You know how you go on vacation so you can feel pleasantly disoriented, not sure which way is north or south? That was the feeling we got marveling at Pano's, which now has the size and the presence of the Colossus of Rhodes. Before even walking in, Buzz stood agog. The Atwater House -- is that where the parking lot is now? The old blue Pano's, was that knocked down? Are we sure we're even on Elmwood Avenue? Luckily, across the street, the 24-hour corner store goes on forever. Its ancient marquee reads reassuringly: "BUSCH ... PABST CASE ... BEEF ON WECK."
>Speaking of which...
Speaking of Buffalo food, our feeding habits are sure ingrained early. Buzz's niece, Barbara, just turned 3. Though a girl of few words, she overheard her parents planning her birthday dinner -- pizza -- and she piped up: "And wings!" How do you fight culinary attitudes like this? You don't. So must have reasoned the people at Sea Bar, the sushi place that recently set up shop downtown. Their window displays a list of specialties. There's Lobster, Unagi ... but what's right at the top? The Beef on Weck roll. Well, it goes with the wasabi.
Michael Feinstein, who crooned at UB Friday, sure puts a glamorous spin on any word that comes out of his mouth. In the verse to one song, he sang, "Is it Cremora, this pitcher of cream?" And even Cremora sounded good!
But the funniest thing: listening to Feinstein announce his saxophone player for the evening, Dave Schiavone. "Skee-a-VOHN-eh," was what he finally settled on, after a number of colorful tries. What a treat for Dave! Whether he's on the bandstand at McGee's or on stage at Kleinhans Music Hall, all he ever gets here is "Sha-VOHN." Dave, you never sounded better.
>Show of shows
Guys, want to know where the girls are? Check out the Cabaret restaurant, across the street from Shea's, any night before "Girls Night Out," the show playing at the Smith Theater through Sunday. All you'll see are big tables of women. Not a man in the place! As for "Girls Night Out" itself, it's loud and rude and, we rejoice to report, our life has not been lowdown enough for us to get all the jokes. But it was fun to spend two hours without hearing the Bills mentioned once. Plus, the retro songs killed us -- especially one serious sequence organized around "Don't Cry Out Loud." Ha, ha! Can we laugh out loud?
Classic, how right after a bleak TV report on the credit crisis, a commercial comes on, blaring: "Have your credit card ready!" ... Buzz melts, like an ice cube in White Zin, reading folk artist Dave Ruch's plea to attend his CD release concert at 8 p.m. Wednesday at UB's Allen Hall. Reasons he gave to go: "It's Free.. Each time you clap, cheer, shout, throw beer, etc, you will be broadcast LIVE on the air on WBFO, and cybercast to the world on the Internet ... It's FREE. ... You'll get to see what Bert Gambini really looks like. ... It's FREE... " Dave, you talked us into it!