On super short notice 2 tickets to the Presidents at the Pops landed in my lap this past Wednesday. Even tho I'm more at home at the Rathskeller than Symphony Hall it seemed like a good opportunity to take my girl out, absorb some culture and chow down.
The first hour and a half consisted of eating passed apps and putting those free drink tickets to good use. Appetizer highlights included duck springrolls (which had a nice gingery kick) and little fried goat cheese balls. In the reception rooms were big spreads with cheeses, olives, canapes and various breads. Sadly it seemed like no one was bothering to tip the bartenders, who were mixing drinks at a furious pace to slake the thirst of Boston's cultural elite. C'mon people, the drinks are FREE!!!
Looking for some substantial chow, the lady and I headed to our little table (emphasis on LITTLE! 6 people at a table that would be considered small for 2 at any restaurant, but I'm not complaining as you'd never be able to fit everyone in otherwise) for the main course. 1 table. 6 chairs. 6 bright orange tackleboxes. seriously. tackleboxes. totally neat! waiting inside was:
Presented by Max Ultimate Food
Thai Shrimp Skewer
Mixed Greens w/ Yellow Pear Tomatoes, Herbed Pecans, Dried Cranberries and Balsamic Vinaigrette
Grilled Herb Salmon on White Bean and Roasted Onion Salad
Teriyaki Orange Beef with Lo-Mein Noodles
Strawberry Drizzled with White and Dark Chocolate
Chocolate Mousse Cookie Sandwich
seriously. In a tacklebox. I rooted around in there for some lures to aid in my fruitless striped bass endeavours later this summer, but to no avail.
The shrimp came on a little skewer with a piece of green pepper and a teensy shred of scallion. Not bad, not great.
The salad came in a wee chinese food takeout box, with the dressing in a plastic ramekin. the salad was surprisingly good as the greens were a pretty quality blend, and the nuts added a nice savory touch.
The two entrees came together in a plastic rectangular container. serving fish and beef at room temperature, and making them taste at least reasonably good is no small task, so kudos to these guys. The salmon was lightly herbed and had a nice flavor and texture (i think it was poached or steamed) while the beans were, well, beans. The beef didn't really taste orange-y or teryaki-y (ummm...i guess thats not really a word, oh well!), but it was ok, and the lo-mein was actually quite yummy and well seasoned, definitely not shy on the garlic.
I skipped the strawberry as a mysterious liquid was cohabitating the container, but the mousse cookie was super tasty and tasted very fresh.
I cringe at imagining the amount of work and pressure that goes into preparing roughly 2200 meals in a short enough time that you can assure the quality and freshness of the components, especially proteins like fish and beef. The tackleboxes fit nicely on our laps, so the lack of table space wasn't really troublesome. A bottle of wine (2001 Andretti cab, from the north coast i believe) placed on each table (complimentary!!!) was a nice touch, even tho it was pretty much undrinkable. During the meal and then the show we ordered 2 bottles of wine, a Knyphausen Riesling (Pfalz, QbA i believe) and a Goldwater Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand. The riesling was weighty, showing nice acidity and pleasant fruit with some noticable residual sugar, and the Goldwater was, well, New Zealand Sav. Blanc. Lotsa tropical fruit and grapefruit, decent acidity. Not my personal choice for a quaffing wine, but no complaints.
Overall, a very interesting experience. I'll never look at my tacklebox the same way again!!!