The 2011 Audi A5 Cabriolet. (Courtesy of Audi/Audi)

This is still the case. Audi owners beat to their own drum and for this day my drum of choice was congo, as homegrown talent would grace the big stage at Merriweather Post Pavilion.

Overcast and chilly, the weather wouldn’t allow me to open the top on the A5 but the opening act awaited in Columbia, MD. The California Tortilla Break Out winner at the WHFS- FM’s HFStival was on the top of my list, then to the Virginia Wine Festival at Bull Run.

Already running behind, I had every confidence that those four interlocking rings on the front grill meant I’d make it there on time. No problem. The turbo charged engine and eight speed automatic transmission only hesitated as if to ask quickly, “Are you sure you want to go fast?” You can also shift to sport mode, which gives a quicker response, if more speed is the answer you seek.

 Following the road of past Break Out winner Good Charlotte, who went from garage band to super stardom, Black Alley is a local band with youth and energy that call their sound “Soul garage.”  Their music is a tool shed of sounds ranging from rock and R&B to funk and go-go.

Media pass in hand, I made it in time to hear them rock their rendition of Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and originals like “Used,” which sound eerily familiar with its nod to the Eurythmics.  

 As I left the parking field, the rain sensor in the A5 automatically activated the windshield wipers. Sadly, it started to rain. My date wasn’t down for the outdoor wine fest. My sadness washed away when I realized we could keep going north to the best rib spot I know, The Charred Rib in Lutherville, MD.

 We continued on BW Parkway to 695 Towson and soon we reached a destination my date had never been. I knew I would score with comfort food. We started with the crab pretzel appetizer, a pillow soft pretzel blanketed with crab dip. I know that sounds weird, but tasting is believing. According to my date, she would have never ordered it, but she ate it like it was the best thing on the menu.

The ribs at The Charred Rib in Lutherville, Md. (Mike Tucker Jr. /Mike Tucker Jr. )

 I look forward to dropping the top when the weather cooperates but even with top on, the Audi A5 Cabriolet is a pleasurable ride inside and out. Though the lack of music streaming, navigation, parking assistance and cup holders does take me back to 1994. I guess sometimes less is more, but in these days all cars have more.  

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The Charred Rib - 12 West Ridgely Road, Timonium, MD 21093

 Price Tag: $44,190 base ($50,170 tested)

Power:  2.0L Turbo Charged 4 cylinder Engine  211 horsepower

Transmission: 8-speed Automatic with Tiptronic

Drivetrain:  All-Wheel drive

Fuel Economy (mpg):  21-city/29-hwy

Mike Tucker here is a D.C. native and journalist of fine automobiles for more than 10 years. You can follow me at @1cooldad.

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