And All That Jazz

MasksOriginal Post: March 1, 2015

I’ve had an eventful time since my return to Doha. I’ll start by saying I had an opportunity to hang out with two very accomplished young men and they provided superb company. It’s always good to surround yourself with good people and people that will plant good seeds into your life. And…always have a little fun and laugh. I’m thrilled about the fact that I’ve met so many incredible people since I’ve been here. It truly makes me smile. I know this is too vague for some of you but you know me!

I went to one of the premier steakhouses in the city, The Anvil Rooms, located in Tornado Tower. They had a set menu special in honor of New York restaurant week so I wanted to take advantage. I had an amazing tortellini soup. I wish I could tell you more about it but I’m afraid I waited too long to blog about it. I also had a nice New York strip steak. I’m convinced that the people in Doha don’t really know about the proper temperatures when cooking steaks. Mine was a bit over cooked and it’s not the first time it’s happened here. They also served it sliced up which was weird and made it cold fairly quickly. However, it had good flavor. The lobster mac & cheese was the best I’ve ever had! I’ve never really been a fan of lobster mac & cheese but I always have to try it because I love lobster and I love mac & cheese. This time, this place got it right. It needed to settle for a bit and come together but once it did, I enjoyed it even more. My dessert was a millionaire Sunday at the suggestion of the waiter. It was so good! It was served in a stemless wine glass and had such creamy ice cream, caramel chunks, chocolate, gold flakes, and the best whipped cream ever! Umm. I love a good whipped cream! Man, I’m getting hungry just thinking about that dining experience. In summary, it was good. It’s not Ruth Chris but I’d probably go back again.

This past Wednesday & Thursday @JALCDoha presented dueling pianos. This concept originated in New Orleans and if you get a chance read about it, it’s very cool. JALC presented 2 amazing pianist: Richard D. Johnson @RJJazz & Takeshi Ohbayashi @Takeshi_TCash What a performance! What I enjoyed most is that they both appeared to have so much fun. It really came across in the performance.  When the rest of the band and singers joined them, it was most entertaining. There is such amazing talent that graces the stage at Jazz at Lincoln Center in Doha. I’m so thrilled to have an opportunity to experience such talent.

On to Dubai…My first experience in Dubai was fast and furious, I was there for just over 24 hours. I started the afternoon at the Saffron restaurant in the Atlantis Hotel. It was literally buffet meets nightclub. It was so much fun! The costumed staff meets you in the line with sparkling wine and that’s where the party starts. I must admit the food was pretty good. I know some are turned off by buffets but they have an amazing variety and the quality was good. I had sushi, lobster, king crab legs, braised short ribs, and BBQ salmon and much more. Every bit of it was good. Alcohol is included in the buffet. Not just any alcohol but watermelons filled with alcohol, pineapples filled with alcohol, coconuts filled with alcohol, margaritas, beer, you name it. It was insane. Just as bellies were filled and drunkenness set in, the DJ started playing the jams. It was a site to see. And let me tell you, when the buffet shut down at 4:00pm, the party didn’t stop; they literally bussed people around to the other side of the resort to a club called Indulge and the party continued. I have to thank Michelle Words for letting me join their table at the buffet. It was a great experience and I met some great people!

The reason I went to Dubai was to see Esperanza Spalding and John Legend at the annual Dubai Jazz Festival. This was really my first exposure to Esperanza. I knew she was from Portland and I knew she won the best new artist Grammy a few years ago. She’s an impressive artist. I really enjoyed her performance and she has a pretty nice band. What I can say about John Legend is that his professionalism shined. I was mesmerized by the strategic placement of his band members and the synchronization of his back up singers. The whole show was very clean and precise. I really appreciated that. You’re all probably wondering why this would be my comment…well, I’m not exactly a @JohnLegend fan. However, I appreciate his talent and Jaden likes him. As mesmerizing as all that was, he too was pretty amazing. It was truly a great performance and I’m glad I went. His band is amazing too. I have to give a very special thank you to Deneen & Garland Baker for letting my friend and me sit with them. They had the best seats in the VIP lounge and I’m grateful.

Dubai is an amazing place. I can’t wait to go back to actually spend some time there. I’ll get a chance to go back in April for a couple of days. I’m looking forward to it.

Well, I’ve worked up an appetite. I must go find something to eat!

Until next time…living life and it’s good!

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