Saturday, February 5, 2011

Beef. It's What's For Dinner.

It's Chuckles' birthday today. He's 49 years old.

Way back in November, I bought him tickets to the Robert Plant & The Band of Joy concert in Raleigh, on February 2.

Seemed like forever to wait for the concert, and now it's done.

But it was AWESOME.

I love when I can buy him a present that I get to participate in. Best type of present there is.

Chuck took the day off work, and we got into Raleigh at around noon. I had scoped out a restaurant to eat lunch at (as I always do, I love planning out our eating itinerary) called The Pit. It's a delicious, business-class BBQ joint. Their slogan is 'Everything but the squeal.'

How cool is that? :)

When we walked up to the place, following two dudes in button-down shirts and ties, Chuck asked, 'Are we dressed well enough for this place?'

Since I had scoped out the menu ahead of time, I knew that it didn't seem so expensive that a dress-code would be required. Chuck and I were attired in car-traveling clothes...jeans and t-shirts. I don't think we were that offensive.

We walked in the door and up to the hostess' 'lectern'. There were two hostesses standing there and one was very skinny and blonde. She was looking at us with a look that suggested she had just stepped in dogshit. And the smell had just hit her nostrils.

The smell was us, apparently.

I stared her down. She hesitated in asking us, 'Just the two of you?' with a resonant disdain.

Really? Were we that abhorrent? There was no posted dress code, and there was a very casually dressed couple next to us when we were seated, so we weren't alone.

The disgusted blonde hostess had some very, very, fake looking drawn on BROWN eyebrows. I resisted the urge to let her know that one of them was smudged. Just resisted.

The food, however was delicious. We had fried green tomatoes for a starter, with a surprisingly different (and amazing) lime-cream dressing with fresh basil. And I had an Eastern NC BBQ pork plate, Chuck had a BBQ turkey plate. Collards, fresh biscuits. Excellent service besides the bad attitude of Fake Eyebrows.

As for the concert itself, Chuck and I had never been to the Progress Energy Center where it was held.

It was a very nice venue. I felt very posh as I sipped from a champagne flute before the show started. In fact, I felt so posh that I had two of them :)

The place had chandeliers and everything.

The North Mississippi All Stars were the opening band.

I had never really listened to anything by them before, but they rocked it out. Talk about BEEF.

That was really the theme of the night. Beefy guitar sound.

They didn't really stay on all that long, about 45 minutes. But I really enjoyed it. Some dudes behind us showed up late, and asked the guy next to them that had been there since the beginnning, how the opener had been.

'Meh' he said. 'I wasn't all that impressed. You didn't miss much.'

I just about turned around and asked the guy if he'd been asleep. It was pretty damn good stuff.

I don't even know what I can say about Robert Plant and the Band of Joy except that it was amazing. I highly recommend catching this band on the latter part of their tour.

This is my favourite off their recent album. Remake of Los Lobos' "Angel Dance".

Any new band Robert is a part of usually performs a certain amount of Led Zeppelin tunes, and usually they put a new twist on them.

They played 'Ramble On', 'Black Dog', 'Rock & Roll', 'Gallows Pole', 'Houses of the Holy', and 'Tangerine'. 'Ramble On' was probably my favourite, I'm such a Lord of the Rings nerd and the song is all about it, in case you didn't know :)

Robert is awesome, STILL, even though he's 65-ish. Amazing charisma, such stage presence. Doesn't matter how old he gets. You either have it or you don't. He has it. Forever.

And the band backing him up was awesome too. I've sung the praises of Buddy Miller before.

That guy can RIP IT UP on the guitar. BEEF, I tell ya.

And he had Patty Griffin singing in harmony, which was a great sound. That girl really needs a sandwich or two, but she can sing her ass off.

The fun continues this weekend. Got to spend the whole day with Chuckles today (a rarity), we made a shrimp and sausage gumbo for the Superbowl tomorrow. Always tastes better the next day. Some good friends are coming over.

I'm totally using football as an excuse to eat.

It's going to be yet another awesome day!

Life is good, I tell ya. Enjoy the little things.

Happy Birthday Chuckles! Love you more.


rohrerbot said...

I love couple nights!!! That looked like so much fun....I get those looks every now and again from weird people. It's the most bizarre thing, isn't it? I'm not sure what the dealio is...but anyhow, that building looked absolutely incredible. Enjoy your gumbo and fun weekend:)

Jim Groble said...

Happy Birthday Chuck. jim

biobabbler said...

Wow. Sounds rockin', and good for you re: staring blondie down. Yes, Patty Griffin...PIPES! How cool to hear Zeppelin live and see Robert tearin' it up. Nice work, chica!

meemsnyc said...

Sounds like a fun time, despite the rude hostess. The food does sound good. Happy Birthday to Chuckles.

Al said...

Happy Birthday Chuck.

Sounds like you had a great time!

And as a bonus you got a heap of tongue biting practice. Which will come in handy dealing with the loons you get at your work.

Liz said...


Happy Birthday to Chuck! :D

Glad to hear you had an excellent time, I can't admit to knowing what gumbo is, but I'm sure it'll be nommy :)

Marguerite said...

I'm drooling over your descriptions of the food - biscuits, BBQ, gumbo. Time to head down to the kitchen.

The Garden Ms. S said...

Lucky Chuck! How could he not enjoy a day like that. Good taste in gifts, you. :)

Pam's English Garden said...

Dear Kyna, Thanks for a wonderful description of this awesome concert, and the birthday meal! I am totally envious. Wishing your husband a happy birthday. P x

Jayne said...

Sounds like you're having a great weekend. I'm glad Chuck had a fun outing for his birthday.

Kris said...

Happy belated birthday, Chuck! Great pic of the two of you. :-D

Turling said...

I think I've heard of the Pit. Must have been on some tv show, as I've never been to North Carolina.

Glad you had a good time. You can never go wrong with Robert Plant.

Kyna said...

Rohrerbot: Well, I get those looks sometimes when Chuck and I are out and holding hands or something. I think people think Chuck's a dirty old man LOL. But I don't think this was one of those times. I think she was just being snooty.

I do enjoy a day where Chuck and I can have fun. And whether it's a picnic or making a gumbo, I feel like it's a date. I don't think enough couple's do that. Which is kind of sad :(

Jim: Chuck appreciates the b-day wishes!

Biobabbler: This is the third time I've seen Robert. The first time was in Edmonton with The Strange Sensation. The second time was in Asheville, NC with Allison Krauss. Both of those other times were awesome as well. The man never puts on a bad show. Sometimes you can tell when an aging artist has no heart in it anymore. Robert still does. That's why I never knock him when he says he's never going to fully reunite with LZ. For some people to continue to grow as an artist and as a person really, they have to try different things constantly. I love it!

meemsnyc: I'm always worried I'm going username wrong. I think I'm just going to shorten you to 'Meems' :) It was a GREAT time. And rude people just give me fodder for stories. I've been thinking of getting a t-shirt that says 'Be careful of what you say, or you'll end up in my blog'.

Al: I don't know if it's because I'm older or because I'm living in the US, but I have an easier time dealing with people like that these days. I don't let it bother me as much as I used to. Depending on appropriateness of time and place, I'll either stare the person down and make them feel 2 inches tall, or I'll come up with a scathing reply. Either way, I walk away happy :)

Liz: Gumbo is a sort of stew popular in Louisiana. You can't put all sorts of meat in it, basically anything that walks, swiims or flies. Shrimp, sausage, chicken,'s awesome. The base of it is a dark roux...mixing flour and oil. You have to stir it constantly till it reaches a dark brown colour, and I mean constantly. Chuck and I stirred for an hour and 10 minutes, switching off. THEN it's time to start adding all the other ingredients. Ours was a shrimp and sausage one. 'Gumbo' is an African word for okra. Which is a main veggie ingredient, acts as a thickener. I wish I could send you some, it was a hit!

Marguerite: I sure talk about food a lot, don't I? lol It might be less often now though, Chuck and I are going to try and get healthy starting today. We're both tired of being out of shape and unhealthy. I don't want to hit 30 years old this year in this kind of shape.

Ms S: He's kind of hard to buy for, so I was glad when this opportunity came up! :)

Pam: I was waiting for my fellow Zep fan to pop up! :D Chuck appreciates the birthday wishes!

Jayne: It's been a great weekend. I feel like my batteries are recharged, which is good because I have a long 6-day in a row work week coming up.

Kris: Thanks, and I'll tell Chuckles you said happy birthday! He pretends to not care about his birthday, but I think he's getting more and more happy that he's alive with each year that passes lol.

I actually had to do some serious cropping with that picture. Of course I took it of us with my arm extended (an obligatory shot when there's only two of you on a trip somewhere) and my cleavage REALLY turned out weird in the picture...squished and oblong and scary looking O_O . I had to cut it out of the picture...sometimes my cleavage has a mind of its own and doesn't behave.

Kyna said...

Turling: Yes you have probably heard of it. My friend Sean that was over last night told us it's been featured on the Food Network like 3 times. Bobby Flay did a rib throwdown with the owner...and I can't remember what other instances Sean said it was on tv for. I had no idea.

Well, if you ever end up in Raleigh for any reason, eat there. Just don't wear jeans and a t-shirt. :P said...

Les cravates sont ma passion. Je les achète la plupart du temps dans un magasin. Mais dans cette boutique, les prix étaient trop bons. Par conséquence, ici, j’ai acheté une nouvelle cravate.

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

Awww, you two are so cute together, happy belated birthday Chuck. Don't know how you didn't tell that hostess her eyebrow was smudged though...I might not have been able to resist that after being on the receiving end of her sneers :P I've had people do the same to us on occasion. They have no idea who you are, whether you drove up in a Porsche, or how big your house is...and you know what, it simply doesn't matter. I hate snobs. Glad you had a great day beyond that, and sounds like the concert was a blast!