Saturday update: Welcome Kansas State and Navy fans

Welcome to any Kansas State and Navy fans who stumble upon this blog as they’re in town for the Liberty Bowl. For those staying Downtown, I’ll offer a few pointers before I get on to my regular post.

  • Everyone’s going to tell you to go to Gus’s for fried chicken. They are not wrong. It will rock your world.
  • Everyone’s going to tell you to go to the Rendezvous for BBQ. Rendezvous is an experience, to be sure, but if you only have one BBQ meal Downtown, make it Central BBQ (on Butler behind the National Civil Rights Museum). Those of you who have wheels, The Bar-B-Q Shop on Madison in Midtown is an excellent option too.
  • Speaking of the Civil Rights Museum, that’s a must-see as well.
  • The best nightclub in the world is Paula & Raiford’s Disco on Second between Madison and Monroe. It’s open Fridays and Saturdays from 10 PM to 3 AM.
  • A must-visit hole-in-the-wall bar is Earnestine & Hazel’s at Main and G.E. Patterson. Order a Soul Burger and play classic tunes on the jukebox.
  • A. Schwab on Beale is a neat place to shop. It is a dry goods store that has been open since 1876.
  • People always ask where the locals go to hang out. My favorites: Bardog (friendly neighborhood bar that has been open 11 years but feels like it has been there forever); Blind Bear (speakeasy which is a great place to drink and watch sports); and Silly Goose (craft cocktails and wood-fired pizzas). All three of the bars I just mentioned have the greatest beverage in the world, Pabst Blue Ribbon, on tap or in cans.
  • People always ask where the locals go to eat that’s not BBQ. My favorites: Majestic Grille and Rizzo’s by Michael Patrick. Both offer upscale food in a great environment, and neither is pretentious in any way (I wore shorts when I ate at Rizzo’s Thursday).
  • Downtown is the safest part of Memphis, but be smart. Don’t take shortcuts down alleys. Don’t leave valuables in plain sight in your cars. Also, single males: If 2 women approach you in a bar and say “Hey baby, let’s go have some fun,” don’t go with them; they’re setting you up to be robbed by a male accomplice. They always come out of the woodwork this time of year.
  • If you were a Penny Hardaway fan when he was in the NBA, you have two chances to check him out as the head coach of the Memphis Tigers: Today at 12:30 and Monday at 8. Both games are at FedExForum.
  • If you want to see future stars Jaren Jackson Jr. and Ja Morant, the Grizzlies play Sunday at FedExForum at 7.
  • Trolleys are fun to ride but don’t depend on them to get you from point A to point B within a certain time frame. Lyft and Uber are popular here; I’d recommend Lyft over Uber but either is good. Notice I didn’t recommend the local cab services.

Here’s a pic of the meal I had at Rizzo’s Thursday:

Rizzo’s is open for lunch Tuesdays-Saturdays 11-2, brunch on Sundays, and dinner Monday-Saturday. Pictured here is Thursday’s chef’s blue plate special of the day: Blackened catfish with tasso ham in a yummy cream gravy, along with spinach, cheese grits, and Cajun blackeyed peas. For those new to this blog, that’s my troll staring at the food. She’s been a fixture on this blog for over 3 years.

By the way, if you dine at Rizzo’s, be sure to tell Chef Michael Patrick CONGRATULATIONS! He got engaged this week.

Edible Memphis reports that Rizzo’s will have a four-course dinner for $65 on New Year’s Eve. 901-304-6935 to make reservations. Check out Edible Memphis’ new classic cocktail guide.

I got my new computer! It was scheduled to arrive January 3, but showed up a week early. I love Amazon! I am setting up the computer this morning and it seems to be as blazing fast as advertised.

The fire department was called to South Main Sushi on Christmas. It was just a heater blower motor that overheated. One of the oldsters who hangs out in South Main Instragrammed sushi pics Friday night, so the damage didn’t knock them out of business. Good to see.

There is now no hope of James Wiseman returning to Memphis. He signed with an agent yesterday and is preparing for the NBA draft, where he is a projected top-three pick.

Cotton Headed Ninny Muggins happens at the Flying Saucer tonight. There will be a spaghetti dinner and a beer and candy flight.

Random thing I learned yesterday: At McDonald’s in Europe, the Quarter Pounder is called Royale with Cheese. So that’s how one of the Flying Saucer’s burgers got its name, although it isn’t prepped the same way as Mickey D’s. For those in town for the game, by the way, the Saucer has great burgers, and their fries are some of the best Downtown.

My apologies to those of you who went to Westy’s during the day on Christmas after reading the “what’s open” guide. They were open, but they were serving dinner to the homeless. A few of my friends had a really awkward moment when they went in there.

As your #1 source of news and information about The Edge District, it is my pleasure to inform you that Jamaican restaurant Evelyn and Olive will have a New Year’s Eve party Tuesday night.

Know what The Edge needs that it doesn’t have? A hair salon that does extensions.

WTF is up with The Rutledge Report? Arkansas’ attorney general buys TV time to talk about various topics. I’ve never known an AG to do that before, and it seems like the most self-serving thing ever. My guess is she has her eye on the governor’s chair and she wants to build name recognition. Arkansas has a precedent for attorney generals being elected governor… and then president.

Did you know that Insomnia Cookies on Beale delivers? Guy a few seats down from me gave them a call yesterday, and 10 minutes later we had a box of warm cookies that had just come out of the oven.

It’s time to play the phone service provider version of the “Fuck, Marry, Kill” game, where I give you the names of three people, and you have to choose one to have sex with, one to marry, and one to kill. Your choices are

  • Sprintern
  • Lily from the AT&T commercials several years ago
  • The redhead (the adult, not the baby) in the iPhone 11 Pro commercials.

Here’s how I would play it:

  • F: Lily. Well, duh. She’s hot.
  • M: Sprintern seems like she might be a lady on the streets and a freak between the sheets.
  • K: The iPhone 11 pro redhead. That bitch looks like she might be crazy.

Wondering where to get your blackeyed peas on New Year’s Day? Wonder no more. The Blind Bear will open at 11 AM with a Roaring Twenties brunch. Hanin behind the bar with $15 bottles of bubbly, $30 Sophia bottles, $4 moonshine, $3 mimosas, $3 Bloody Marys, and $3 flavored whiskeys. Brunch specials run until 6 PM. Food specials will include blackeyed peas,  greens, and cornbread.

A Memphis basketball legend has announced his retirement. Zach Randolph, one of the Grizzlies’ Core Four for years, is hanging up the sneakers.

Why do people at bars keep breaking the soap dispensers? It’s happening a lot during this holiday season. If you have anger management issues, take them out on a punching bag at the gym. Bar owners might want to invest in a multi-pack of liquid hand soap dispensers to use as backups when idiots attack the soap dispenser attached to the wall.

From Distractify: Nap at work with an under-the-bed hammock

Longshot will stay open until 1 AM to ring in the New Year. That night there will be no cover, chef snacks, and a champagne toast at midnight.

Sorry for taking two days off in a row but I needed to enjoy my week off… and I did. I saw a lot of my favorite people, went to Bardog early a couple of days, stayed out late a couple of days, ate some delicious food, and partied hard but didn’t take it to extremes. Now I’m heading out to Bardog to watch the Tigers in the Cotton Bowl. Back tomorrow with more news.