Monday, March 26, 2007

Please Don't Go Joey, Or Life is Like a Bowl of Chili

Bobby: There are a few epochal dates in musical history that completely redefine a genre. Friday night was one such date. Joey McIntrye (aka the youngest New Kid) came to Jammin' Java in Vienna, Virginia and rocked Jazz Standards like no one before. After the Joey Mac Show, Giada, Rachel, Julia, Emeril, and I went to Bar Rouge for drinks, and capped the evening at the DC institution that is Ben's Chili Bowl. The following is a rare triple-review of all of the evening's festivities.

Joey Mac Attack: A Review of the Entertainment

Bobby: The atmosphere at Jammin' Java was electric just before the Big J took the stage. One fan effusively informed the opening performer that she once had a Joey Mac sleeping bag, although upon further reflection it may have been a pillowcase.

Giada: I had a Joey Mac pillow case. It was white, with neon orange and green marks, and a picture of Joey's mug front and center. I loved that pillow case.

Bobby: The Big J came out in a dapper three piece suit and a top hat that foreshadowed a multitude of twirling possibilities. He led off with Nat King Cole's L.O.V.E., knocked it dead, and slowly won over even the most jaded of fans.

Giada: I informed Bobby that we would be purchasing him a three-piece suit, post haste.

Bobby: But the crescendo of the evening came when Joey Mac pulled out the ace up his sleeve, "Please Don't Go Girl." With silky vocals like that, one can rest assured that no lady is going to be leaving Mr. McIntyre anytime soon.

Giada: Having grown up in a rural part of the country, I never got to see a New Kids performance. Hearing Joey sing "Please Don't Go Girl" made Saturday night the concert I'd been waiting 20 years for.

Bobby: Joey Mac finished the set with some tunes from the Chairman of the Board, Elvis, and Nat King Cole, but left the stage without doing an encore, which left me filling without closure. But closure came with a vengence outside Jammin' Java waiting for a cab. Julia and I were loitering a little behind Rachel and Giada, and by heavens that was a smart move, for Joey Mac walked right by Julia and said, "Thanks for coming out." Julia, always calm under pressure, pointed and softly uttered a garbled "Hey." This cogent prompting caused me to turn around and see the great man walk by. Rachel and Giada unfortunately were already walking toward the cab and missed this brush with greatness. I can't feel too bad for them, as Joey Mac thanked me personally for coming to his show. No need for that Joey, the pleasure was all mine.

Giada: So mad at myself, unable to comment further.

Bobby's Joey Mac Rating: 11 out of 10. (Some might think an 11 out of 10 is not possible, those people have never seen Joey Mac in person).
Giada's Joey Mac Rating: 10 hearts out of 10 hearts.

Applying Some Rouge: A Review of the Drinks

Bobby: After being pumped up by Joey, we boarded the Metro and were treated to a fully choreographed of "The Right Stuff" by Giada. Those who saw it will never forget it. It was that good.

Giada: I, however, have forgotten most of it, as memories of that point of the evening are oddly hazy. Go figure.

Bobby: Then after the eternal cab ride/walk, we made it to Bar Rouge, which is on 16th & N and not 15th & Mass as we discovered.

Giada: Eh, we were close.

Bobby: As if I needed any affirmance that I enjoy things that are a little girly sometimes, I once again showed that I am the King of picking out the best fruity drink. In this case that drink is the Ruby Rouge Martini. Not as good as the Raspberrytini at Blue Duck, but still a fine drink. By the second round, all the ladies had joined me in partaking in this sweet nectar.

Giada: I started with some other champagne cocktail, which was good. But Bobby's right -- he's the King of Fruity Drinks, and he knows how to pick them.

Bobby: As for the place, it's got your standard Kimpton hotel bar look. Snazzy, colorful (red, as the name suggests), long and narrow. Not dead, but not too crowded, with comfortable seats and no overbearing music.

Giada: Kimpton bars are great for evenings where you want to hang out with friends and enjoy conversation at an upscale-ish place. They're not pick-up bars (although I'm sure it's happened now and again), and tend to offer a number of specialty drinks. If you're in a group under 4 people (and often even more) seating is generally available. However, drinks tend to be on the pricier side, and while the places attempt an upscale vibe, it's often clear that the materials used are not top-of-the-line.

Bobby's Rating: 8.2 out of 10
Giada's Rating: 7 out of 10

Chili Today, Hot Tamale: A Review of the Bowl

Bobby: After the drinks, we strolled down to U street and got some chili from Uncle Ben. I have mixed feelings about the Bowl. On the one hand, it is cool, seems relatively authentic, and has good food. On the other hand, it tends to draw a lot of annoying wannabe hipsters/dorky frat guys.

Giada: Agreed. The line was a long one of exactly what Bobby describes. I was also a little annoyed that they weren't serving milkshakes or grilled cheese, although on further reflection it makes sense, or that line would never move. As it was, with a menu limited mainly to chili, chili dogs, half-smokes, and fries (they also grilled up a burger for Rachel, although it took a long time and I'd recommend sticking to the staples), the line moved quite quickly.

Giada: Also, Ben's could use a good scrubbing. I know that part of a "greasy spoon" is the grease, but I think you could apply a lot of 409 before Ben's would lose any of its charm.

Bobby's Chili Bowl Rating: 7.5 out of 10
Giada's Chili Bowl Rating: 5 out 10

Recipe for an excellent evening: Two parts overgrown teeny-bopper idol, one part Ruby Rouge Martini blended with sparkling conversation. Stir with greasy spoon, and prepare the spend the next day on the couch recovering.

227 Maple Avenue
East Vienna, VA

1315 16th Street, NW
Washington, DC

1213 U Street, NW
Washington, DC

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