Sunday, November 14, 2004

Night on the town 

So tired. I stayed up late Friday night to watch the latest episode of Enterprise, despite the fact that I knew I had to get up early on Saturday. And then last night we went out to catch Balkanarama at Georgia's Greek Restaurant. We've been meaning to do that for a while now, but never got around to it. In the past we've been catching the free performances at festivals and Third Place Books. It's not that we didn't want to support the band at a paying gig, it just never seemed to work out. Perhaps I was subconsciously trying to avoid trying authentic Greek cuisine. Anyway, this past week Noodles said she really wanted to go catch them at Georgia's, despite having just seen them on October 23rd. So in the interest of maintaining a happy marriage, the children and I braced ourselves for exotic tastes and we went out for dinner.

It was great. Georgia's is a small joint--at least compared to the malltopian restaurants we usually patronize. We squeezed in around our table and pored over the menu as the music started. I wasn't too brave--I ordered Kota Lemonati, a lemon roast chicken. I also ordered a Coke, despite the fact that the wine menu is almost as long as the one for food. Next time I'll go for the vino. Noodles and Poodlepums each got skewers of grilled meat, called Souvlaki. (I'm reading this off the website, in case you're wondering.) Bunnah stuck with a salad and a few tidbits mooched off of the rest of the family. I quite enjoyed my dinner, despite my fear of sauces and cheese. Nobody bothered with dessert, but I did try a Grecian beer later in the evening. I picked Aris, "a true lager from northern Greece." I figured that was the closest to Germany.

The music, of course, was hot. For some unexplained reason, Amir, the guitarist, wasn't there. How that affected the playlist, I don't know. They played a few unfamiliar tunes, even pulling out a tambura for some. (I hadn't seen one of those since Jana Rickel left the band.) Maybe they were just adapting the playlist for the audience. Anyhoo, it also seemed like they really let their violinist, Matty Noble, strut his stuff. They did a great number where Matty started solo with only a soft drum back up. Bit by bit the rest of the band came in and the volume increased. I was hoping Poodlepums, our budding violinist, would be suitably inspired. But alas, on the way home she started singing Celtic/Appalachian tunes.

Speaking of Poodlepums, she, of course, had to dance. There was dancing, despite the closeness of the room. Sometimes the wait staff had to wait for the line to shuffle out of the way. And then a couple of times the wait staff joined in. (Note to self: next time, find a job which allows dancing.) Poodles, of course, didn't join the line, but did her own thing. Once again someone noticed and commented, this time inviting her to join the Radost Folk Ensemble. I thought it was some community dance club, but when I checked the website today, I found out it was a serious organization that gives performances and everything. Oy! Guess Teacher Sandy's ballet classes at the Jefferson Park Community Center were worth the investment.

The evening ended around 10:30. In true Hamburger fashion, we closed the place down. (Grandma and Grandpa would be proud.) At the end, there were three groups--friends of the owners, friends of the band, and us. The band friends left, and Mike Gordon and Ferko Saxmanov followed them out the front door to bid them farewell. (The advantage of not being wired into the sound board.) They came back, finished the song and then decided to do one final number. We applauded appropriately, paid for my beer and headed home. A great night out for less than sixty bucks. (If you don't count tips for the band and waitress) I will never waste time and money on some arena concert again.