Month: March 2010

Sunday Funday Shirt on life support

Do you have a favorite shirt or comfy pants that you go to each and every day? If you ever watched Seinfeld you may recall the episode about “Golden Boy” that was Jerry’s favorite T-shirt and how it never was worn while laundry was being done. CBT has a similar shirt as I don’t recall when I actually purchased my white timberland polo shirt but it became my official ‘Sunday Funday’ shirt. If you have ever seen me out on a Sunday fighting crime you may have recognized this ragged shirt but I always referred to it as my required uniform. The collar was held by a string, there are more holes in it than a Tiger Woods alibi but it wore great and survived many a battle.
Well today I am to report that the collar finally came off of Sunday Funday shirt and I fear that he may be soon heading to that great dust rag heaven in the sky. Due to the holes I am required to wear an under shirt as no one wants to see my back hair poking out and once it gets ‘hotter than testicles’ in Memphis that means adios to Mr Sunday shirt. Anyway out of respect I will wear him with pride until the time is upon us. sniff, sniff.

other than being raggedy he still is pretty clean and shiny white

Notice the collar? Mrs CBT laughed when I said I wanted her to get out the sewing machine.

I bet some of you are now betting that I still have my communion money aren’t you?
I think that a proper last hurrah would be the Great Wine race before MIM begins.
TTK!

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Can you see the signs?

Now apologies to my fellow crime fighter Michelle as I am kinda infringing on her blog premise of neat pictures in downtown but I have always wanted to do a post that is just South Main stuff. Way back in the mid 90’s the movie “The People vs Larry Flynt” was filmed in a lot of downtown locations and we befriended the Art Director (before he stole a good friend of ours and took him to California and ex-communicated him from us) and he told me that he loved Memphis’ downtown because of all of the hand painted signs on the old buildings. The Art department used a lot of these signs as back drops to mimic Cincinnati and other cities and even had one commissioned on a building on Front Street where the ‘hustler’ club was to be filmed. Later it was painted over and I still don’t know why they did that, it was kind of cool.

I think it was this past fall while I was drinking a diet coke at my favorite sports bar down in South Main when it hit me about the number of hand painted billboards/signs are in a 15 block radius of South Main. Today between rain showers I took a walk and shot up some of South Main and for my 2 readers feel free to figure out where these are as unless someone touches them up they will fade away.

As a bonus can anyone tell me what was the billboard sign painted on the old South End/former Blue Monkey/now South Main swimming hole?

Madam Boss of Harrah’s NOLA this first one is for you.
It is a hand painted dirt median in South Bluffs!

Guess the “welcome to the lofts” kinda gives that away eh?

Yep I may need to go back to being satirical you know since I gave this one away too.

Yep this is America but you better watch out with using the word Dixie

Almost gone

Wonder where this is?

Oh well keep trying to find this…

Now I know that Graffiti is bad but you got to love the artist’s colors.

I think it is a Pepsi sign

Loflin Safe and Lock Co. Wonder where that is?

Someones got the upper hand

I think that UWT had places all over South Main, I saw a dozen signs today

You better pick this location pretty fast

Again here today…

Where were you before the market went into the crapper?

This one isn’t that easy to find

Hard to read this one

If you ride around with your eyes closed you can find this one

Can’t make the company out but apparently they sold rubbers (snicker)

Remember when they were supposed to be where Pat O’s was going to be going?

Good luck on that one

Better not blink for this one

Bulldog is looking over us

Not saying but if you walked out of SOB you may find this one

Barely there

Never find this one, I promise!

Bricks are winning over the paint in this case

Pay no attention the logo in the bottom right corner for where this sign is located

Give you a hint we eat a burger made of ‘Soul’ here.
I am guessing below the windows was a sign.

I know it isn’t a sign but I know two little red head twins who will recognize this location.

10 minutes after I took this pic it rained cats and dogs on me
I hope they aren’t saying to pee there

I guess the Godfather of Soul wrote this sign.

Wonder where this is?

Again I know that everyone has walked by this one
Keep in light.
TTQ!

Pork, Chips, Nacho Cheese sauce, BBQ sauce, dry rub = love on a plate

Last week I came across a “you know you are a foodie if..” and one of the comments that was made that you spend more money on kitchen toys than work clothes. I have to admit that I can pretty much give better advice on where stuff is located at Lit than some of the staff as I am a huge hoarder of kitchen tools.  Oh well as long as it keeps me out of the bars right?  This past weekend I was craving BBQ nachos in the worst way and as luck would have it I noticed that there was a sale on Pork Butts so off to the Ghetto Kroger I go. 

Now I know that my two readers are right now saying “Great CBT is going to show a ton of pics of the smoker and crap stuff like that!” but actually I am going to change it up a little bit as I am going to document the process that I use to prep ‘the other white meat’ and let my 2 readers pick and feel free to add your own cooking technique as I have often heard “Cooking is not rocket science!”

Yep, my mis en place or as I like to say “this is where the action happens”

I love a cutting board that allows you to cut with your arms not at your waist

Right now Anthony Bourdain has a hard on (me too a little bit)

I like to season the meat (insert Beavis/Butthead laugh here) the day before so it can soak in (JMHO)

Bend over, I am going to give you a little shot (or) What is that Elvis’ hypodermic?

Anyone thinking of Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction when she had to have the shot after she OD’d?

Just like Charlie Sheen’s liver you have to have a good marinade
(pay no attention to that bottle of Cuban rum, I promise)

Notice the level of the marinade (apple juice, sugar, salt, Worcester and some rum) before I started shooting porky up

After I get done with this pork butt it is going to see more pricks than (oh stop!)

I like to inject it with the grain of the muscle/meat as I think it takes more marinade (JMHO)

Just like the Bums on Beale Street, it almost took the whole quart

Put some more dry rub and then it is off to the smoker for 6 hours of indirect heat

Now here is where I broke tradition as I smoked the pork on Saturday all day and then took it off the smoker and allowed it to rest and put it in the fridge overnight.  Sunday we had crappy weather and I didn’t feel like getting wet going back and forth so I took the pork and put it in a roasting pan with the rack and poured a pineapple mixture in the bottom of the pan and ‘steamed’ the pork for 5 more hours on low heat in the oven.  I really should have smoked it longer as the meat was flavorful but it wasn’t ‘pulling’ apart or fall off the bone like some other butts I have done.  All in all it was a good adventure and the nachos were pretty darn good.

Man that was some good stuff!

Pork, Chips, Nacho Cheese sauce, BBQ sauce, dry rub = love on a plate

Last week I came across a “you know you are a foodie if..” and one of the comments that was made that you spend more money on kitchen toys than work clothes. I have to admit that I can pretty much give better advice on where stuff is located at Lit than some of the staff as I am a huge hoarder of kitchen tools.  Oh well as long as it keeps me out of the bars right?  This past weekend I was craving BBQ nachos in the worst way and as luck would have it I noticed that there was a sale on Pork Butts so off to the Ghetto Kroger I go. 

Now I know that my two readers are right now saying “Great CBT is going to show a ton of pics of the smoker and crap stuff like that!” but actually I am going to change it up a little bit as I am going to document the process that I use to prep ‘the other white meat’ and let my 2 readers pick and feel free to add your own cooking technique as I have often heard “Cooking is not rocket science!”

Yep, my mis en place or as I like to say “this is where the action happens”

I love a cutting board that allows you to cut with your arms not at your waist

Right now Anthony Bourdain has a hard on (me too a little bit)

I like to season the meat (insert Beavis/Butthead laugh here) the day before so it can soak in (JMHO)

Bend over, I am going to give you a little shot (or) What is that Elvis’ hypodermic?

Anyone thinking of Uma Thurman in Pulp Fiction when she had to have the shot after she OD’d?

Just like Charlie Sheen’s liver you have to have a good marinade
(pay no attention to that bottle of Cuban rum, I promise)

Notice the level of the marinade (apple juice, sugar, salt, Worcester and some rum) before I started shooting porky up

After I get done with this pork butt it is going to see more pricks than (oh stop!)

I like to inject it with the grain of the muscle/meat as I think it takes more marinade (JMHO)

Just like the Bums on Beale Street, it almost took the whole quart

Put some more dry rub and then it is off to the smoker for 6 hours of indirect heat

Now here is where I broke tradition as I smoked the pork on Saturday all day and then took it off the smoker and allowed it to rest and put it in the fridge overnight.  Sunday we had crappy weather and I didn’t feel like getting wet going back and forth so I took the pork and put it in a roasting pan with the rack and poured a pineapple mixture in the bottom of the pan and ‘steamed’ the pork for 5 more hours on low heat in the oven.  I really should have smoked it longer as the meat was flavorful but it wasn’t ‘pulling’ apart or fall off the bone like some other butts I have done.  All in all it was a good adventure and the nachos were pretty darn good.

Man that was some good stuff!

All aboard the Express Train!

In the song “Almost cut my hair” by Crosby Stills and Nash there is a line that goes “I feel like letting my freak flag fly!” I think that CSN must have been talking about this past Saturday on Beale Street with a St. Patty’s day parade and 2 sessions of all you can drink beer because if you were into crowd watching today was the Super Bowl!
In an attempt soften my VIP Rock star status of going straight to hell I did some volunteer work for the River City Brewers festival which benefits St. Jude and I had the job of selling tickets for those who did not buy online. As I was sitting there at the entrance to Handy Park (aka Ring Side seats) I saw just about everything that would make you say DAYAM and issued many “must not have walked by a mirror on your way out eh” awards.
Sadly I didn’t get as many good pics as I wanted to and I have to admit taking pics of people who are drunk is not cool, it is in my opinion that if someone wants to slam two Call a Cab’s and crawl down the street then that is their right, why do you think they sell drinks in a paint can bucket. However, if that aforementioned person who is crawling down Beale happens to be wearing a Lime green Elvis jumpsuit then by means it is Game on! I am going to have the opportunity to be on Beale a couple more times so I will be more diligent in issuing some “you have to be kidding me right” fashion awards!

Saw them at “Live at the Garden” last year and they rocked!

I am so embarrassed that my dad didn’t wear his Green Jacket for the parade. Oh the shame!
(and I stole this pic btw and he may be dressed like the king but he is a fast little fella)
If you are wondering what those things on their heads are I suggest you go watch a certain episode of “Seinfeld” where George buys the Russian Ushanka (I had to google it, I am not that smart btw) hat on the Peterman expense account.

Oh and for those of you downtowners and South Mainiacs who happened to be at that event, don’t worry I live by the mantra “What goes on in 38103, stays in 38103” your secret is safe with me!
TTK and take it light!

May I take your order?

Back when I was in college and with the tennis team (no snickering peanut gallery) we had a player from one of the Scandinavian countries. I recall him telling me that before he came to college he spent a year in the army as that was required of all 18 year old men. I am thinking to myself that must have been an eye-opener but then I started to realize that I have never heard of a Scandinavian country ever declaring war but still I bet that left a mark on him and he learned a lot.
It was this little non-beer riddled brain cell that made me think of that while I was watching my home boy Anthony Bourdain’s No_Reservations this past week named “obsessions” The show was about a guy who has a hard on for a 26 dollar burger made from the best aged steaks, an Australian who raises Wagyu beef and a chef who loves cheese that I actually copied one of his recipes that made my own doctor divorce me. Meanwhile during this whole episode Anthony is butchering a pig as that is what he declares is his obsession – Pork. The show moves along and it is pretty good and then you get to the the bloggers….
Don’t get me wrong I am a huge an of blogs and I chose to read/follow those that make me happy as I life is too short to get all fired up some stupid comment but these guys take the cake. I won’t go into great detail but as they are taking pictures of the plates (I hate that BTW!) they are telling Anthony that it led to a break up of a partnership and let me tell you those guys are angry! One of them had more cholesterol than blood and is now forced to eat rabbit food and another bitches about leaving a 400K job to write about food. Um hello boys you may need to see professional help or better vodka.
Anyway to my point and scroll back up to the top if I have lost you in my dribble….(I can wait) I think that everyone should work in a restaurant at one point in their life. I have to be honest I loved putting my thumb into soups, standing over an ice bin hungover so bad that the smell of the waitress spill mat was about to make me hurl and the knowledge of how a restaurant ticks. To me the best part was watching a kitchen tick in that the took a raw product and made a meal, and they did it over, and over, and over again.
It was these bloggers made me ask the question, I bet they have never set foot into the back of kitchen and seen guerrilla warfare at it’s best while diners are getting annoyed that their salad with the Sauce on the Side is taking too long. Now I am not saying that one should be subjected to crappy food, a server who needs to check the attitude at the door, or an owner who is more concerned with making cash over customer satisfaction because I wouldn’t. I think that you will find people who are former restaurant servers, cooks, bartenders are a little bit more understanding if there is by chance a problem and their head won’t spin off axis if the mushroom risotto isn’t properly seasoned correctly.
Now here is my problem with Food Bloggers and those bad experience tweeters on restaurants (oh dear CBT is on the soapbox) is that these people who blast a restaurant or meal never made one comment to the management/owner or never worked in one. That to me is wrong and cowardly because if you are going to have the stones to tweet “I had a meal at XXX and it sucked, the service was slow and I am never coming back and think everyone should not go there!” and yet walk right by the owner/manager and not say a thing then shame on you! If you happened to catch the show you will know what I am talking about.
Last summer I recalled a trip report on a message board from a friend of mine who visited a new/upcoming restaurant on “that crappy island I love” and he kind of drug it in the mud. This owner of the restaurant was not a frequenter of the message board but one of her friends who owns a B&B on that “crappy island” was and she forwarded the review to the owner. Sure enough my friend who originally wrote the review made a retraction on his trip report in that the owner had apologized for the bad experience and the next trip back to please come visit her again and see if she can make amends. To me that is the way one should handle complaints and I caution those who are about to be ugly please put yourself in their shoes for a second.

Take it light and make sure you tip your server!

I love that guy, one of these days we are going to have to sit down and drink some beer!
Notice I don’t take pictures of plated food, I take pics of just cooked food!

See if I never spent time in the kitchens of Chez Philipe, Aubergine, Kings Palace, Tap House or Cielo I wouldn’t have known how to do this.

Oh and if you wonder that pic above is one of my obsessions! And chicken, and pork, and red wine, and (ok I will stop)

See I am glad that those pesky food bloggers or Tweeters didn’t see this or they would have blasted me for not pulling enough kitchen string.
And I dare you to!
Oh and for those of you who are wondering when I am going to get back to my normal ‘making fun of stupid people’ blogging just wait…..
TTK!

Who doesn’t dream about this time of the year?

You may recall my previous blog post about my letter to some magazine owner who said that Memphis was a miserable city to live in. Well Mr Forbes, as someone I overheard today at the MIM Music festival Press conference he said you could go to that warm place. I recalled that today was the press conference announcing the line up so I texted my fellow iced tea drinker Doctor King and asked if he was attending. Since I have a little free time on my hands I figured I would go check it out and get my mind set right for a great next 90 days.
I have some friends of mine (no I don’t pay them to be my friend) are going on vacation in mid April to celebrate a birthday and they asked if Mrs CBT and I wanted to come with them and I told them that this is the best part of the year to live in 38103. Anyway as we were sitting there listening to the Line_Up I could almost hear the bitching on Twitter about the ‘same ole, same ole’ acts and I am sorry for 65 bucks you get 3 days of music, hilarious people watching, and a chance to wear your mud gear. If you want big name bands then go to Bonnaroo or Jazz fest, I will just walk out my front door to my outdoor music theater called Tom Lee Park and not have to drive home!
Anyway the announcement day is the kick off to the spring as we get to look forward to the following events

  1. Music Fest line up is announced. Buy your tickets now because once it is May the deal goes away!
  2. Major League Baseball and the Memphis Red Birds start play in Autozone Park
  3. Some Jackasses 40th Birthday Celebration this year.
  4. Patios start to open on Beale Street and the term Sunday-Funday really takes effect
  5. South Main Wingfest
  6. Porter Leath Crawfish Festival
  7. The Wine Race (Hey KLC Man you want to come down for it?)
  8. Memphis in May Music Fest on the banks of the Mississippi River
  9. Memphis in May BBQ Festival again on the banks of the Mississippi River
  10. Memphis in May Sunset Symphony also on the banks of the Mississippi River
  11. Holy Rosary Italian Festival in East Memphis

See what I mean we got a lot going on in the next 90 days and they really don’t get rocking till the first of April!

George Hunt talking about this years MIM painting and print

What is there not to love about nacho chips, cheese, pulled pork and some BBQ sauce on it?
Autozone Park opening weekend

Here is some Jackasses Birthday cake from last year thanks to Courtney S.
The cake is in the shape of some ‘crappy island’ that I have visited once or twice.
There is only one Coon Arse on our team but the rest of us know how to drink some beer so that counts!

See what I mean?

That is a fun one day party I must say!

Ah the weather warms some more the Beale Street doesn’t smell of beer and urine but Wine!

Look at the mad skills of Doctor Turney

Man Down, Man Down

Gates open for Music Fest at 5PM and this girl is heaving in a trash can at 5:20

That damn Swine Flu

Oh I so love some Carnival Nachos

Yep we had a little rain

But we also had Snoop in the Hizouse so that was ok

Mud boots – 125.00
Crappy Khaki pants – 30.00
Patagonia Monsoon Rain Jacket – 150.00
Waterproof Tilly Hat – 50.00
Not being cold or have water drip down my back – PRICELESS!
And on Monday the boots rested

The rains went away and then on the 3rd weekend let there be Pork

And the English come too!

Not just your average fire up a smoker and let’s have some fun contest, they are serious!

Let’s see we have had Music, Rain and the Pork then it must be time for the German bomber planes! Sunset Symphony

Then ending the 90 days of fun and festival is when everyone slaps a vowel on the end of their name and becomes Eye-Talian

Dude you missed the Southaven Spring Fest by 45 days ago

We may not have won in gravy but we did win where it counted – Best Happy Hour drink

And the trophy is proudly hung at the joint where the inspiration was given
Now Mr. Forbes what was that about Memphis being Miserable?
TTK and Bring on the Carnie Food!

Who doesn’t dream about this time of the year?

You may recall my previous blog post about my letter to some magazine owner who said that Memphis was a miserable city to live in. Well Mr Forbes, as someone I overheard today at the MIM Music festival Press conference he said you could go to that warm place. I recalled that today was the press conference announcing the line up so I texted my fellow iced tea drinker Doctor King and asked if he was attending. Since I have a little free time on my hands I figured I would go check it out and get my mind set right for a great next 90 days.
I have some friends of mine (no I don’t pay them to be my friend) are going on vacation in mid April to celebrate a birthday and they asked if Mrs CBT and I wanted to come with them and I told them that this is the best part of the year to live in 38103. Anyway as we were sitting there listening to the Line_Up I could almost hear the bitching on Twitter about the ‘same ole, same ole’ acts and I am sorry for 65 bucks you get 3 days of music, hilarious people watching, and a chance to wear your mud gear. If you want big name bands then go to Bonnaroo or Jazz fest, I will just walk out my front door to my outdoor music theater called Tom Lee Park and not have to drive home!
Anyway the announcement day is the kick off to the spring as we get to look forward to the following events

  1. Music Fest line up is announced. Buy your tickets now because once it is May the deal goes away!
  2. Major League Baseball and the Memphis Red Birds start play in Autozone Park
  3. Some Jackasses 40th Birthday Celebration this year.
  4. Patios start to open on Beale Street and the term Sunday-Funday really takes effect
  5. South Main Wingfest
  6. Porter Leath Crawfish Festival
  7. The Wine Race (Hey KLC Man you want to come down for it?)
  8. Memphis in May Music Fest on the banks of the Mississippi River
  9. Memphis in May BBQ Festival again on the banks of the Mississippi River
  10. Memphis in May Sunset Symphony also on the banks of the Mississippi River
  11. Holy Rosary Italian Festival in East Memphis

See what I mean we got a lot going on in the next 90 days and they really don’t get rocking till the first of April!

George Hunt talking about this years MIM painting and print

What is there not to love about nacho chips, cheese, pulled pork and some BBQ sauce on it?
Autozone Park opening weekend

Here is some Jackasses Birthday cake from last year thanks to Courtney S.
The cake is in the shape of some ‘crappy island’ that I have visited once or twice.
There is only one Coon Arse on our team but the rest of us know how to drink some beer so that counts!

See what I mean?

That is a fun one day party I must say!

Ah the weather warms some more the Beale Street doesn’t smell of beer and urine but Wine!

Look at the mad skills of Doctor Turney

Man Down, Man Down

Gates open for Music Fest at 5PM and this girl is heaving in a trash can at 5:20

That damn Swine Flu

Oh I so love some Carnival Nachos

Yep we had a little rain

But we also had Snoop in the Hizouse so that was ok

Mud boots – 125.00
Crappy Khaki pants – 30.00
Patagonia Monsoon Rain Jacket – 150.00
Waterproof Tilly Hat – 50.00
Not being cold or have water drip down my back – PRICELESS!
And on Monday the boots rested

The rains went away and then on the 3rd weekend let there be Pork

And the English come too!

Not just your average fire up a smoker and let’s have some fun contest, they are serious!

Let’s see we have had Music, Rain and the Pork then it must be time for the German bomber planes! Sunset Symphony

Then ending the 90 days of fun and festival is when everyone slaps a vowel on the end of their name and becomes Eye-Talian

Dude you missed the Southaven Spring Fest by 45 days ago

We may not have won in gravy but we did win where it counted – Best Happy Hour drink

And the trophy is proudly hung at the joint where the inspiration was given
Now Mr. Forbes what was that about Memphis being Miserable?
TTK and Bring on the Carnie Food!

An Open Letter to Steve Forbes

Mr. Steve Forbes
Forbes Magazine
60 5th Avenue
New York, NY 10011

Dear Mr. Forbes,

On the request from my city mayor, The Honorable A.C. Wharton, I also would like to invite you to make a trip to come visit our fair city as I think that you will find that Memphis is far from being labeled a ‘miserable’ city. During the Olympics I recalled a TV commercial for the city of Vancouver that the general tag line was “you have to come see it” and I challenge you to come experience what Memphis and the Mid South has to offer. Not only as a lifelong Memphian but also as a 4th generation Italian immigrant family who has called Memphis home I could not imagine living anywhere else in the US as Memphis is my home.
The city of Memphis has great history that is anything than ‘miserable’ from the days of cotton trading on Front Street to the various sections of cities where immigrant families lived such as the pinch district and the Evergreen district. It was here that these good families led to the start companies called Piggly Wiggly, Holiday Inn, Ronco Pasta, and even a little package freight company called Federal Express.
I know that Mayor Wharton mentioned in his letter the various events that he visited in our city and some great upcoming grand openings that we are excited for but those just scratch the surface. Memphis does have a great history of great food, music and sporting teams but I have another reason that you need to come visit my city. In my opinion a city is nothing without its people and here is where I believe you may want to re-consider Memphis being ‘miserable’.
Last month the weather in Memphis got the unseasonably Arctic cold blast that prompted the mayor and government officials to instruct our utilities companies to re-connect utilities to any home that was cut off due to non-payment regardless of what they owed the utility company. Mr. Forbes I encourage you to go visit with those who got their utilities turned back on during this time of crisis and see what they have to think of our ‘miserable’ city.
Please by all means go by the Ronald McDonald House, Target House and St. Jude and visit with families who have been uprooted from across the world or across the country while their child seeks medical treatment and ask them what they think of the people of Memphis and the wonderful staffs at these institutions.
During the aforementioned cold snap it was a priority to get our homeless out of the elements and even some ‘warming tents’ were erected to aide them. Again ask them if they thought the people who were helping them if they were living in a ‘miserable’ city.
The next person that I would like for you to meet is Ms Suhair Lauck who happens to own “The Little Tea Shop” restaurant downtown and I encourage you to debate that question of Memphis being a ‘miserable’ city. Heck I tell you what I will even buy your lunch if you can convince this wonderful woman that she lives in a miserable city because I think you may be mistaken and will lose the debate. Oh and while you are there you have to try the cornbread sticks with your lunch to see if you have had any better. I doubt it!
Lastly I would love for you to come to Memphis, visit various parts of our city and just simply walk up to a complete stranger and ask them what they think of our city because I think that you would be amazed that your report listing Memphis as a ‘miserable’ city may be wrong.
So I encourage you to come see the Peabody ducks, go visit the Jungle Room, eat some ribs, walk down Beale Street but while you are seeing the sites please ask around on what Memphians think of our fair city, I think you will be amazed.

Sincerely,

That guy who calls himself Carbunkle Trumpet on his blog