Saturday, May 30, 2009
Beautiful details everywhere. This is a detail of one of the columns of the Palau de la Musica Catalana.
The beach at Port Olympic
Tapas. This tapas bar just a half a block from the hotel is called Cervesaria Catalana on Carrer de Mallorca. The food is unbelievable, it's been packed every night with locals. We've been to other places but this is by far our favorite.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
CBT - I may be heading to Bassignana. Any requests?
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
If you work downtown you might have noticed this hot dog vendor on the corner of Union and Main Street at lunch time. I have walked past this cart for several days in a row, admiring it's highly polished and spotlessly clean stainless steel surface. I like the idea of street food and I wish we had more of these around. So today I became a customer and my turkey hot dog with everything was delicious. He plans to have fresh lime-aid, a perfect summer time drink, next week. Give him a call and he'll have your order waiting for you when you go to pick it up and for every 10 hot dogs you buy you get one free. See his menu and information below.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Recently two new cigar/tobacco shops have appeared on the horizon. One, the Smokers Outlet on Main Street near Madison, has opened and has what looks to be all manner of cigars, tobacco, smoking accessories, a humidor, and for good measure, t-shirts and baseball caps. It's in the space where Payless Shoes used to be. What happened? Why couldn't Payless make it there? I'd much rather have a store that sells flip flops and cheap shoes than a Smokers Outlet but then again I'm not a smoker in need of a t-shirt or a landlord in need of a tenant. There's also a cigar/tobacco shop that looks close to opening on Second near Flying Fish.
This Thursday at the block party on Main between Peabody Place and Gayoso you'll be able to pick up some Blues City Cigars (pictured above) offered by the Tobacco Bowl. The band on this cigar is the image "Signs of the Blues on Beale Street" by Memphis artist David Lynch. Clever collaboration.
The Tobacco Bowl at 152 Madison.
Monday, May 18, 2009
My grandmother's birthday was this past Saturday. She turned 97. I thought I'd share a couple of photos of her from back in the day. The one below takes the cake, truly. She's also a Memphistanista and has seen all of the changes this city has been through for practically a century.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
In the center of this shot you can see a couple either getting married or renewing their vows we all guessed. Either way, they took respecting the Q to another level.
Crowd walking past the Pigs in Gin tent.
Nice upper deck of a tent.
Boaters swanning about by the riverside - the river has gotten pretty high again.
I was clearly a very lazy photographer snapping these from one spot and never pulling my camera out again. But for once I thought I'd try to actively participate in something and not memorialize every second. The festival continues today and tonight it will start to wrap up.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Rub Me Tender, 80 Proof Pit Crew, Any Pork in A Storm, Here for the Beer, Slapjo Mama Cooking Team, Porkosaurus and on and on.
For the BBQ uninitiated, here is the gist of how this works. This is a competition so health regulations prohibit teams from serving barbecue to the general public. There are food vendors set up that do sell to the public however.
So what if you're not on a team and you've not been invited to any teams? The answer to that comes straight from the MIM website http://www.memphisinmay.org/bbqstuffyouneedtoknow :
"There are two programs for our patrons that allow them to experience the World Championship as a team or judge would: People's Choice Contest allows John "Que" Public to taste and judge championship barbecue. In this tent, you will receive 5 samples of barbecue each visit and you judge your favorite of those five samples. You may judge as often as you like and the judging fee is $4 per visit. The Cooker's Caravan takes you on a guided tour of the teams and lets you hear first-hand about the team's passion for pork. The team's will tell you about their secrets for grilling championship barbecue, show you their rigs and explain the process of cooking at Memphis in May. There is no charge for the tours and you may tour as often as you like. The tours are available Thursday and Friday every thirty minutes from 11:30am - 3:30pm."
GRIDLOCK ALERT: Apart from the BBQ Fest, the traffic from which was already picking up at lunch time downtown, there are the rooftop parties tonight at the Peabody Hotel and the Madison Hotel. In addition, the Redbirds play a game at 7 pm tonight, 7 pm tomorrow night and 6 pm Saturday night.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
I like this photo. It's of a building at the corner of Beale Street and Lauderdale.
Tomorrow night, May 13th Indie Memphis Micro Cinema Club presents "Short Films from Chile" featuring some award winning shorts from the Santiago International Film Festival; 7:30 pm downtown at the Power House. Also, on Thursday night May 14th at 7 pm at Malco Studio on the Square, Indie Memphis and Memphis in May will present the Chilean film "Machuca".
Better stock up on some Chilean wine at the Corkscrew today- Ladies Day - 10% off wine.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Despite the fact that there were several great brunches downtown to have taken mother to for Mother's Day I opted to have lunch at my place. Bon Appétit (June issue) just came in the mail this week and so I found a few Latin inspired recipes that sounded perfect. They were. Shrimp and Scallops with Mango Avocado Salsa, Rice with Squash and Pumpkin Seeds and Toasted Coconut Ice Cream. Lots of flavors came togther in the main dish: lime, jalapeno, cumin, tequila, shallot and garlic. The toasted coconut ice cream recipe sounded great though I did not follow it. I simply toasted some shredded cocount in the oven and sprinkled it over Coconut Almond ice cream from the Fresh Market. You can see the recipes in the magazine.
Mango-Avocado Salsa: mango, avocado, mint, lime, shallot
And we will continue to celebrate with food this week as the Memphis in May Barbecue Cooking Contest gets underway later in the week.
Friday, May 8, 2009
Thursday, May 7, 2009
Today as part of the CCC's Downtown Alive series here's what will be happening in Court Square at lunch time: "Middle Eastern dances from different regions; Sinai Bedouin, Lebanese fortune tellers, upper Egyptian farmers, etc."
Upper Egyptian farmers? And what could the "etc" possibly mean?
I'm going to this for sure. I need a fortune teller.
Mother's Day is this Sunday!
Mother's Day Brunches Downtown:
Sunday May 10, 11am-4pm
Reservations recommended. They will have the regular brunch menu and lunch menu in addition to these specials:
Corn and Crab Chowder, Sautéed Tilapia, Seafood Wellington, Surf & Turf Benedict
Currents in the River Inn on Harbor Town
Sunday, May 10, 11am - 4pm
Offering a three-course prix fixe menu, some menu offerings are:
Roasted Red Pepper Bisque, Baby Arugula Salad, Eggs Benedict, Pan Seared Maine Diver Scallops, Grilled Filet of Beef, Brandied Peach Cobbler
Sunday, May 10, 2009
A few of their buffet items:
Tuscan Pasta Salad
Honey Glazed Ham
Herb Rubbed Prime Rib
Call 901.333.1224 to make a reservation, or reserve your table at http://www.grill83.com/
Having their usual Sunday brunch from 10am - 4pm. I really don't know what would make a Mother's Day brunch particularly motherly and different from a regular brunch in the first place.
The only one of the brunches I've been to is the Majestic and I can say it has always been good.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Today's random downtown photo:
View of buildings on Second at Monroe.
And for something totally different, today you can see roller derby demonstrations by Memphis Roller Derby ladies on the Civic Center Plaza. Starts at 11:45.
The rain is back and so are the Blues, the Blues Foundation 30th Blues Music Awards that is. Tomorrow night, May 7th at 5:30 pm, Cook Convention Center. Their flyer touts over 7 hours of the best blues acts from all over the world, including performances by Maria Muldaur & Taj Mahal, Watermelon Slim and the Workers, Cedric Burnside & Lightnin' Malcolm, Billy Gibson, Delta Highway and many others. More than 65 nominees attend. A big night for fans and supporters of the Blues. Incidentally, Watermelon Slim and the Workers, nominated for 4 awards, will be playing at Ground Zero tonight.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
"SHORT FILMS FROM CHILE", an evening of award-winning Chilean short films representing the best in Chilean cinema as selected by the Santiago International Film Festival. In Spanish with English subtitles.
What: "Short Films from Chile"
When: 7:30 pm, Thursday, May 7th
Where: Brooks Museum of Art Admission: $5 / Free for Indie Memphis members
Work continues at Cossitt Library and I was so happy to see the total demolition of what can only be described as the litter-filled cesspool in front. Yes! Pave it, do anything, just erase it. It looks like there will be a walkway from the U of M Law School to the library and that the space in front of the library would be a kind of plaza. I searched for current stories about the work and found nothing so everything I just said is a vague notion. If anyone knows for certain what the plan is, please let me know.
It's Tuesday: If you're a girl you get 10% off wine at the Corkscrew! Gracias y Feliz Cinco de Mayo Amigos!
Monday, May 4, 2009
A Wine Tasting with Chef Pilar Rodríguez, Tuesday, May 5th 6:00 pm at the Madison Hotel Rooftop Terrace, featuring Chef Pilar Rodríguez's wine selections from Chile.
Chilean King Crab Salad
Marinated Pork Loin Medallions
Roasted Lamb Chops
Three Spices Infused Beef Tenderloin
Lucuma Creme Brulee
$35/person (Inclusive of taxes and gratuities)
An excerpt from Chef Pilar Rodríguez's bio from her website http://www.pilarrodriguez.com/
"...what distinguishes Pilar’s unique approach is that she designs each dish in her menus for a specific wine. Clearly, it’s the concept of 'cooking for the wine' achieved in concert with some of the biggest names of the Chilean wine industry – that makes this cuisine stand out. Plus, it’s the kind of cooking that anyone with basic cooking skills and access to good products can replicate and enjoy. You don’t need to live in Chile, Paris, Manhattan or Washington to experience the beautiful flavours of this region."
You should visit her website if only to see the gorgeous food photography.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
The huge mural on the building overlooking AutoZone Park looks to be complete. The scaffolding has been taken down and my drive home from work down Madison is now a bit more interesting. Mural artist info: www.jazim.com
Day three of Memphis in May music fest is underway and wet. It's been raining all weekend on and off making conditions down in the park sloshy and muddy. I haven't gone this year at all and it's hard to tell from up here what the turnout has been like. I can't see it but I can hear a nonstop echoing and thump, thump, thump peppered with occassional applause and screaming.
And the Riverfront Development Corporation circulated the following information regarding the Mud Island Land Use Study:
"The RDC has compiled the results of the first round of public input in two comprehensive reports, one with findings from all meetings and survey responses, and another with detail from the survey questions. The next step is to get public reaction to possible concepts for Mud Island River Park based on the first round of public input. Please make your voices heard at the next round of public meetings.
Tuesday, 5/12, 5:45 - 7:30 pm -- Memphis Botanic Gardens, 750 Cherry Road
Thursday, 5/14, 5:45 - 7:30 pm -- Mud Island River Park Harbor Landing, 101 Island Drive (gate security will give directions)."
The surveys showed some interesting ideas coming out of the first round meetings and some ideas were favored by a majority of respondents such as:
Live musical performances - 64.9%
Restaurants - 54.1%
Waterside cafes- 66.6%
River promenades - 68.5%
Pinic areas - 54.9%
Anyway, both reports are worth looking through if you have any interest in this study.
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Big, wet fun actually. The Outdoors Inc. Canoe and Kayak Race was well attended this morning despite the rain. I watched from the cobblestones and got a few photos of the race...
And while the last of the canoes and kayaks were rounding the tip of Mud Island River Park you could hear sound checks from Tom Lee Park as they prepare for Day Two of Music Fest.