Tuesday update

I’m very excited about this afternoon! I snagged a ticket to Taste of the Medical District, which happens this afternoon in Health Sciences Park from 4 to 6. There will be several Med District restaurants I have never been in to visit that will supply food samples, including

  • Slim & Husky’s
  • Sunrise Memphis
  • Riko’s Kickin’ Chicken
  • Sabor Caribe
  • Paper Plate Pavilion (which operates the restaurant in Tom Lee Park)

There will be several other restaurants there I have visited before (and therefore know their food is AWESOME), but I haven’t been there in a while:

  • Alcenia’s
  • Rock & Dough
  • Feast & Graze

Should be a fun event. I’m gonna get there as close to 4 as possible and try to be out by 5, because I’d like to visit Downtown’s National Night Out events (particularly the one at the Cossitt Library) too.

The 9th annual Memphis Monster Mash will happen on Saturday, October 28 at 648 Poplar. Proceeds raised from the party benefit the Tennessee Equality Project. Open bar, drag show, outdoor dance floor, finger foods, video DJ. Organizers limit the event to 200 tickets and it sells out early every year.

Momma’s, “the diner & dive off 55,” has a couple of new promotions going on every Monday night from 7 to 9:

  • Redneck trivia – Show off your knowledge of hunting, fishing, motorcycles, country music, etc.
  • Free burger night – every 7th burger that comes out of the kitchen during that time frame is free.

It’s National Soft Taco Day. Maciel’s would be my recommendation – probably the Tinga (spicy chicken) or the chorizo.

Specials this week at the Blind Bear:

The I-55 bridge will close for construction between 6 PM this Friday and 6 AM Monday. Work will be done on the Wisconsin Ave. bridge over 55 as well as the river bridge and the interchange at Crump.

For those of you sick of the heat, MemphisWeather.net forecasts a high in the upper 60s and a low in the mid 40s Saturday.

TRAFFIC ALERT for my Bardog friends who come there from Fayette County: Traffic will be impacted Saturday by the St. Jude Ironman 70.3. I know this slowed you down last year. I don’t have recommendations for alternate routes because I’m unfamiliar with the roads out there. Maybe drive north to Oaklamd and hit the 40 there?

There were more girl fights and a gun on Beale Street late Saturday night.

Come say hello if you see me at Taste of the District! I’ll probably have on a turquoise shirt, gray shorts, with blonde hair that looks like it hasn’t been cut in a year (because it hasn’t). If I get more info on Downtown National Night Out events today, I’ll be back with a second post.

Monday update

The Beach Boys play the Orpheum Tuesday night. Tickets are $45-$175.

Worth a bookmark: 100 lesser-known but useful websites

Let’s have a look at college football games of interest to Mwmphians this Saturday:

  • 12 Oklahoma at 3 Texas, 11:00 AM, ABC (Red River Rivalry, Cotton Bowl, Dallas)
  • 23 LSU at 21 Missouri, 11:00 AM, ESPN
  • Western Michigan at Mississippi State, 11:00 AM, SEC Network
  • 11 Alabama at Texas A&M, 2:30 PM, CBS
  • Vanderbilt at Florida, 3:00 PM, SEC Network
  • Arkansas State at Troy, 3:00 PM, ESPN+
  • Colorado at Arizona State, 5:30 PM, Pac-12 Network
  • 20 Kentucky at 1 Georgia, 6:00 PM, ESPN
  • Arkansas at 16 Ole Miss, 6:30 PM, SEC Network

ARCHd, the gift shop that opened recently at 65 Monroe, is looking to add a part-time team member. Must be able to work Saturday and Sunday shifts and one of a Monday, Thursday, or Friday shift. Pluses are previous retail experience and social media management.

Central Station Hotel restaurants Bishop. and Eight & Sand will have $5 Oktoberfest cans from Soul & Spirits, Grind City, and Wiseacre all month long, while supplies last.

Louisville native Quinnette spins at Eight & Sand this Friday night.

Elevation Memphis plays Live at the Tracks at Central Station this Thursday evening.

You Don’t Have to Sign That Deal, I Promise, a workshop for independent music artists, happens at the Cossitt Library Saturday from 5 to 7 PM. Learn about touring, marketing, social media, and more aspects of the music biz without the backing of a record label.

Storyboard Memphis has a good piece on The Balcony Project at the Orpheum.

Kelly Hunt plays South Main Sounds with Marie Miller this Sunday at 3. This will be a release show for Hunt’s new album, Ozark Symphony.

There will be Reggae in the Park After Dark in Court Square every Friday in October.

Youth Villages Young Professionals will have a mixer at Grind City Brewing Thursday from 5:30 to 7:30. Wear your “I Voted” sticker and get a free giveaway. This is a good opportunity to expand your professional circle and make new friends. Register for the mixer to receive two complimentary drink tickets.

Grizzlies coach Taylor Jenkins has announced Ja Morant will be able to practice and travel with the team as he serves out his 25-game NBA suspension. Ja will be eligible to play beginning on December 19 vs. New Orleans.

I went down to the restarted Beale Street Wine Race yesterday afternoon to cheer on the Blind Bear family. Some pics are below. Before I get to them, though, apologies to Bear bartender Kelly! He was the first leg of the wine relay and I couldn’t get my PBR can out of my hand fast enough to be able to snap a pic.

Leg 2 of the wine relay – Michael

Leg 3 of the wine relay – Rachel

Leg 4 of the wine relay – Jeannette

The Blind Bear finished 4th, which sounds impressive if you overlook the fact that 5 teams competed in total. Michael celebrated by drinking a Rumple shot out of the 4th-place trophy.

It was good to see Bubbles the street vendor back at Wine Race. The original April 2023 event was shut down early when a visitor to the street shot at Bubbles.

While at the festivities, I got a piece of insider info from Tony from the Blind Bear’s kitchen: A Chicago-style Italian beef sandwich is going to be on the specials this week. A native Chicagoan gave him the recipe, and upon sampling, told him, “I hate to admit it, but your Italian beef version is even better than the one I make.”

I’ll be up at the Bear later this afternoon. Back tomorrow with more news.

Debauchery Day… in October

This year, we set a record for the longest Beale Street Wine Race in history… 5 months 1 week and it’s still not done.

Beale Street Wine Race is an event in which servers from restaurants around Shelby County compete in a series of events:

  • An opening parade, with floats
  • A Queen of the Vine beauty pageant
  • A grape stomp
  • A four-person wine relay

Wine Race is typically held on the last Sunday in April. For those in the service/hospitality industry, it’s one last chance to blow off steam before the busy Memphis in May tourist season begins. It’s a day when much alcohol is consumef.

It’s a day of debauchery.

Except in April 2023, things went off-track.The first 3 events got done, although the winner of the grape stomp had yet to be announced. Then – as the second heat in the wine relay was about to begin, I’m told – shots rang out and MPD cleared the street and declared the games over.

Today the games will be finished. Thw wine relay will be completed and the winners of that event and the grape stomp will be announced.

Security will be turned up good and tight. Thay’re not gonna let Beale Street be embarrassed twice in a row. I haven’t heard this, but I would not be that surprised if they wand guests coming on to the street.

People will start gathering around 2, with the wine relay starting at 3 and the awards after that.

Never been to Wine Race before? Here are a few of my personal recommendations:

Park for free! The city does not charge for metered spaces on Sundays. As a general rule, it’s safer to park in areas north and west of Beale than in areas south and east of Beale.

If you absolutely want to park in a garage, the ones along Peabody Place (one block north of Beale) are good bets – Downtown Mobility Center, the one above Flying Saucer, the one next to Hampton Inn, the one next to Robusto by Havana Mix.

The best burgers on Beale are just steps away from the wine relay location. Why not get down there early and have one? Look for a place named Dyer’s and order a double-double – that’s two beef patties and double cheese – and fries.

Then go next door to Wet Willie’s and order a Call-a-Cab. It’s made with ice, strawberry and cherry Kool-Aid mix, and 190 PGA.

One thing, though: ABSOLUTELY DON’T order a Call-a-Cab if you will have to drive in the 4-8 hours following your purchase.

Don’t forget your ID! Whether it’s Memphis’ entertainment district, an Orlando trip, or some other destination, your adventure might be considerably less fun if you can’t show proof of age.

Some people like to watch the wine relay from above. If that’s you, get to Jerry Lee’s a bit early and make a beeline for the upstairs balconies. Just don’t look for me up there though –  I prefer to watch from street level.

Back in April, I was having trouble with my legs and they were too bad for all that walking around an uneven street. They’re much better now, and I plan to be there in my 2023 Blind Bear Wine Race shirt.

On to the news…

Speaking of the Blind Bear, I didn’t think Tony could possibly outdo the Greens Gumbo he had as the soup weekly special last week.

Then he gave me a sample of this coming week’s special, and yeah, I think he outdid himself.

Chicken jalapeno popper soup. Love those fresh jalapenos! It’ll be available this week starting MONDAY (so if you try ordering it today, no soup for you).

Let’s hear it for trash pandas! It’s International Raccoon Appreciation Day.

A few people have told me they’ve hoped I’ve just been “on a break” from the BBQ team the past few years and that one day I wil return to the fold. With Memphis in May’s decision to move BBQ Fest to Liberty Park, I can assure you that I will never be back. I’m not mad at Memphis River Parks Partnership, because what they did at Tom Lee is a home run for the community. But a side effect of that is, BBQ Fest as I knew and loved it is dead.

Watch out for that combo flu/COVID shot – my friends got it and it made them feel so ill that they had to cancel Saturday plans. Might want to avoid getting the shot on a Friday in case the following day needs to be a day when you call in sick.

WREG has coverage on that massive fire in West Memphis yesterday, It was cleaning products. Glad to hear it wasn’t the warehouse Family Dollar runs in that area. I’d hate to hear about 1000 rats dying.

The Grizzlies made some roster moves over the weekend. No big names were involved though.

People have been asking why I’ve tended to drink glasses of Coke/Pepsi at bars lately. I’m trying to hold down expenses; it’s not anything to do with my health. It’s cheaper to ger a Coke refilled than it is to order PBR after PBR.

Headed to Blind Bear at 11 and will walk over to Beale between 2 and 3.  Back tomorrow probably.