Archive | July, 2008

Vote for our friends at Stax Museum

31 Jul

The Stax Museum needs your help! As you know, it’s election season again, which means that it’s time  for the Memphis Flyer’s annual BEST OF MEMPHIS poll–and we want YOU to help make sure that the Stax Museum is rightfully recognized as the BEST MUSEUM in Memphis! 

If you’re a true soul supporter, CLICK HERE to cast your vote for the Stax Museum today! One lucky balloter gets a pair of all-access badges to the Americana Music Festival in Nashville, September 17-20, featuring Joan Baez, John Hiatt, Steve Earle, Bruce Robison, and James McMurtry, among many others. This prize package includes all access to shows and panels and two tickets to the awards show at the Ryman Auditorium. Another lucky balloter will receive an Americana Music Festival prize pack with a “This is Americana” CD sampler pack, volumes I and II, plus an official AMA T-shirt. And 10 lucky balloters will receive a handsome Memphis Flyer T-shirt! All winners will be notified by e-mail and/or phone on Thursday, August 14th.

Vote now or Shaft will grab you where it hurts!

Our Favorite Sports Team Logo

31 Jul

The Montgomery (AL) Biscuits are the TB Rays AA team in the Southern League. The team mascot is a heavily buttered biscuit named “Monty” — now that’s good taste!

Why the names “Biscuits?” Read the team’s May 2003 release below …

The team’s official logos and colors were designed by Percy Wang of Simple Studios, Chicago, Illinois, in collaboration with Dickson and Myers. The primary logo, containing an animated biscuit character who has a pad of butter for a tongue and wears baseball cleats, is known as “Monty”, and can be viewed at the team’s official website, .

“Choosing the team’s name is such a monumental part of bringing baseball to a city,” said Tom Dickson. “It has to portray an image of fun, be easily communicated in a dozen different ways, and most importantly, it has to be representative of an entire community. When Sherrie and I first heard the name Biscuits, we fell in love with it. I can almost smell the Biscuits baking at the new ballpark!”

In addition to announcing the name of the team, the team opened the Biscuit Basket, their official retail store at Union Station, immediately following the announcement. The store is full of team merchandise, allowing fans to see, touch and wear the logo of their new team. Select Biscuits merchandise can also be purchased on-line at The store will remain open until 11:00 p.m. on Friday, May 23. Regular hours at the Biscuit Basket will be Monday – Saturday 10:00 A.M. – 6:00 P.M. and Sunday from Noon – 4:00 P.M.

“May 23, really marks the birth of our brand,” said Sherrie Myers. “We’re so excited about the positive impact that baseball will have on Montgomery, and the announcement of the name is just the beginning of a long relationship between the Biscuits and the community.”

The “Official Biscuit of the Biscuits” (now that’s redundant) is Mary B’s. They do make a really good frozen biscuit that tastes pretty close to scratch. Check them out at or try a few at your next Montgomery Biscuits home game – whenever that might be.

Water Spouts and a Baby Shark

31 Jul

Forgot to mention that Eileen and I spotted a couple water spouts off the coast over the weekend. They appeared to be about 4-5 miles off Lido Key. The spouts were very well formed could easily be made out from a distance. We did not snap the picture seen above, but this will give you a pretty good idea what the spouts look like. The above image was captured off the lower Florida Keys.

We also saw a baby shark while swimming in the Gulf recently. Travis and I were out in the water and there was a leathery young man with tribal tattoos all over his upper torso who was fishing in the shallow surf. We watched with keen interest as he reeled in the young shark, which was a little over a foot long. Travis remarked that it was pretty spooky that a shark of any kind (big or small) was swimming so close to us. The fisherman quickly replied that “sharks are just as afraid of us as we are of them.” That made us feel a little bit better — but not so much.

Stick with Fresh Brewed Iced Tea

30 Jul

I have always had a hard time drinking canned and bottle “Iced Teas.” They are always so doggone sugary sweet. I prefer to call these products tea flavored sugar water. Nasty! Now I do drink a ton of iced tea this time of year, but I always prefer the homemade variety. We use Luzianne tea bags and just enough sugar to cut the bitterness of the tea leaves. Add ice and a fresh lemon wedge and you’re set.

In a pinch I will seek out a Chick fil A restaurant. They make a decent fresh brewed iced tea. They’ll even give you a lemon wedge if you ask for it. Just be careful — some locations make their sweet tea extremely sweet. I have learned to ask for half sweet and half unsweet … or in some cases, 1/3 sweet and 2/3 unsweet. I always get a funny look when I ask for the latter. Who knows — maybe they’re math challenged???

Worst Iced Tea according to Mens Health magazine:

Lipton Iced Brisk Lemon Iced Tea (20 oz bottle)

325 calories
81 g sugar

Iced tea is loaded with metabolism-boosting, cancer-fighting compounds called polyphenols, but Lipton does its best to undo any potential healthy benefit you might derive from the tea’s antioxidants by drowning them in 20 teaspoons of sugar. Your tea of choice should carry no more than 15 grams of sugar per 20-ounce serving.

Bennigan’s Closes Corporate Owned Locations

30 Jul

This story appeared this morning on …

NEW YORK – Restaurant chains Bennigan’s and Steak & Ale have filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection and stores owned by its parent company will shut their doors.

The companies owned by privately held Metromedia Restaurant Group of Plano, Texas, filed for bankruptcy protection Tuesday in the Eastern District of Texas, less than two months after Metromedia said it was not preparing to do so. Metromedia Restaurant Group is a part of Metromedia Co., owned by billionaire John Kluge, that has interests in entertainment, radio stations and medical equipment.

In a Chapter 7 filing, a company seeks to liquidate its assets and shut down.

Locations owned by franchisees were not part of the bankruptcy filing and will not be shut down, said Larry Briski, president of the Bennigan’s Franchise Operator Association.

“They will be open today, tomorrow and months and years to come,” Briski said of the franchise locations.

Dunkin’ Donuts Go Healthy?

30 Jul

More news from the food industry … as seen on …

NEW YORK – Looking to entice those hungry for a healthier option, Dunkin’ Donuts will begin offering a new slate of better-for-you offerings in August.

The menu, which will debut in stores Aug. 6, will feature two new flatbread sandwiches made with egg whites. Customers will be able to choose either a turkey sausage egg-white sandwich or a vegetable one. Both will be under 300 calories with 9 grams of fat or less, the company said.

“We just felt it was important to provide some choice in our menu,” said Will Kussell, president and chief brand officer.

The new menu will be called DDSmart and will include all current and new items that either have 25 percent few calories, sugar, fat or sodium than comparable products or contain ingredients that are “nutritionally beneficial,” the company said.

Current products that will join the new sandwiches on the menu include a multigrain bagel and a reduced-fat blueberry muffin.

Kussell said Dunkin’ will continue to add products to the menu and is currently developing several new offerings, but would not disclose any details.

Kussell said Canton, Mass.-based Dunkin’ Brands Inc. will spend several million dollars marketing the new menu.

A number of restaurants have added better-for-you options to their menus in the past few years to take advantage of a trend toward healthier eating.

“We’re staying very true to our brand and very true to our heritage,” said the company’s executive chef Stan Frankenphaler. “We’re just growing and evolving.”

Valdosta, GA is crowned “Titletown USA”

30 Jul

Residents of Valdosta, GA celebrate their Cinderella story

OK … the nationwide viewer polling is over and Valdosta, GA is the winner.

The whole deal has created quite an uproar, especially with fans from LA, Boston, and New York. Allright, people. Get over it … and let the little guy have a bone just this one time. Please!

Now to more important things — like the following question:

Who would be Dixie Dining Town USA?

Charleston, SC? Lexington, NC? Memphis, TN? New Orleans?

Maybe little Lockhart, TX … they have 3 amazing BBQ joints.

What are your thoughts? Let’s hear about it!

For more on Texas BBQ —

L.A. Considers Localized Fast Food Ban

29 Jul

Just spotted this story – interesting development on the Left Coast.

LOS ANGELES – In the impoverished neighborhood of South Los Angeles, fast food is the easiest cuisine to find – and that’s a problem for elected officials who see it as an unhealthy source of calories and cholesterol.

The City Council was poised to vote Tuesday on a moratorium on new fast-food restaurants in a swath of the city where a proliferation of such eateries goes hand-in-hand with obesity.

“Our communities have an extreme shortage of quality foods,” City Councilman Bernard Parks said.

The aim of the yearlong moratorium, which was approved last week in committee, is to give the city time to try to attract restaurants that serve healthier food.

The California Restaurant Association says the moratorium, which could be extended up to two years, is misguided.

Fast food “is the only industry that wants to be in South LA,” said association spokesman Andrew Casana. “Sit-down restaurants don’t want to go in. If they did, they’d be there. This moratorium isn’t going to help them relocate.”

The proposed ban comes at a time when governments of all levels are increasingly viewing menus as a matter of public health. Last Friday, California became the first state in the nation to bar trans fats, which lowers levels of good cholesterol and increases bad cholesterol.

It also comes as the Los Angeles City Council tackles issues beyond safety, schools and streets. The council last week decided to outlaw plastic bags.

Fast-food restaurants have found themselves in the frying pan in a number of cities. Some places, including Carmel-by-the Sea and Calistoga, have barred “formula” restaurants altogether; others have placed a cap on them _ Arcata allows a maximum of nine fast-food eateries; others have prohibited the restaurants in certain areas, such as Port Jefferson, N.Y., in its waterfront area.

Most initiatives were designed to preserve a city’s historic character. The Los Angeles bid is one of few that cite residents’ health.

The mounting pressure has caused chains to insert healthier food choices in their menus. McDonalds offers salads and low-fat dressings; Burger King stocks Kids Meals with milk and apple pieces.

That’s why the restaurant industry says it’s unfair to blame them for fat people.

“What’s next _ security guards at the door saying ‘You’re overweight, you can’t have a cheeseburger’?” Casana said.

But public health officials say obesity has reached epidemic proportions in low-income areas such as South Los Angeles and diet is the key reason.

According to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, 30 percent of adults in South Los Angeles area are obese, compared to 19.1 percent for the metropolitan area and 14.1 percent for the affluent westside. Minorities are particularly affected: 28.7 percent of Latinos and 27.7 percent of blacks are obese, compared to 16.6 percent of whites.

Perry says that’s no accident. South LA residents lack healthy food options, including grocery stores, fresh produce markets _ and full-service restaurants with wait staff and food prepared to order.

A report by the Community Health Councils found 73 percent of South L.A. restaurants were fast food, compared to 42 percent in West Los Angeles.

If the moratorium is passed, Perry wants to lure restaurateurs and grocery retailers to area.

Rebeca Torres, a South Los Angeles mother of four, said she would welcome more dining choices, even if she had to pay a little more. “They should have better things for children,” she said. “This fast-food really fattens them up.”

Best Food Songs Ever???

28 Jul

Trying to narrow it down can be tough — but I’m trying.

Here is one of the classics. It even started a dance craze!

Here is another worthy of consideration:

What do you think??? Can you come up with a Top 20? A Top 10?

Give it a shot — and let us know what you come up with.

Charlie Hustle Meets Andy Warhol

28 Jul

Art Museum to Unveil Exclusive Poster of

Pete Rose by Andy Warhol on July 30

Proceeds from sales benefit Art Museum and Reds Community Fund

CINCINNATI – Baseball fans and art collectors will gather at the Cincinnati Art Museum on Wednesday, July 30 at 7 p.m. to witness the unveiling of a limited edition poster featuring the portrait of Pete Rose by American pop artist Andy Warhol. 

The public is invited to a free cocktail reception and informal lecture by local gallery owner and art collector Carl Solway to learn the behind-the scenes story that brought Pete Rose to the Cincinnati Art Museum collection. Aaron Betsky, Director of Cincinnati Art Museum and Charley Frank, Executive Director of the Reds Community Fund, will speak briefly on the partnership.

This is the first time the Warhol/Rose poster will be made available to the public. Since the Art Museum commissioned Warhol in 1985 to create the portrait commemorating Rose, it has been the most requested poster. The original painting is currently on display at the Cincinnati Art Museum.

A limited quantity of framed and numbered prints that are signed by Pete Rose will be available for $500. Unframed/unsigned posters can be purchased for $50. All proceeds from the sales will benefit the Cincinnati Art Museum and the Reds Community Fund. 

The Art Museum is located at 953 Eden Park Drive, Cincinnati, OH 45202. For general information call (513) 639-2995.