Thirsty Thursday: Taking Chances

Wine: That’s a Really Good Question!

Sometimes taking chances is hard to do. My husband and I took a chance and ordered tickets to see Cabaret Red Light’s Nutcracker – A Fairy Tale for Adults.  Yep, it’s exactly what it sounds like, a very adult twist on the story of the Nutcracker. Self described as, “Cabaret Red Light is a 30+ member troupe of Philadelphia’s most talented vaudeville performers, mixing original live music, dark comedy, puppet theatre and burlesque in the spirit of the 1920s.” We thought it might be interesting to take a chance on this unique holiday production.



So we got in our car and drove down town last friday night with the intentions of getting a good meal then seeing the show at 7:30. It was open seating at the show, so arriving early to the theatre is what our plans revolved around. Usually when we go see a show in Philadelphia, there are restaurants located practically on top of one another. This night, this unfortunately wasn’t the case. Besides a small corner cafe a few blocks from the Painted Bride Art Center, we could not see a single place to eat in sight. Even when we asked the Box Office Attendees (who, mind you, were eating freshly bought pizza from a take-out bag) where there was a place to eat, they just shrugged their shoulders and told us we couldn’t pick up out tickets yet. Yikes, thanks.

We strolled down the street and stumbled upon McFadden’s, which probably would have been a great place to eat, but the hostess informed us they were solid booked until past 8:00 with holiday parties (but would we like to wait around for two hours for a table?). She recommended we walk a few more blocks and try Finnigan’s

Honestly it wasn’t much to see on the outside, but we found the door and entered (with a pact that the Dunkin Donuts around the corner would do if this place was a bust). We were greeted by a very large bouncer who took out $2 each and stamped our hands with a festive holiday angel stamp. The inside of the bar was a little better. It is located in an old building so it had exposed beams and the staff had tried to decorate for the holiday season.

After finding a table near the bar, we waited for a waitress or a bar tender to notice us. She, I think her name was Claire, arrived at our table and sported a thick irish accent (cool!). Claire offered us the drink special. Unfortunately for myself, I don’t drink beer. I’ve never been able to get past the smell. I carefully ask Claire if they serve wine at the bar. She excused herself and went to go ask the bar tender, which usually isn’t a good sign.

She returned with good news though, they offered two white wines; a Chardonnay and a Pinot Grigio. I elected to try the latter, and my husband laughed because he ordered a Yuengling on Draft, surely to be good. My wine on the other hand, could be a bust.

This is what the waitress set on the table when she returned with my glass:


Wow. It’s hard to tell from the photo, but this is a normal sized wine glass. It was filled almost to the top when she set it on the table. Besides telling you that it was pretty light bodied with a crisp acidity, and paired decent with my cheeseburger, there is not much more that I can tell you about this wine. Besides the glass being filled to the brim, there wasn’t much memorable about it. Thought, time permitting, I easily could have had another glass, though the first serving I was given was really about a glass and a half.



Want to know the best part? The price. I don’t know if this is what it normally costs to order a glass of wine at Finnigan’s Wake, but on this night this glass of wine cost me $2.00. Yep. My husband’s draft beer (in which he ordered 2) cost more per glass than my glass of wine. Way cool! I even snapped a photo of the receipt for documented proof.


To make a long story short, we hustled back to the theater, got good seats, and enjoyed the production. Well, for the amount of money we paid for the tickets, we enjoyed the production (I’d give it three stars out of five). If we paid more for it I think we would have been disappointed (just like my glass of wine). So let’s raise a glass to taking chances, especially when it doesn’t cost much!

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