Dinner & a show: Cirque du Soleil’s Toruk and Astoria in Gordon Square

Photo Credit:  Jesse FaatzLet me start off saying, Quicken Loan Arena you never cease to amaze me in how inept you are as a large venue.  Flash Seats tickets, in a suite no less, none of my cards work.  They question me like I am trying to pull some bullshit.  Had to pay for parking.  Parking was included with the tickets, but I had to pay.  Doors were to open at 3, show was to start at 4pm, none of that shit happened either.  There were huge annoying long lines at every entrance.  Had to be ushered to the box office where they could figure out how they fucked up.  We got our tickets and a refund on parking.  We got to the suite about 5 minutes before showtime.  Staff was nice but that was complete horseshit.  So as per usual Quicken, you are fucking terrible.  Thanks for your complete apathy and incompetence.  Assholes.

The show was great.  Decent story line.  Tumbling, acrobatics, blue people.  I couldn’t tell you if Toruk was the dragon or Toruk was the guy that was riding the dragon.  The sound wasn’t all that great.  The music you could hear pretty well but you had to strain to hear the narration.  My summary, two blue dudes from Avatar hook up with one blue chick and go off to save the colony of other blue folks.  The big finale was the dragon, and the one blue warrior riding it and I guess killing it to save his people.  That was like 2 minutes, and it was kind of lame next to the rest of the acrobatics.  Visually it was amazing start to finish.  The part that wasn’t as visually amazing were all the hillbillies that were in line with us.  I swear they must have been a Groupon.  These were straight up Appalachian hill people, possibly from Kirtland.

We tried to stop for meatballs at Porco, but it was packed full of extras from The Talented Mr. Ripley.  Weird shit man.  Really strange.  So I headed north and thought Minh Anh would be good for a quick bowl of Pho.  I was too busy looking for a parking spot to notice the giant bright Astoria across the street.  Obviously from the name of this post we opted to check this joint out.  I am glad we did.

It was pretty packed, and it is a new space but my only bitch was it did take about a half hour for our food to arrive and service was spotty.  They also added a couple beers and an order of Dolmades to our check.  They were removed, but still that was not horrible and easily fixed.  I was more irked by the wait time until the food came of course then it was all good.

242753We got the Chef’s Maximus Board which was pretty amazing.  Lacking though was the tour of the board.  I like a nice extensive education on the board choices before I dig in.  It was $23 I think, worth every penny.  Sadly the board is not on the online menu either, but it appears that the Chef board will vary which would make sense.  Olives, three meat selections, three cheese options, quince paste, and Marcona almonds.  Elegant presentation and incredibly well put together with savory and sweetness covered extremely well.  Unfortunately, no idea what anything was.  We also split an order of the Veal, Lamb & Ricotta Meatballs – $19.  Pan-Fried Veal and Lamb Meatballs Blended with Ricotta Cheese, Garlic and Parsley. Tossed with Spaghetti and Spicy Marinara Sauce.  I don’t think the sauce was spicy, but oh my goodness was it delicious.  The meatballs were spectacular, tender, flavorful, delicate crisp texture on the edges.

There is a nice little deli, and specialty grocery in the lobby where you can spend a paycheck easily.  The cheesemonger was the educational expert I was looking for when I got my board.  We ended up spending about as much on cheeses then we did on the meal because of his knowledge.  There are some nice uncommon selections in that cheese case and he knew what to pair each one with.  Overall, I think they could use a couple tweaks with service but I was pretty pleased with our overall experience.

17097625_10154913713514927_5147897921447347190_oI checked them out on Yelp and Sheena from Rocky River gave them three of five stars.  The common theme of her review was how everyone else seemed to enjoy their meals.  Maybe Sheena is just a picky chick who has unrealistic view of life.  She had the “Pizza Prosciutto Crudo e Ruccola $14 – Looked amazing, but for me the taste did not match the looks, just meh and would not get again. I did get it for to-go, so not sure if that was the problem? Others who got this pizza seemed to like it.”  Maybe don’t get pizza to go and probably leave it in the car while you go out barhopping and reheat it in the microwave drunk at 2 in the morning.  What the fuck do I know though?

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