Wednesday, May 19, 2010

R is for Restaurant @ Life is Good

Ever since my Grandma Vivian took us to Mrs. K's Tollhouse for dinner, I've loved eating out. I think I was nine or ten when she treated us all (our family of five, my aunt, and my Farmor and Farfar who were visiting for Christmas.)  I remember feeling so rich to get to go to this landmark – an old house which actually WAS a tollhouse back in the day, now converted into an expensive, five course restaurant. I recall the delight as yet another lovely treat was set before me. At that time, my restaurant experience had been limited to a few buffet style restaurants in Sweden, where dining out is not the common place thing it is in the States. At Mrs. Kay's, I was in heaven, and I remember saying to myself, “I'm going to go lots of restaurants when I'm an adult. I love this!” And I have. Let me tell you about two wonderful places I've had the privilege to visit.

Newly married, The Engineer and I had the pleasure of a three night sailing trip with Dad. This was in the last sailboat my parents owned before they retired to Colorado. This was the one that slept 6. I was so thrilled to finally be one of the people who would be part of others' “inspecting the fleet.” (This is what my Dad and I called it when we'd wander around a marina, checking out the sailboats, and people watching. There'd be many cozy scenes to witness. The man and his wife sharing a bottle of wine. The retired couple who could be seen through the porthole, playing cards. Or the group, laughing loudly and obviously on more than their third beer each, not exactly a cozy scene, but fun to watch regardless.) I'd always dreamed of taking our boat somewhere, and then relaxing in the cockpit while OTHERS wandered around checking US out. That time had finally arrived!

We pulled up to the dock in Galesville, MD. just as the sun was beginning to set. Tired, smelling of sunscreen and sea water, we went to dinner at Pirate's Cove. There we had the pleasure of a dockside table. We sat, watching other boats arrive, sipping a wonderful chardonnay, and enjoying the sunset. There was a whisper of a breeze, and my hair danced around my face as I savored the ultimately creamy crab soup. They make it like no other place, and then give you a small bottle of sherry to drizzle over the top. It's a heavenly combination. No calories if eaten outside! Then there was the newly caught fish, sauteed in a magical marinade of freshness, tender and flaky and melt in your mouth. Well satisfied, we headed back to our boat, and enjoyed some more wine as we sat in the cockpit, being admired by the fleet inspectors. A perfect evening.
Another perfect seaside meal was at the Crab House in St. Michael's, MD. It's a quaint, preserved, historic town with lots of character and charm. And awesome crab! I've been a Maryland blue crab fan since childhood. While my sister freaked herself out at the thought of crab, I attacked with precision, as taught by my best friend's dad. Even with skill, eating crabs takes a long time. It's best to go with others who are also eating crabs. Then it's a party with good beer to marry perfectly with the Old Bay seasoning. If it's only your daughter having crab, well then you'd better bring a newspaper. (My dad would treat me to crabs for my birthday each year. We'd go, sometimes just the two of us, sometimes the whole family. I teased him about the newspaper, and being easily bored, but it didn't matter to me at all. As long as I got my crab.)

We'd again arrived by boat. (It was the same sailing trip as Galesville.) The restaurant is ON the dock, so our boat was close by. We were enjoying another perfect, sunset meal, feasting on those crabs (I taught The Engineer how to pick, and he was of course was better than me right away. He's like that. Brilliant at anything.) Then the show arrived.

An idiot in a catamaran much like this one, was approaching the dock. 

 At great speed. With his sails still up. This is NOT how you do it. First of all, you're going to slam into the dock, damaging both your boat and the dock. Then you've got this flapping sail to deal with, and a swinging boom, which is an accident waiting to happen. There we sat, watching with horror as he came closer and closer. “Isn't he going to take down the sail?” “When will he slow down?” “Maybe he's going to turn around and try again.” Nope. He crashed into the dock, the boom swung around and connected, with a sickening thud, with the nearest pilling of the dock. And then the swearing started. We could hear him THROUGH the window. He was blaming everyone within earshot for his disaster. Are you kidding me? How could the poor deck master have helped you? He's standing on the dock, showing you which slip to take, and barely got out of the way of your boom! Despite his rudeness, many people jumped off their boats to help wrangle the sails into place and store them correctly. I've always loved dinner theaters, and this was very amusing tableau, in a “can't stop looking at that accident even though I should” sort of way.

I have a lot more stories of wonderful meals. But I'll leave my patient readers with this question:  What's your favorite meal?

Thanks for visiting, and please check out the other great “R” posts at the fab Ms. Jenny Matlock and her Alphabe-Thursday meme.

34 comments:

Brian Miller said...

fav meal...hm, crab legs or a nice steak...i know what you are saying about not looking away as well...

Linda said...

Great story for R!

jeff campbell said...

My favorite meal...a fresh salad from my own garden...second favorite...one I do not have to share with ants:-) Nice post...peace and blessings

Christy said...

Sushi. I am too lazy to eat crab. I love the taste but hate to work so hard for my dinner! Love your story!

jen said...

My favorite meal: anything I didn't have to cook. And I mean that honestly. RRRRReally.
Thanks for a great story, and happy R day!

RNSANE said...

I have five hundred cookbooks and, in my younger days, I did some catering...but, I was always glad to chuck it all and eat out. Before my forced retirement in massive budget cuts to San Francisco's Dept of Public Health, I'd traveled to 45 countries and 25 Caribbean island. I've eaten at a lot of fabulous restaurants and I wish my budget allowed, now, for that to continue. I loved reading about your nice memories!

Jo said...

oh what wonderful memories ... and what interesting dinner theater (j/k) My fave meal ...crab ...if not, then oysters ...

My name is PJ. said...

Wonderful memories. I've been living in MD and DE for the past 21 years....St Mike's is one of my favorite places and I've been to the Crab House multiple times.

My favorite meal is probably Thanksgiving dinner.

JDaniel4's Mom said...

What fun r memories of restaurants. I remember eating at Mrs. K's when I was little. It was the measurin stick for all restaurants I went to when I was growing up.

Mumsy said...

Wonderful post! Complete with sailing lesson, and a meal :-) I love crabs.

Terra said...

first of all you made me hungry. then angry. Nothing worse than someone who can't take responsibility. Nothing worse.

Pondside said...

What a meal - crab - yummy!
I had to laugh at the dinner theatre you witnessed! What an idiot that sailor was!

laterg8r said...

what a twit sailor :D

Short and Sweet said...

OH how I enjoyed your narrative about restaurants, sailing, eating and just enjoying yourself! I lived in Illinois as a child and I live in Arizona now so not much water in my life. I felt like I was part of the story seeing everything through your eyes. Thanks for sharing.

Viki said...

These were wonderful stories. I loved them. I loved all the descriptions too. Very cool R post. My favorite meal is chicken parmigiana or pork chops.

Aging Mommy said...

What an idiot sailor! My favorite meal ever was at Gordon Ramsey's original restaurant in London, a long time ago when it was amazingly his only restaurant and he was working on and that year indeed got his third Michelin Star. My husband and I went with some food loving friends and had a wonderful meal and night, made even better by the fact that Gordon was in the kitchen cooking our food and also came to visit all the tables. His original restaurant had a fabulously casual atmosphere, his belief being that the important thing was the food. Well that night the food was amazing.

Tracy said...

That was a lovely blog to read thanks

The Empress said...

I love memories!

Thank you.

Amanda said...

Roasted chicken with a big green salad.

Mary said...

I love eating out. I like the who array from fancy 4 star restaurants to the local dives but if I had to narrow it down I would say I love eating at places that have a view, especially if the view overlooks the water.

Cheryl said...

Chocolate. Any kind any time. Nice R.

Julie Schuler said...

I remember eating out! Now we don't go anywhere that doesn't have happy meals or ski ball. Oh well, that what you do when you have kids.

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments said...

What a great memory of eating with your Grandma Vivian... How fun! And oh goodness...thank goodness no one was hurt with that man's sailboat incident!

I would love to travel to different cities, states, crountries...and eat at each location's famous or unknown eateries!

Blessings & Aloha!
(thank you for stopping by! ...I really should be doing some drawing orders, but thought I would catch up on some blog reading first. :o)

Christy said...

what great memories...and your descriptions of the food...makes me want to go buy a boat and sail to maryland! personally, i prefer crab to lobster--which used to mean a cheap date!
great post!

Vicki said...

Oh what yummy memories! The closest I've been to anything like that is Catalina Island where they have lots of great seafood restaurants...I loved Antonio's..and their 'Mama Mia's Day Old Spaghetti' Yep, all four times I went there (o:

Amanda said...

Tina, I suppose, in the same sense that Christ was a man, a cornerstone could be considered a quoin. But Christ was no ordinary man, and I've never heard him referred to as the quoin of the church. It does seem to me, however, that he was referred to somewhere as the Cornerstone.... Hmmmmm, now where did I read that? Ah, well, no matter. The point is, in the same way that Christ was no ordinary man, a quoin is no ordinary cornerstone. :)

Tina said...

@ Amanda: LOL. You've always managed to amaze with your insight....And thanks for the lesson :-)

Amanda said...

And what I meant to say was "in the same way that Christ was no ordinary man, a cornerstone is no ordinary quoin"!

Sh@KiR@ CK said...

What an adventurous and blessed life you have, Tina!
I love reading such inspiring life story...
the nearest experience I have was when I was in Hong Kong...
and Malaysia and Labuan have a lot of great seafood places...

mine is here
Have you a blessed weekend!
hugs
shakira

lissa said...

what wonderful memories and wonderful R post

thanks for your visit

Nadeen said...

Wow! You have me thinking about my favorite place I've eaten. That will take a long of reminiscing, methink. And possibly a bottle of wine (or two).

Sometimes I think it has to do with the setting. Sometimes, the people. Sometimes, the fare.

Thanks.

Melinda Cornish said...

it all sounds wonderful...I grew up on the ocean and have had this experience too....I am such a seafood lover...yum!

Sarah said...

Yummy memories! Favorite foods? That's a difficult one . . . shrimp, crab, lemon meringue pie, . . . my list is pretty long. LOL

Jenny said...

What a lovely memory...my husband would be drooling over your post. He adores sea food!

Favorite meal? Wow that would be hard... fresh corn on the cob from the garden, sun warmed tomatoes from the same place! Homemade sour cherry pie.... Oh, my...so many memories tied to food for me.

Thank you for this lovely and expressive stop on our little journey through Alphabe-Thursday's Letter "R"!

A+