Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Break Room

I was very blessed to be able to celebrate the birthday of a much cherished friend of mine. It was a surprise for her, so that made it all the more special. We all got dressed up and celebrated together at a newer restaurant here in Topeka, The Break Room. It's only been open for a year now, so not everyone may be familiar with it.

The Break Room is open on weekdays from 7:50am -4:30pm Monday -Wednesday, and then on Thursdays and Fridays it stays open later until 10pm. If you're looking for a fancier time with food and entertainment, you'll want to check their schedule and reserve a table for a Friday night to see The Gourmet Cabaret. For $22 a person, you get a 5-course meal along with some live entertainment.

Before I talk about the entertainment, let me tell you about the food. I thought it was wonderful. Not everyone at the table agreed with me, but they also didn't order the exact same thing. You start off your evening with drinks which are not included in the price.

The first course of the evening is the salad. This was a uniquely pleasant experience as they actually toss each person's salad individually while you wait. I chose their house salad and thought it was delicious. It had spinach leaves, cranberries, croutons, feta cheese, and a special vinaigrette salad dressing. It might actually have been my favorite part of dinner.

In between courses, you will be entertained in various ways. There is always live piano music playing for you, and then the host will come out and introduce some different people as they serenade you with a song.

I believe the dinner is always different and you can check their schedule online to see what's being served. We had a couple different appetizers that were brought for the table to share. The first was homemade hummus, Italian style with fresh garlic and herbs, served with some warm flatbread. I was the fortunate one from my table who got to take home the leftovers. A little later we were served a Spanish soup with vegetables and meatballs.

The main entree which was served family style was a choice between two different pastas. The family style requirement was a bit weird to me, as you have to choose your meal in groups of two. That's fine if you and your date enjoy the same thing, but what if one of you likes spicy and the other doesn't? Fortunately, I found someone who wanted the same thing I did at my table.
We shared a dish of Penne Arabiatta. It was a secret recipe tomato sauce that I found to be very tasty.

Luckily you are not served all your food at once. We were there for 3 hours and each course was brought out throughout the show. If it had all come at once, I'm sure there would be lots of leftovers and I wouldn't have been able to even try the dessert. Our dessert was a chocolate fondue to be shared by the table.

The food was good, and I was very satisfied with the offered selection.

For the entertainment part of the evening, we were promised a family friendly show. After much thought, I have decided their family is much different than mine. I would have been embarrassed to have my children listen to some of the jokes, and hear the swearing that took place throughout most of the show. The night started out to be pretty PG but slowly progressed to PG13. It's all fine when you see it on a movie, because you have the possession of a remote control. Had I been given a remote for the evening, I might have skipped a chapter or two, and I would probably have pressed mute a few times.

The concept of the evening was really fun, but the entertainer was a bit much for my taste. They have a few other types of shows, and if I go back again with my husband this time, I would choose something different than "The Schultz Show: Music, Magic, More."

The part of the evening I really enjoyed was how they involved the audience. They knew a few people were celebrating special occasions and I was very impressed with the attention they gave for that. There was a couple celebrating their anniversary and they were asked to help out with a magic trick and even were given a special teddy bear.

I was especially pleased to see my birthday friend, Rachael, up on the stage. She had a special magic trick reserved for her, and it was fun to see.

You would have to be there to really appreciate this, but the table is holding a box on top that Rachael put her ring inside of. As the trick went on, the table was desperately trying to make it back to Rachael. It was definitely the best magic trick of the evening.

Looking so beautiful, standing up the stage...

I didn't get a good picture of Rachael getting her teddy bear, but you get the idea at least. I thought this was a very impressive gesture on behalf of the Break Room.

As the evening was drawing to a close, the whole entire cast came out to wish and sing Rachael a Happy Birthday! I definitely give them extra points for that!

We all really had a wonderful evening together, and I was glad I got to be a part of Rachael's birthday celebration. The food was good, and the company was even better. I would say that the evening was a big success in my eyes.

Now, I ran out of time when I was getting ready, and didn't get a chance to make Rachael a birthday card like I wanted to. I was focusing on fixing myself up because I knew she would appreciate it. She's inspired me to dress more girly, and try to take pride in my appearance. This picture is taken at the end of the evening, so my hair doesn't look as fantastic as it originally did. I actually googled hairstyles and watched a couple videos with my niece on curling hair and bobby pins. Pretty funny, huh? We both had fun, and had a couple of good laughs doing it.

To Rachael... "Happy Birthday, my beautiful friend! I am so glad that God brought us together. He knew exactly what I needed in a friend, and He gave me you. I love that we get to spend so much time together, and I love that you call me and value any advice that I might give you. You have spoken many words of wisdom to me over the years, and I have come to depend on you greatly. Sometimes life can get hard and overwhelming but you make it an easier place. I love you greatly! And I cherish every moment we get to spend together. Thank you so much for being my friend!"
Happy Birthday, Rachael!

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