Friday update

For the fifth time since September 21, a Downtown institution, a business that raises tens of thousands of dollars for the kids of St. Jude every year, Bardog Tavern, has been forced to close unexpectedly. For years – at least the past four that I can recall – the city has been digging holes in the streets and alleyways around Bardog, repairing their outdated sewer line. Five times their sewer line has collapsed, breaking into Bardog’s sewer line, and/or flooding The Underdog, Bardog’s downstairs bar. One of those times they had to close for almost a full week. As of this morning I am not sure whether Bardog will be open for my usual Saturday morning visit tomorrow.

11 years ago, Aldo had a vision for a bar where people who live nearby would come together for drinks, unusually good bar food, and conversation. He brought that vision to life, and it’s a big part of the reason Downtown is the most neighborly part of the city.

With Bardog, the two Aldo’s Pizza Pies, the two Slider Inns, Momma’s Roadhouse, and the Slider Rider food truck, Aldo has created many, many jobs; he has created multiple sources of tax revenue for the city; and he has made Downtown and Midtown more desirable neighborhoods for people to visit, work, and live. The city should be bending over backward to make sure a guy like this does not have any issues operating his businesses.

I have to wonder, if the first and basement floors of 73 Monroe were occupied by a bank or a prominent law firm rather than a bar, would the city devote more resources to the matter?

A new hotel has “arrived” on South Main. The CA has a taste (including photo gallery) of what you will find at the new Arrive Hotel, including Hustle & Dough Bakery + Cafe, Vice & Virtue coffee shop, Bar Hustle on the north side of the hotel lobby, and Longshot shuffleboard bar downstairs. See my post last Saturday for a look at Longshot. There’s a grand opening ceremony today with a ribbon-cutting and speeches at 4:30 and tours and samples of hotel food commencing at 5. Free food? Wonder if the Nuh-Uh Girl will… oops, forgot she’s in Europe.

I’ve heard that Longshot now has beer in bottles and cans, with taps to go in today. I plan on making a stop down there today to try one of their house-made sausages (made by sausage master John Haley) on a Hustle & Dough bun. I’m going to be sure and ask, “This isn’t vegetarian, is it?” this time when I order.

Tom Intrator, the developer who is remodeling the building at 18 S. Main (and let me tell you, as a resident of 10 S. Main I know that a lot of that remodeling happens at 5:30 AM), has a few more projects up his sleeve. Blighted, abandoned 107 S. Main, which sticks out like a sore thumb on a block that is mostly thriving, may finally be turned into something. He’s also got some ideas for South Main and the area near Gus’s Fried Chicken.

As we get closer to turkey day, we’re starting to see more restaurants advertise “let us do the cooking for you to pick up and take home. Regina’s Cajun Kitchen at 60 N. Main is running such a special. Choose from

  • Mini feast (feeds 2-4) $40
  • Feast (feeds 4-6) $69.99
  • Super Feast (feeds 10-14) $140
  • Sides only (pan sized) $34.99

Orders must be placed by November 19 and must be paid in full at the time of the order. Visit Regina’s Cajun Kitchen Facebook page for more information.

For a computer nerd like me this is a very cool development: The Daily Memphian reports that the city is now offering a data hub where you can access data on things like code violations and police calls. Since I have to be at work shortly, I don’t have time to investigate this hub as much as I like, but I see links to “API Docs” for various types of data. Holy crap, can you pull back JSON-formatted data from this thing? I will dive deeper when I have the time. Exciting!

I was in the Silly Goose yesterday afternoon when their order of printed menus for Downtown Dining Week came in. Here’s a look: (click to view in a larger size)

These pizzas run up to $14 each at regular menu price, so you’re getting up to a $28 value for $20.19. I’ve had at least a slice of every pizza on this list except the Margherita, and let me tell you, they’re all good. They have $2 domestics (including 16 oz. cans of PBR) during happy hour which lasts until 8 on weekdays, which will save you even more money.

The CA has a look at how Memphis Tigers football controls its own post-season destiny. If the Tigers win out – including a victory over Cincinnati on November 29 and a victory over Cincinnati or UCF the following weekend for the AAC championship – they are almost certainly going to play in the Cotton Bowl on December 28.

I LOVE the new feature for iPhones on AT&T, where you have the option to send calls from numbers not in your contacts directly to voicemail, without even a ring. Now I don’t have to keep my phone in Silent Mode all the time to avoid getting distracted by spam calls.

Off to work… I’ll be down at the Arrive Hotel and particularly Longshot this afternoon. Back tomorrow with more news.

Thursday update

I’ve mentioned Skrewball, the new whiskey that tastes exactly like peanut butter, on this blog a few times now. If you haven’t tried it yet, go to Quench, the liquor and wine store across Second Street from the Peabody, this Friday between 5 and 7. They’ll pour samples of Skrewball and also of Jack Daniel’s Apple Whiskey.

Big Cypress Lodge at Bass Pro at the Pyramid will postpone the opening of its outdoor bar until spring. Probably a good call. The low is supposed to drop to 22 one day next week. Not many people want to be outside when it’s 22.

New Wing Order has announced their November special wing flavor, and it sounds really cool: a North African-inspired recipe called Omar’s Mo-Rockin’ Wings. The recipe uses cumin, coriander, allspice, and harissa seasoning. Catch the food truck at Memphis Made Brewing Co. tomorrow 4-8 or at Memphis Grilled Cheese Fest in Crosstown on Sunday.

Arrive Hotel will celebrate its grand opening tomorrow from 5 to 8, with Butler closed between Front and Main. If you go, be sure to check out Longshot, the new bar in the basement of the hotel with the entrance on Butler. Shuffleboard, house-made sausages, and craft cocktails.

Next Thursday, November 14, streets in Uptown will be closed for MATA’s annual trolley full scale safety exercise. Traffic will be diverted at N. Main/Sycamore, A.W. Willis/N. Center Lane, A.W. Willis/Second, Shadyac/N. Center Lane, N. Main/Overton, and Shadyac/Second.

The American Legion will hold its annual Veterans Day Parade Monday. It will begin at Second and Exchange, and go down Second until its end point at Monroe. Come out and thank the veterans for their service!

All Elite Wrestling, the new promotion broadcasting on TNT, will come to the Landers Center in Southaven for the Wednesday, January 8 broadcast of its weekly TV show AEW Dynamite. Stars like Chris Jericho, Kenny Omega, the Young Bucks, Cody Rhodes, Dustin Rhodes, Jake Hager (formerly Jack Swagger), Pac (formerly Neville), and Jon Moxley (formerly Dean Ambrose) will probably be there. AEW will be in Memphis only five days after WWE’s live Smackdown broadcast from FedExForum.

Save the date: Mix-Odyssey, the premier annual Memphis competition for mixologists, will return for its 7th year Friday, March 6 at the Botanic Garden. More details to come soon.

Central Station Hotel’s in-house restaurant Bishop is now hiring. The French brasserie needs servers and bartenders. I bet you would make some good tip money at this place. Email your resume to to apply.

Very cool story: A dog has learned to talk by using a custom soundboard. She already knows 29 words and can form phrases. When she was whimpering by the door, her owner assumed she needed to go out. But she got on the soundboard and indicated that she missed her daddy and wished he’d come home. When he arrived, she touched “happy” on the soundboard.

Drunk musical chairs happens tonight at Loflin Yard.

Primas Bakery + Boutique on South Main is taking advance orders for Thanksgiving dessert. This is what they have on their menu:

Assorted Thanksgiving macarons
1 dozen: $24
Flavors: pumpkin spice, pecan pie, apple butter

Autumn wreath cake
Flavor: pumpkin spice cake with cream cheese icing
6″: $18
8″: $24
10″: $30

Thanksgiving cookie cake
8″ square cake: $32
10″ square cake: $40
Quarter sheet cake: $48
Half sheet cake: $56

Fall donuts
Flavors: Glazed pumpkin or apple cider

Pecan pie tart
1 full tart: $24
12 individual tartlets: $36

Buttercream butterballs
Flavor: Vanilla shortbread cookies with vanilla buttercream

Primas is at 523 S. Main and their phone number is 901-352-4193.

Time for another Silly Goose pizza photo!

As of yesterday there were only two pizzas left on the Silly Goose pizza menu that I haven’t tried, and a friend offered me a slice of one of those two yesterday. I present to you the Mr. Peabody.

When you hear the word “Peabody,” you probably think of ducks. The Mr. Peabody is so named because the meat on this pizza is duck pastrami. Other ingredients include brie, honey crisp, arugula, balsamic, walnuts, and chili honey. The reason I did not try this one for so long was that I wasn’t sure about sweet-tasting items on pizza, nor walnuts. The kitchen staff nailed it, though, as they have every other pizza, the flavors all coming together and the texture of the walnuts adding to the experience rather than detracting from it. The Goose has pizza happy hour (any pizza on the regular menu $10) 2-5 Monday-Tuesday and 4-6 Wednesday-Friday.

Off to work. My job continues to get even more interesting. Back tomorrow with more news.

Wednesday update

Last night a friend gave me a suggestion that is worth passing on to my readers. Go to the Flying Saucer and order the Royale burger – chopped onions, jalapeno bacon, mustard, spiked ketchup – but in place of the American cheese, get the pepper jack cheese instead. “It’ll change your world,” he told me. I will have to try that soon.

Sounds like James Wiseman lived up to expectations in the Memphis Tigers’ preseason romp over South Carolina State last night, 97-64. Next up for the Tigers: A home game vs. UIC Friday at 6 that will be televised on ESPNU. However, the first real test for the Memphis team will come next Tuesday, when the Tigers travel to Portland to play #15 Oregon in the Phil Knight Invitational, nationally televised on ESPN.

The first College Football Playoff Rankings were released last night, and Memphis came in at #21. The only higher-ranked Group of Five school is Cincinnati at #20. If the Tigers beat their next two opponents and then hand Cincy a loss on the 29th, the Liberty Bowl will host its first-ever AAC championship game on December 7, probably against Cincinnati again.

Clemson, #1 in the AP poll for the first several weeks of the season, dropped all the way to #5 in the initial CFP poll, behind Ohio State, LSU, Alabama, and Penn State. BWAHAHAHAHAHA! Love it!! Imagine the following scenario: The loser of the LSU-Bama game will probably remain in the top four, provided the game isn’t a blowout one way or the other. If Penn State beats Ohio State on the 23rd, the Buckeyes would probably remain in the top four. Clemson could not lose a game all season and still be on the outside looking in. More on Clemson’s situation on ESPN

South Main Sounds at 550 S. Main is back this Friday at 7 with performances from Devan Yanik and Cyrena Wages, both first-timers at Songwriter Night, as well as Christina LaRocca and Gene Micofsky from L.A. on their “Never Going Back” tour.

The Blind Bear will have a Roaring 20s Back Again party on New Year’s Eve to celebrate the ushering in of the 2020s at midnight on January 1. This year there is an option to get in for NO COVER… you just have to know the password, and while I don’t normally share Blind Bear passwords on my blog, this one I will: “The Roaring 20s sent me.” Come celebrate the new Roaring 20s in a speakeasy listening to the sounds of Brimstone Jones. Party favors will be provided, and there will be specials (appetizer, entree, dessert, vegetarian and vegan) in addition to the regular menu. Get your photo taken by Joey Warner. Normally I refer to New Year’s Eve as Amateur Night and stay home, but you know what? I WILL BE AT THE BEAR, to celebrate the year I never thought I’d see, in my favorite home away from home.

The Hard Rock Cafe will open for Thanksgiving and will serve a Thanksgiving Day Plate from 11 AM-11 PM. Turkey breast, home-cooked stuffing, roasted fresh vegetables, sweet potato mash, cranberry sauce, and gravy for $26.95. Finish your meal off with pumpkin pie for $8.95. Can’t make it Thanksgiving Day? The menu will be available all weekend.

While we’re on the subject of Thanksgiving, GREAT NEWS. The City of Memphis Thanksgiving dinner for the homeless and hungry, announced earlier this week to have been canceled, is back on thanks to the generosity of some benefactors.

Loflin Yard will hold a watch party for the LSU-Alabama game this Saturday at 2:30. Considering they’re calling it the LSU Watch Party, they clearly favor one side more than the other. There will be food and drink specials.

There’s progress in the southeast quadrant of Downtown. The Daily Memphian reports that permit applications have been filed for the third and fourth phases of Foote Park at South City. The permits mainly cover the area from Butler east of Fourth to the intersection of Danny Thomas and Mississippi.

Nationally headlining video DJ, DJ RONS, comes to Atomic Rose Bar & Grill Saturday night, November 16. He has been voted Best Club DJ in Nashville 5 years in a row and maintains an extensive travel schedule. He also is a member of the panel that votes weekly on the Billboard National Club Chart.

From NPR: Microsoft Japan experimented with a four-day workweek for a month. This doesn’t mean employees worked longer days the days they were at the office; they simply worked four regular days and got a five-day paycheck. Guess what? Employees were 40% more productive, used 23% less electricity, and printed considerably less. I have long thought the 40-hour work week is a relic of times gone by. Technology ought to give workers more free time, rather than take it away.

Oh, another thing they did: They put meetings on a diet, slashing standard meeting durations from 60 minutes to 30, and enforcing a maximum meeting attendance of 5. Wow, company managers are really starting to wake up and adopt practices that work here in the late 2010s!

There will be a walking tour of November 6th Street, hosted by the DMC, today from 11 AM to noon. The tour is free, about 45 minutes and a half mile, and comfortable shoes are advised. On the tour you’ll get to see two of the hidden secrets of Downtown Memphis: the spot behind my apartment building where the bums take a piss, and the other spot behind my apartment building where the bums take a piss.

The Grizzlies host the Minnesota Timberwolves at FedExForum tonight at 7.

The monthly Peabody Master Tasters Club meets tonight in Chez Philippe 5:30-7:00. The theme this month is Give Thanks for Wine.

Do you have an unlimited data plan with AT&T for your phone? You may get a refund soon. The company has agreed to refund $60 million to customers who had the supposedly-unlimited plan but had their data throttled after exceeding a threshold. If you’re a current customer, the refund will get credited to your account. Former customers will get a check in the mail.

For those who missed the national news yesterday, there was a key development. U.S. ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland changed his testimony yesterday and admitted that there was a quid pro quo between the Trump regime and Ukraine. As one of my favorite Twitter follows, Tea Pain, put it, Sondland realized protecting the president isn’t worth it if it means pissing in a stainless steel toilet for years.

The brings the Democrat-controlled House closer to bringing formal articles of impeachment against Trump. But the Repblican-controlled Senate is the jury in the trial; surely they wouldn’t vote to remove him, would they? Maybe they would. If they remove Trump, they get Mike Pence as president. That offers several advantages:

  1. Pence isn’t batshit crazy
  2. Pence doesn’t embarrass the U.S. on the world stage as Trump does on a near-daily basis
  3. Pence actually embraces the right-wing ideals Republicans hold dear; he doesn’t just pretend to embrace them to fool people into voting for him
  4. He’d be a lot more likely to hold key battleground states like Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania as the incumbent in the 2020 election

I’ll finish the post with a quote I read on Facebook yesterday: Christians warned about the Antichrist for 2000 years. Then he appeared, and they elected him.

Back tomorrow with more news.

Tuesday update

Michael Donahue of the Memphis Flyer reports that Slider Inn Downtown will open mid-month. Donahue has a thorough description of what you will find when you step into Slider Inn. I’m glad to see it will have a long bar, and the mezzanine sounds really cool. They’ll serve the Midtown location’s menu as well as some new features including lobster popcorn, Reuben egg rolls, and Cuban egg rolls.

South Main just keeps getting better and better, with Eight & Sand in Central Station, Longshot, and Slider Inn opening in the space of a month, with French brasserie Bishop on deck to open soon as well.

Speaking of Eight & Sand, Donahue has a dining Best Bet for you: The Birdie chicken sandwich.

Cher has announced a date at FedExForum. Her Here We Go Again Tour will make a stop in Memphis March 16. Nile Rodgers & Chic (yes, THAT Chic as in “Le Freak” and “Good Times”) will be her special guests. Tickets go on sale Friday at noon.

The Memphis Tigers men’s basketball team has their regular-season opener tonight at 7 at FedExForum, vs. South Carolina State. Penny Hardaway has announced that James Wiseman will play after missing the pre-season exhibition games.

The Book of Mormon begins a 7-show run at the Orpheum tonight. There will be an in-person lottery two hours before each show, where names will be drawn at random, winning the right to purchase one or two tickets to the show for only $25 each.

In other Orpheum news, comedian Bill Burr has added a second show (9:30 PM) to his Monday, January 6 appearance.

Zack Horvath will perform at Automatic Slim’s next Monday at 7 PM.

Edible Memphis recently had a talk with Westy’s owner Jake Schorr. Westy’s (and its predecessor, The North End) have been open for 35 years at the corner of North Main and Jackson.

Tin Roof will have a ’90s themed brunch this coming Sunday. Enjoy bottomless mimosas while DJ String Bean plays the beats.

Church Health Center is hiring a communications coordinator.

First Horizon (formerly First Tennessee) is merging with Lafayette, Louisiana-based IberiaBank. I was in First Horizon yesterday depositing a check and getting a cracked debit card replaced (seems like I have to do that once every eight months or so). Excellent customer service as always.

Memphis Firefest happens at Carolina Watershed this Saturday, November 9, with fire-spinning DJ Zeus Bigalow, Memphis’ own DJ Scotty B, and QOG Productions.

Thanksgiving dinner for the homeless at the Cook Convention Center will go on hiatus this year due to construction at the center. There will be Thanksgiving dinners for the homeless Wednesday of that week at the Union Mission (383 Poplar) and St. Vincent DePaul (1306 Monroe) on Thanksgiving Day.

NOOOOOOOO!!!!!! Not Tennessee! They have the worst fans in college football and we don’t want them in Memphis! In fact, we wish the Vols fans who are here, would leave! Let’s pray that the Vols lose two of their three remaining games (Kentucky, Missouri, Vanderbilt) and fail to become bowl-eligible. The Vol Hater Facebook account posted a photo of a steaming pile of poo with the caption, “YOU CAN’T HAVE SHIT WITHOUT THE T.” Very true.

ESPN has Tennessee as a slight underdog against Kentucky and Missouri. I hope they are right.

Factory workers in China are working long shifts to beat the clock on threatened tariffs. Guess what they’re making? “Trump 2020” banners.

If you haven’t been here since yesterday morning, keep scrolling down, because yesterday about 2 I posted my “Paul’s Picks” for Downtown Dining Week. I go through all the menus so you don’t have to (and given what a horrible website they have this year, you will thank me for that), spotlighting the restaurants that embrace DDW and offer creativity and value in their menus.

That’ll do it for this post. Back tomorrow with more news.

Downtown Dining Week: Paul’s Picks

Downtown Dining Week is next week, from Monday, November 11 to Sunday, November 17. This is a week when many of Downtown’s restaurants offer incredible value, with lunches for $10.19 and multiple-course dinners for $20.19. This is a fantastic chance to try some restaurants you haven’t in the past, and see what they have to offer. For the restaurants, it’s a chance to win people over and expand their base of customers who keep coming back the other 51 weeks of the year.

Every year I like to go through all the menus (at least, for the restaurants that have bothered to upload menus) and offer you my picks as to which are offering something interesting, something special, something yummy – which are going the extra mile to impress new customers. I also try to make a note of which restaurants have vegetarian-friendly options for DDW.

Before I start, I want to make a comment that the DDW website is SUPER ANNOYING. To get to the restaurants last in alphabetical order (Tug’s and Westy’s), I have to click a LOAD MORE LOCATIONS button six times. That’s just bad web design, and it’s unfair to the restaurants far down the list. Just load all the locations at once – heck, practically everyone has a high-speed connections and plenty of data usage these days.

I would bet you anything that the person who thought that LOAD MORE LOCATIONS button was a good idea is not a web designer, but a marketing person.

Okay, enough complaining. Let’s get on with the deliciousness!

117 Prime – Braised brisket! Anytime you can eat there for 20 bucks and some change, it’s an incredible deal. This place will fill up, so make reservations as early as possible.

Automatic Slim’s – Multiple choices for the first two courses. They clearly put a good bit of thought and creativity into this menu.

Bardog Tavern – Because the third dinner course is from local bakery Two Girls and a Whip.

Charlie Vergos’ Rendezvous – They have a vegetarian sampler platter as an option for both lunch and dinner.

Evelyn & Olive – Plenty of choices for each course including vegetarian/vegan options.

Felicia Suzanne Restaurant – Felicia really gets into Downtown Dining Week and has a lot of creativity on her menu. May I recommend the Sunday Sugo? There’s a vegetarian option too. If you plan on going, make your reservation IMMEDIATELY. Will fill up for sure.

Grecian Gourmet – Options for each course, including vegetarian. That Greek lasagna on the main course list sounds particularly yummy.

Rizzo’s by Michael Patrick – Absolutely my number one, must-visit recommendation. Three courses for lunch for $10.19 or four courses for dinner for $20.19. Lots of options for each course including vegetarian-friendly. Make reservations IMMEDIATELY if you plan to go.

Sabor Caribe – Get the Venezuelan Travel Plate. Reservations required.

Spindini – Pollo Parmigiana sounds good. They also have Pasta Primavera as a vegetarian option.

Terrace at the River Inn – Crabmeat stuffed flounder!

The Majestic Grille – Menu hasn’t been posted as of this time, but this is a place I can wholeheartedly recommend menu unseen. Patrick and Deni are supporters of Downtown Dining Week and I know they will put their best foot forward. I wouldn’t dawdle getting reservations if you plan to go.

Tug’s – 6 ounce prime sirloin, a piece of key lime pie, and whichever appetizer fits your fancy sounds like a winner to me.

That’s my 2019 list. And now… longtime readers know what’s coming. During Downtown Dining Week, don’t be that guy/gal who

  • Can’t decide which of three restaurants they want to visit on a particular night, so they make reservations for the same time at all three and then no-show two of them. This isn’t fair to the restaurants or your fellow diners.
  • Runs the server around, asking for substitutions, extra this, leave off that, etc. Be cognizant of the fact that your server experiences unusually high volume during DDW, and try to get every request for your table in at once.
  • Tips less than 20%. We all have calculators on our phones; there’s no excuse for not being able to compute a proper tip anymore. Although dinner is $20.19, some of these restaurants are clearly offering $27, $28 of value or more. I like to tip on the full-value amount. You don’t have to agree, but if you don’t tip at least $2 on a $10.19 lunch or $4 on a $20.19 dinner, you’re being  a cheapskate.

I hope you take advantage of Downtown Dining Week and discover some new favorite restaurants. Back tomorrow with more news.


Monday update

I know I have many readers who read this blog Monday through Friday at work. If you’re one of those people, and you didn’t come here over the weekend, I encourage you to scroll down and read Saturday’s post. I know, I know, I said there wouldn’t be a post on Saturday, but Friday afternoon a great new locals’ bar, Longshot, with an emphasis on shuffleboard and house-made sausages opened for the first time. I have plenty of information and photos in Saturday’s post.

Today is one of my least favorite days of the year. It’s the first day since last winter when rush-hour commuters will drive home in the dark. For some reason it seems to make Memphis drivers even more crazy than they usually are. Remember, people:

  • The 240 loop is not a NASCAR track
  • Driving a foot from the back bumper of the car in front of you won’t get you there any faster
  • Put your f***ing phone down, it’s illegal to play with it while driving now
  • That thing on the left side of your steering wheel is called a turn signal and you can use it to let other drivers know you’re about to change lanes

The Salty Dogs running group is taking a run across Big River Crossing tonight at 7. It’s free to join them. They begin and end their runs at Bardog Tavern, and after the run there are specials for runners in the Underdog Room. The total distance of the run is about 6 miles.

Mystery Train, the 1988 movie that put Memphis and South Main on the map in the world of filmmaking, will have a special screening at Malco Powerhouse Thursday at 6. The screening will be just a short walk away from where much of the movie was shot.

The Grizzlies host the Houston Rockets tonight at 7 at FedExForum.

Eric Barnes, CEO of The Daily Memphian, answers subscribers’ question “Why can’t I stay logged in?” Folks, as someone who spent many years as a developer, I can tell you that the struggle is real and the folks at the DM are doing everything they can to ease your frustration. If everyone were viewing a website the same way, it wouldn’t be hard to keep people logged in. But when you have to deal with Chrome and Safari and Firefox and Microsoft Edge and people still using Internet Explorer 9 and iPhones and Androids and Apple computers and Windows computers (including a few still running Windows 95 – no kidding, I have seen this) and people opening subscriber-only links from their email app or their Facebook app or their Twitter app, there are a lot of subtleties that have to be addressed.

Yesterday I was at the Silly Goose and pizza masters Parker and Dylan were experimenting with the wood-fired oven. “Paul, come try a slice of our latest creation,” they said. “We’re calling it the Rajun Cajun or the Coon Ass. It’s a Cajun-inspired pizza with Creole seasonings.”

This was incredibly good! If you look closely, you’ll see jalapenos on there, which made me happy because it gave the pizza a bit of heat (it also made my troll happy because the jalapenos are the same color as her hair). Meat-wise, the flavor of the ham on this pizza comes through great. I hope this pizza earns a spot on the menu or at least the special board. You’ll definitely want a glass of ice water on the side for this one.

MakeUseOf has ways to find all accounts linked to an email address. This can be useful for not only privacy purposes, but if you need to update a credit card number for auto-payments.

I’m going to try to go through the Downtown Dining Week menus soon and do a Paul’s Picks list of places that really go out of their way to deliver a great DDW experience. DDW starts Monday, November 11 and runs through Sunday, November 17.

Off to work. Back tomorrow with more news.

Sunday update

“GameDay is going to be on Beale? But, no one’s going to be out on Beale Street at 8 in the morning.”


The street was packed as early as 5:30. Memphis was well-represented on national TV, both in the morning on GameDay and in the evening with a victory over SMU, previously undefeated and the highest-ranked Group of Five team in the AP poll.

The Tigers will climb in this week’s poll, and we will see how they are ranked in the first CFP poll to be released Tuesday. Higher-ranked Appalachian State lost yesterday too, helping clear the path for Memphis to a New Year’s Six bowl. The Tigers will need to win their November 29 home game against higher-ranked Cincinnati for that to happen, and they may also need Boise State to take a loss sometime this month. Boise State’s remaining games are against Wyoming, New Mexico, Utah State, and Colorado State.

I looked up the Tigers’ bowl history and they have never been to a New Year’s Six bowl (Rose, Orange, Sugar, Fiesta, Cotton, Peach). Their most prestigious bowl appearance was probably in Memphis’ own Liberty Bowl in 2017. If the Tigers win out and win the AAC championship game, they could be romping in Cotton in a couple of months.

Just looked at the AAC standings… Memphis could have to go through Cincinnati twice in two weeks to make it to a New Year’s Six bowl. That will be rough. Cincy has only one loss, and it was to a team that is now in contention for a playoff bid, Ohio State.

Farm Fest is today 5-8 at Puck Food Hall. This is the Memphis Farmers Market’s end-of-season celebration and the Market’s biggest fundraiser. Come on out and enjoy food from some of the best restaurants in town, coordinated by Felicia Suzanne Restaurant. The beverages will be flowing and there will be live entertainment by Shufflegrit. Tickets are $50.

Memphis Farmers’ Market normally runs one Winter Market every year, and this year they are doing a really smart thing: They are having a Turkey Market Saturday, November 23 under the pavilion at Front and G.E. Patterson where you can buy everything you need for Thanksgiving dinner.

The bird has landed!

Yep, Chester’s fried chicken, sold in the better truck stops all over Arkansas, is now available at Bluefin, an Asian fusion restaurant. Why anyone would want truck stop chicken when Gus’s is three blocks away is a mystery to me, but hey, cheers to Bluefin’s owner for thinking outside the box… or should I say thinking outside the bucket.

Michael Donahue has a Flyer piece on Bailey Parks Patterson, the Gray Canary sous chef who heats things up on stage as well as in the kitchen.

Today is First Sunday artists’ market day at Westy’s. Things will get going around 2.

Memphis Made Brewing Co. hosts its sixth annual MALTED festival this coming Saturday, November 9. The fun starts at 1 PM with the first 100 people getting a commemorative MALTED pint glass. They’ll unveil a couple of new beers, including Stout Junt, a collaboration with Phillip Ashley Chocolate, as well as Memphis as Truck, a coffee stout brewed with French Truck Coffee. They’ll also have Nut Remix, Drew’s Day Off, and more malty beers. New Ballet Ensemble will perform parts of Nut Remix, followed by live music by Cassette Set and Relentless Breeze. At 7:30 Comma Comedians will take the stage for some stand-up comedy. The Grub food truck will be onsite for those who get hungry.

A work colleague told me Friday, “They say you’re a conglomeration of the five people you spend the most time with.” I guess that makes me a bartender then.

Memphis Brewfest 2020 has been announced for March 28 on the field of the Liberty Bowl. Man… they are gambling on the weather, putting a festival that early in the spring. Most of the time the weather is nice (normal would be about 68/47 I think) but it can be chilly… see today for example, when the normal high and low would be about 68/47 as well.

Are you a fan of chefs Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman (Gray Canary, Catherine & Mary’s, soon-to-open Bishop French brasserie)? Next year you can take a food tour of Italy with them.

That’s it for this post. Off to Silly Goose for D-RANKS with B-RAD. This week I made it a point to eat before going out so I won’t be tempted to order a pizza. Back tomorrow with more news.


South Main has a new locals’ bar: Longshot

Yesterday afternoon I got off work and figured it would be business as usual, straying no further than a few blocks from home, hanging out at the same local spots where I’ve been going for years. My plans changed, though, when I saw on Facebook that Longshot would open for the first time at 4. I tabbed out of Blind Bear and headed down there at the top of the hour.

Longshot is in the new Arrive Hotel, in the former Memphis College of Art graduate school building at 477 S. Main. However, although the address is technically Main, the entrance is around the corner on Butler. It’s a ground-floor bar, giving the place a speakeasy feel.

When you step in the bar, you get a sense of why it has its name. It’s at least 5 times long as it is wide. That makes it perfect for the bar’s signature form of entertainment: shuffleboard tables. They have 5 of them.

Yep, you don’t have to go out to Alex’s anymore to get a game of shuffleboard in. It’s free to play.

I took a seat at the bar and immediately recognized some familiar faces. Hannah, who I know from Loflin Yard, Aldo’s Pizza Pies Midtown, and years ago, the Flying Saucer, was bartending. She is one of my all-time faves and I am thrilled to see her working at a bar that is walkable distance from where I live. Also behind the bar was Keagan, who I recall from Bar 409 down the street. The other bartenders were super cool too.

The familiar faces didn’t end behind the bar, though. The GM is Dax Nichols, a Downtowner for many years, a former GM of the Downtown Huey’s and other Huey’s locations. His presence gave me high hopes for the place, knowing that someone who does the restaurant business right is in charge.

However, I also had doubts – no matter who runs the place, it’s still a hotel bar. Would the owners and investors force the place to cater to tourists, to be too uppity to appeal to locals? Let me post the cocktail menu and you’ll have your answer. Look for one line on the menu in particular (click image to view in a larger size):

(Hint: Top of the “Packaged Goods” section in the second image above.)

You see it?

“PBR 3”


They GET it! They have the Cadillac of beers at a reasonable price point. That’ll bring the locals in time and time again. It’s too bad some other Downtown bars (looking at you, SAUCER) can’t figure out how to do that. They also have Miller High Life (that’ll bring Buddha in, I’m guessing), Miller Lite,. and Mich Ultra for 3, and Yuengling for a very reasonable 4.

Now for the bad news: They don’t actually have those products yet, because the hearing for their beer license is not until Wednesday. So for now your choices are craft cocktails and wine. This is the first time I can ever remember a bar getting its liquor license before its beer license. Usually the ABC screws you around for weeks before granting the right to serve liquor.

I love a good Old Fashioned, so I had them make me one. Tasty indeed.

Once I had drink in hand, I walked around the bar and took some more pictures.

Longshot is known for their house-made sausages, with buns from the bakery upstairs. Here’s a look at the food menu (again, click for a larger size):

I was impressed with the variety of sausages they offered, including Korean BBQ style and Vietnamese style (and I’m pretty sure I know exactly which Downtowner influenced those making it onto the menu). Although I’d finished off my remaining half of a Smurfey’s Smokehouse baked potato for lunch, I couldn’t resist ordering Longshot’s signature food.

Here I messed up, though. I saw the “charred curry carrot” sausage with stewed chickpeas and raita, and figured it was an Indian take on Longshot’s house-made sausages. I love Indian food, and put in an order, with fries on the side. What I didn’t realize was, that is Longshot’s vegetarian offering, and the carrot is the sausage!

It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t what I was expecting either. I ate it though. I’m not a believer in sending food back when I am the one who screwed up by ordering it. If you’re a vegetarian I think you will like it. Fries were really good.

I finished my Old Fashioned and it was time for a second cocktail. Knowing Keagan to be a master mixologist, I asked him what his favorite cocktail was other than the Old Fashioned. He recommended the Sidecar, with cognac, lemon, curacao, green apple, and turmeric.

Damn tasty.

They have 3 TVs behind the bar, but as of last night they did not have cable hooked up.

You know, for years I have talked about my “Big Five” homes away from home: Bardog, Blind Bear, Flying Saucer, Silly Goose, and Max’s Sports Bar. Saucer got booted off the list when they insulted their customers by finally giving into demands for PBR cans but charged $5 for them. So I was left with three homes in the core, Bardog, Bear, and Goose, and one in South Main, Max’s.

Longshot felt like home the minute I sat down at the bar. It reminded me of my very first visit to Bardog the day it opened, in September 2008 – I immediately got the sense that I would be spending a lot of time there.

With Slider Inn/Out soon to open, I’m going to have as many homes away from home in South Main as I will in the Downtown core. I foresee myself spending considerably more time in South Main in the near future. Don’t worry, though, I won’t start hashtagging #southmainfam in my social media posts. Nor will I turn in my blue koozie for a green one, even though in 16 days I will meet the minimum age requirement to do so.

Longshot is open 4 to midnight daily. Hmmm staying at Longshot ’til close on a weekend night and then sliding over to Earnestine & Hazel’s… that’s a possibility.

I will be back, although I will wait until they get their beer license. Great job Dax and crew on an excellent addition to South Main.



(That’s Spanish for “hello” – I didn’t misspell “holla” – although that would be a very Memphis thang to do)

Today is one of the best days of the year: Half-off candy day. Those 100-piece bags of assorted Halloween fun-size candy bars that were selling for $13 are now selling for $6.50 or even $3.25. Go get you some and be your own trick-or-treater.

Got one more early opening for ESPN College GameDay tomorrow. The Flying Saucer will open at 9 AM with breakfast burritos and coffee (and, although they didn’t say it on their flyer, I’m assuming beer as well). Full menu will be available at 10 AM.

It’s the first of the month, and that means it’s time for a look at the non-Grizzlies/Tigers events coming up at FedExForum in November. This month there is only one, and it’s tonight:

Children’s musician Sonia de los Santos, raised in Monterrey, Mexico, will perform at the Halloran Centre tomorrow at 10 AM.

As your #1 source of news and information about The Edge District, I would be remiss if I did not note that Bluff City Tattoo recently celebrated its first anniversary. Their shop is located at 667 Monroe Avenue Extended, and walk-ins are welcome. It was opened last year by Lucero guitarist Brian Venable.

Also, congratulations to The Nine Thai Sushi on their first anniversary. They will offer 10% off bottles, half-priced appetizers, and a free gift while supplies last.

The Peabody has a new “You Don’t Know Jack” booking special. In addition to one night’s accommodation, it comes with a bottle of Peabody Select Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Tennessee whiskey, a Jack Daniel’s cocktail and appetizer in the Corner Bar, Internet access, and self-parking in the hotel’s garage. Book here

I got off work early enough yesterday to hit the food truck rodeo in Court Square. If you have not had a pulled pork baked potato from Smurfey’s Smokehouse, you are missing out on an outstanding BBQ experience. They load an oversized potato up with pork and then top it with nacho cheese sauce and Smurfey’s sauce. Delicious. It’s $10 but big enough to have leftovers for a second meal.

I didn’t stay out late for Halloween because I have a 9 AM meeting in which my IT knowledge may come into play. That’s fine, I’ll make up for it this weekend. Taking tomorrow off for GameDay unless there is time-sensitive news to get out. Back Sunday with more.