This Town’s Got Talent AND Faith

I already wrote about our 3D movie-going experience in my previous post, so I will skip that part of the weekend here, but I neglected to mention the cool restaurant we found because I didn’t want to enlarge an already lengthy post…

Friday night after seeing My Bloody Valentine 3D in Maumee Ohio, a suburb of Toledo, we noticed a restaurant across the street called Nick’s Cafe who advertises breakfast all day.  My husband and I are both Eggs Benedict connoisseurs – we really appreciate a great-tasting serving of Eggs Benedict, which is a breakfast dish consisting of English Muffin halves topped with Canadian bacon, poached eggs, and a layer of Hollandaise sauce.  In our pre-parenthood days, we explored the country and sampled various versions of the dish along the way to our traveler’s goals; whether they were destinations of business or pleasure.  A requirement of great Eggs Benedict is homemade Hollandaise sauce, and by ‘homemade’, we (unlike many of the restaurants we tried) don’t mean mixed up in the kitchen from a package.  You need a double boiler to make it, and good Hollandaise sauce has nothing to do with a powder or a package.  In all of our travels, we never found anything that even compares to the Hollandaise sauce at Uptown Cafe in downtown Arlington Heights, Illinois.  We’ve visited numerous restaurants in our quest, and we’ve called some of them ahead of time, but even if you ask if their Hollandaise sauce is homemade, many will say yes, even if we don’t agree on the definition of homemade.  Such was the case Friday night at Nick’s Cafe in Maumee, Ohio.  They said their hollandaise sauce was homemade on the phone, but oddly, when we arrived, they wouldn’t let us taste a sample.  That was a first!  Of the dozens of restaurants we’ve visited in search of the perfect Eggs Benedict, no restaurant had ever denied us a sample!  On Friday night, my husband bravely ordered the Eggs Benedict at Nick’s Cafe without trying the Hollandaise sauce ahead of time, and disappointingly, it was of the non-homemade, out-of-the-package variety.  He did say that the Canadian bacon on the Eggs Benedict was great, but it unfortunately cannot rescue the dish if it uses packaged Hollandaise.  So negative Eggs Benedict experience aside, the reason I would highly recommend this place is for their Mediterranean cuisine.  And regular readers of my blog (and of those email forward all-about-you quizzes) know that this is my favorite type of food, therefore I am a huge critic.  But Nick’s Place in Maumee has excellent gyros, Tzatziki sauce, and Greek salads.  Gyros are only good when they’re off the spit and even then, it’s easy for them to taste too salty.  Not the case at Nick’s Place; if you like Mediterranean food, I highly recommend their gyros and Greek salads – incredible.

But I must move on to Saturday afternoon, when we took our kids to see the movie, Hotel for Dogs.  I’ve been waiting for this movie for months, which is probably why we didn’t want to cancel our planned outing there on Saturday even though Kid #1 went off her rocker.  Seriously, the kid went berserk and I was really tempted to give her “the talk”, especially after I noticed a pimple on her cheek… (well, one of ‘the talks’ anyway – the one about womanly bodily changes – she’s 9 years old and I would rather we talk about puberty stuff before it happens to her).  But anyway, she’d probably be mortified if she knew I was posting this on the internet (what are mothers for?), so I better get off this tangent…  After the episode Saturday morning, our oldest really didn’t deserve to go to the movie, but it’s difficult in a large family to not ‘let the bad apple spoil the bunch’.  Our younger girls had been very good all morning, so why keep them (or me!) from going to the movie?  Our oldest was punished for the tantrum by having to go without a Kid’s Pack (popcorn, pop, and candy) at the movies, and to her credit, she was mature about the consequences of her actions.  However, soon after our arrival at the movie theater, the tide changed and our 2-year-old became the problem.  I don’t know why we keep trying to take a 2-year-old to the movie theater, but every time, it’s regrettable.  Actually, it’s been this way since even months before she turned two…  I guess we keep hoping that one of these times, she’ll actually settle down enough to enjoy an entire movie without driving anyone crazy.  So anyway, I’m trying to keep our 6-month-old busy and quiet while attempting to watch Hotel For Dogs and not disturb our neighbors, and my husband is busy with our handful of a 4-year-old, so next thing we know, our two-year-old is drinking my Mountain Dew.  Of course she loves it, but even before the Mountain Dew she’s had a sugar-infused Kid’s Pack, and now she’s practically bouncing off the walls.  She smiles and announces in a loud voice, “I take clothes off!“, so now I’m trying to put my son back in his car seat so I can stop his sister from stripping off her clothes right there in the movie theater…  Too late.  She is down to her diaper by the time I get both hands free, so my husband covers her with a coat.  For some reason, she’s willing to wear nothing but a coat and a diaper in the movie theater, and somehow we make it through the rest of the movie without having to leave.  So as for Hotel For Dogs, I liked it (I think – I actually didn’t see much of it)…  it’s a cute, predictable fun movie, and if you’re a dog lover, there’s plenty of canine eye candy.

Following the movie, I went to a local talent show based upon the popular “American Idol” TV show.  Some great friends graciously stayed with the kids, and my husband also stayed home to catch up on the work he missed last week during the 2-hour-school delay and the school closing we have on Friday and Monday.  He works from home, and it’s all I can do to keep the two little ones out of his hair every day – add the older two to the mix and all Hell breaks loose – any chance of getting anything productive done flies out the window.  So, a strange occurrence at the talent show – me, myself, and I for a change.  I did attend with friends, but it’s not like I would bother Carol next to me with my philosophies on music or the tone of one’s voice; that would be something to make my husband endure.  And it was bizarre to simply sit back and listen and watch the show…  For those hours, I had absolutely not one thing else to do besides enjoy the show…  such a change of pace for me and much appreciated.  Not that I would want to experience that all the time, but it was very nice for one night…

Adding to the relaxation for me was the spiritual tone of the evening.  I had known the event would be sponsered by a local church, but I didn’t realize that we, the audience,  would be praying to both open and to close the show; as well as the fact that the majority of the acts were religion-themed.  As I said, for me, it was refreshing and relaxing, but I think they should properly advertise such a theme if they do this again next year.  Less open-minded people may have been displeased.  My dear friend and the entire reason I was a part of this concert experience in the first place, performed wonderfully and I was pleasantly surprised to be able to pick out her voice from the rest of the delightful group with whom she performed.  Despite my best efforts to vote for them, however, they didn’t win the competition, and the top prizes went to a drama group from the church who sponsered the event (!), a very talented violinist, and a well-known local talent who is only a Junior in high school but who has already been a vocalist with the Toledo Opera going on her 3rd year.  Besides seeing and hearing my friend perform, my favorite part of the evening was when a boy who was part of the drama group that won burst into tears.  Their skit was acted out to music, and it portrayed a young girl being bullyed by ‘temptations’ but ultimately triumphing over sins and choosing Jesus.  The group got a standing ovation after they performed and because they were from the church that sponsored the event, it was no surprise when they won first prize in the competition, but the kid asked the crowd, “I just want to know that everyone was moved – was everyone moved?”  There was applause and verbal affirmations, and the next thing I knew, the kid had burst into tears and it slightly reminded me of  the movie Leap of Faith…  But it was sweet and real, and I was glad to be a part of it.  Even though the talent show did a poor job of advertising the theme of the show; thereby the religion kind of snuck up on its patrons, it was a welcome and calming change of pace – at least for this member of the audience.  And even though I wasn’t aware that I needed it, the evening restored my faith while proving to me yet again what a great place it is in Northwest Ohio to raise kids – we have so much talent and so many opportunites here for our youth!

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6 Responses to “This Town’s Got Talent AND Faith”

  1. justj Says:

    Interesting, I never enjoyed Eggs Benedict, mainly because of the sauce, now you’re saying that it was bad sauce…. I guess I’ll have to find some good sauce. Another place for Gyros, wonderful.

    I find it entertaining that you take all four children to the movies. I remember waiting until my girls could sit through a video at home before taking them to a movie. The exception was our oldest. Video players were quite expensive at that time and we didn’t have one.

  2. derek Says:

    Three posts in one. 🙂

    I can’t really comment on the first, so I will move to the second. I suppose you took Dis to see it because if she couldn’t, one of you two couldn’t, correct? 😀 Next time, just bring some rope and duct tape- an idea from the bad parenting institute of wherever. 😛 Seriously, it sounded like some drama there.

    This movie sounded kind of interesting. How was it (that you noticed) for poop and vomit jokes? Come to think of it, how was Marley on it? Overt?

    Three people blogging about the talent show- must have been something! If they were going to base it on a TV show, wouldn’t it have more in common with America’s Got Talent than American Idol? Easy to come up with a name, too: Rural Ohio Has Talent, (I don’t know the name) Church Has Talent, Bryan County Has Talent, or something like that.

  3. taylhis Says:

    It’s probably a good idea to wait until children are old enough to sit through a video at home. But going to the movies is one of our favorite things to do, and Saturday is family day, so I’d rather find something else to do as a family rather than take the little ones to a babysitter. If we had family nearby, I would call Grandma over for a few hours to watch Dis, but we don’t have that option, so it’s all for one and one for all! But seriously, we’re going to probably have to find something else to do for a few years… Christopher will probably be old enough to go to the movies right as Taylor decides she doesn’t want to be seen at the movies with us… 🙂
    There were some poop and vomit jokes in Hotel for Dogs of course… I think it would be hard to avoid in a PG movie about dogs. The kid designs an entire machine that takes care of dog waste, and there are a few jokes centered on that… and some pee jokes, I think… Marley had some as well; I don’t remember if it was excessive. Check out the parental advisories on imdb.com – they might detail the quantity of bodily function jokes on there.
    The name of the show was Bryan’s Got Talent.

  4. taylhis Says:

    Hmm, after a quick check I see that Hotel for Dogs doesn’t have a parental advisory and Marley’s parental advisory doesn’t have body function jokes in it. And I forgot to mention my favorite part of Hotel For Dogs – no stray gets turned away! I am a huge believer in finding homes for strays before patronizing pet stores and breeders! Can’t believe I forgot to mention how cool it was that these kids were taking care of all the strays… oh well, I’d say my post (and comments!) are long enough!

  5. derek Says:

    Ah, so they did think of America’s Got Talent before Idol. 🙂

    Why does Hollywood think every dog movie needs bodily function jokes? Sigh. I just read about a new blog by the way from some people who work in Hollywood that highlights how Hollywood is becoming increasingly anti-American, not that this has anything to do with their dog movies of course.

  6. Denver Says:

    “Less open-minded people”? Funny I never considered my self ‘close-minded, and the very idea of it all made my skin crawl. Then again, I’m a curmudgeon.
    And shouldn’t it be “Bryan Has Talent”? We have faith, but lack grammar.
    The best eggs Benedict I have ever devoured was served in the dining room of the Hay-Adam Hotel in Washington DC. Superb!!! I didn’t think people ate eggs Benedict anymore—thought it went the way of sweetbreads and quail eggs. Good to know someone else appreciates this wonderful dish.

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