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Hi All,

And it’s Monday!

Watched the BET Awards last night and I must say, this was one of the best award shows I have seen in a long time.

However, I must confess, no words can express the mix of emotions I felt while watching in my living room. Talented people such as Jennifer Hudson and others honoring Prince with a tribute that would have no doubt brought tears to his eyes had he been in the audience. But what made watching the awards rather hard for me had to be the fact the very person being honored with a tribute is also the one whose blood runs through my veins. Prince was honored at the 2010 BET Awards and also a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.

But Sunday night’s program had its share of comedy, drama and highlighting what Blacks have achieved this year.

Jesse Williams’ speech was  truly inspiring. With the conflicts involving Black residents and law enforcement making headlines in recent years in addition to the lack of diversity at this year’s Academy Awards, Blacks are trying harder than ever to make changes for people of color.

As a Black person myself, I never thought I’d experience this level of adversity in my adult life.

Sadly, humanity has been divided by racial differences since ancient times. From powerful empires conquering other lands to modern day brutality and other hardships in school, the job site and daily life as a whole.

I have seen and experienced quite a few of the issues that effect people of color first hand.

But, enough of that for now.

Tracy Ellis Ross and Anthony Anderson kept the night entertaining with several comedy sketches throughout the award show one of which included Anthony asking Tracy the question:

“Why are we dressed like the White people in Roots?”

The icing on the cake was the final performance by Sheila E featuring Jerome Benton from The Time and many of Prince’s former band members. Sheila E went to great lengths and poured her heart out on stage.

I found myself in tears by the end of her tribute. Prince was truly her heart and it’s certainly clear as day that Sheila E loves him.

She deserves some recognition for her hard work… Black Girls Rock Awards, anyone?

In all honesty, this year’s BET Awards was over the top!

While I have not been able to attend any of the Prince events that have been held in Los Angeles, New York City and Minneapolis, I hope something will come along in the future or that Paisley Park becomes a museum.

For anyone that was at the BET Awards or participated in the Prince tribute. Great job!

See ya on Wednesday!

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Monday…that time of the week when adults are back work and the kids are off to school. It’s also one of the days Pen & Paper is updated on a weekly basis.

 For this week, I decided to write a review on one of the most high class restaurants I’ve ever been to.

It’s been said what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, this however, is too good not to keep a secret!

Jaleo, a critically acclaimed Spanish tapas restaurant located in The Comsopolitan hotel in Las Vegas, NV offers a unique dining atmosphere and menu. I went there one Saturday for a family dinner and I have to say it was great!

The variety of appetizers was just the tip of the iceberg but gives first timers an idea of what to expect.

The sampler I had consisted of 3 different types of cheese, two of which were blue cheese and mozzarella. The rest was dried grapes, apricots, olives, almonds and brushetta bread with a tomato spread. Just enough to whet appetite and hold over guests waiting for the main course. Getting a Chef’s table has its perks. First time guests are given the opportunity to try a variety of menu items.

Some of which are white asparagus in romesco sauce, for those that don’t normally eat their vegetables, give this one a try!

Other dishes include shrimp in garlic sauce, scallops wrapped in bacon, chicken fritters,  bacon wrapped fried dates, salad with beets and mushrooms with mashed potatoes, just to name a few.

My personal favorites were the lobster with rice, the skirt steak and the crab all of which had a unique flavor.

Best drink to wash this down with?

The classic Shirley Temple. (and a glass of ice water on the side).

After that, the dinner was topped off with classic flan with vanilla ice cream which was more like whipped cream than a run-of-the-mill ice cream scoop and a rich chocolate mousse like  dessert with praline ice cream. The plate was decorated with caramel and chocolate sauces and a fresh mint leaf. For those that think coffee is just something to drink in the morning for a pick-me-up think again! Jaleo’s cappuccino coffee goes great with dessert.

Overall, this was a meal unlike any other, first class and five stars all the way!

The dishes on Chef Jose Andres’ menu are all made up of  simple house hold ingredients, fresh meat, seafood and items found in the average store and some farmers’ markets but are full of unique and rich flavors.

After a meal like this one… let’s just say I went home happy.

coffee

From left to right, Chocolate mousse, Cappuccino and Flan

 

table

One of several tables at Jaleo. Casual yet formal at the same time.

 

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