This was the last weekend of Peg's youngest sister visiting with us from upstate New York. The latest weather reports from New York were delivered in numbers of feet, so it was snow as usual. Kate has been enjoying herself on this visit, which was centered around the fall wedding of her daughter, Marie.
We took Kate and Peg's older sister, Pat to Giorgio's Greek Café & Pizzaria in downtown Puyallup. I never thought to ask if Kate liked Greek food. Never assume.
The evening started out with my order of a Shirley Temple "with lots of cherries." The last time there I had failed to mention the cherries and sat grumpily sans cherries for the rest of the evening. This night I had lots of cherries, so I was really happy.
We arrived fifteen minutes before our reservations at five. Our waitress mentioned we were there in time for Happy Hour. Since both Kate and Pat where at a loss of what to order I jumped in and made selections for the table. One order of spanikopita, two orders of lamb souvlaki, and one order of meatballs.
Kate absolutely hated my favorite, spanikopita. She liked the phyllo dough on her first bite, but the texture of the spinach and feta cheese just stopped her cold. Although she found the meatballs too spicey, she survived on the lamb souvlaki. What she really liked was the tzatziki. Souvlaki is small pieces of meat grilled on a skewer. Traditionally, the meat in Greece and Cyprus is pork, although chicken and lamb are sometimes also used. Souvlaki is taken from the Greek word for skewer. The tzatziki is a cucumber sauce designed to cool spicey dishes.
Thinking she had ordered the Chicken Marsala the last time we ate at Giorgio's Peg ordered it this time as well. Actually, the last time there she had ordered a veggie pizza and really enjoyed it. The Marsala was good, but it didn't light up her eyes. Marsala has lots of mushrooms, onions, and chicken all flavored with Marsala. Marsala wine is produced in the region surrounding the city of Marsala in Sicily. Much of southern Italian cooking comes from Greek colonization over two thousand years ago.
Peg really likes the Chicken Marsala at Pomodoro's on North Proctor in Tacoma. They tasted the same to me.
What stands out about the Marsala served at Giorgio's is the Greek fashioned green beans that accompanied the dish. Peg ordered the green beans to go along with her meal, while I chose the Greek potatoes for mine. That way we can get a bite or two from each others plate.
I love the Greek potatoes, they taste like my pot roast vegetables . . . all soaked up with juices and flavors. Of course, I always order butter to go along with the big chunks of potatoes. I traded bites with Peg for green beans.
The spanikopitas were absolutely perfect. Served with crumbled feta cheese like a small snow drift covered spinach pie. With the appetizer's two spanikopitas and my dinner serving of two spanikopitas I had one extra to add to our doggie bag.
Also on the plate was a rice pilaf with a tomato sauce, which I really enjoyed. At the end of the meal I had no pilaf, no potatoes, and no butter. Ah, yes . . . a perfect meal.
I knew that Kate was a little disappointed, so when we left Giorgio's we drove a little further south to Don's Drive-In (across from the Blue Gate at the Western Washington Fair). I bought two pieces of pie and two pieces of bread pudding for our dessert at the end of the evening.
After buying pie we set off for the Auburn Avenue Theater in downtown Auburn for a performance by Tayla Lynn. Tayla is the granddaughter of country music legend Loretta Lynn. Tayla first appeared on stage with her meemaw at the age of four. She has toured with Loretta and also been an opening act for her.
One of our daughter Andrea's first jobs was at a hotel restaurant in Fife. She came home once remarking she had delivered room service to Loretta Lynn. She remarked that Loretta was really nice, tiny, and had big boobs.
We arrived at the theater about an hour early, so we drove around downtown Auburn and then parked nearby. Peg and Kate went window shopping and then came back at seven to say that the lobby was full. We walked about a fifty yards to the ticket window just to be told they had no tickets for us. Peg and purchased online a week before.
For twenty minutes the manager searched but couldn't access one inventory via online. He then gave us tickets for seating that was first come, first served. This was a major irritation for me. We sat (see us waiting in the mirror reflection in the bottom photo) waiting and watching other people pick up tickets and buy tickets and choosing their seats knowing that seats we could have claimed were being chosen by others who came after us. The manager could have let us take seats while he worked on a solution. This was not our first time at the theater.
When we finally were allowed in, I selected a second tier of seats that gave us a decent view of the stage and placed the performers only about forty feet away from us.
Tayla seemed a little nervous and did quite a bit of self-talk, a killer of attention for professional speakers. Her son Tru, a lot of her family, and many of her friends were present. Tru is about two and a half, and I'm guessing Tayla gave up performing from just before his birth and the following two years plus.
Tayla and her husband live in the area. She has been interviewed of KING-TV Evening. Besides opening for Loretta and singing with her, Tayla was also with Stealing Angels, a female trio of which each woman had famous roots from Daniel Boone to John Wayne, and of course Loretta Lynn. The trio's debut single, "He Better Be Dead", debuted at number 59 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in 2010. Tayla sang lead and has a nice twangy, country voice (born in Franklin, Tennessee). The group disbanded in 2012. They released three singles.
Tayla says, "I am absolutely doing exactly what I have always wanted to do, sing on a big ole or sometimes really small stage, write music and poetry all the time, as a freakin job no less and tour with my grandmother." The Auburn Avenue Theater is a small homey venue. There were about a hundred and fifty people enjoying her performance. I'd like to hear her live with more than just one guitar and a bass fiddle.
When we got back to Tacoma, we closed out the evening with the pies and bread pudding. Kate had never had rhubarb pie before, but wanted a taste of mine. She loved it. Unfortunately when we stopped in at Don's they were just about out of pie. They only had one piece of rhubarb and one piece of banana cream and several pieces of bread pudding. I'm guessing that people were buying up the pies for Super Bowl parties the next day. From dinner at Giorgio's to Don's to Tayla Lynn, everyone was wearing Seahawks' tees, jerseys, hats, jackets, and scarves. It was like belonging to one huge club . . . now if there had just been enough rhubarb pie to go around!
With the Seattle Seahawks compiling impressive stats and records, it echos the goal of Tayla Lynn, "I want to make a record I am proud of, even if it takes a thousand years." I'm looking for more Greek food, more good music, and more Seahawk football games, but I don't think I'm going to last a thousand years.