Eric Schaefer: What I Did on My Summer Vacation


It certainly still feels like summer, but for many of us the most important part of summer (vacation) is now a distant memory, as work and school move into high gear. Stay tuned as Chow Bella brings you tales from some of our favorite folks' summer travels.

Eric Schaefer blogs about his dining experiences at Eric Eats Out.

Where I went: I traveled to Los Angeles for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see Curt Smith (solo musician and co-founder of Tears for Fears) play a solo show in an intimate venue for less than 75 people. As a musician myself (I've been playing the drums since I was 5), I decided to go by myself and I lost myself in Curt's music for two hours.

What I saw: Put aside your horrific 1980s memories of Tears for Fears singing "Shout"; this show mainly included Curt's solo work from his record "Halfway, Pleased" along with a few Tears for Fears hits, like an excellent acoustic rendition of Mad World. I relate to Curt's music on a personal level because of its humanity.

First and foremost, he is a father who is actively involved in raising his two daughters, and those experiences largely define his solo work. Second, he is a great musician with a sound that has very personal and true quality to it. Each song was prefaced with a story of how it came to be, interspersed with Curt's usual sarcasm and humor. Despite an age difference, he and I have a great deal in common but I'll still never understand his passion for soccer. Yawn.

Find out what Eric ate after the jump.

What I ate: Roast Chicken and Hummus at Zankou Chicken, a Los Angeles-based mini-chain that serves a crispy Lebanese-style roasted chicken that defies description. The garlic sauce, served on the side, is deliciously potent and I'm afraid I over-indulged. Based on the look on his face, my garlic breath frightened Curt when he and I were talking after the show.

The best part of coming home: Feeling musically re-inspired, and seeing my wife and kids, of course! However, every now and then it's nice to do something for yourself, and that's exactly what this trip was.

Plans for the fall: Surgery to stop my snoring so that my wife will speak to me again, re-committing myself to my blog -, our eighth annual trip to Garland's Lodge in Oak Creek and wearing something other than shorts and flip-flops.

Follow Chow Bella on Facebook and Twitter


KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Amy Silverman is a two-time winner of the Arizona Press Club’s Journalist of the Year award. Her work has appeared on the radio show This American Life and in the New York Times, the Washington Post, Lenny Letter, and Brain, Child. She’s the co-curator of the live reading series Bar Flies, and a commentator for KJZZ, the NPR affiliate in Phoenix. Silverman is the author of the book My Heart Can’t Even Believe It: A Story of Science, Love, and Down Syndrome (Woodbine House 2016). Follow her on Instagram (@amysilverman), Twitter (@amysilvermanaz), and at