“Thrusday” update #2: Pho and ramen, Memphis Music & Heritage Fest lineup, Judy gets a note, Memphis Grill Fest and more

Oshi has re-opened with a new menu. Great news – you can get pho and ramen in the Downtown core now! Their pho has a base of beef consomme, with sliced beef, meatballs, cliantro, scallions, bean sprouts, and jalapenos. For ramen, they have pork-based tokatsu and miso-tokatsu, and they also have a chicken-based ramen dish. Their appetizers and entrees are mostly what I would call Asian fusion, but the Oshi Burger with Wagyu beef made it onto the menu, a nice nod to the previous incarnation of Oshi. They have sushi too.

Why not come Downtown this weekend and check out both Oshi and the Memphis Music & Heritage Festival? The performance lineup is up on the website now. The lineup is proof that this festival celebrates the diversity of regional music and culture. Jug bands, mariachi, rock, folk, hill country blues, rockabilly, Latin, jazz, R&B, soul, blues, hip-hop, electronica, rap, ragtime, reggae… the list of genres goes on and on. Here’s a list of the artists and vendors you will find at the festival.

VERY COOL: The director of the Center for Southern Folklore, which puts on the festival, Judy Peiser, is getting her note on Beale Street Sunday. Congratulations Judy on an honor that is richly deserved! Thank you for all you have done to promote music and other forms of art in this city.

Happy Thrusday from the folks at Horn Lake Wendy’s!

The really disturbing thing is, the sign has been this way since yesterday. It was up for an entire day and no one who worked there noticed Thursday was misspelled and bothered to correct it.

Seth has added information about Memphis Grill Fest, the steak cooking competition which will run alongside Best Memphis Burger Fest. Teams can enter whichever combination of burgers, Bloody Mary, and steak they want. I like it that if you win your burger or steak category, you get enough prize money to cover what you spent on fees to enter the competition.

Howl at the Moon, the annual fundraiser for Streetdog Foundation, will happen at The Warehouse at the northeast corner of Front and G.E. Patterson Saturday, November 11. Live music by Shufflegrit, Bobbie & Tasha, South Side Supper Club, Grape, and more. There will be lots of delicious food as well as live and silent auctions. A Paw Pass ($40/$50 at the door) gets you in the door, and access to food, the auctions, and a photo booth. A Purple Paw Pass ($80) gets you everything that comes with the Paw Pass, plus unlimited bar pass and reserved seating. I’ve been to this event before and it is a barkin’ good time.

Wings of Jubilee hot wing fest happens Saturday, September 9, 11-6 PM at Memphis Catholic Middle and High School at 61 N. McLean. This festival raises money to help 1600 students in Memphis, helping to provide low-income students with significant need-based scholarships. Live music by the South Side Supper Club, the Risky Whiskey Boys, and Charvey Mac. $5 to get in, free for kids 11 and under.

Ghost River usually has Flying Sobies on site for their Sunday brunch – however, Sobies is taking a 1-week break this weekend to celebrate their 1-year anniversary. So instead, the Eddy’s Pepper food truck will be on site with a special brunch-style menu. Breakfast burritos and other goodies! Brunch drinks include Bloody Beers (Grindhouse Cream Ale combined with your Bloody Mary Mix of choice), Beer-itas (Prestige Pilsner mixed with Crazy Good Rita Mix,) & Gose-mosas (Howzit Gose paired with OJ). At 5 they’ll have Sunday Slowdown, songwriter sessions hosted by Tiffany Harmon with a special guest each week.

Speaking of brewery taprooms, here’s a question to consider:

High Ground News has an interesting article on ghost signs, signs that give a glimpse into Memphis’ past. There are several from South Main and The Edge that are discussed.

Go Tigers Go! Memphis hosts ULM tonight at the Liberty Bowl, 8:15 kickoff. It’s also time to CALL THOSE HOGS!!! Arkansas hosts Florida A&M tonight at 7. Starting to hear variations of “IT’S GONNN BEEE ARRRRR YEAR” from Tennessee fans, which makes me snicker.

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team is teaming up with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in the investigation of Paul Manafort and his financial ties. Here’s why: Trump’s pardon of Joe Arapio sends a signal to Manafort that Trump would do the same for him. Mueller’s teaming with Schneiderman sends a message to Manafort that state charges, which if resulted in a conviction could not be pardoned by the president, could be coming if he doesn’t start singing like a canary. They already have Mike Flynn who turned state’s evidence. If Manafort did the same that would be the beginning of the end for Trump. Special counsel Mueller added an expert in witness flipping to his team last month.

Everyone be careful driving home this afternoon as Harvey’s bands of heavy rain move through. As @trafficbabe Wendi Hays would say, SLOW YOUR ROLL. That’ll do it for this post, back tomorrow with more news.

Thursday update #1

The Memphis Medical District Collaborative and IRIS Orchestra are announcing a new lunchtime concert series every Friday in September from noon to 1 PM in Edge Plaza, the outdoor seating area at Monroe and Marshall. Come enjoy this classic string ensemble and get to know your neighbors. Lunch will be available for purchase from Edge Alley. There is no cost to attend.

The Front Porch will be closed all day today due to the threat of bad weather.

Higher Learning will be the featured film in the 15 Film Series at Clayborn Temple tonight. Free to attend, starts at 7 PM. Description: “John Singleton (Boyz N the Hood) has re-created the classrooms, frat parties, financial aid offices, rec. rooms, dorm rooms, track, field, and cafeterias of the modern college campus to tell three separate stories about three different people that are at once commonly experienced and uniquely their own.”

The Beale Street Cigar Festival happens this Saturday at Handy Park, 1-7 PM.

Wiseacre Brewing Co. celebrates its fourth birthday weekend September 7-9. Karaoke Thursday, hosting the Broad Avenue 5K with Jack O & The Tearjerkers Friday. Saturday there will be a Petit Four pairing with their noon tour, a hop pint tour at 2, and DJ Damp Velour in the evening. Two specialty throwback beers on tap each night (more on Saturday) along with their regular and seasonal offerings.

Back at lunchtime with more news.

Wednesday update #2

Yesterday the Daily News announced that Daniel Masters, owner/operator of Silly Goose, would be taking over the former Cafe Pontotoc space, reopening it as Pontotoc (see my post earlier today). The article mentioned plans to open for breakfast and then stay open late. I ran into Daniel yesterday and asked him about his plans for Pontotoc. “I’m thinking we’ll open around 8 AM, 10 on the weekends,” Daniel said. “It’ll be a place for people who want to come set up and make it their office all day.” Sounds excellent. This is also good news for third-shifters, who will soon have an additional place to hang out Downtown after getting off work.

You can donate to a local page raising money for Operation BBQ Relief. This operation deploys quickly during times of crisis, such as Tropical Storm Harvey, to feed those who have been displaced. Wonderful organization. The page has already hit its fundraising goal but you can still donate. I’m sure it will be much appreciated by those in Houston and the surrounding area.

Seth from Burger Fest posted some interesting news to his personal Facebook page this morning:

“Complete details will be announced in the coming days. But real quick, we felt there just wasn’t enough going on at Best Memphis Burger Fest, so we got together with Steak Cookoff Association and decided to add an official SCA Steak cookoff at Burger Fest. Burger Teams will be invited to join the SCA event at a discount and SCA Steak teams can sign up for BMBF Bloody Mary or enter the full burger competition, also at a discounted rate. We’re so excited about this dual event. And of course you know what that means? MORE EATN!”

Memphis Farmers Market Squared at Court Square is canceled today due to bad weather.

There will be a Day of Mindfulness at the Church of the River on Virginia Ave. on Saturday, October 7.

The Memphis-Louisiana Monroe game will be played as scheduled Thursday night, despite Harvey moving through around that time. If you have a ticket to the game and don’t own a raincoat, I suggest you go buy one. Umbrellas are not allowed in the stadium.

The Kremlin has confirmed that Donald Trump’s personal lawyer reached out to them during the 2016 presidential campaign for help with a business deal.

That’s it for now. Rainy drive home (probably) then out to Silly Goose happy hour after work.

Pontotoc and more Wednesday news

The cat is now out of the bag on some news I have known about for a while. Daniel Masters, owner/operator of the Silly Goose, is taking over the space at 314 S. Main that was formerly Cafe Pontotoc. Daniel plans to open the restaurant as simply Pontotoc and open for breakfast and stay open late into the night. Daniel and his business partners take over the space on September 4 and hope to have Pontotoc open in October. The space will have a classic, jazzy feel, Southern-style tapas, and craft cocktails.

Here is some great news!

Not surprised Clapp won the award, given the Redbirds’ impressive record this season.

Exposure on 901 Day, hosted by New Memphis, happens at AutoZone Park 6-8 PM Friday. It’s your chance to get familiar with over 150 charities and businesses. There will be food and drink, a celebrity kickball game, art performances and demonstrations, the Grizzline, the Beale Street Flippers, and live music. They do ask that you RSVP so they can get an idea how many are coming. A complete list of participating organizations can be found here.

In September and October ArtSpace Lofts will host five information sessions for potential residents. ArtSpace, located in the South Main Arts District, will be the home to 58 affordable apartments rented out to artists and other creatives who meet income requirements.

Elmwood Cemetery will present Young Frankenstein in its Cemetery Cinema series Friday night, September 15 at 7:30 PM. There will be a short film by Propaganda TV and then the main film. Bring a lawn chair, because you will be on asphalt. This is an 18 and older event, no pets. Coolers are welcome or you can get food from the Gourmade food truck and MEMPops.

Mile markers have been installed on Main Street so you can participate in Walk It Wednesdays, walking on your lunch break between 11 AM and 1 PM. Post how far you walked or take a photo by a mile marker sign and tag it with #WalkItWednesdayMem to enter a drawing to win prizes.

Off to work. Possibly back at lunchtime with a second update.

Tuesday update

Great news from local nonprofit Volunteer Odyssey this week: They have been named the official partner in volunteerism at the University of Memphis. The organization will connect students attending the U of M with volunteer opportunities in Memphis. Sarah, the executive director of Volunteer Odyssey, is a U of M alum and writes, “My little Tiger heart is bursting with U of M pride today.”

While we’re on the subject of the University of Memphis: If you are attending Thursday’s game at the Liberty Bowl, or any games this season, you will need to be aware of the security information tweeted by Holly:

The Redbirds will have an all-you-can-eat special ticket this Thursday, August 31, for their final regular season home game. The ticket gets you a buffet of two pastas, two sauces, hot dogs, sides, and one Coca-Cola product or bottled water per person. The buffet begins when gates open at 6:00 and runs until 8:00. The price increases $4 the day of the game, so buy in advance. If you already have a ticket, you can upgrade with a wristband for $10 at the 3rd Base Cove while supplies last.

As for tonight, it’s dollar hot dog night at the Redbirds. 6:35 first pitch.

Are you a Game of Thrones fan? If you are, you can win some beer money tonight. The 7:30 and 10:00 trivia at the Flying Saucer tonight will be all Game of Thrones questions.

Oskar Blues will be on site at Miss Cordelia’s Food Truck Wednesday tomorrow from 5 to 8. You can sample three of their beers, and they have added six-pack cans of Old Chub to their cooler for you to purchase. Food trucks will be Say Cheese and Double J.

The Grizzlies have announced five new Power Packs for 2017-18 with tickets for 6, 12, or 22 home games.

There was a title change at WWE Monday Night RAW at FedExForum last night. Alexa Bliss defeated Sasha Banks for the RAW women’s championship. Also, Jeff Hardy won a 15-man battle royal to become the #1 contender to the Intercontinental championship. John Cena and Roman Reigns talked a lot of trash and then signed a contract to face each other at the next RAW pay-per-view. Announcer Booker T, who lives in Houston, was unable to travel to Memphis due to Harvey, but that was OK, the WWE found a suitable replacement… none other than The King himself. Complete results here.

All classes at Downtown Yoga this Friday will be free with a donation Hurricane Harvey relief. YOGA!

The Memphis Flyer has coverage of building permits suggesting a new ABRA Auto Body and Glass is coming to 296 Adams, and that the McDonald’s on Union in the Medical Center will be replaced.

From Lifehacker: Strategically use newsletters to get a free bar crawl on your birthday. Hmmm do I know anyone who would attempt this? Nuh uh.

Ted Cruz and most of the rest of the Texas delegation fought tooth and nail against aid for those affected by Hurricane Sandy in 2013… and now they’re begging for aid for those affected by Harvey. What a bunch of hypocrites.

That’s it for now. I’ll be out somewhere after work, not sure where, for what is probably the last rain-free day of the week. Back tomorrow with more.

Photos: Moody Ques practice for Best Memphis Burger Fest

Best Memphis Burger Fest is six weeks away, and the Moody Ques team had our first practice cook at our president John D’s house in Midtown yesterday. I drove out there about 11 yesterday.

That’s right, I actually drove my car on a weekend. That almost never happens. And I was not at a bar at 11 for brunch on a Sunday. That almost never happens.

First of all, I would like to thank our sponsor Royal Oak Charcoal for providing us with high quality charcoal to use at the practice cooks and at Burger Fest. Cooking with the best charcoal will make a big difference in our burgers and we appreciate Royal Oak being on board.

I’d also like to thank recently retired pitmaster Frank for taking an hour out of his busy weekend to come over and teach the new cooks how to use the team cooker.

Ugh those are ugly cooking gloves and flip-flops. I didn’t get a chance to ask Mac if he thinks the Tennessee Vols will repeat as Champions of Life in 2017.

The team’s Deputy Director of Public Relations spent most of the afternoon hiding in my pocket because she was afraid of the cat. She did come out to pose for this one picture.

Of everyone there, 18-year-old Tigger was the most interested in sampling the finished Moody Ques product.

It was an excellent practice. It was totally a team effort, with everyone there contributing. Our two new cooks, Mac and Staci, blended in with the rest of the cook team just great.

There are three burger categories in Burger Fest – Veggie, Anything Goes, and Traditional Cheeseburger. Although this is only the first of our three practice cooks, I would have been totally comfortable turning our Veggie Burger in to judges yesterday. I judged Burger Fest myself the first year it existed, before the Moody Ques got into the burger game. “Judges rate these burgers on a scale of 2 to 9,” I told Staci. “For appearance, I would give our Veggie Burger at least an 8. Maybe even a 9.” Staci is going to make a few tweaks at the second practice cook that I think will get the taste to the 8-9 level as well. There’s a reason vegetarians love the Moody Ques!

So why, you may ask, did I not post any photos of the finished veggie burger? Because I don’t want to put ideas in other teams’ heads. Some of the other burger teams are distracted by another cooking competition between now and Burger Fest, and I want them to stay distracted.

As for the Traditional Cheeseburger, we got off to a good start. There is still work to be done, but for a first practice cook I was pleased with the product and pleased that everyone got along so well in the kitchen. As for Anything Goes, we exchanged ideas but didn’t attempt that category yesterday. I am going to start an email thread for all our cooks so they can discuss ideas for the burgers between now and our second practice.

Outstanding day yesterday. Thanks to all who attended.

Sunday update

Got a restaurant recommendation for you this morning. I have not checked it out myself, but it came from a trusted source. This appears to be a hidden gem just outside of Downtown.

My friends Pete (the guy who loses to me at pool) and Dr. Bob (“BE NICE OR LEAVE” artist from New Orleans) went to the Corned Beef House at Jackson and N. Dunlap. “Delicious sandwiches,” Pete commented. I will have to check this place out soon.

Next Sunday, September 3 at 7 PM, Tin Roof will host a fundraiser to benefit one of their employees, Dearius “Dee” Kneeland. Said to be a hard-working, big-hearted young man, Dee was injured in a car accident last Tuesday. He has already had two surgeries and is still in the ICU. The fundraiser will help take some of the financial burden off him and his family. $5 cover, 10% of sales will be donated, and there will be a raffle with a huge array of prizes you can win.

The Broom Closet at 546 S. Main will host A Journey Through Tea 2-4 PM Saturday, September 30. Kimberly Richardson, Memphis author and owner of Veridian Tea Company, and Rev. Omma, owner of the Broom Closet, will guide you through the history of tea from its ancient origin to modern times. You will learn the 12 different tea processes and learn to make a perfect up. There will also be a guided meditation with tea and you will learn the art of tea leaf reading. $20 pre-paid, $25 the day of the event.

The 14th annual Memphis Pride Fest will be held in Robert Church Park, on Beale just east of Fourth, September 29-October 1. This is the annual event that brings the LGBTQIA community together, with a parade, two stages of live entertainment, a kids’ area, food, and over 125 vendors.

Pride weekend will kick off with a Big Gay Dance Party at the New Daisy that Friday night, September 29. Music by DJ Space Age and DJ A.D., an open bar, appetizer buffet, and go-go boys and go-go girls. This loud and proud event will be brought to you by Friends for Life.

Off to Midtown for the burger team’s first practice cooks for Best Memphis Burger Fest. One of our cooks, Staci, sent me a picture of her buns yesterday… to clarify, she sent a picture of her handmade hamburger buns, not her ass. Man, they looked gorgeous. Appearance is a factor in the burger’s score and I think we’ve got that covered. You can have the best tasting burger in the world and still come in last (or second to last, depending on whether Weekend at Porky’s enters Burger Fest) if it doesn’t look good.

That’s it for now! Back tomorrow with more.

Mayweather-McGregor at Loflin Yard and more Saturday news

Prayers to any readers who have friends or relatives living on the Texas Gulf Coast. That area took a hard one overnight and it looks like Harvey is going to stick around and dump rain for days to come.

If you want to watch the Mayweather-McGregor fight tonight, Loflin Yard has it. There is a $10 cover. Interestingly, I ran into a friend last night who is involved with V3Fights locally and who was handing out flyers for their September 2 show at Minglewood. I asked him if he thought McGregor had a chance, and he surprised me with his answer: “I think he has a very good chance.” He said that McGregor has been taking hard punches to the head his entire life and won’t be fazed by Mayweather’s. He also said that McGregor is smart enough not to forget it’s a boxing match and get disqualified for a takedown or a kick. I defer to his knowledge of MMA, but he is one of very few people I have talked to who does not think Mayweather will slaughter McGregor.

The R. Kelly concert at FedExForum tomorrow night has been canceled.

Yesterday afternoon I was waiting on a script to finish running at work, when I had a thought: Halloween weekend is to the fall what Music Fest weekend is to the spring. What I mean by that is, it seems like many years the weather tends to be excellent right up a day or two before the Saturday on or preceding Halloween, which tends to be the big party night. Then on Saturday or shortly before, the temperatures plummet, leaving everyone in costume (especially ladies who like to show off their naughty side that night) shivering as they get to and from their parties.

I did a little research to see if I was out of my mind. I got on Weather Underground and looked up the recorded high and low for Memphis for October 28, which will be Halloween party Saturday this year. The average high and low for that date is 70/50. Over the past 20 years, there have been 6 occurrences where the high and low were significantly below average on the 28th.

  • 2012: 58/38
  • 2011: 58/40
  • 2008: 52/34
  • 2005: 66/39
  • 2001: 61/36
  • 1997: 57/36

If you remember, last year the temps were in the mid 80s (almost TOO warm for costumes) on Halloween party night. I have a feeling we’re going to be due for a cold one after getting lucky the past four years. Hopefully it won’t be as bad as Halloween 1993 though: That day the high was 44, the low 30, and it snowed!

Does this make me a climate change denier? Maybe Trump will tweet a link to this post.

John Paul Keith plays The Front Porch 6:30-8:30 tonight.

Life goals:

The Center for Southern Folklore is seeking volunteers for next week’s Memphis Music & Heritage Festival. Apply here.

Will Hurricane Harvey affect the Mid-South? The MemphisWeather.net blog has the answers.

The Memphis Hustle will host open player tryouts in Memphis and Southaven September 23 and 24.

Another Redbirds playoff promotion:

I ended up missing Trolley Night last night, and I hate that because I wanted to take some pictures inside 409 S. Main to post here. However, a large group of BBQ teammates showed up at Silly Goose happy hour. We got talking about ideas for our first practice cook for Burger Fest and time flew. I hope 409 has another preview night soon.

Time to get out and about. I am going to be keeping my eye on Twitter for Harvey updates all day. Back tomorrow (or maybe Monday, if I don’t have time before cooking practice) with more news.

Friday update #2

The Memphis Hustle, the Grizzlies’ G-League team, have released their 2017-18 schedule. Home games are played at The Landers Center in Southaven, but the Friday, November 24 game vs. Salt Lake City will happen at FedExForum.

In other Hustle news, the MBJ reports that Renasant Bank has signed on with the Hustle as founding bank partner.

Job news: GE Capital is hiring a Branding and Marketing Specialist in Memphis.

From Memphis magazine: The End of the Lovin’ Kate Adams Riverboat, which burned while docked at the foot of Monroe in 1927.

Harmonica.com has a great article about the Memphis Music & Heritage Festival, happening on the Main Street Mall September 2 and 3. They really did a good job spotlighting how the diversity of this festival – both in genres of music and other celebrations of regional culture – just can’t be beat.

The More You Know, the More You Grow is the theme at the Memphis Farmers Market this Saturday. They’ll have a full day of education for you. UT College of Pharmacy will have information on allergy and asthma solutions. American Red Cross will be there to educate you on all the services they provide the community. The Master Gardeners will be there to answer all your fall gardening questions. Live music by Buck Hutcheson 8:30-10. The Market runs every Saturday 7 AM to 1 PM under the pavilion at Front and G.E. Patterson. Also, don’t forget about Market Squared every Wednesday 4-7 PM in Court Square!

Get the latest Johnny Cash reissue at Sun Records:

That’s it for now. Probably going to hit South Main Trolley Night tonight. In particular I want to check out what is happening at 409 S. Main. Back tomorrow with more news.

Friday update #1

There will be a preview of South Main Market, the new food hall going into 409 S. Main at the corner of Main and Huling, at South Main Trolley Night this evening. Holly has the details on the I Love Memphis events calendar.

The four Redbirds playoff games for which tickets are currently available will all have an all-you-can-eat specialty ticket option. Burgers (twice), wings, and tacos.

Beer news: Ghost River’s Oktoberfest has been released. You can get it in stores or at the taproom at Main and Crump.

More beer news: Crosstown Brewing Co.’s website is live,

Singer-songwriter J.D. Souther comes to the Halloran Centre September 23. Souther wrote Eagles hits “Heartache Tonight” and “New Kid in Town.” He has also written songs for Linda Rondstadt, Brooks and Dunn, Don Henley, Roy Orbison, James Taylor, Trisha Yearwood, and George Strait.

The Downtown Memphis Commission has put out a Request for Proposals for a public art mural decorating the railroad underpass and trestle crossing G.E. Patterson between Front and Main. Proposals are due October 2, an artist will be selected October 16, and the work must be completed by December 1.

WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar is scheduled to be there, along with John Cena, Roman Reigns (pictured above), Dean Ambrose, Seth Rollins, Braun Strowman, The Miz, and Samoa Joe. RAW General Manager Kurt Angle and his “son” Jason Jordan (God what a stupid storyline) will be there too.

Off to work. Very possible I will post again at lunchtime, so check back.