In honor of VBS ending, we went out Saturday night. Tony and I are, financially, very conservative people. We scrimp and save, we agonize over anything that costs more than $4, and we “make do” with a lot of things.
We don’t have cable.
We generally take vacations only to places where we can stay with folks we know, use frequent guest dividends at hotels, or as part of a job mandated conference or junket.
We live for the $0.99 movie theater, and the $1.50 video rentals. We pack picnics.
In short, we can pinch a penny till Lincoln screams.
So, a great big splurge on Saturday night was out of character for us. But what is a blog for if not to tell the world about our eccentricities? Tony, Bambi and I went down to the Atlanta Hilton for dinner at Trader Vic’s and to see a show called the Kung Fu Hustle, featuring the Dames Aflame Dancers. Bambi and I had gone down to Vic’s about a week before, as we were getting ready for the It’s Everybody’s Birthday Luau, and we needed some Mai Tai ingredients, which Trader Vic’s sells at the bar. It was a tough job, going down to the basement of the Hilton to have a drink and acquire supplies, but we struggled through somehow. I thought the place was like going into DISNEYLAND. Walls covered in bamboo, tiki art and dead sea creatures create a euphoric effect in my brain for some reason. The place just tickles me. ANYWAY, as we munched on our little pu-pus and other tidbits, we saw that the following Saturday would host the Hustle. It was a CARE International benefit supporting relief efforts in China and Myanmar. I like Philanthropic events and I like the Dames Aflame, and, as I’ve already said, I love Trader Vic’s. It sounded like a win-win to me, especially as it was situated right there at the end of VBS week, where one would surely need a strong fruity girl drink. So, we made a dinner reservation for Saturday night. (BTW – IF you came for dinner, there was no cover charge for the show. See – even in extravagance, I can be thrifty!)
Let me back up and tell you about the Dames Aflame. Tony and I first saw the Dames about 5 years ago. Friends of mine said we had to go see this burlesque show. So we trudged into a less than savory neighborhood to a building that had, at one point, been a church recreation hall. It may have been the hottest night of the year, and, no, the old cafetorium did NOT have A/C. There was some added weirdness that you got a tamale or something with your wee admission price. Despite the remoteness of the location, the bizarre ticket combo and sweltering temps, the Dames ROCKED. There was comedy, nudity, acrobatics, and a small “big band” called Kingsized that was a real joy to listen to. It was a miserable, wonderful night! I still have the paper fan with the Dames logo on it up on a bookshelf.
So, back to Saturday, we get to Trader Vic’s and go in. We were a little disappointed that we couldn’t sit where we could see the bar, where the Dames and Tongo Hiti were setting up. Alas, nothing could be done. We sat in the garden room and started perusing the drink menu. They have it all. Tony got a pink drink that was yummy, Bambi got a tall drink that was STRONG. I got a club soda. Guess who was driving?
We ordered a side of tempura onion rings as an appetizer, and that was a good choice. We also got an order of the smoked BBQ ribs, which was also nice. The sauces a Vic’s in my opinion, don’t go well with the dishes they come with. I recommend you experiment with asking for other sauces and mix things up. Let’s see… Tony got the smoked Sea Scallops and a crab cake. He snarffed down the crab cake, but he let me take a nibble of the scallops – YUM. Bambi had the lamb curry. This is a very British curry, and I like my curry Thai style, but the presentation was really nice. I went for an a la carte approach to my dinner. I ordered the Bongo Bongo soup (think creamed spinach and oysters), and two sides: 5 Mushroom Fried Rice and the BBQ roasted vegetables. By far, the best thing on the menu is the BBQ Roasted Veggies. The were OUTSTANDING! The smoky flavor lingers long after the meal. For sure.
The only complaint I have is about the bill. I don’t mind paying good money for great food, great service and a wonderful atmosphere. I do mind being charged for club soda. THREE. TIMES! The waitress filled my glass of club soda three times and charged me for it. What’s that? Most places don’t charge you for club soda at all. If they do, almost everyone charges it like a Coke – buy once and free refill, a concept that I am fine with. But, come on, Vic, we dropped more than a C-note here tonight! Cut me some slack on the bev. Okay? Let’s just say that little “up-charge” was deducted directly from the tip. Hear me now, waiters of the world, club soda is NOT a mixed drink, even when you put a lime wedge in it. Stop billing like it is.
On to the bar area and the show. I really liked it. Not too loud. Great dancing from the Dames Aflame a Go-Go. Loved the panda playing the vibraphone and steel drum. The monkey freaked me out a little. I would recommend this show to everyone. The girls do keep their clothes on in the early hours of the show, which ran from 8 to midnight, so it starts out family friendly. We left about 10:30 so we could get back to out babysitter. I love Trader Vic’s. Do check it out. Don’t get hustled on the club soda. Give to Care International.