Jethro Tull and Cuisine Unlimited ~ A late spring evening at an outdoor amphitheater with some delicious food, live music, and good friends.This past Memorial Weekend marked my 18th anniversary of moving to Utah. This isn’t always something I am especially proud of or happy about.
Then, when I stop and think about it, it’s a good thing. Utah, by and large, has been good to and for me. And every place has it bad points, so I can forgive Utah (or at least try to) its’.
Despite living here for as long as I have, there are so many things that I have yet to explore, see, enjoy, taste, and do. Red Butte Gardens and their Concert Series is one of these things.
Due to my continued partnership with Cuisine Unlimited, they invited me to be their guest for the opening concert for the 2017 series, Jethro Tull. Yep, that Jethro Tull, the blues/folk music group turned progressive rock of the late 60’s and 70’s.Yes, they are bit before my time. But they are the music of my parents era. I am familiar with their cannon based on growing up hearing the albums played in the house. Just like my kid is going be familiar with The Cure or Depeche Mode, despite her pop music leaning self.A few nights before the concert, I went online to Cuisine Unlimited website for Red Butte and ordered some grub for the show. Now the amphitheater is technically part of the University of Utah campus, therefore no beer, wine, or liquor can be sold; it’s completely BYOB.
When looking over the menu, I was thrilled with the various offerings. I could order light bites, snacks, or full meals. And being me, I had to order a little bit of everything.First off, I had to order this lovely cheese, cracker, and fruit bowl. This alone would have satiated me during the concert. A nice mixture of soft, semi-soft, and firm cheeses, and nothing too over the top that a novice cheese connoisseur would be turned off by.
This cheese bowl went perfectly with my crisp, chilled bottle of Riesling that I didn’t have to smuggle in, something I was actually quite concerned with. Imagine my relief when I was told we’re allowed to bring in our own libations…not that I have ever, ever smuggled anything in where it’s not allowed, Officer.For those who know me well, know I love Vietnamese food. So when I see bahn mi on a menu, well, I am honor-bound to give it a try. Now looking at the photo, we both know this is not a traditional banh mi, but I knew this. The menu described it in more inspirational terms versus authentic terms.
The meat was a succulent pulled pork and the sirracha aioli was good, although slightly heavy handed on my particular portion. I dug the veggies, as I am fan of picked anything really, but I did miss the tradition pickled daikon and carrots. I’d order this again because it was delicious, but my more die-hard Vietnamese sandwich lover-self will forget it’s called a bahn mi. As I mentioned, I did order a sampling of menu items and I was with friends, I wanted to make sure we all had a bit of nourishment during the show. I ordered the Headliner: Pepper-Crusted Bistro Beef Tender, Wild Rice Salad, Fresh Fruit, Artisan Roll, Horseradish, Whole Grain Mustard & Chef’s Choice Dessert.
The beef was PERFECT. Just the right amount of cooked and pink. Nothing will ruin beef for me faster than being overcooked. In fact, a bit of Gordon Ramsay might come out in me when my meat is overcooked, although I have yet to send a plate flying at anyones head when the order is wrong, so there’s that.
It was May. The concert was outdoors. I have lived in Utah for 18 years. All things the two police officers who escorted me to my vehicle to retrieve my sweater pointed out. You see, once you are in the venue, there is no re-admittance if you leave.
The sun went down. I was in a sleeveless blouse. I was an idiot. “This is my first time to Red Butte. This is my first concert here.” The security guard was not moved by my pleas. But the two police officers nearby asked the security guard if it would be alright if they escorted me to my vehicle and back, would he allow me to re-enter. They took pity on my stupidity.The security guard agreed, so in a weather criminal-like fashion, I was escorted by two Salt Lake City police officers to my vehicle to grab the sheeriest of all the sweaters I own, the only one I had, and back. I am grateful for these two officers as I would have surely froze to death. (I might be prone to exaggeration at times).
As the sun went down, Ian Anderson played his flute and the band played on, the night was aromatic and jubilant. The venue was amazing and such an enjoyable place to watch a show. You must bring a chair or blanket to sit on unless you have purchased VIP seats, then there are chairs for you to use on the lawn and a table on a patio to enjoy your food. There are no bad seats in the house, but if you want to be close to the stage, you have to arrive early and stake your claim, and then get a steak from Cuisine Unlimited. (See what I did there?)
The Red Butte Concert Series coupled with menu options from Cuisine Unlimited are truly a fantastic way to enjoy dinner and a show. I can’t recommend both enough. Plus, I’m grateful to have crossed something off my Utah bucket list. It was a great night with Jethro Tull and Cuisine Unlimited. I am looking forward to my next show there, so stayed tuned!