One Taste of "Waitress" and I Want to Tell You About the Whole Thing
Last week we celebrated yet another Valentine's Day for the books with a decadent dinner and the most incredible show. Let me tell you all about our night on the town.
As you know I moved to London a little over a year ago now and for our first Valentine's Day together Kalo took me to see Hamilton. I won't get started on how much I love that musical because we'll be here all day but lets just say that the album is on repeat whenever I'm in the kitchen, cleaning, running errands, riding the tube or showering (pretty much whenever I'm doing anything). The point is that last year our "Dinner and a Show" Valentine's tradition was born and I absolutely love it! Don't let Kalo fool you, he enjoys himself too ;)
Okay let's chat about #WaitressLondon! With music written by Sara Bareilles, a set that 100% transports you to a roadside diner in the south and Katherine McPhee as the lead, I was pretty much in awe the entire time. The dialog, lyrics and melodies are so clever and intricate making some very heavy situations of abuse and infidelity feel hopeful and empowering. I don't want to spoil the plot for anyone but underneath it all this play is about discovering self-worth and having the courage to change one's circumstances.
I walked out of the theatre with two new favourite songs, "It Only Takes a Taste" and "She Used to be Mine." The first is cutesy and playful while the second is more profound and moving but both demonstrate the expert combination of humour and drama that is Waitress. I also left really noticing that I was in London. You see, a couple jokes didn't translate to the UK audience. One example was when the main character's husband casually insults her by saying her pies are "no Sara Lee." I swear nobody giggled but me when he compared his wife, an amazing baker, to the generic US brand. Side note, does anyone else love the Sara Lee pound cake as much as I do? Anywho that was just something silly but interesting I picked up on.
So now I have a big question for you all because I don't know if I'm the only one this happens to but when I'm in a theatre I always get this overwhelming feeling of WOW! It's the only place I catch myself smiling from ear to ear for hours. The world fades away when I'm seeing something truly special and I get this feeling like "God I hope I remember this for forever." Maybe it's just me? But let me know if you know what I'm talking about. At Waitress, I was so deeply invested in the performance and I truly believe we all need a little more sugar, butter and flour in our lives! Speaking of food, let me put my restaurant reviewer hat on and tell you about our dinner at temper Soho.
If you know me you know that I'm not the best with directions and shocker I couldn't find the restaurant, however I knew I had to be close because I could smell the barbecue smoke from a block away. How's this for a tip, when you're lost just follow your nose! Once inside and underground the vibe was moody, cool and that smokey smell intensified tenfold. Where we sat at the counter we could see all of the kitchen dynamics from grilling meats to garnishing tacos. The chefs would blow past each other yelling "BEHIND!" while paying attention to 10 different items at their stations. I swear they are the ultimate multitaskers. Helpful suggestion, only sit at the counter if you're in a small party because all dishes are meant to shared.
Cut to the food. The highlights of our meal were the aged cheeseburger tacos (juicy beef, melty cheese heaven), mullet ceviche with salty chips (perfect balance of acid and spice) and finally the deep dish brigadeiro cookie topped with fior di latte ice cream. You guys, it's been a week and I'm still dreaming about this cookie! It was gooey in all of the right places, not too sweet and the cold ice cream mixed with the hot dough was a real triumph. Oh and I almost forgot to mention that my Momma's Margarita was a real show-stopper as well. If you're like me, you typically order your margaritas without salt, but the dark salt on the rim of a Momma's Margarita is a funky, smokey twist on the classic ... just saying.
Where temper fell short for me was with our main dishes (sad face). As a "whole animal barbecue" concept with a massive grill in the centre of the restaurant, I was expecting some seriously spectacular meats. We ordered the carnitas and carne asada both of which were practically all fat. Don't get me wrong I love a bit of fat but any way you cut it our mains were simply disappointing. Talk about a real bummer because carnitas are my jam!
Overall, I'd go back to temper if not only for that damn cookie! But in all seriousness I would like to try some of their other main dishes and as I mentioned above their starters were original and fantastic. All I have left to say is cheers to another successful Valentine's Day and I'll be sure to keep ya posted on what we have planned for next year's dinner and a show.