Tuesday update 2: Agreement on 107 S. Main, Max hiring bartenders, Bleu and more news

In a rush this afternoon. Apologies if typos.

An agreement has been reached by the DMC and 107 S. Main owner Allan Long for repairs to the building that will prevent a further collapse and reduce danger to neighbors and passersby. The MBJ reports that the building is said to be under contract to be sold to an unknown party.

Also from the MBJ: More than 1 million people have visited The Pyramid since Bass Pro opened in April.

Moody Ques members: If you haven’t already RSVP’d for Saturday’s cookout, please do so at moodyques@gmail.com. We are hoping that all team members who do not have plans will come out, because we are counting on the requested $20 donations funding our entries to the Al Chymia BBQ contest, Best Memphis Burger Fest, and Art of Q. Once again, the cookout is 7-10 PM Saturday, August 8 at 444 Monroe.

By the way, head cook Frank received notification today that the Moody Ques are CONFIRMED for Best Memphis Burger Fest.

Max’s Sports Bar is hiring bartenders to staff up for football season and has several shifts available. Come by the bar for more information or to apply. My friends who have worked for Max have all agreed that he is a great boss, and the crowd is super friendly and mostly regulars.

A $900 million vision for a revamped Convention Center has been presented. CVB president Kevin Kane says the revamped center would have the “wow factor” of Nashville’s Music City Center. The Daily News has more on the plans which include construction all the way west to Riverside over a 10-year period.

Tuesday is usually a slow day for events happening, but here’s one you can put on your weekly calendar: Every Tuesday from 4 to 7 Bleu has Tuesday Tasting & Tapas. You get three 1-ounce servings of wine and three 1/2-ounce servings of liquor paired with bites.

Speaking of Bleu, chef Ana Gonzalez was on Live at 9 this week on WREG, and demonstrated how to make summer gazpacho with jumbo lump crab salad. Yum!

Jill Scott plays the Orpheum tonight at 7:30.

Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade will be the free Tuesday movie being shown on the big screen at Beale Street Landing at 8:30.

It’s going to be a hot walk to National Night Out, but I want to get down there and say thank you to some police officers and hopefully get some Jack Pirtle’s before they run out. I will probably walk over to Max’s Sports Bar when it gets too hot to be at the Farmers Market pavilion anymore, then Bardog at 9 for the spelling bee. Last night before I’m on call for my company’s summer national tournament, so I better make the most of it.

Farmers Market question, and Memphis needs a Cotton Patch Cafe

Got a question for any of my readers who can answer: Can you buy vegan cheeses at the Memphis Farmers Market? Email paul@paulryburn.com if you know the answer. I ask because I was talking to a vegan friend last night at Bardog, and she asked about the market. She has never been there. She asked if they have fresh produce at reasonable prices, which of course they do. “There’s so much more than fresh produce,” I told her. “I go most every week. There’s cheeses and breads and hot sauces and food trucks and live music and chef demos. And locally-grown meat, although you probably wouldn’t be interested in that.” I know the market pretty well but the vegan cheese question has me stumped. I suspect they may not have it, since vegan cheese wouldn’t be grown on a farm.

Then my friend told me she had a half-off Papa John’s coupon. I’m trying to figure out what exactly a vegan orders from Papa John’s,

From there I bounced over to the Blind Bear, where my friend Roger from Texas was at the bar. He had read that I have been entrusted with my BBQ team vice-president’s first chicken fried steak experience. “I’ve been to all but one of the places you’re considering. Of the places you mentioned, I have to think Double J would be the best bet. But if you want a real chicken fried steak, you need to go to Texas.” He told me about a restaurant chain called Cotton Patch Cafe that has a Monday night 3-to-close chicken fried steak special for $7.99. He pulled up a photo on his phone. “Now that is a fine-looking chicken fried steak,” he said, and I had to agree.I joked that maybe I should get a bunch of guys together and rent a bus and go on a chicken fried steak tour of Texas. “If you go, let me know,” he replied. “I’m in.”

In other food news, last night I learned that there is a diner in Corinth, Mississippi that serves pork brains and eggs.

Come down to the Farmers Market pavilion tonight and thank a police office for putting his or her life on the line every day to protect all of us (a fact that was sadly demonstrated over the weekend – rest in peace, Office Bolton). National Night Out is from 6 to 8 tonight, and you can learn how you can work with police to make their job of keeping us safe easier, and in return help the police do a better job of protecting you. There will be yummy food and live music.

I will be at National Night Out, then the spelling bee at Bardog at 9, and if time permits perhaps a visit to Max’s Sports Bar in between. I’m not participating in the spelling bee but I have seen the cast of characters that have entered, and I can tell you it is going to be quite a night. Time to go to work. Possibly back at lunch or after work with another post.

Monday update 2: Harbor of Health reopens, plus more news

The MBJ reports that Harbor of Health on Mud Island, which closed four months ago after losing its only doctor, has reopened under the Regional One Health banner and now has a nurse practitioner, with a doctor soon to be selected. I liked that little clinic. When I got hired at a previous job for Memphis City Schools, I went there for my pre-employment physical.

The monthly South Main Association meeting happens Tuesday, August 11, at Stock&Belle, 387 South Main. A representative from the Memphis Police Department will speak on how not to be a victim of crime, offering tips and answering audience questions. There will appetizers compliments of SMA. Free for members, $10 for guests. Staying safe from crime has been a heavily discussed topic on the south side lately, making this a meeting worth attending even for non-members.

Stock&Belle has added 387 Pantry, with kitchen staples, gourmet delicacies and exclusive local offerings from Dr. Beans Coffee and Hanna Farm. I’m sure South Mainers will be happy about this new grocery shopping option in their ‘hood.

Donations will be taken for murdered MPD officer Sean Bolton at National Night Out tomorrow at the Farmers Market pavilion.

Newly launched in Memphis: Beer from Tallgrass Brewing Co. based in Manhattan, Kansas.

Following the passing of “Rowdy” Roddy Piper last week, there is more bad news for wrestling fans: His on-screen nemesis Jimmy “Superfly” Snuka has been diagnosed with stomach cancer.

The Hungry Memphis blog announced Guess Where I’m Eating Contest 74 today. Man, that place sure looks familiar.

Bardog tweeted that the health inspector was there this afternoon. 99 in both bars and 95 in the kitchen. Not surprised. Aldo runs a tight ship.

… and I’m headed there right now. Melissa Monday at Bardog followed by librarian glasses at Blind Bear.

Monday update

LOL last night about 8:30 I was informed that I made someone’s Facebook timeline! And you have no idea what a rare photo you got of me! I never wear hats but decided to take the PBR trucker cap Bardog executive chef John Haley got for me out to brunch. I guess I’m supposed to be mad about the photo but instead I find it funny. I own my behavior and am capable of laughing at myself. Welcome to Memphis dude. I suspect you have been given a wildly inaccurate and irrational viewpoint of who I am. Come back to the Blind Bear sometime and I’ll buy ya a beer. I’m there on days that end in y.

It’s a sweltering Monday in the dog days of summer and there isn’t a whole lot of news, but I will do the best I can with this post. One news item I do have is that it may cost more to stay in a hotel in Memphis soon. The city is considering raising the hotel tax to upgrade the Cook Convention Center. More conventions would mean more hotel rooms booked, so the tax would more or less pay for itself.

Looks like there’s going to be some good food at National Night Out tomorrow at the Farmers Market pavilion. Here are a list of sponsors who have donated food and drink: High Cotton Brewery, The New Cork Screw, The Arcade, Aldo’s Pizza Pies, The Majestic Grille. Double J Saloon, Maggie Moo’s, Jack Pirtle’s, Westy’s, Rizzo’s, and CafĂ© Pontotoc. It will be weird being at the Farmers Market without any fresh produce there, but Mayor Paul will be there nonetheless.

From Thrillist: 15 actually great Memphis dates under $20

The Salty Dogs running group has their weekly run at Bardog tonight at 7. If you’re a runner it is a great way to make some new friends. Or if you want to sit with me at the bar and drink a PBR and watch the runners take off, you can do that too.

The African American Association of Museums Conference is at the Peabody this week Tuesday through Friday. Events happening at the conference include speakers, tours, and workshops.

From Kinja Deals: Run a fancy cocktail bar at home with cheap spherical ice molds

Blind Bear regulars Rahul and Tony and bartender B-RAD are doing a weight loss challenge. I hear Rahul and Tony kicked off the challenge in style with milkshakes at Oshi. That’s the way to do it, guys! One straw? Maybe the two of you would go for a sip of milkshake at the same time, and your faces would touch, and… mmmmm, there’s just no telling what might happen next.

Outta here for now, with another possible news post after work. I’ll kick things off at Melissa Monday at Bardog about 5:30, then over to the Blind Bear at 7:30.

I get to pop a dude’s chicken fried steak cherry. Where should I take him?

Chicken fried steak has been a running meme on my blog for most of the past month. The reason why is that several weeks ago, the cooks at the Blind Bear gave my BBQ team vice-president Clay a sample of biscuits and gravy, with the white cream gravy. Clay commented that it was really good, that he had never had white gravy before. “You’ve never had white gravy on a chicken fried steak?” he was asked, and he said no, he’d never had a chicken fried steak in his life. We were all stunned that someone who had lived in the South all of his life, and even lived in Texas for a while, had never had a chicken fried steak.

So yesterday, we were at D-RANKS with B-RAD at Blind Bear, and Clay told me he had made a decision: “Pauly, when I have my first chicken fried steak, I am going to have it with you. You just tell me when and where.” All of the sudden, tremendous responsibility has been placed on my shoulders. I am responsible for another person’s first chicken fried steak experience. I put “who has a good chicken fried steak?” on Facebook, noting that I would be willing to travel outside of Downtown if needed. Here are the responses I got:

  • Bon Ton Cafe
  • Miss Polly’s
  • Blue Monkey
  • Double J (I don’t see it on the menu but Jeff himself told me they had it)
  • Dixie Cafe in East Memphis
  • Road trip to Lambert’s in Sikeston, MO

Where to go? Bon Ton is open for breakfast and lunch only, so if that is the chosen location I will likely have to take a vacation day. If it’s Lambert’s Clay and I will need to borrow a car; my little Saturn will roll over to 200,000 miles this week and I try not to take it on road trips without a very good reason. If you have a suggestion for any of the places above, or if I left an option out, shoot me an email at paul@paulryburn.com. Also, if any of the places above do not use fried chicken batter, do not use white gravy, or do not serve mashed potatoes, let me know and I will strike them from the list.

Alert for Midtowners: Jumper Cable Guy has been seen in the vicinity of Slider Inn the past week. Jumper Cable Guy is a scammer who claims that his truck won’t start, and he needs to borrow your jumper cables. When you show them to him, he will say that your jumper cables are not industrial-strength enough to start his truck, and he will ask you for money so he can go buy the jumper cables he needs. He scammed people in the Downtown core and South Main by the Civil Rights Museum for years.

The Memphis Farmers Market was packed yesterday. After two weeks of disgustingly hot weather, it was pleasant outside and lots of people came by to shop. It was so crowded that I waited 20 minutes for a smoothie from the So Fresh juice truck! They were not slacking either; it’s just that a LOT of people were ordering smoothies. I got my usual Berry 4 Ever. While waiting on my order I read the menu, which includes juices as well as smoothies. There’s a juice called “The Green One” which is a blend of cucumber, Granny Smith apple, spinach, and kale. YUCK! Who in their right mind would drink that shit?

Listening to John Lennon’s greatest hits album as I type this. “Working Class Hero” was omitted. WTF?

So, as I said earlier in this post, I went to Blind Bear yesterday for a special Saturday edition of D-RANKS with B-RAD. I didn’t call the bar and ask B-RAD who all was up there; I just came up. (Calling the bar and asking who all is there is known as “pulling a Woodson” at another local establishment.) Fellow regulars Nate, Rahul, and Tony, along with B-RAD, played the “fuck, marry, kill” game. In one of the games I was put in the unfortunate position of having to kill my favorite pair of librarian glasses! I felt horrible about that.

That’s the news for now (it’s debatable whether there was any actual news in this post). I will be at the regular Sunday edition of D-RANKS with B-RAD at Blind Bear at 11. B-RAD, your bar can be a scary place – a blogger might wave at me and say hi, or even worse, attempt to start a conversation with me. I better bring backup.





Saturday update

d-rankswithb-radLast night I led off at happy hour at the Silly Goose, then walked over to the Blind Bear to see what was going on over there. Jeannette was serving, and she gave me some news. “You know B-RAD is bartending brunch tomorrow, right?” I had no idea. “Yep. It’s B-RAD behind the bar for brunch all weekend.” How strange is it that I am excited that a dude is picking up a shift from a hot girl in librarian glasses and pink shorts? Misplaced priorities.

There’s a Beatles cartoon art show happening 11-5 today at Art Village Gallery. It features the work of Ron Campbell, who was the animator of the 1965-69 Beatles cartoon series and of the film Yellow Submarine. Art Village Gallery is located at 410 South Main.

Menopause the Musical runs today and tomorrow at the Orpheum. It’s about four women who have nothing in common but a black lace bra and memory loss, hot flashes, night sweats, not enough sex, and too much sex. Yeah I think I will pass on attending this show. I bet Sunday brunch at the Majestic will be crawling with cougars tomorrow morning.

Brides-to-be (of whom I know several right now): There’s a Pink Bridal Show tomorrow at the Cook Convention Center tomorrow starting at 11. Memphis’ most elite group of wedding professionals will all be together under one roof, and there will be giveaways, fashion shows, gown sales and more. Two events in a row in my blog that I have absolutely no interest in attending. I hope I never, ever have the need to attend a bridal show.

The intersection of Third and Court will be closed for a while today for Quarry filming. The other filming locations today are in South Memphis. Tomorrow will be the big day for street closures in the Downtown core.

Trivia players, beware: There is talk of our legendary trivia team, which dominated the Saucer 2005-11, re-forming permanently Wednesday nights at the Blind Bear. We played Tuesday and came in second.

You get extra points at trivia for coming up with best team name. In all the years that I have played trivia I have never been on a team that won best team name. It’s too bad they don’t give extra points for the team with the closest guess of number of minutes after the posted 8:00 start time Charles will actually start trivia.

If you’re looking for things to do today, how about voting in the Memphis Flyer’s Best Of Memphis 2015 poll? If you want to vote for this blog, type paulryburn.com/blog in the Best Blog box.

Time to head to the Farmers Market. If my blog finishes in the top three, I get invited to the epic Best Of winners’ party the Flyer throws every year. B-RAD gave me a tip that the Farmers Market would be a great place to find a date to the party. I will be performing my hit single “Farmer’s Market Boogie” all weekend long, upon request. The humidity has been pushed south and it’s time to get outside and enjoy this beautiful day!