Sunday update: Where to find a Pancho’s cheese dip fountain, Hickman Building to be renovated and more

Got a question for my readers this morning. Why do kids’ activities always involve crafts? This question came to mind after I saw a post by Trolley Stop Market. St. Patrick’s Day is strongly celebrated Downtown, but there isn’t much for kids to do that shields them from the debauchery. Seeing a need they could fill, Trolley Stop stepped in and offered a kids’ night on March 17. For $5 kids get bingo, crafts, music and fun, and there will be pizza specials and dinner specials as well. If you want to participate, call the market and make a reservation, because this will fill up fast.

Let me make it clear, nothing against Trolley Stop, because this sounds like an excellent event for kids. But seriously, think about it, every kids’ event has crafts.

“Kids can build their own birdhouse while learning about the feathered friends in the trees of the Mid-South”

“Make your own turkey out of paper plates and construction paper while learning about traditions of the Pilgrims”

“Save up your empty paper towel rolls to make festive animals from the farm”

I mean, seriously, it’s time someone ran a kids’ event with something other to do than make crafts. You know what I would do if I ran a kids’ event? I would seat them all in a circle, and each kid would get a big bowl of spaghetti with three meatballs. Once every kid had been served, I would yell “FOOD FIGHT!” and get out of the way.

Maybe I can talk to the Farmers Market about doing this at one of their weekly markets this year. If the kids have to learn something while doing their activity, we can make it butternut squash spaghetti and talk about making healthy food fight choices.

Okay… before I announce this next event, let me mentally prepare you.

“Pancho’s cheese dip fountain”


Next Saturday, March 4 (isn’t it weird to think we’re only days away from March?), Wiseacre Brewing Co. will host Azazel Tour and Taco Bar from 3 to 6 PM. Learn why the names of Belgian Golden Strong often reference the devil (see, adult events can be educational too!) Wiseacre’s Azazel Belgian Golden Strong was made with limes this year, and they will celebrate with a taco bar and Pancho’s fountain. You’ll get a tour of the brewery and discuss the history and development of the Belgian Golden Strong style. Tickets are $20.

The Memphis Tigers host the Houston Cougars this afternoon at 4 at FedExForum.

Big news for Downtown: A building on Madison that has been vacant for 46 years will soon be occupied again. The nine-story, 100,000 square foot Hickman Building at 240 Madison will be repurposed into retail on the ground floor, 40 apartments on the middle floors, and office space on the upper floors. This project, along with a couple of boutique hotels not far away, will help connect the Downtown core with The Edge. Very excited to hear there will be increased activity and foot traffic in that area.

This time of year is so much fun. Yesterday we had a crew at Bardog consisting of BBQ team treasurer Misty, pitmaster Frank, vice president John D, the public relations director (that’s me!), and deputy director Perjorie T. Roll. Naturally the discussion turned to BBQ – people we would like to have on the team, sponsorship opportunities and the like. Anytime there are 2 or more members of BBQ teams (the same team or different ones) in the same place, these types of discussions are likely to happen. The BBQ Fest experience is a lot more than just a week long.

By the way – if our team treasurer gets out today, I will pay my dues. Having bought a car recently, I was going to hold off paying until April, but John D made an excellent point yesterday – board members need to be leading by example when it comes to paying dues. There are a couple of luxury purchases I had in mind but they will just have to wait a month or two. The team comes first.

My troll asked for a $4000 check for first-class jet fare to Hollywood and luxury accommodations, so she can see if DreamWorks, the creator of the movie Trolls, will sponsor the Moody Ques. This request was unanimously denied by the other team members who were present. “Will you at least mention in your blog that the movie is now out on Blu-Ray and DVD?” she asked. Okay, fine.

After Bardog we headed south to Max’s Sports Bar to check out the second crawfish boil of the season. Max has made some very nice improvements for the comfort of his guests! First of all, if you’ve ever been on the deck out back, you know that there is a large courtyard area. Max put folding tables in that area that provided 50-60 additional seats. People had plenty of room to spread out and enjoy their crawfish without bumping into the person next to them, and without people reaching over them to order drinks. That made the inside considerably less crowded, although still busy. Traffic jams in the aisle weren’t happening the way they did with the first boil. Much more comfortable.

The cold weather did not keep people away. There were as many people as the first boil, when it was 74 degrees outside.

Another thing that helped is that there was a second bar on the back deck. Mike was selling bottled beer, buckets of beers, and shots. Unfortunately he did not have PBR since they sell it on draft at Max’s, and he didn’t have draft lines so I had to go inside. There’s a shot that is the new big thing at Max’s – chocolate salty balls. People order rounds and rounds of them all day long.

Glaze the cook saw me and waved, letting me know that he had crawfish if I wanted a box. I’ve been one of his best customers, but I just wasn’t hungry enough yesterday to put away three pounds of crawfish plus all the trimmings! If they continue to do the boils every other week, it will probably be April before I get my crawfish on again. March 11 is the day of the Beale Street St. Patrick’s Day parade, and March 25 is the day of the 901 Jalapeno Popper Throwdown and possibly a BBQ team meeting next door (still trying to confirm availability of the space).

Hmmm… the next one after that would be Saturday, April 8, the day of the Overton Square Crawfish Fest. That could be a conflict for some people, but as I have said before, the crawfish being put out at Max’s are superior to any crawfish festival I have been to in years. There is no such thing as too spicy at crawfish boils. If you like your seafood not spicy, drive through McD’s and get a Filet-O-Fish combo.

Although I couldn’t handle three pounds of crawfish, I did need to eat something, so I went around the corner to visit Clarence at Earnestine & Hazel’s. I had him cook me a Soul Burger.

Love those grilled onions! I don’t get to sit at Clarence’s bar too often in the winter. Looking forward to April 1 when Memphis Farmers Market opens for the season. Once that happens I will make a regular E&H appearance every Saturday morning once again.

The burger and chips were pretty salty, and by the time I arrived back in the Downtown core I needed something sweet to take the edge off. “Do you have any desserts, Jeannette?” I asked at the Blind Bear.

“We have the bread pudding,” she replied, so I ordered that.

About 6:30 I decided to go home for a “halftime” nap. I knew I would wake up about midnight, perfect timing to go back out and enjoy the late hours at the Bear. However, when I did wake up I looked at the clock and thought, “screw this, I’m staying in bed.” I fell back asleep, waking up a little after 4 AM. I felt fantastic, better than I have felt in a long, long time! Sometimes skipping the late-night can be worth it.

After I got up, I turned the heat on. As I did, I thought to myself how unusual it is to be turning the heat on this time of year. Then I thought how unusual it is to be thinking turning on the heat in February is unusual. Climate change at its finest. Thanks, Trump!

Almost time for D-RANKS with B-RAD, Sunday brunch at the Blind Bear. Busy week coming up, so I better make the most of this day! Back tomorrow.