Sat update: Crawfish pepper jack mac & cheese, GameDay ticket special, GiveCamp Memphis, how cold before homeless get shelter?, Romanian Olympians

Last night I stopped by the Blind Bear about 9:00 for a PBR or two. After bringing me a can, Colin who was bartending asked if I’d like to see the “new, new menu.” “There’s another new one?” I asked. The “old, new menu” was only about a month old. Colin brought it to me. For right now it’s just a printed menu on a clipboard. They haven’t had time to insert it into the covers yet. “It’s two pages,” Colin told me, with the appetizers on page one and the entrees and desserts on page two.

I saw that the pepper jack mac & cheese was now prominently featured on the “Hotsy-Totsy” (appetizer) section of the menu. I was pleased to see it, because before it hadn’t been on the menu at all and you had to know to ask for it. A lot of people likely missed out on one of the best sides/apps in Downtown Memphis because of that.

Then I turned to page two, “The Great Gatsby” (entrees). Several of the dishes I had covered in my recent Paul’s PBR Review of the Blind Bear were gone. However, a new one appeared that I was delighted to see: Crawfish pepper jack mac & cheese! Two of my favorite foods, combined into one bowl. I have had crawfish mac & cheese a couple of times in my life, but it has never been on a menu of a restaurant I go to regularly. I ordered it immediately. “It’s a big bowl,” Colin told me.


Colin was right. It was a sizable bowl of the Bear’s signature pepper jack mac & cheese, with not only crawfish tails but asparagus as well. The asparagus added a nice touch to the dish and made me feel like I was making at least a little effort to get a serving of green vegetables in for the day. There was plenty of meat and it seemed like I had a crawfish tail in just about every bite. Despite having skipped lunch, there was enough of the mac & cheese that I could not finish it all.

Later in the evening, Jeannette, another of the owner-operators, came over and asked if I had seen the new menu. She mentioned that it is “a menu in transition” so if the crawfish mac looks like something you want to try, better do it soon. Personally, I hope it sticks around for the long haul. Not sure what’s going on with the menu. I didn’t ask last night because the place got super busy after Wicked let out. As soon as I can find out what’s going on (and the Bear is OK with me posting it) I will have an update.

In other news, the FedExForum is offering a GameDay ticket special for remaining tickets to the Memphis-Gonzaga game at 8 tonight. All remaining Terrace Level tickets will be on sale at a special rate of $25. You have to go to the arena’s box office to purchase them. It opens at noon today, but if you want tickets you better get there early and get in line: There are only a few hundred left. Don’t forget to turn on ESPN for GameDay coverage in Memphis beginning at 11 AM and going all day. Word is that the Peabody ducks will make an appearance.

Today is the first day of GiveCamp Memphis, where programmers, techies, marketers, and creatives come together for a weekend to help area charities with their needs. You can follow @GiveCampMemphis on Twitter to keep up with their activities today and tomorrow. The event is being held at CoWork Memphis.

Interesting map: How cold does it have to get before cities are required to shelter the homeless? Depends on where you are.

I didn’t watch the Olympics opening ceremony but I was told that the flag-bearer for Romania was pretty hot. Here’s a pic. I hate it that there are no Romanian gymnasts at the Winter Games. Catalina Ponor from the 2012 Romanian gymnastics team still hasn’t responded to my marriage proposal.

The Wikipedia article of the day is about Gertie the Dinosaur, a 1914 film. Several men visit a museum and see a dinosaur skeleton. One of the men claims he can bring the extinct “dinosaurus” back to life in the form of a cartoon. It isn’t the most interesting film in the world, but it’s a look at what cartoons were like in the very early days. The film is said to have inspired Walt Disney and other animators. You can watch it online on Wikipedia’s page.

That’s the news for now. As usual I will lead off at Bardog at 11, where hopefully they will have GameDay in Memphis on a TV.