My parents have done and continue to do so much for me, that I could never turn down their request that I (and Sue) attend the annual “Vereinigte Saenger – Saengerbund,” event. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? So, what exactly is this, you may be asking. In a nutshell, members of different German choruses throughout the Philadelphia area get together and perform classic German songs. My dad is part of one of these groups, the Delaware Saengerbund – spending a day with the family and watching my dad perform is the least I could do …
But man, it ain’t easy, folks. First of all, mom and dad treat us to a late lunch (or early dinner) at the Cannstatter (the German club). At one time, the food there was excellent … sadly, that was a long time ago. The salad is set up “banquet style,” in which you go up to a buffet table, and scoop lettuce out of a large steel bowl that is sitting in a tub of ice. Toppings and salad dressing are available next to the tub, but the “Chef’s special” salad dressing looks as if it was already digested once.
The soup is ok, but let’s face it – it’s kind of tough to screw up soup, right? I ordered the prime rib, which unfortunately probably should’ve been renamed prime-fat. Amazingly enough, the chef was able to completely overcook one side, and barely heat the other side – a culinary feat! Oh, and it took more than an hour to even get the food – it was as if the chef was outside locating the road-kill to cook for this splendid meal.
The waitress was about as friendly and welcoming as a lake filled with piranhas, and her knowledge of the beer selection was akin to a five-year-old’s knowledge of driving a MAC truck. Oh, and I told you this was a German club/restaurant, right? Well, at one point, I actually heard La Cucaracha playing over the loudspeaker – I was informed by my uncle (hopefully jokingly) that it was originally a German song – my brother said it was originally titled “Das Cucaracha.”
But, as bad as the dinner was, the actual concert was even more brutal. There were six German groups, ranging from old to ancient. Some groups were better than others, but none were great. The only thing that got us through the event was the notes my brother, wife, and I made on each of the performances. Hopefully, my brother kept the notes – I’ll try to scan them and post them … I think you’ll get a laugh.
Again, I’m happy to do this once a year for my parents … thankfully, it is only once a year.