Charcuterie and more

Nathan and Lori at Olympia Provisions.

Nathan and Lori at Olympia Provisions.

Friday night found us at the recently renamed Olympia Provisions, one of the city’s best restaurants and, not coincidentally, the employer of our oldest son.

Nathan recently got hired as a line cook, and we seized the opportunity to have dinner there with two long-time friends and one brand-new one, who just so happens to be the mother of the head chef. Sweet.

OP-signOlympic Provisions burst onto Portland’s already robust food scene in 2009. It quickly built a reputation for the quality of its cold meats — a variety of sausages, salami, pates and other goodies — and won critical praise from Bon Appetit, The New Yorker, Saveur, Food & Wine and O Magazine (that would be O for Oprah). In fact, Bon Appetit declared it “America’s Best Charcuterie.”

Get the details here

Last fall, OP made the news when the U.S. Olympic Committee flexed its muscles and forced the restaurant to change its name from Olympic to Olympia to avoid infringing on its trademarked use of “Olympic.”

Sheesh.

Clockwise from left: Molly, George, Lori, Pam and John.

Clockwise from left: Molly, George, Lori, Pam and John.

In any case, we finally made it out to Northwest Portland, one of two OP locations, for a meal. It did not disappoint.

We had a chef’s choice charcuterie plate, ideal for sharing, and then moved on to the main course. Lori had halibut (of course, she would order fish at a meat restaurant) and I had a risotto with a parsley-pecorino sausage. Dessert arrived not just with the saucisson au chocolate we ordered (imagine a chocolate salami served in thin slices) but a polenta pastry with strawberry-rhubarb sauce. (Thanks, kitchen staff!)

Everything was delicious and the service was excellent.

The dinner was organized by our friend, Molly, who brought us together after learning Nathan had been hired by Alex, the head chef and son of a good friend of hers, named Pam. Turns out Alex graduated a year ahead of our daughter at Grant High School and is good friends with another young entrepreneur who knows Nathan. In addition, Pam’s very good friend lives next door to us. Little did we know.

I’d been to OP’s original location in Southeast Portland just once before, for a brunch with my daughter-in-law Kyndall. Last night was a treat seeing the second location with its spacious interior, white walls and natural lighting. We’ll have to go back again. Sooner than later, I hope.

The spacious kitchen at Olympia Provisions

The spacious kitchen at Olympia Provisions

Advertisements

A close call with my iPhone

I was on my way into work one morning earlier this week, responding to email on my laptop, when the light-rail train pulled up to Pioneer Courthouse Square, right in the heart of the city. I looked up, realized I was one stop past my usual one, and quickly packed up and got off. That’s when I realized I might have left something on board: my iPhone.

I checked my shoulder bag. My pockets. My cloth lunch sack. Nope. Nope. And nope.

iphoneI turned around just in time to see the passenger doors closing. There it was, still perched on a narrow rubber strip next to the window where I’d been sitting. I tapped on the glass and caught a young woman’s attention. I pointed to the iPhone, grateful that she saw it. As the train began moving, I gestured to her that I’d try to get it at the next stop.

Those trains cover a lot of distance in no time at all, I’m telling you. This one left me behind in just a few seconds but just as quickly, it began slowing down for the next stop. I ran three short city blocks and managed to catch up. The young lady had already gotten off and was striding toward me with my iPhone in hand. Whew!

In the heat of the moment, I realized how lucky I was. Lucky that there was anyone at all sitting on the same side of the train, just one seat behind the one I’d vacated. Lucky that that person understood what I was trying to convey with my window-tapping and finger-pointing. Lucky that the next train stop was relatively close. Had this occurred at night or in a suburban location, there’s no way this would have had a happy ending.

After the moment passed, I asked myself if I’d overreacted. Just how important was it to retrieve my iPhone? Was this a first-world problem? After all, it’s a thing. A possession, not a person or a pet.

It would have been inconvenient, for sure, to lose it with so much data on it. Way more than just a phone or a camera, it held both work and personal contacts, work and personal email accounts, and hundreds of photos documenting precious memories over a period of years.

But it’s not like it’s irreplaceable.

What about you, friends? Have you ever lost your iPhone or Samsung or other mobile device? How big a loss was it? If you’ve never misplaced it but found it missing in a public place, how far would you go to try to get it back? I don’t mean literally, as in running after a train. I mean how much effort would you put into it?

Four-day weekend

One beer, one bowler at Interstate Lanes

One beer, one bowler at Interstate Lanes

I worked Sunday through Thursday last week and was looking forward to a three-day weekend. So imagine my delight when I realized Memorial Day was coming up too. Just like that, I had myself a string of four days off from work.

I won’t lie. It felt good. Like a mini-vacation without going anywhere. Sometimes low-key is good, though, and these past four days certainly fit into that slot.

Friday morning I met Lori for breakfast at a favorite neighborhood restaurant, Cadillac Cafe. That evening I used our outdoor grill for the first time this year — and bombed. The salmon was dry; the mashed potatoes were tasteless; and the grilled asparagus wasn’t quite done. Thankfully, I redeemed myself two nights later.

Saturday afternoon I went bowling at Interstate Lanes. Must have timed it just right — or just wrong — because I was literally the only one bowling for a time. Halfway into the first of my three games, somebody else started in on another lane. Couldn’t help but think of the Robert Putnam’s 2001 book, “Bowling Alone,” where he describes how Americans have become increasingly disconnected from each other and social institutions have disintegrated.

Sunday afternoon we headed downtown to see a matinee showing of “Iris,” a documentary about a 93-year-old fashion icon from New York. Didn’t get in. The Living Room Theaters are great because they provide an intimate space, but the flip side is that it doesn’t take much to sell out their small auditoriums.

sils-maria-posterInstead, we saw “Clouds of Sils Maria,” a French film we knew nothing about going in but which I found appealing (more so than Lori, anyway). Juliette Binoche stars as an acclaimed actress who agrees to appear again in the play that launched her career, but this time as Helena, an older actress cast opposite 20-year-old Sigrid, the character she played years earlier. Kristen Stewart, who caught my attention as Julianne Moore’s younger daughter in “Still Alice,” is even better in the film as Valentine, a personal assistant to Binoche’s character, Maria Enders.

As Val and her boss two go back and forth from rehearsing the dialogue for Maria’s upcoming role to real-time conversation, the line between the script and real time becomes blurred and marked by tension. When the two women meet Jo-Anne, the spoiled but media-savvy starlet chosen to play Sigrid, things get more interesting. Maria clearly sees this up-and-coming actress as a rival and a threat and perhaps as a reflection of her younger self.

The film, shot in Switzerland, reminded me of “Birdman” in that it told a multilayered story of what it is to be an actor past his (or her) prime, dealing with issues of aging and insecurity. In this case, Binoche takes us through a gamut of emotions — uncertainty, jealousy, resentment, acceptance — as she comes to grips with who she is and where she is in her career.

Monday morning I took a run at Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge, one of my favorite spots. On the way back to the parking lot, I followed a trail that led me into the shade of Sellwood Park, a great neighborhood park not to be confused with Sellwood Riverfront Park, which is right on the Willamette.

What else?

We had Lori’s brother, Jim, and our sister-in-law, Judi, over for dinner Saturday night. Always a good time with those two. And Lori killed it, as usual, with a baked chicken dish.

I made up for my disastrous salmon dinner on Sunday night. Put together a dozen enchiladas, filled with ground beef, sour cream and olives, and topped with cheese and homemade sauce. Yum.

Two bike rides Saturday and Sunday took me in opposite directions. First, all the way out to Kenton in North Portland and then over to Willamette Boulevard and the Skidmore Bluffs. Then, straight out Tillamook Street to 82nd Avenue. So relaxing.

Caught up with some reading and some mundane computer tasks, did miscellaneous chores and spent some time with our dogs.

All in all, a four-day weekend that came as a nice respite. And now it’s back to the salt mines.

Back to Hillsboro

The Hillsboro Argus is on the third floor of this four-story Class A office building.

The Hillsboro Argus is on the third floor of this four-story Class A office building.

No, not me. This time it’s the Hillsboro Argus that’s moved. Again.

To the AmberGlen Corporate Campus, to a modern four-story structure that’s as different in every imaginable way from the Argus’ previous home.

OM-logoIf you’ve followed this blog, you know that I’ve chronicled many of the changes involving the Oregonian Media Group, the multimedia company that came into existence when the newspaper-centric Oregonian Publishing Co. went out of business in October 2013.

For 2 1/2 years, I had commuted to Hillsboro as editorial page editor for the Argus and, later, the Forest Grove Leader. I moved back downtown to OMG’s new offices last November to begin a new reporting assignment. In between, the company sold the Argus building in downtown Hillsboro and temporarily relocated the staff (including me) to Beaverton to join the staff of another OMG publication.

Last month, the final piece fell into place. Everyone moved out of the cramped Beaverton building into shiny, new leased space in the AmberGlen office park, just inside the easternmost Hillsboro city limits. The building is a short walk to the Streets of Tanasbourne, a regional shopping mall, and just south of Cornell Road, a major west-east thoroughfare carrying commuters between Portland and Hillsboro.

My new desk in the Argus newsroom.

My new desk in the Argus newsroom.

Though I’m now based in Portland, I try to spend one or two days a week in the new office, which serves as a news and advertising bureau for most of Washington County, home to Nike and Intel. Getting out of downtown helps remind me there’s much more to this state than just its largest city.

Still, it’s jarring to work out of this new place, smack in the middle of suburbia. There is still so much undeveloped land nearby that there’s no sense of place. From our offices on the third floor, I look out and it seems I could be anywhere. Southern California? Bellevue, Washington? Kansas City?

The Argus, for better or worse, occupied the same location in downtown Hillsboro for almost 60 years. It was the kind of place where people walked in off the street and placed a classified ad for a garage sale, sitting shoulder-to-shoulder with an ad saleswoman as she typed the text onto a computer screen.

We're at the end of the hallway.

We’re at the end of the hallway.

At AmberGlen, one of two Class A office buildings at the end of Walker Road, we’re miles from the historic downtown district, hardly conducive to foot traffic and drop-in visitors. The brick-and-glass structure has a huge parking lot, a spacious lobby with a touch screen to find the building occupants, sleek elevators, and a vibe that makes me feel as if I’m walking in to refinance a mortgage.

As a matter of fact, our fellow tenants include a title company, a financial services firm and an accounting and business consulting practice.

The Argus newsroom is on the third floor, at the end of a corridor with art work on the walls. Inside, it’s like a smaller version of downtown, with new desks and cubicles left, center and right. There’s a small kitchen, a conference room and four small rooms suitable for meetings or private conversations. One even has a standing desk. The lobby consists of a sectional couch just inside the entry door. It’s tasteful and functional, I’m sure, but I doubt it will get much use from visitors.

I’m not complaining, mind you. The old Argus building was decades past its prime — chilly during the winter and uncomfortably warm in summer. The Beaverton office was soulless. So I’m not pining for either place — and I’m obviously not privy to financial decisions made by the business side of the operation.

OMG-lobby

The lobby is small but tastefully appointed.

All I’m saying is, when you’re doing community journalism it helps to be part of that community. The old Hillsboro office was a five-minute walk to city hall and the county courthouse and administrative offices, nestled in the heart of the downtown business district, and less than 50 yards from the light-rail stop and bus transfer station.

The new office is miles from all those places.

An open house at the Hillsboro/Tanasbourne/AmberGlen office is planned next month. I will be interested to see what the turnout is like.

Blindsided by ‘Blindsighted’

blindsightedA few weeks ago, I was delighted to learn several friends and co-workers shared my love of Tony Hillerman’s novels, mysteries set in the American Southwest and featuring two Navajo Tribal Police officers.

As a bonus, I received a recommendation to check out the writing of Karin Slaughter, an Atlanta-based writer of crime novels set in Georgia. My co-worker suggested I might start with “Triptych,” the first in a series of six novels about a Georgia Bureau of Investigation agent named Will Trent.

I headed to the public library, but they didn’t have it so I left with “Blindsighted,” which I later learned was the first in a series of six other novels set in fictitious Grant County. Turns out it also was Slaughter’s debut novel in 2001, a New York Times bestseller and nominee for the Crime Writers’ Association’s Best First Crime Novel.

Well, after breezing through that 434-page paperback novel, let me say this: It’s not what I expected.

There are plenty of positives: A strong sense of place in small-town Heartsland. Clear, muscular writing fortified by well-researched detail about medical and police procedures. Appealing lead characters in Dr. Sara Linton, the town’s pediatrician and corner, and Jeffrey Tolliver, the town’s police chief and Linton’s ex-husband. Solid pacing and careful plotting that kept me turning the pages, eager to see what would come next.

What I didn’t anticipate was the depth of sadism and sheer evil embodied by the killer and another suspect. I’m not particularly squeamish, but this book had me cringing at times. Slaughter (an appropriate name for a writer in this genre) conjures scenes involving torture of especially vulnerable women that go beyond anything I’ve read before. The words “diabolical” and “depraved” came to mind.

Karin Slaughter

Karin Slaughter

The first chapter opens with the grisly death of a blind college professor. The second victim is an emotionally unstable college student. The third and fourth victims? I won’t say.

I knew nothing about Slaughter going in. She’s astoundingly prolific, with 16 novels, 3 short story collections and 1 anthology to her credit — and she’s only 44. And she’s achieved international success, with her books available in 32 languages.

Perhaps I should have been patient and waited for “Triptych.” Starting out with “Blindsighted” was like jumping into a cold bath. It left me shivering and uncomfortable.

BTW, the book title comes from a word that means “The ability of a blind person to sense the presence of a light source.”

Consider that a hint as to where some of the torture scenes take place.

Photograph: Alison Rosa

Saturday Sounds: Liz Longley

liz and george

With Liz Longley, a budding star

It was just last week that I experienced a double treat — my first concert at Mississippi Studios and the pleasure of seeing a talented young performer live and up close..

Liz Longley‘s album release tour brought her to Portland on May 7 and I came away from the concert very impressed. (“Discovering Liz Longley”)

At the meet-and-greet area after the show, I hook her hand, introduced myself, mentioned a mutual acquaintance in Texas, bought the CD and wished her well. Liz suggested a selfie and before I could take the photo, the young guy behind me offered to do so. Nice gesture but without a flash, we’re barely visible.

But, still.

I’m enjoying the CD and sharing the first track from it right here.

Science whiz

Jordan and Jamie relaxing on Mother's Day.

Jordan and Jamie relaxing on Mother’s Day.

Every once in a while, someone says something about one of your kids that makes you burst with pride. That happened yesterday and it gave Lori and me a sense of how others see our youngest child.

With apologies for parental bragging, here’s the story.

Jordan was in touch with us recently to ask if he could borrow one of my suits for an awards program he was asked to attend at the small liberal arts college where he was completing the end of his sophomore year.

Sure, we said. What’s the award?

He said he didn’t know much about it and we figured we’d find out more when he and his wife Jamie came down to visit for Mother’s Day.

We got a little more information that day, but not much. That’s not surprising, though, because Jordan is exceptionally modest about his accomplishments. I took it upon myself to write to a couple of folks at the college and got the details in an email from the chairman of the chemistry department.

Turns out that Jordan was selected as the outstanding student in general chemistry. His overall performance placed him at the top of all students in the two-course sequence and resulted in his being recognized as winner of the 2015 CRC Press Chemistry Achievement Award for Saint Martin’s University.

The annual award is sponsored by a subsidiary of the Chemical Rubber Company and comes with two components. The winner receives a copy of the “Handbook of Chemistry and Physics,” a massive 2,500-page reference volume used by scientists all around the world containing the latest in chemical, physical and mathematical information. A “bookplate” with the student’s name and school is affixed to the inside cover of the handbook.

CRC-handbookIn addition, the SMU Chemistry Department historically announces the winner at the university’s Spring Honors Convocation and has the winner’s name and year engraved on a plaque that’s permanently displayed in the Chemistry Department.

No wonder Jordan needed a suit for the evening. And no wonder Lori and I were shaking our heads in appreciation of how far our boy has come since high school.

After all, this is the guy who passed up a full-ride ROTC scholarship out of high school because he was burned out on the classroom. He came home, worked for a while and took community college classes while he thought about what he wanted to do. He enlisted in the Army at 21, got married, served in Afghanistan and completed his four-year enlistment. He and Jamie bought a home near the military base where he was stationed outside Tacoma, Washington, and he enrolled in college at age 25.

Two years later, here he is: a Dean’s List student four semesters in a row, and a biology major who’s just won a prestigious award for chemistry. This summer, he’ll do a 10-week research fellowship in cellular and molecular biology at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, working under the supervision of a faculty mentor.

All of that is amazing and inspiring, but here’s the best part.

In the email that Dr. Darrell D. Axtell wrote me yesterday, he said this:

As Jordan’s instructor in Chemistry this past year, and as the person responsible for determining the award in question, I am more than happy to provide you some information about Jordan’s award. But first, I would like to say that it has been a great pleasure to have Jordan in my class this year….he is a hard worker, unafraid to ask (or answer) questions in class, well-received by his classmates, and one of the finest young men I have had the privilege of knowing throughout my career.

Wow.

We have always been proud of Jordan — as well as his brother and sister, of course. In this case, the chemistry award says so much about his native intelligence and capacity to focus on difficult material. Beyond that, the professor’s comments about his personal qualities absolutely make my heart sing.

Jordan is now halfway through his undergraduate studies. Already, I’m anticipating being there at graduation in a couple of years and after that, seeing where graduate school takes him.

Love that boy.

Mother’s Day 2015

The usual suspects: Nathan, Lori, Jordan, Jamie, Simone & Kyndall

The usual suspects: Nathan, Lori, Jordan, Jamie, Simone & Kyndall

The annual tribute to mothers around the world arrived yesterday and we had a wonderful little celebration of our own.

I’m sure just about every family feels the same way that we feel about Lori: Best Mother on the Planet.

Well, that’s as it should be. Mothers occupy a special place in our lives.

In our case, we were blessed to have all three of our kids with us, plus two spouses. (Sad that Sara, the girlfriend of our oldest son, couldn’t be with us, too, but we knew she’d be spending time with her own mom.)

We all contributed something to a delicious brunch that we ate in the fresh air and sunshine on our rooftop deck. As always, the conversation veered into the ditch, a place where inappropriate humor and political incorrectness reign. Funny stuff.

Charlotte was a mother, too, before we adopted her.

Charlotte was a mother, too, before we adopted her.

Because they live in the same city as us, we see Nathan and Sara, and Simone and Kyndall, a lot more than our youngest child and his wife. So it feels satisfyingly complete whenever Jordan and Jamie are able to join us, too.

All three kids are in a good space at this point in their life — gainfully employed or doing well in school; very much in love with their spouse or partner; and ready for whatever opportunity or adventure comes next.

After everyone left, I told Lori that I thought we had done a pretty fine job raising our three. They are happy, well-adjusted adults and get along well with each other — which I know is not always the case among other siblings.

This year, Lori received flowers or plants from all three kids, and a couple of books from me. It may seem corny, but to me those gifts represented Life, Love and Laughs.

Flowers and plants are living things, right?

A mother represents both life and love, does she not?

And the books she received were chosen to deliver a double dose of humor after a string of three “serious” books that Lori had labored through. So, lots of laughs to come, via Ellen DeGeneres and Tina Fey.

All in all, a pretty wonderful day with one very special woman at the center of it all. Our lovely Lori.

Shoutout to Ora

Ora and C.A. Rede outside their New Mexico home in April 2014.

Ora and C.A. Rede outside their New Mexico home in April 2014.

Stepmothers often get a bad rap in fairy tales and in real life. They’re portrayed as cold, calculating, mean women. But nothing could be further from the truth when it comes to mine.

Oralia Caballero Rede has become like a third mother to me. And today, on Mother’s Day, I want to recognize and thank her for being such a loving, caring wife to my father and an excellent example of how to live one’s life.

Of course, no one can ever replace the role of my birthmother, Theresa Vargas Flores. She gave me life and raised me, and left a big void in the extended Flores family when she died in October 2013, a day short of her 86th birthday.

The same can be said about my mother-in-law, Virginia Rauh. She was a sweet-natured woman who accepted me fully and never meddled in the life that Lori and I built for ourselves, hundreds of miles away from the San Francisco Bay Area, where we both grew up. Virginia has been gone 10 years now.

That leaves Ora as the third and only remaining maternal figure in my life. Just as my dad is lucky to have met and married her, I too am fortunate to know her and love her.

WEBOraliaCRedeMUG

Ora Rede.

Ora is 81 years old, but you’d never know it from the energy she exudes and the zest for life that she embraces. She is, like my mom and mother-in-law were, deeply religious. And she lives her faith by volunteering for several causes in her community, the sleepy little town of Silver City, New Mexico, where she lives with my dad.

They moved there in 1988 from their home near Oakland, California, to get away from the rat race. For my dad, it was a chance to return to his native New Mexico. For Ora, a chance to be closer to family members in Texas and Arkansas.

Since their arrival, they’ve been active with veterans’ groups, the Knights of Columbus and the League of United Latin American Citizens, a nonprofit advocacy group known as LULAC. Ora also has tutored in English and Spanish and sung in the church choir. She balanced these commitments along with working in the surgery and ER departments at the local hospital before retiring several years ago.

More recently, with my father having turned 89 this year and needing more attention at home, Ora has graciously cut back on her community service activities in order to tend to him. It’s an act of love and selflessness that’s greatly appreciated by Lori and me.

Circumstances prevent us from seeing Ora and Dad more than once every couple of years. Fortunately, the old adage about distance making the heart grow fonder is true. We talk often enough by phone and email for me to feel connected with them both, and she never fails to ask about our three children and their spouses/partners. It’s evident she cares — really cares — about each of them.

I was 15 when my parents divorced. For many years after, I couldn’t imagine my dad with another woman. Or, for that matter, my mom with another man. But here we are, with Act 2 a resounding success in Silver City. My dad was incredibly lucky to meet Ora. Likewise, I consider myself incredibly lucky to have a great relationship with a woman who is unfailingly kind, gracious and generous.

Wicked stepmother? That fairy tale doesn’t apply here.

Read more about this remarkable woman in a profile highlighting her work as a CSJ Associate: http://bit.ly/1Ha7aJU

Discovering Liz Longley

Liz Longley at Mississippi Studios.

Liz Longley at Mississippi Studios.

While the rest of the city was captivated by a rare presidential visit, I was hanging out last night at Mississippi Studios, taking in my first-ever concert at that venue.

Yes, I was WAY overdue but the wait was worth it. Got to see a talented young singer-songwriter named Liz Longley, who came highly recommended by my friend Mike Granberry, a music critic at The Dallas Morning News.

“You’re going to love her,” he wrote to me. “She’s going to be a star.”

Well, Mike was right.

Liz Longley performing

Liz Longley performing “Memphis.”

Liz Longley is the real deal. Such a lovely voice, reminiscent of Sarah McLachlan, and possessed of a relaxed stage presence. She played an hour-long set, accompanying herself on acoustic guitar and piano. Except for a jazzy cover of Van Morrison’s “Moondance,” everything else was an original composition.

So, while supporters of Barack Obama paid $500 and up to attend a Democratic National Committee fundraiser with the president, I plunked down my $15 some time ago for an advance ticket for last night’s concert.

It was money well spent. When you see a performer like Liz, there’s nothing better than an intimate space like Mississippi Studios. By my estimate, there was room for about 150 people on the main floor and balcony, and I figure there were 100 people at most Thursday night. That didn’t detract a bit from the experience.

Two anecdotes tell you what kind of place it is.

— The warmup performer, Anthony D’Amato, was about to launch into his second song, a tribute to Woody Guthrie, when he paused and said, “Hey, what happened to the harmonica brace that was out here?”

He began the song anyway and a sound man went backstage, emerging moments later with the missing equipment. D’Amato picked up the piece, attached his harmonica and went on with the song.

liz longley - miss studios— During one song deep into the set, as she was performing at the piano, Liz drew a blank on the lyrics. It was hardly a catastrophe. More like a light moment that revealed the occasional hiccup in a performance — and which the audience totally rolled with. She’d built a nice connection by then, with self-deprecating humor and references to Obama and Voodoo Doughnuts.

The acoustics were great and I had a great view, just five rows from the stage. You can read more about Liz’s background in this piece below, but the short version is that she grew up near Philly, attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, toured for a few years after graduation, and found her way to Nashville, where she collaborated with top-notch studio musicians on her recently released third CD, titled “Liz Longley.”

After her last song, Liz dashed right by me to the back of the room, where she and D’Amato stationed themselves at a table with their CDs, T-shirts and other merchandise. I introduced myself, passed along greetings from Granberry (“Tell Mike I said, ‘Hi,'” she said.), bought the new CD and asked for a photo.

My longtime friend was right. At 27, Liz Longley is destined for success. So glad I got to see her in such a great setting.

Bonus: The pre-concert meal was great. Heard to beat a bacon cheeseburger with a pint of Bridgeport Pale Ale, served in the outside patio.

Read more: “Longtime Chesco friends cut records in Nashville”