Chuck (charlesofcamden) wrote,

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Fish stories

My friend Doug is a faithful and prolific blogger. He is not only prolific; he’s also a very good writer. Usually his topic is current politics, so this being an election year, every new day lately brings in a new shipment of high-quality grist for his mill. I am a regular reader of his blog, though I only occasionally post to it.

I bring this up merely to draw a contrast between Doug’s journal and my own. My interests lie much more in the fields of interpersonal politics and societal politics than governmental politics. As I consider the overall tone of my two-and-a-half years of blogging, I would have to concede that this journal appears to be more a forum for my own self-indulgence than for any “nobler purpose.”

This is not to imply any regret on my part, for I feel none. I do, after all, have an instinct toward entertainment, and I truly consider that entertainment, when done with intelligence and style, serves a kind of nobler purpose, the achievement of which is an ongoing aspiration of mine. So there.

In that spirit, I would like to tell you about my recent experience with another subject very near and dear to me: Food.

Yes indeed – food. This is where my decadence blooms into full flower. I had the great pleasure Friday night of visiting one of the primary houses of worship for my particular sect of seafood worship – McCormick & Schmick’s. It is a cut above my usual fare, both in price and in the quality of its offerings. The fish fairy was kind to me on Friday, though, and I don’t just mean our waiter. For my friend from out of town put the entire tab on his expense account! Yes indeed, he was here on business and had asked me to pick out a nice restaurant where the three of us might enjoy a nice meal. Yes, I said the three of us, as we were joined by his girlfriend (but if you want to know more about that situation, you’ll have to ask me in person).

I’m still having flashbacks two days later – I began with a lovely glass of Fontana Candida Pinot Grigio from Italy, followed by the best New England clam chowder one may find in the Central Time Zone. My entrée was Maine salmon stuffed with blue crab, bay shrimp, and brie, and dessert was a large crème brulee topped with a few delicate chocolate shavings. Whew! Words fail me (as you may be happy to learn); just trust me when I tell you that it was a delightful dining experience from start to finish. My friend ordered a Hawaiian swordfish that he rated as the finest seafood dish he’d ever eaten anywhere. I took less note of what his date ordered, only because it was a beef dish and I don’t eat beef, but I can attest that she ordered a baked brie appetizer that was simply heavenly (she happily shared it with both of us).

There is something about exceptionally wonderful food that makes me want to share it with the world. I recall one time when I was in far northern Michigan, we stopped for lunch at the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge. I ordered the Lake Superior whitefish. As the lodge was almost literally on the shores of Lake Superior, the fish had been caught that morning and was the freshest fish I’d ever had in my life at that point. It was so wonderful that tears literally came to my eyes as I ate it, and I actually turned to a stranger at an adjoining table and offered to let him have some of my fish. That was, admittedly, a little weird on my part and I can scarcely blame the fellow for turning me down. I am somewhat more under control in public settings nowadays, but my passion for great seafood remains undiminished.

So instead of offering you a taste of that stuffed Maine salmon, I will share this with you: The next time you’ve got a taste for seafood plus a little extra change, find the nearest McCormick & Schmick’s and don’t look back. For my Michigan friends, please note that there’s one in Troy near the Somerset Mall. Note also that I have received no payment or other consideration for this endorsement.

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