimosas. Then I went to the Goose for PBR. Then I went to the Saucer for Dos Equis Lager. Then I went to the Blind Bear and played poker. I came in third in poker. I didn’t remember this until Muruako, who had also played that night, messaged me on Facebook “Congrats on third in poker!” Ashley – one of my favorite bartenders ever who used to work at Brass Door – and her friend Krista – were there. Krista asked, “Paul, will you blog about me?”

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So there you go. That’s Krista on the right.

Re-read the first paragraph. You notice what I didn’t do? EAT. By then it was 10 PM Sunday night. So I went to Bardog and got the classic, spaghetti and meatballs with Caesar salad. I got it to go since I live less than a minute walk around the corner.

At 3 AM I woke up face down on my couch. I’d done a good job with the salad but I’d eaten a grand total of 3 bites of the spaghetti and meatballs. I stared at my leftovers for a minute but I’ve always heard an hour and a half is the rule before bacteria set in.

I felt really bad about the leftover food. Partly because of the “starving kids in third world countries” thing. Mostly because of the “damn after tip and PBR while waiting I spent almost 20 bucks on this meal and ate maybe a dollar worth” thing.

Tonight I went back for to-go food and made things right. I’d been in software training all day and damn I was hungry. Those Grandma’s (meat)balls from Bardog must weigh two ounces apiece. Maybe more. You are not getting shorted on protein when you order Bardog’s signature dish. I ate three out of the four and started on the fourth. Most of the spaghetti too.

Hope you have enjoyed the drunk post. One more day of training then the regular lunchtime posts will (hopefully) resume Thursday.

Special Mardi Gras menu at Kooky Canuck today

In addition to the food menu below, they also have hurricanes, hand grenades, and 34 oz. Bud Light for $3 today.

Catfish Po’Boys…$7.49
Shrimp Po’Boys….$8.99
Crawfish Po’Boys….$8.99

Louisiana Catfish or Chicken
Blackened & grilled –
Served over Cajun rice…$11.99

Crawfish Eggrolls
w\ Cajun Ranch….$7.49

Kickin’ Cajun Pasta
Your choice of seafood or
blackened chicken ….$9.99

Seafood Gumbo
Cup…$2.99 or bowl…$5.29

Bread Pudding….$6.99

Beignets ….$5.99

Mon update: Tigers, Mountain Dew, Church Health Conference, new chef at Hard Rock, play poker and get free Fireball stuff

Congratulations to the Memphis Tigers, who returned to the Top 25 this week. The Tigers are 22 in the AP poll and 25 in the coaches’ poll. Also, congrats to Geron Johnson on being named the Conference USA player of the week.

Pepsi will start producing a breakfast version of Mountain Dew. It will taste like Mountain Dew but will be made with 5 percent juice, and will have vitamins B and C.

The Church Health Center will have a Church Health Conference at the Marriott/Cook Convention Center April 4-7.  Anyone interested in addressing health or wellness issues in their church or community should consider attending. Ambassador Andrew Young will be the keynote speaker. There’s an Early Bird Special on the pricing going through February 17.

The Hard Rock Cafe has a new chef. Jay Hall has joined their team as chef and kitchen manager. He has 26 years of culinary experience and was most recently chef at Sole restaurant in the Westin.

The usual Monday night poker game happens at the Silly Goose at 8:30. Free to play. This week, they will be giving away Fireball stuff to everyone playing. I’ll be there for that after kicking it off at Pint Nite at the Saucer. The Startup Conference begins today at Cook Convention Center The Startup Conference, the world’s largest conference on the topic of startup businesses, begins today at the Cook Convention Center. It was originally scheduled for the Peabody Hotel, but it grew so large that it had to be relocated. Attendees will be treated to three days of information about how to build and grow startup businesses “everywhere else” outside Silicon Valley. Presenters will include big names like Scott Case, whose startup Priceline became a billion-dollar business. I’m also very pleased to see that they’ve made room in the schedule for 11-year-old entrepreneur Moziah Bridges, founder of Mo’s Bows here in Memphis.

I had planned to attend but cannot make it. We have consultants in town at work the next three days and rescheduling them would mess up getting our projects done by their deadlines. So I’ll have to follow the conference virtually, which can be done on Twitter by following the account @_everywhereelse and the hashtag #ee2013.

Attendees are going to the Grizzlies game vs. the Timberwolves tonight at 5, courtesy of Ubiquiti Networks, itself a startup founded by Grizzlies controlling owner Robert Pera. Afterward they’re bar-hopping on Beale. Maybe I’ll hit Beale tonight and meet some of the entrepreneurs.

To those attending, welcome to Memphis! If you have any questions about Downtown, hit me up on my Twitter account @paulryburn and I’ll try to respond as quickly as possible.

Sat update 2: Ingram Hill @ Handy Park, gourmet pizza cooking class, Project Homeless Connect needs volunteers

More news that I missed in the earlier post this morning.

Ingram Hill plays Handy Park on Beale Street tonight at 7 PM. More info here. Think I may have seen a couple of the band members earlier this week. Can’t remember where though.

There’s a cooking class on cooking gourmet pizzas tomorrow at My Urban Workspace.

Project Homeless Connect is looking for volunteers for their third annual event at Cook Convention Center. Over 40 nonprofits come together to help the homeless connect with the services they need. There will be a barber shop, help getting benefits, medical and vision screenings, help getting IDs, housing resources, legal services, employment registrations, and more. There are many different areas in which they need volunteers. Learn how to volunteer here. The event will be Thursday, February 14, from 8 AM to 4 PM.

That’ll do it for now. Heading to Bardog for panda time.

Sat update: Mardi Gras @ Woodruff-Fontaine, St. Valentine’s Day Massacre @ Blind Bear, Juke Boogie Mixtape @ CSF, Slave Haven Museum exhibits, sushi news

We’ve got a couple of festive events happening Downtown tonight. First of all, tonight is Mardi Gras at the Woodruff-Fontaine House, one of the beautiful 19th-century mansions that line Adams Avenue. Gumbo, authentic Louisiana king cake, drinks, beads and doubloons. Masquerade/costumes are encouraged but not required. Your suggested $20 donation helps the historical preservation efforts of APTA Memphis. Party is from 7 to 11 PM.

Meanwhile, over at the Blind Bear, it’s the annual St. Valentine’s Day Massacre party. This year they’re doing it to support the Ronald McDonald House and FedEx Family House. $10 cover. Gangster and flapper attire encouraged but not required. Blackjack tournament, costume contest, dinner, dancing, silent auction. This party is also from 7 to 11 PM. If you don’t know what a “massacre” has to do with Valentine’s Day, read about it here. It was a Chicago gangland-style shooting involving “Scarface” Al Capone and his enemy Bugs Moran.

By the way… I’ve been reading about the mob on Wikipedia lately. The Chicago Outfit was more well-known, but the New York mobsters are actually much more interesting. There are characters like Lucky Luciano, the mastermind of the whole thing; the “Prime Minister of the Underworld,” Frank Costello; the ruthless and cunning Vito Genovese; the calm and collected Carlo Gambino. There have been characters in more recent times too, like “The Oddfather” Vincent “The Chin” Gigante and “The Dapper Don” John Gotti. Luciano was actually named one of the top 100 people of the 20th century by TIME Magazine, in the “business leaders” section. No kidding.

Juke Boogie Mixtape, a dance performance by SubCulture Dance Royalty, happens tonight at 7 PM on the Folklore Hall stage at the Center for Southern Folklore, 123 S. Main. Some of the most talented kids in the business will perform. Your $7 cover charge helps support the annual Memphis Music & Heritage Festival. The Center is practically next door to the Blind Bear so you could attend both this performance and the Massacre party easily.

There’s a new sushi menu at Bangkok Alley, according to one of the sushi chefs with whom I’m friends on Facebook. I need to get by there and try it soon. Bangkok Alley, being a Thai restaurant, isn’t as well known for its sushi as places like Bluefin or Sekisui, but it’s just as good.

If you’re looking to do something different for Black History Month, the Slave Haven Museum at 826 N. Second has two special exhibits starting today. The exhibits are “Tools of Slavery” and “Black Inventions.”

Thanks everyone for sticking with me this week. I was in a 5-day intensive training for some new software we’re using at work, and I was just too drained to try and do much on the blog at lunch or after work. As you can see in today’s post, I’m back.

Time for brunch with Panda Manda at Bardog at 11, then at 3 I’ll relocate to either Saucer or Bear to watch the Tigers-Southern Miss game.

Shrimp and blue crab carbonara flatbread with tempura green beans @ Bluefin

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After two weeks in class with a 30 minute lunch break, I felt the need to have something good for dinner. The Majestic Grille used to have a bar menu with tempura green beans. The bar menu went away, so I was pleased I could still get them at Bluefin.

Beans were good, although you might want to wait for them to cool down.  As for the main event, it was a carbonara flatbread. Shrimp, blue crab, mozzarella, spicy mayo, scallions, and spinach.

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A meal that filled me up, It made me aware that there’s more to Bluefin than sushi and I’ll be back soon.

Live music alert at Blind Bear tonight

There’s some very good live music happening tonight at the Blind Bear. Justin Moore and Zach Kirk will perform this evening. They’ve performed with a nationally known band with origins in Memphis. I’ve been asked not to mention the band name, but it wouldn’t be hard to do a Wikipedia search and find out.

According to the events calendar, Moore and Kirk will play from 10 to 1 tonight.

Wed update: CBBQ beer dinner, Rendezvous server retires, parks renamed, help identify an a-hole

There will be a beer and BBQ pairing dinner at Central BBQ on April 22 as part of Memphis Beer Week from the 21st-27th of that month. More details click here.

Best wishes to Mr. Jack Dyson, who is retiring as a server at Rendezvous after 48 years.

Three Downtown Memphis parks got renamed this week to disconnect from their Confederate roots. Details here.

Kris who owns The Warehouse is one of Downtown’s nicest people. See if you recognize the asshole who destroyed two concrete planters in front of his home Sunday between 1:30 and 2 AM.

Sorry for the abbreviated format but I’m still in software training during the work week. Enjoying a steak stick dinner from Huey’s Downtown, then bed.