“Lola Gets” the lines in a lyric that is so appropriate since baseball season has begun. Detroit is a major sports town, win or lose, the fans always support the teams. That is not just for baseball, but for football, basketball and hockey as well. My Bride and I are not major fans of any sports team, we like to see our teams succeed, but we are not avid or rabid fans. I don’t mind playing any sports, except for maybe basketball or soccer, to me these games are more organized chaos, but I do not enjoy sitting and watching over aged millionaire kids perform, a minute of action and it seems minutes of inactivity; OK so I am not a big fan, but I do have other activities that hold my fascination. One evening we were going to see Jerry Lewis in the theatrical production of Damn Yankees as Mr. Applegate, the personification of the Devil in this play. If you have seen the cinematic version of this play with Ray Walston portraying Applegate, you would have been surprised when the play stops for about ten or twenty minutes to allow Jerry Lewis perform his shtick in the middle of the first act. It was almost a Borscht Belt production of Damn Yankees, but it was still fun, to see a seasoned pro doing what he does best.
As is our usual custom that prior to seeing a theatrical production we go and have dinner and of course some wine. We get a chance to relax a bit after work and then we can enjoy the play. We went to the Traffic Jam and Snug restaurant, a venue we have gone to many times and I have even mentioned it before in another article. There are a few restaurants near the Fisher Theatre that we like to go to before a play and TJ’s is one of them. When I was in high school, this restaurant was only a very small version of what it is today and it was called the Snug, and that is how one felt dining there on some great soups and sandwiches, just off the campus of Wayne State University. When the restaurant grew it became the Traffic Jam and the menu grew to a full fledged eatery. There are still traces of the Snug with the soups and sandwiches that are offered, but some of the entrée offerings are unique. There are some evenings when the dishes are a bit avant-garde for me, but I know that I can always find some thing that will sustain me; my Bride is more adventurous about food than I am. That evening I had a steak, while she had a fancy dinner salad. The only thing I knew before I looked at the menu that evening was that I was not going to have ham, as I knew that there would be enough ham at the theatre.
The real fun at this restaurant is selecting the wine. They sell all of their wine by retail, so you go into the wine shop and just wander around until you discover something that sounds interesting. They have a couple of neat framed posters that show many of the great art works that are featured on the labels of Chateau Mouton-Rothschild and that is really fun to look at look, and wish that you could have tried them all. Since my Bride was having a fancy salad, she was going to be happy with any wine I chose, and I really avoid having any wine with a salad because of the dressing, I was free to select a wine for my steak. I chose a Raymond Estates Cabernet Sauvignon 1994 from Napa Valley. This is a fine moderate wine that I felt could be consumed with out the concern of needing a lot of cellaring time. The wine selection here turns over quite quickly as the pricing is very modest and the corkage fee that they charge is also very modest, since you were buying from them as well. All in all the dinner, wine and the play made for a fine evening out.