Sat update: Chili mac, Union Mission in need, Rajun Cajun Crawfish Fest, Grizzlies Monday watch parties, and an “only in Memphis” story

Several months ago, I wandered into the Blind Bear around 11 PM for Paul’s Drunkass Food to go. Since day one I’ve been a huge fan of their pepper jack mac & cheese. They had recently added beef Hibernation Chili to the menu. “Hmmm,” I thought. “What if I got a cup of Hibernation chili and a cup of pepper jack mac & cheese, and mixed them in a bowl to make chili mac?” I did it, and it was delicious. I blogged about it, and other people started ordering it. So last night, I was in the Blind Bear, and Jeannette showed me a copy of the new menu. The chili mac is officially a menu item now! How cool is that? I’ve never invented a dish at a restaurant before. If you don’t like the pepper jack mac & cheese, you can get chili mac made with white cheddar mac & cheese instead.

The Memphis Union Mission has posted that they are in critical need of certain items to hand out, including toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, and socks. Socks can be new or gently used (please, no gently used toothbrushes though). You can drop them off at 383 Poplar, just east of Danny Thomas, at any time. This is a much more effective way to help those in need than giving money to panhandlers on the street.

Tomorrow is Rajun Cajun Crawfish Fest, sponsored by City Auto. Of all Memphis’ crawfish festivals, this is the best one. It’s along Wagner Street and Riverside Drive from Union to Beale. Even if you don’t eat crawfish, there’s plenty else to do. There’s a gumbo cookoff, three bands including local favorite FreeWorld, food trucks, crawfish races, and my personal favorite… bobbing for crawfish. Yep, people put their hands behind their back and try to pull out as many live crawfish with their teeth as they can within a certain time period. Of course, the crawfish come equipped with pinchers and are allowed to fight back… and fight back they do. Everyone should see it at least once.

If you do eat crawfish, there will be a stand selling them by the bucket. Of course, there will be ice cold beer sold as well, to wash your crawfish down. Pro tip: Get there early (before 12:30 if possible) before the lines get super long. Proceeds from the festival benefit Porter-Leath, one of Memphis’ finest charities.

Look for me there; I’ll be at the festival from a few minutes after the noon opening time until at least 5 PM, and maybe until it’s over at 6. Administrative note: When I say I will be at the festival, I will be physically AT THE FESTIVAL, not on a rooftop nearby looking at the festival. Some of my friends do that but I just don’t get the point. I want to be out, walking around, where I can see people and talk to them.

The Grizzlies have announced four official watch parties for Monday’s 9:30 Game 2 vs. the L.A. Clippers:

Downtown: The Flying Saucer
Midtown: Bar Louie
Cordova: Buffalo Wild Wings on Highway 64
Collierville: Booyah’s

Of course, I recommend the Saucer! I will be there, at least for the first two quarters. Third and fourth quarter are dependent on how much recovery sleep I need after the weekend.

Only in Memphis: Woman causes $14,000 in damage to a Memphis restaurant when they won’t let her return a three-day-old burger for a refund.

That’s it for now. Congratulations to my friends Frank and Laura who are getting married this afternoon.