Tue update: Nikki’s Hot Ass news, Kooky beer specials for AAC, Calvary Lenten series, Yazoo @ Aldo’s Thursday, eighty3 St. Pat’s specials

A few months ago, I blogged about Nikki’s Hot Ass Chips, super-hot potato chips that I bought at City Market. I own a bottle of Nikki’s Hot Ass Seasoning too. This past weekend, the Nikki’s Hot Ass folks saw my blog and sent me an email. They are planning to roll out Bloody Mary mix (both with and without vodka) this summer. Can’t wait to try that!

Kooky Canuck will have 34 oz. AAC tournament fun Wednesday and Thursday. 34-ounce mugs of Bud Light and Labatt Blue will be only $3 those days.

By the way, welcome to all of you who are here from out of town to enjoy the AAC tournament! If I can answer any questions for you, shoot me an email at paul@paulryburn.com.

Good article in the Daily News about the Calvary Lenten series and Waffle Shop. The church is said to be one of only three daily preaching series during Lent in the country. Keeping up with technology, they now stream and archive the daily sermons for those who can’t make it Downtown.

Yazoo cellar man Ivan Chester will be at Aldo’s Pizza Pies Thursday at 6 PM to tap a keg of they brewery’s Spring Helles Bock.

eighty3 has the following St. Patrick’s Day specials for March 14-17:

Breakfast – Green mint chocolate chip pancakes $8
Soup of the Week (beginning March 10)– Guinness Irish Stew $6
Lunch – Old school reuben with Irish homemade chips $11
Dinner Sharable – Green deviled eggs and ham $7
Dinner Feature – Grilled lamb sirloin with Irish braised green beans and potato spaetzle $32

The Grizzlies host Portland tonight at the FedExForum at 7. With Monday Night Raw last night and the AAC tournament to come, the Forum is staying busy every night this week.

I’ll be at poker at the Blind Bear at 8. I’m getting a ton of stuff done today and really feel like I’m in a state of mind to bring my A-game to poker, so watch out. I plan on walking out of there with a $50 gift card.

Mon update: Moody Ques news, lost camera, Green Beetle coupon, WWE comes to town

The Moody Ques BBQ team had an excellent meeting at our sponsor The Blind Bear. It was a chance for members and prospective members to ask questions and offer feedback. “Is there anything you’d like to see this year? Anything we did last year that you wish we’d do differently?” we asked. Our pitmaster Chef David Scott Walker outlined the menu for each day, and took food requests. There was also ample time for members to meet each other and socialize. The Bear put out onion rings, fried mushrooms, and chicken tenders for us to snack on.

We know we had some people who couldn’t make it to the meeting, either due to schedule conflicts or because they live too far away. We want your feedback too! Email team vice-president Clay Thompson at thomcla1278@gmail.com with any questions or comments you have.

Many people brought their checkbooks and paid dues yesterday. We are now accepting both returning and new members, and it doesn’t appear to be long before we hit our cap of 40 people. Returning members who tend to wait until the last minute to pay: This is not the year to do that. Pay now. When we hit our cap we will not be admitting any more members, whether or not they were on the team last year. Go to the team website to pay. You can get a check to one of the team leaders as well, but if you do that you run the risk us hitting our cap before you pay.

A camera was lost at the Blind Bear Saturday night, in the area around the large 10-seat poker table. If anyone found it email me at paul@paulryburn.com and I will put you in touch with the owner.

There’s a Groupon for the Green Beetle going on right now. $12 for two catfish entrees or $25 worth of food.

WWE Monday Night Raw comes to the FedExForum tonight. Show starts at 7, but they always do a dark match first so you’ll want to be there by 6:30 if you’re going. Here’s a link to the official preview. Two big names will be there tonight. The Undertaker will be on the show to build toward his match with Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania, and Hulk Hogan will be there with a big announcement.

That’s all for now. I’m not attending Raw tonight but will watch the replay on the WWE Network.

Fireball the way the professionals do it

I would just like to say that it was a pleasure doing Fireball at a couple of bars today:

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Dusty (Silly Goose)

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Christina (Flying Saucer)

No amateurs here! Also, although I didn’t get a pic, it goes without saying that I had a good time at Panda’s (Bardog) bar today. Also, I had a good time at Brad’s (Blind Bear) bar today, although I had PBR only at that bar.

Taking halftime at home with pizza, then back out for the Nuh-Uh Girl’s party.

Sat update: Earnestine & Hazel’s, Riverside Drive update, Nashville/hot chicken, Fruity Pebbles chicken tenders, ping-pong playing robot

I’ll lead off today’s post with three texts I received from a friend who lives in South Bluffs last night:

Great news about Earnestine & Hazel’s

Oyster bar in the 5 Spot

Fine dining upstairs

Glad to see they’ve figured out a plan to keep E&H going. There’s part of me that hates to see it change at all from what it has been the past 20 years, but change is inevitable.

In yesterday’s post I linked to a biking blog that claimed the city of Memphis’ biking guru Kyle Wagenshutz plans to shut down all 4 lanes of Riverside Drive between Beale and Calhoun to car traffic. I have since heard from a source who has very good access to information that the info in the post is incorrect – he wants to keep two lanes open for car traffic, and the other two for bikes. He plans to contact the blogger who wrote that post and ask for a correction. I didn’t like the idea of closing all four lanes, but two? That’s a plan I could get behind. Just as long as it doesn’t affect load-in for BBQ Fest, which with all the mud in Tom Lee Park is difficult enough already.

Last year I attended a beer dinner presented by Nashville’s Yazoo Brewery, and got to sample Nashville’s signature dish, hot chicken. Here’s a Time Magazine article about how hot chicken achieved its signature dish status.

Perhaps John Cena will have some Fruity Pebbles crusted chicken tenders from Memphis Mojo Cafe when he visits Memphis Monday for Monday Night RAW.

From Sploid: This one-armed robot is better at ping-pong than you. The robot needs to play my buddy Pete, who goes around bragging that he is the ping-pong champion of the Mad Earl. Note that he doesn’t go around bragging that he is a pool champion. But hey, ping-pong, he and the robot should have a match.

Tigers vs. SMU on ESPN/ESPN2 today at 11. Grizzlies vs. Charlotte on SportSouth at 7. Both games are home games.

Plans for tonight: Keeping them to myself after the usual uninvited party guest showed up at the birthday party I posted about last Saturday. There needs to be a sequel to the movie Dumb and Dumber entitled, Dumb, Dumber, and “Well, you know…” At any rate, I’ll be at Panda’s bar at Bardog at 11 to drink PBR and watch the Tigers, then figure out the rest of the afternoon. It looks like it will be shorts and sandals weather by the time Bardog opens, so I will be happy.

Fri update: Plan to close portion of Riverside to cars, Luke Bryan, Dishcrawl to do bar crawl, Tigers game notes, social network for drunk people, Daylight Saving Time

Late getting my Friday update posted today. Our IT staff meeting at work got changed to “IT staff meeting, with pizza,” so I had a working lunch and didn’t get a chance to post.

There’s a new post on a blog called People for Bikes about plans to convert one mile of Riverside Drive into a car-free space. The closed stretch of Riverside would run from Beale to Carolina. Hmmm… that’s the route I take to work. I generally support the movement for more green spaces and bike-friendly spaces, but I’m not sure I’m in favor of this. (Edit: It appears the bike blogger may have been misinformed about closing all four lanes. See my Saturday post for an update.)

Country music artist Luke Bryan plays the FedExForum tonight at 8. I’ve been told to expect lots of Daisy Dukes and cowboy boots Downtown tonight, and there’s a chance I could spot the first tube top of the spring.

Dishcrawl is doing a Best of Bars Dishcrawl Wednesday, April 9 from 7 to 10 PM. Guests will sample food at three of Downtown’s best bars. Guests are not told which bars they will visit prior to the crawl, other than a meeting location which is emailed a day or two prior.

Really good game notes for the Memphis Tigers vs. SMU game can be found here. Game is at 11 AM Saturday at FedExForum and the Tiger seniors will be honored.

This is kinda cool: A social network that you have to be drunk to use. No kidding, you have to hook up a Breathalyzer to your phone and blow above a certain amount to be allowed to log in. Shout-out, by the way, to @amprather on Twitter for posting this. He posts a lot of really interesting links and is a good person to follow.

Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday, so it will be light outside after 7 PM. Really looking forward to that. Don’t forget to set your clocks forward one hour on Saturday night, especially if you have a 2 PM Sunday Moody Ques meeting (and don’t forget to bring your checkbook to the meeting).

Time for beer. Should be some good people-watching out tonight.

Moody Ques BBQ team meeting for current and prospective team members – Blind Bear, Sunday March 9, 2 PM

(Looking for the Thursday update news post? Scroll down)

There will be a team meeting for the Moody Ques Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest (aka BBQ Fest) team this Sunday, March 9. It will be at our sponsor, the Blind Bear, at 2 PM. Food will be provided by the Blind Bear. This is a meeting for any prospective members out there, as well as current team members. We will have information on this year’s tent, which will be decorated in honor of Memphis in May’s 2014 honored country, Panama. We have a killer design that we believe will win us Best Booth for the second straight year.

If you haven’t paid your dues online yet, bring your checkbook. By paying in person, you’ll avoid the $9-and-some-change PayPal fee that is added when you pay online. We have only had about 15 members pay so far and we budgeted for 40. Since we do not have WordPress as a title sponsor this year, we are counting on membership dues to pay for the application fee, tent materials, wrist tiks, and the various other things we need to purchase this month. Please pay as soon as possible!

We will also take down your T-shirt size and additional contact information at the meeting, to ensure that all our members have everything they need in time for BBQ Fest.

Membership fee this year is $300 for individuals and $450 for couples. Couples do not have to be married but do have to be in an established relationship.

I hope to see you Sunday. Should be a very informative meeting.

Thur update: Phoenix Club Mardi Gras party, Tigers vs. Cincy, local beer guide, 35 million free images

The Phoenix Club will have its annual Mardi Gras Party at the Cadre Building, at Second and Monroe, on Saturday, March 8. The party benefits Boys and Girls Club of Greater Memphis. Entertainment will be provided by L.A. band Mansions on the Moon with special guest Al Kapone peforming “Whoop That Trick.” There will be casino tables and professional dealers provided by Caesars, and at the end of the night you’ll be able to cash out your chips for raffles for over $10,000 worth of giveaways. There will be a photo booth and Fireball bar. If you buy a VIP ticket you can get upstairs where there will be a private premium bar, gaming tables and dealers, and Cental BBQ. Cocktail attire. Buy tickets here.

There is a big away game for the Memphis Tigers tonight at Cincinnati. It will be broadcast on ESPN at 6 Central time. A loss to Cincy won’t put the Tigers on the NCAA bubble because it wouldn’t be a “bad loss,” but a win could mean a better seed in both the American and NCAA tournaments.

The folks at the Memphis Flyer have sampled all the locally-produced beers from Memphis’ four craft breweries. They have put together an excellent guide on those beers.

Great news for those who own websites and blogs: Getty Media, the world’s largest photo library, has made 35 million images free to use.

That’s the news for now. A second post, a Moody Ques BBQ team update, is up next.

Wed update: DeJAVU and Peter Pan Groupons, new beer festival, plans for 100 N. Main

There are two Groupons going on right now that may be of interest to Downtowners. DeJAVU, the new Creole restaurant on the Main Street Mall, has three Groupon options going on for the next few days. Your options include

  • $10 for $20 worth of Creole food during lunch
  • $20 for $40 worth of Creole food during dinner, redeemable Sunday–Thursday
  • $38.50 for one appetizer, two entrees, and two desserts (up to $57 value)

Get the deal here.

There’s also a Groupon for Peter Pan performed by Ballet Memphis on April 12.

Wiseacre Brewery has announced Taste the Rarity Beer Festival, to be held on Saturday, May 10 on Broad Avenue near the brewery. I’m thrilled to see a new beer festival in Memphis – the more beer festivals the merrier, for sure. Unfortunately, that’s on a bad date for me. The 10th is load-in for BBQ Fest. As you all know, I am one of the hardest workers for my BBQ team on the day of load-in, and I have a unique set of responsibilities that day. As much as I would like to attend Taste the Rarity, I must put my team first.

The MBJ reports that renderings have been released for the combination residential-hotel plans for 100 N. Main. Also, the developers may be close to a brand for the hotel.

From Mashable: An asteroid will come closer to the Earth than the Moon this afternoon. The asteroid is about 100 feet across. A second, smaller asteroid will pass by tonight.

Look for an update on Moody Ques BBQ team plans in this space tomorrow, as well as any news that comes in.


I called my office’s inclement weather hotline this morning and they said the office would open at 10. So I turned the alarm off and went back to bed. I woke up at 9:20, which meant there was no way I would make it to Horn Lake by 10, so I grabbed my phone to text my manager that I’d be a little late. Right as I picked it up, I got a text from him. “Office closed today. See you tomorrow.” YESSSSSSSS!!!!!

So, now the question is, where to day drink? Not the Green Beetle or Central BBQ, because both of those businesses have posted that they will be closed today. Brass Door has posted that they are open, along with a pic of Seamus shoveling snow.

I do have some beer news to report: Memphis Made Brewery has teamed up with the Flying Saucer to come up with some fun events for March and April. Each Monday night in March at 7:00, a new Memphis Made beer will be tapped at the Saucer. March 3 will be Junt, a farmhouse-style ale with cumin. March 10’s beer will be Bent Note, a spring IPA. On March 17 the new beer will be Plaid Attack, a slightly smoked Scottish Ale. The 24th’s beer will be Cocoa Reverberation, a coffee stout that is a collaboration with Reverb Coffee Company.

On Thursday, April 3, the Saucer will hold a beer dinner featuring all the beers from March along with locally-sourced food. The person who gets the last pint from each of the kegs on Mondays in March will receive a free ticket to the beer dinner. Tickets will also be sold. I have said it before – beer dinners are one thing the Saucer does very well, and this will be the first-ever local beer dinner there.

If you’re one of my Moody Ques teammates and didn’t get the email, there’s a team meeting next Sunday at the Blind Bear at 2 PM. Food will be provided. If you’re coming let Clay know.

All right, folks. In this cold weather I am VERY concerned that the PBR tap at Bardog might not be working properly. I plan on checking to make sure it’s all right at various times throughout the day. I guess I better get over there.

Sat update: weather, beer dinner, basketball, why you should always order the larger pizza

Keep an eye on the weather Sunday night. Yesterday afternoon when the National Weather Service announced a Winter Storm Watch, they did not have Shelby County under it. As of this morning, we are now part of the watch. This map shows Memphis in the “significant ice accumulation” category, as of the latest forecast around 8 am Saturday. Better check whatever weather resource you prefer Monday morning before you drive in to work. My way to check the weather is to follow @memphisweather1 on Twitter. I also like the TDOT Smartmap to check road conditions. When you first load the smartmap it centers on Nashville, but you can drag Memphis to the center and then use the + key to zoom in. I like to check the “Traffic Congestion” and “Incident” boxes. If there’s an accident on my route to work, I turn on the cameras to see how bad the traffic delay is.

Local beer dinner alert: The Flyer’s Hungry Memphis blog posted a list of Mardi Gras events. Only one on the list is Downtown but it’s a good one: Local Gastropub is hosting a beer dinner with Wiseacre beers brewed locally over on Broad Avenue. It will be a 4-course meal for $35, reception at 6:30 and dinner at 7. Wiseacre beers will be paired with food you might find in New Orleans. Click the link to see the complete menu.

Doubleheader at FedExForum today: Tigers vs. Louisville at 1 and Grizzlies vs. Cleveland at 8. The MBJ reports that you better be ready to spend some cash if you want to go to the Louisville game and don’t already have a ticket. The Louisville game will be broadcast nationally on CBS. I have one bar opening to report: The Silly Goose will open early for people pre-gaming Tigers-Louisville.

Also in the MBJ: An excellent guest article by Grizzlies season ticket holder Thomas Whitehead on his experience with the Let’s Move Down app.

Around this time of year I make a prediction for the NCAA tournament, and my track record has been pretty good. So here’s this year’s prediction: The Tigers enter the NCAA tournament as a 9 seed, beat the 8 seed in overtime, then go on to play 1 seed Wichita State in the round of 32. Wichita State is a team much like the Tigers were prior to this year: Great win-loss record, but in a nothing conference full of cupcakes. I predict the Tigers will beat Wichita State to make it to the Sweet 16 for the first time under Josh Pastner.

As for the American Conference tournament, I’m not going to make a prediction on it but one note: In the tournament quarterfinals, the 3 seed plays the 6 seed and the 4 seed plays the 5 seed. There are five good teams in Conference USA. Therefore, the Tigers need to aim for the 3 seed in the tournament so that we don’t have to play a good team until the semis.

Oh, by the way, you remember Mike’s f’n run because f’n Cal won? In 2012, my friend Mike said he would run down South Main in a Speedo and a tiger hat while sipping ranch dressing out of a straw if Kentucky won the national championship. He carried out his bet and turned it into a fundraiser for Wounded Warriors. He said he’d never make that type of bet again, but Thursday night he went and ran his mouth: He said he will repeat his run if Arkansas wins the SEC tournament.

In other Memphis sports news, the Tigers baseball team is off to an 8-1 start, their best since 1994.

Remember this the next time you visit Aldo’s Pizza Pies: An engineer explains why you should always order the larger pizza

Keep an eye on the world news. Russia may take military action against Ukraine, against President Obama’s warning. I don’t think Russian president Vladimir Putin is Kim Il-Sung/Jong-Il/Jong-Un crazy, but he’s maybe about 70% of that. Which is still pretty damn crazy. And he has his hands on nuclear weapons. Not good.

I led off at the Flying Saucer last night and could definitely tell the farm & gin show was in town. Lots of camo clothing, overalls, trucker hats, flannel, work pants, boots. Don’t get me wrong, though; those are some GOOD people. I kept hearing how they treated the servers well and tipped generously. I wish all convention attendees conducted themselves with as much class as the ginners.

Starting off at Bardog at 11 as usual today. From there I will figure out where to watch the Tigers-Louisville game. I need to get by the Saucer at some point this afternoon in hopes of giving an update to one of my BBQ teammates. Tonight I will make a rare Saturday night appearance at the Silly Goose for a friend’s birthday party. Got an hour to kill before Bardog. so I guess I’ll put my WWE Network membership to good use and watch the little spinning “Loading…” icon for the next 60 minutes.