Thursday, June 09, 2005

when i dream, i dream of food (doo-dah, doo-dah)

insomnia is (or should be) its own reward, but when i dream, i dream of food.

here's a baker's dozen of my fave food fixes (in no particular order):

1) the fish dinners we used to buy from the fish market in my town on long island when i was a kid. fresh-caught that day and cooked right in the store (my mom usedta go on thursday 'cos that was the day they changed the grease for the mackerel snappers). back in prehistory, you could get two humongous slabs of flounder with fries 'n' slaw for a whopping $1.99. by the time i was in high school, if the guy our age behind the counter thought you were cool, you sometimes got a joint taped to the bottom of your paper plate. when i started working myself, i got partial to soft-shell crab sandwiches (from a different fish market), which it was impossible to eat behind the counter of the store where i worked without wearing. greatness.

2) the fish and chips at this fake english pub the permanent party dudes turned us onto when i was at nellis air force base in vegas. two humongous slabs of icelandic cod with malt vinegar, fries 'n' slaw for about six bucks. plus 145 different kinds of beer, which my boss accused us of sampling all of but we actually didn't.

3) the camarones veracruz (that's shrimp fajitas to you, gringo) at superior bar 'n' grill in shreveport, a place where everyone seemed to know everyone else but us when i used to go there with the guys from my reserve unit. later i learned that it's even good when you're sober.

4) the "all-you-want" (as opposed to "all-you-can-eat" -- like the howard johnson's when i was in college, where we used to get stoned to the gills and go to eat clam strips and fries until finally our server brought us _one_ clam strip and _one_ fry and said, "this is all _you_ can eat") catfish at the cypress inn in benton, louisiana. located on a beautiful lake, this was the only place i ever ate so much food i couldn't _sleep_. when you sat down, there was a pound of cole slaw at the table (i'm a cole slaw fanatic). they'd bring you a new plate of fish while you were still working on the old one. this is the place where one of my students ordered a steak and when asked how he wanted it done, told the server, "break its horns off, wipe its ass, and bring it to the table." you'd have to be crazy not to get the catfish there, however. once i ate so much that it took me 20 minutes to walk to my car. the first place i ever considered taking up competitive eating.

5) just about anybody's bowl of beef pho.

6) just about anybody's plate of pad thai.

7) the cheese pie from just about any pizzeria in the new york metropolitan area. also the ones i ate in northern italy -- basically just a bread with some olive oil, fresh tomato and herbs. (simplicity is good.) also the ones i make out of stuff we grow in our backyard.

8) a fredburger.

9) the tostados con chorizo and tamales at benito's.

10) the calamari appetizer at sardines. also the seafood soup (fruto de mare) that i had there on my wedding night.

11) the shrimp kabobs at j&j's oyster bar.

12) a kincaid's hamburger.

13) the fajita tacos they sell outside the blackdog (previously described in this blog).

14) anything i cook using the world's greatest seasoning, procured in hawaii and introduced to me by my mother. it's real simple: sea salt, black pepper, ginger, and garlic. like heaven.

ok. i'm gonna try to go to sleep now (and dream of food).


Anonymous Paul boll said...

I think the only thing that would make me more hungry than your post would be sitting through the movie Big Night which always sends me into a two week cooking binge.

The seafood soup is one of the best reasons to go to Sardines (especially in the winter) but not better than going to hear Mr. Case's tickling of the ivories.

How about the lentil soup at Hedarri's or Byblos. Also recommended for the cold months.

Kind of expensive but about once a year it's good to get the Calamari at La Piazza (gotta wear a suit though). An italian beer at the bar, some calamri and bread, that's dinner for me!

8:33 AM  

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