Tuesday update

Online sign-ups for two events at the Bardog alley party… er, Monroe Fest, are happening right now. You can sign up to get in the dunk tank and have people pay to throw balls to dunk you, with the proceeds going to St. Jude.

Or, you can sign up for the meatball eating contest. Whoever eats the most of Aldo’s grandma’s meatballs in a period of time gets a meatball eating championship belt similar to the belt awarded to the winner of the Nathan’s hot dog eating contest in New York. Space is limited, so sign up early, and be sure to let them know your T-shirt size in the comments.

There was a food fight at the Madison recently. No, not a school cafeteria-type food fight. Three chefs, including the executive chef at eighty3, faced off in a battle of South vs. North vs. West. The winning dishes will be featured on an upcoming menu at eighty3.

The Grizzlies have announced dates for their regional caravan tour featuring Tony Allen and several other players. The Downtown date is August 31 at AutoZone Park.

Meekies Munchies will open this weekend at 488 S. Second.

That’s it for now. Time to head to work. Possibly another post later today.

“It’s time for you to expand your horizons”

Yesterday I led off at the Memphis Farmers Market, and as usual I hit the So Fresh juice truck for a smoothie. I ordered my usual Berry 4 Ever, but the guy in the truck said, “Okay. We’ve got to wean you off the Berry 4 Ever. It’s time for you to expand your horizons. Do you like coconut?”

“Sure, who doesn’t like coconut?” I replied.

“You need to try the Coco Fusion. That’s the stuff, right there,” he told me.

“There’s no kale in it, is there?” I asked. “Because I’m not drinking kale.”

He said no, and I changed my order to the Coco Fusion. It was good! I was a little surprised when a strand of coconut came up my straw, but hey, it’s a sign they use real ingredients. You can “Like” the So Fresh truck on Facebook to keep up with its whereabouts.

I still miss the tandoori truck, though.

Today is Streetdog Day at the High Cotton Brewery at 598 Monroe. It’s a fundraiser for the Streetdog Foundation from noon to 6, with $3.50 pints and you are welcome to bring the pups as long as they are friendly to humans and other dogs. Silent auction, food trucks.

Great article from Smart City Memphis: Closing out the Morris era. Paul Morris has run DMC for the past several years and Downtown is a better place because of him. In his years as leader we have seen the Tennessee Brewery saved, One Commerce Square saved, the redevelopment of the Chisca, growth of Main Street as a restaurant and entertainment district, and much, much more. Paul will be joining his family business at the end of the year. He was once my across-the-hall neighbor in 10 Main and I am proud to know him.

The final table in the 16-week Blind Bear poker league is tonight. I haven’t been playing lately but most of the people who made the cut are my friends. I will try to be there to watch. Best of luck to all.

WTF: Anakin is one of the top 1000 baby names. Anakin is the birth name of Darth Vader. That’s almost as stupid as naming a kid Cadillac or Lexus.

Riverfront Grille at Beale Street Landing is hosting Dancing on the Docks Tuesday evening. The folks from Rumba Room will be there to give salsa lessons, and there will be tequila specials and a live DJ.

All right, that’ll do it for now. My plan for the day is D-RANKS with B-RAD at the Blind Bear, then later in the day I will go see Christina at the Flying Saucer. The past couple of days I have hit the south side to support a friend who started a new job, but today I will most likely keep my activity in the Downtown core.

Friday update

The people that ran Brewery Revival at the Tennessee Brewery last spring will make a comeback this fall. Beginning October 1, a similar pop-up concept will happen in Station 3: The Memphis Firehaus. That’s the old fire station at Third and Dr. MLK Jr. Ave (had to correct myself – still called it Linden there for a moment) that if you are a very old-school Downtowner, you remember as Have a Nice Day Cafe from 2001ish (man I miss that place). Open October-November, with craft beer from local and regional breweries, food trucks, and live entertainment. As with the brewery, Station 3 will be open Thursday-Sunday, plus special event days including Tiger and Grizzly game days.

“Baked to Perfection” is the theme of this week’s Memphis Farmers Market. I have said all along that the Market is so much more than fresh produce. Several vendors sell freshly baked breads. UT Extension agent Sheryl Miller will lead a cooking demo at 9:30, 10:30, and 11:30, making sweet potato pancakes. There will be a Foodsaver sealing demo with Carolyn Dodson King from Dodson Farm at 10:30. Live music by Bruce Barham 8:30-10. 7 AM to 1 PM, at the pavilion at Front and G.E. Patterson, every Saturday, in past years through October but according to the Market’s e-newsletter, through November 21 this year.

Raymond James will have a fundraiser in Court Square today beginning at 3 to benefit Komen Race for the Cure Mid-South. Food trucks, complimentary pink lemonade, and carinval activities. Most importantly, there will be a dunk tank where you can buy balls to try and dunk well-known Memphians, including Paul Morris who runs DMC. More info here.

There will be a Matt Carpenter bobblehead Giveaway tonight at AutoZone Park. The first 1500 fans will get a bobblehead of the St. Louis Cardinals third baseman, a former Memphis Redbird. Opponent is the El Paso Chihuahuas and the first pitch is 7:05. Gates open at 5 with a block party in the courtyard.

The Grizzlies are having an open house, pick-your seat day at FedExForum tomorrow 12-2. First 200 in the door get Clipp… er, Grizzlies flip-flops. Free parking in the Toyota Parking Garage.

There’s an SEC kick-off party tomorrow at Double J, a fundraiser benefitting the Humane Society. $10 donation gets you three drink tickets. There will be a silent auction, tailgating, and a cornhole tournament. More info here.

All right. Time for work. Possibly back with a second update later today.

Breakaway-Bardog 5K and Monroe Festival Sunday, August 30

For the past six years, Bardog Tavern has thrown itself an alley party to celebrate its birthday while raising money for St. Jude. This year they are taking it to a whole new level. Sunday, August 30 will be the Monroe Festival with Monroe blocked from midnight to 7 PM. This year Bardog has some new partners for the party: Felicia Suzanne’s and McEwen’s on Monroe. Also back are Eagle Distributing, Breakaway Running, Classic Party Rentals, Fireball, Gossett Motors, Jameson, and Rentrop Geater. The event is a fundraiser for St. Jude that raised over $31,000 last year, and I have no doubt Aldo has plans to top that number. St. Jude has saved thousands from childhood cancer and there is never a bill.

The party gets started with the Breakaway-Bardog 5K at 9 in the morning. The race will be chip-timed and all participants will get a T-shirt and goody bag. Register online, at Breakaway Running, or at Bardog in advance for $30, or join the run the day of for $35.

Following the run is one of the best street festivals of the fall Downtown season. There will be a beer/liquor tasting, and you can get an all-day pass for $25. This is a great deal if you plan on sticking around all day as I usually do. There will be a dunk tank where you can dunk your favorite Bardog servers and regulars. You can win some awesome prizes in a raffle. There will be a contest to see who can eat the most of Aldo’s grandma’s famous meatballs; sign-up is currently going on at Bardog and spots are open.

Server Lauren “LD” Dunn will have her head shaved if $10,000 is raised for St. Jude. Fundraising has already begun and you can drop off donations at the bar or give them to Lauren personally. If you donate $100 or more, you can get your name on the “Baller Board” at Bardog. Two BBQ teams, the Moody Ques and Squeal Street, are represented by members on the baller board. One BBQ team that won a trophy in 2015, the Moody Ques, is represented by a member on the baller board.

Apologies for the lack of posts this week. Back now, all should be good. Expect a Friday Update post sometime tomorrow.

Sinners for Saints, MFM@TEN, vegan mac&cheese: Monday news

Two legendary Halloween parties are combining into one this year for a good cause. The past couple of years, the week before Halloween weekend a party called Nightmare on Main Street happened in the back room of Earnestine & Hazel’s. Then, the week of, the South Main Dirty Dozen Halloween party was at E&H. Both were famous for Jello shots and bad behavior. This year, they are combining into one at a larger venue. The Sinners for Saints Halloween Ball will take place on October 31, 9-3 AM, at Stop 345. Lord T and Eloise, DJ Witnesse and Lil’ Egg Roll will provide the music. Open bar with liquor, beer, wine, and Hipner’s famous Jello shots. Light appetizers will be provided. This is a fundraiser to benefit the Church Health Center.

I like it. Every year I sit around trying to figure out what I am going to do for Halloween. This year, my plans are made. I can’t imagine being anywhere else. Now I just have to come up with a costume. Last year I dressed as Ickey Woods (get some cold cuts) the Friday of Halloween weekend and a cougar on Sunday. I don’t know how I can top that.

Can you believe this is the TENTH year the Memphis Farmers Market has been in business? The Market is having a celebration called MFM@TEN at the Tennessee Brewery Sunday, September 20. Live music by Star & Micey, food, beer, wine, auction items. As the Foursquare mayor of the Farmers Market it goes without saying that I will be there. FRESH PRODUCE!

Bianca has a review of Pink Diva Cupcakery at 936 Florida in the original DeJaVu space. Pink Diva is a vegan cupcake shop, but they have more than just cupcakes. Wednesday is Build Your Own Vegan Mac&Cheese Bowl day.

13 days until Lauren “LD” Dunn shaves her head for charity at the Bardog alley party. It’s Bardog’s 7th birthday and the folks there are celebrating by raising tens of thousands of dollars for the kids of St. Jude. They have a “baller board” you get your name on if you donate $100 or more.

2015-08-15 11.20.41

As of the time this photo was taken, the Moody Ques were the only BBQ team represented on the board. Who’s gonna step up?

I downloaded a meme generator app on my iPhone. Here’s what I came up with yesterday:

2015-08-16 15.56.14

All right. Time to do this “responsible adult” thing for 8 hours. Possibly back at lunch or after work with another post.

Memphis in May names 2016 honored country + Friday news

Shawn Danko, who owns Kooky Canuck along with his wife Lana, had his dream come true yesterday. Memphis in May made the official announcement of the honored country for 2016, and it is Canada. MiM also announced the dates next year: Music Fest April 29-May 1 (uh oh J&R), BBQ Fest May 12-14, and a new event May 28-29.

For those unfamiliar with the country, Canada is located in North America, directly north of the United States and east of Alaska. It spans from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Queen Elizabeth II is the head of state, although Canada has an autonomous government. Well-known cities in Canada include Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver. English and French are the languages spoken there. Rather than states, Canada has provinces, and it has postal codes rather than ZIP codes. The postal codes can contain letters. Famous Canadians include Pamela Anderson, Justin Bieber, and Darrin Earl. The country is known for maple syrup, smoked meat sandwiches, and poutine.

Yikes. This is going to be a tough country to figure out for our entry into Best Booth. The Moody Ques may have to actually learn how to cook if we want to bring home a trophy in 2016. *puts Orville Redenbacher’s in microwave and presses TIME COOK 5:00*

The 1974 movie Young Frankenstein plays at the Orpheum tonight at 7 as part of its Summer Classic Movie Series. Specimens for the Pink Palace’s Wicked Plants exhibit will be on display prior to the movie, and also before showtime there will be drink specials and a selfie station.

Goner Records is doing a Beale Street Takeover free concert tonight at Handy Park, Third at Beale (soon to be B.B. King Blvd. at Beale). The lineup is Toy Trucks at 6, Msr. Jeff Evans and Ross Johnson at 7, and Alicja Pop at 8.

There’s about to be a second Double J Smokehouse and Saloon location. Double J West will open in West Memphis at 2007 East Service Road in the near future.

Kooky Canuck is doing a double your dollars gift card sale August 27, at both the Downtown and the other location.

A plan has been devised to make the cobblestones along the river more accessible, while still preserving their character.

Fleet Feet Memphis will lead a free river walk tomorrow at RiverFit at Tom Lee Park, 8 AM.

Travel & Leisure has named Memphis #11 in a best beer cities list.

Twilight Sky Terrace atop the Madison will be adding local beer flights beginning September 1. For $9 you will be able to sample local beers by Wiseacre, Ghost River, and High Cotton.

All right. Time to run up to Kroger and grab a frozen dinner to eat. Frozen dinner recommendation: The Chicken Parmigana from Michael Angelo’s. This is going to be the fourth day this week I have had that for lunch. Damn good. I will be out for happy hour somewhere, have not figured out where yet, any of my “big five” are eligible although I will get scolded by Jessica if it’s not Silly Goose. A second post after work is not completely out of the question, so check back.

Bardog alley party, B.B. King Blvd., beerfest, flamethrowers and wackadoos (Thursday update #3)

The annual Bardog Tavern 5K and alley party is barely more than two weeks away. This party is a huge fundraiser for St. Jude, with multiple means of raising money: 5K registrations, a dunk tank, a raffle, a meatball-eating contest… and a head-shaving. This year, Bardog server Lauren Dunn (or “LD”) has stepped up. She says that her hair has always been her identity, one of the first things that people notice about her, so much so that she has not dyed it even once in her entire life. Now, at the alley party on August 30, she is going to shave it off for St. Jude. Amanda “Panda” Parks got her head shaved last year, and raised over $10K for the kids. Lauren is determined to top that with only 17 days to campaign for donations. Donations large and small are accepted – cash or good checks. Those who donate $100 or more will get their name on Bardog’s board above the bar. LD, I will be bringing you a donation when I come in Saturday for Panda Time!

The Land Control Use Board has agreed to rename a portion of Third Street. B.B. King Boulevard will extend from Jackson on the north to Crump on the south. A very well-deserved honor for the late musician.

The sixth annual Cooper-Young Beerfest has been announced for Saturday, October 17, and tickets will go on sale September 1. You can view the list of participating brewers on the CY Beerfest website. If you love beer and want to LEARN about it, rather than seeing and being seen, this is the beer festival to attend. A beer fest that has an education booth and does not have a photographer from RSVP is my kind of festival. It’s in a large, open parking lot with plenty of room, not a cramped museum courtyard. No sheep droppings to smell as you try to drink your beer.

Thanks to Robo for making me aware of this: Flamethrowers, given up by the military, are now being sold to the public

(I mentioned flamethrowers :mrgreen: )

One of my favorite people on Twitter is Bruce VanWyngarden, publisher of the Memphis Flyer, who goes by the handle @sylamore1. A couple of days ago he tweeted this:

I couldn’t care less about the GOP race, but I had to embed this tweet just because I thought “wackadoos” was funny.

Time to go hang out with MY wackadoos at happy hour. Silly Goose is first up.

Cerrito trivia note, new spa and more (Thursday update #2)

This is my second update of the day. There’s more Thursday news in the post before this one, so be sure to check it too.

If you’re planning on playing Harry Potter trivia at the Green Beetle tonight at 8, here’s an important announcement: Trivia host Kevin Cerrito has implemented a reservation system for tonight. Most of his trivia nights will remain first-come, first-served as they have been in the past, but due to the size of the crowd that showed up for trivia last night at Tamp & Tap, he is using the reservation system tonight. (Edit: I have been informed that reservations have filled up for tonight.)

The Peabody is set to open a resort-style luxury spa called Feathers Spa in mid-September. Feathers will offer spa and salon treatments including massages, body wraps, loofah scrubs, facials and facial enhancements, wax treatments, manicures and pedicures, hair styling, and make-up application. It will have high-end products from Zents and Pevnonia. Feathers will be the only spa in Tennessee to offer Pevonia skincare products. Ashiatsu Barefoot Massage will be one of the highlighted treatments, including a couples’ massage. There are jobs open at Feathers. Apply here.

The Peabody has a special offer for tonight’s rooftop party finale: $107.50 room rate for tonight only. 1-800-PEABODY for reservations. That is a heck of a deal.

To-MAY-to, To-MAH-to is the theme Saturday at the Memphis Farmers Market. The market will celebrate “maters” of all shapes and sizes. There will be a tomato tasting from 9:30 to 10:30, and you can vote for your favorite tomato among the market vendors. (Free food? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will show up.) UT Extension agent Sheryl Miller will demo how to make tomato bruschetta at 9:30, 10:30, and 11:30. Live music by Paul Waits 8:30-10, and The Zoo Girls 11-12:30. The market is located under the pavilion at Front and G.E. Patterson. 7 AM to 1 PM Saturdays.

I am either taking a break from the Farmers Market this week or going super early. The past month I have gone down there about 10, got a smoothie from the So Fresh Juice truck, and walked around and mingled. The thing is, though, the juice truck has gotten very popular, and the past two weeks there have been 15-20 minutes worth of orders ahead of me. When I’m moving around the Market I’m pretty comfortable, but when I have to stand there and wait on my order, it is HOT! By going early it will be cooler, and not as many people will be in line. If I don’t wake up in time to go early, I have no problem taking a week off.

The CA has some good information about the upcoming International Rockabilly Festival this weekend. Holly has some good info too including an interview with the festival organizer.

This keg of Arcas, a brown ale, will be on tap at tonight’s Memphis Made Brewing Co.’s pint night at Central BBQ Downtown.

Job news: BRIDGES is seeking a Bridge Builders Facilitation Specialist.

You never know, there may be a Thursday update #3 tonight, so check back after work. I’ll be out for happy hour at one of my usual spots, Silly Goose the most likely.

Thursday news

Tonight is the final Peabody rooftop party of the 2015 season, featuring Ingram Hill and special guest Karmin. $15 cover, doors open at 6, ladies free until 7. Buffet from 7-8 is included in price of admission and includes pineapple chicken with coconut rice and bok choy with lime. If you’re in VIP there is a second buffet 7-9:30 with whole roasted pig, black beans and rice, grilled pineapple slices, yucca, and mini rum cake.

Felicia Suzanne’s will not hold Tacos & Tunes tonight because they will be closed for a private event.

One of my newest blog readers has apparently been reading my old posts, because she picked up on the chicken fried steak meme that has been running for about a month on here. She sent me a text that OK Cafe is the place to get a chicken fried steak in Atlanta. I looked it up and… oh, no. It’s a COUNTRY fried steak. Not the same thing, as I recently learned. When we meet up for drinks at the Blind Bear again, we better not make it a weekday happy hour. If we do, expect some cross words from my friend Rodger. :) He was the one who educated me on the difference.

Our litigious society: I had previously mentioned that Lambert’s Cafe, Home of the Throwed Rolls, in Sikeston, MO is a great place to get a chicken fried steak. However, Lambert’s is being sued. At Lambert’s the servers throw rolls to you, or some would say, at you. The plaintiff is suing over an injury claimed to have been caused by a throwed roll.

Register for the Breakaway-Bardog 5K by tomorrow and you will have the chance to be drawn to win $25 gift cards to Bardog, Slider Inn, or Aldo’s Pizza Pies.

The field in the Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Contest has been trimmed to ten. They will compete at the Orpheum tonight at 7, and afterward the top five will be selected for tomorrow’s final, also at the Orpheum.

The full schedule for the Grizzlies 2015-16 has been released.

Congratulations to Jennifer Oswalt, current CFO of the Memphis Flyer’s parent company, on being hired as the new CFO of the Downtown Memphis Commission.

Time to head to work. Possibly back with a lunchtime post or after-work post.

Root beer can be dangerous / Wednesday news

Sometimes, when I want to be out and about, but I need to keep my wits about me, I will go to the Flying Saucer and get a pint of Abita Root Beer. It’s delicious – really, based solely on taste, I prefer it to any beer – and there’s no alcohol in it. “Root beer is always safe,” I thought.

Well, root beer is about to no longer be “always” safe. Last night I was in Max’s Sports Bar, and Max told me that Small Town Brewery is about to roll out their beers in the Memphis market. Among their selections is a root beer that Max says tastes as good as Abita’s, but is 5.9% alcohol by volume. On the walk back north I saw this poster in the Green Beetle’s window:

Photo Aug 11, 7 52 14 PM

The Redbirds return to AutoZone Park Saturday when they play Albuquerque at 6:05 PM. If you’re looking for something to do with the kids that night, this might be the thing. It will be a Superhero Night where fans are invited to come dressed up as their favorite superhero. Thanks to Cause-Play Memphis, Spider-man, Batman and others will be mingling with fans during the game. First 2000 fans get a free Redbirds-themed superhero poster, featuring Stephen Piscotty, Marco Gonzales, and Rockey Redbird. There’s a special ticket you can purchase for $19/$16 that gets you a Redbirds superhero cape as well as your seat. After the game there will be fireworks.

The MBJ has new renderings of ArtSpace Lofts, the affordable live/work space for artists that is being constructed on St. Paul Avenue in South Main.

The RiverFit workout course at Tom Lee Park will be back beginning Saturday. From 8 AM to 2 PM that day Memphis Rowing will be there with rowing machines you can use. There will also be free yoga by Delta Groove Yoga at RiverFit Saturday from 9:15-10:15. Bring a mat or towel if you want to participate.

Felicia from Felicia Suzanne’s has a video on making the best grits ever.

From Toyland: Laptop scratching post lets your cat create its own viral content

Life Is Good on the Main Street Mall will give 10% off to Elvis fans who show their Graceland ticket.

Goldcrest 51, Memphis’ original beer, now has merchandise you can purchase.

Don’t be surprised if the price goes up on some of your favorite dishes when you eat out. The price of pork belly has gone up 174% since April.

That’s it for now. I’ll be out at the usual places after work. Happy hour location undecided but leaning in the direction of Silly Goose.