Americana on a Friday Night


Topic: Brisket sandwiches / steel guitar licks
Conditions: Well-crafted / standing room only

COMMENTS: It was a Christmas gift to my parents, but it was clearly one of those "experience gifts" that made us all the recipients. A dinner double date at The Blackbird included the best beef brisket sandwich I've had to date. Days later, I found myself talking to friends, describing not only the entrée itself (house-smoked, sweet/soft bread, fries w/ spiced aoli) but the sweet, tangy pickles on the side. When you're gushing on a Wednesday about the garnishes, that's a good plate.

Fully satiated, we took our tickets over to The Big Dipper to enjoy some live music. Kevin Brown and The Beloved Country had the place packed. From the lively "Honky Tonk Haiku" to the reflective "Book of Skies" (from the new album of the same title), the singer/songwriter and his capable comrades had the place riveted.

KEY FEATURES: Any evening that includes the following will end up as a win: a Perry Street Brewing Co. Double IPA, an upright bassist with serious jazz chops, my wife enthusiastically satisfied with the menu's vegan option (spaghetti squash w/ marinara), well-timed steel guitar and fiddle improvisations.

RECOMMENDATIONS: Sit down at your computer and look ahead. Pair live events at the Numerica PAC or the Bartlett with great food and beverages from your locale's short list.