Music to Our Mouths

Two concert venues are making noise in the kitchen too.

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Wilbert's serves up the blues, with a side of beans and - rice. - Walter  Novak
Wilbert's serves up the blues, with a side of beans and rice.
The banalities of "dinner theater" aside, we've always advocated the tasty pairing of food and tunes. So we're happy to spread the word about some good-sounding eats offered by two of the city's premier music venues.

At Wilbert's Food and Music (812 Huron Rd. East, 216-902-4663), Mardi Gras has come and gone, but the kitchen will keep cookin' in the key of Cajun all month: Its $5 weekday lunch specials range from Monday's smothered pork chops with beans and dirty rice to Friday's shrimp étoufée. Official lunch hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., but maestro Mike Miller says that as long as the specials hold out, he'll keep dishing 'em; check out the rest of the menu, and the concert schedule, at

The Southern theme plays on at the Beachland Ballroom (15711 Waterloo Rd.), where new resident chef Lisa Arnold will be serving it up Southern style on February 16. A former Texan, Arnold's orchestrating a special preshow supper starring gumbo, corn fritters, black-eyed peas, and apple cobbler for $15. The vittles will be on the table from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.; a musical feast, via Hank and My Honky Tonk Heroes, follows at 8 and will set you back an additional 20 bucks. Call 216-383-1124 to reserve your seat.

Arnold, incidentally, joined the Beachland staff about two months ago. According to kitchen manager Clint Holley, the chef's mission is to expand the ballroom's regular bar menu to include more veggie-friendly, health-conscious options -- and to cook up the popular but heretofore infrequent preshow suppers on a monthly basis.

Holy smoke . . . As a God-fearing friend asks, isn't the whole point of Lent to find quality dining options that can be washed down with beer? We're signing him up for dinner at Rocky River's Linden Tavern (19865 Detroit Rd., 440-333-1609), where owners Herb, Kevin, and Julie Eglinski are offering an alternating pair of $15.99 Lenten seafood specials, every Friday through March 18. He can catch the broiled seafood platter, with snow-crab clusters, jumbo scampi, bay scallops, and fresh scrod on February 18 and March 4 and 18; or he can hook the equally bounteous seafood combo platter, with fresh walleye and perch, sautéed jumbo shrimp, and Maryland crab cakes on February 11 and 25, as well as March 11. Of course, he can dig into the Linden's rightfully famous perch and pierogi dinner ($14.50) anytime.

Customers from hell? . . . Local servers were good sports about our "Field Guide to Bad Service" (December 29, 2004), where we identified the worst of their breed. But in the name of fairness, more than one of them suggested that we give equal time to the topic of "bad customers" too. We're game. Servers, this is your opportunity to even the score. Send us your funniest, weirdest tales of customers from hell -- the drunks, the dopes, the cheapskates, and the surly -- and if we get enough of them, we'll turn them into a Field Guide of their own. E-mail your horror stories to [email protected] by March 1. You don't have to identify the restaurant where the incident occurred, but do include your name and phone number (they will not be printed).

Whoops . . . The website for Babushka's Kitchen (9395 Olde Eight Rd. in Northfield Center) was inadvertently omitted from last week's Side Dish. Pierogi fans can log onto for a list of daily varieties.

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