Tag Archives: eating out

Pork Me ….. I’m Gonna Vomit

It seemed like a great idea.
They were on the Nation’s BEST OF list.
So what does that mean?
We have to go try them.

After cheeeezzzzeburgers, a good chicken wing is my next favorite thing.
Although recently, I’m loosing my love for the wing.
I’ve pretty much lost all love for the bird itself.

Why?
It tastes dirty.

The bird tastes dirty.
Not just the dark meat.
All of it.
Blah.

Well tonight, the remaining love of wings, may have left what tiny bit of love remained…..on the windshield of my beloved Norman.

Blah.

So this local place – was one of the top 50 places in AMERICA to eat wings.
HERE.
IN.
MIAMI.

So we went.
I made reservations.

Yes, one of THOSE places.

NOTE: every where in Miami is one of THOSE places – even Taco Bell. You get over it.

But you know, with Open Table, you get points of reservations. You go anywhere that may take reservations, you make one on Open Table so you get a coupon eventually towards a free meal. It’s worth it.

The Mister drops me off, I go in to secure our precious reservation while he parks the car. Of course, parking the car in this area is a small two day mission. I order a glass of wine, review my Facebook, check us in, read my emails, decide what I’m having for dinner, take some snaps of the restaurant, chat with the waiter, read my work emails, search the internet about a storm hitting Alaska, comment on friends’ Facebook posting, text the Mister to ensure he’s not lost, research Pygmy goats, take more pictures of the restaurant, ponder why there’s an overwhelming amount of men to women in this establishment and then finally the Mister arrives.

Whew.

Emmett came and took our orders.

Most importantly……I had to know, “how many wings come in an order?”

Four.

Four?

Four.

…..insert my Bambi stare here….. blink blink…..blink….blink…..

Four?

In Alaska, we’d go to our favorite place, the USCG station and order 50.

Okay, let’s roll the dice. I accept the swine challenge of four.

Order UP!

We enjoy our beverages and a serving tray arrives with half a chicken. NO. It’s the four wings. It’s a drumstick AND a wing. Times four! Nicely played. These are as big as my hand!

IMG_1339
Let’s back up. Did I mention….if you expect me to eat wings like a lady, you’re eating wings with the wrong lady? I’m like a one year old with their first birthday cake. I’ve got sauce all over my face, up my nose, in my hair and smeared on both cheeks. No, that’s not a hickey on my neck, it’s hot wing sauce. Trust me….. Go ahead, I’m like a scratch and sniff sticker but different. Lick it.

Emmett comes back. What do we want for dinner?
We both decide….ribs. It’s half a rack.
The smell in this place is delicious.
Half way down the block you could smell the smoker. Nom, nom, nom.
Smokey wood burning.
Oh and brussel sprouts. We want those too.

Before I can finish my second half of chicken this mound of rib arrives on a wooden platter. This mound was the size of a 15 pound meatloaf. It was literally stacked three layers high with ribs.

Shit.

Yeah, well. Did I mention we don’t eat pork?

At home we’re vegetarians. No meat. No fish. No chicken. No lunch meat. No eggs. No milk. Some cheese for tacos. No pork. This is overload.

I eat three ribs. Who can eat this amount of food? Godzilla maybe. This is insane.

Yes, I’ll need a box.

We decide to enjoy a cup of coffee and split a salted carmel milkshake. I mean really, the damage was already done. So let’s really set ourselves up for misery and put our digestive tracts into a tailspin of sugar mania. We’ve lubed up our internals with fat and meat….now let’s coat them with sugar and more fat.

Awesome.

I can hear my arteries heave now.

If you listen closely they’re already sending morse code signals to Shamans in the Amazon jungle.

After about 3 hours of pure hog heaven, we hire the valets to wheelbarrow us out to the car. I truly think I need to make an incision into my abdomen to let out some of the pressure. I have eaten too much.

Two half chickens, disguised as “chicken wings”
3 ribs.
Half a salted carmel milkshake.

Either I ate too much or there is an alien about to be born out of my gut. At this point I may take the alien option. As I drive home, I am gripping the steering wheel as my stomach rolls and tumbles.

I am burping.

Hot dogs.

I

Hate

Pork.

BLURP.

I continue to grip the steering wheel. I think my intestines are reorganizing themselves into a holiday bow. I refuse to pull over and poop on the side of the road. In previous chapters of my life, I’ve pulled over to pee. And yes, I’ve pulled over to vomit. I will not pull over to poop. This chicky has her limits.

I’m sorry Norman, but this is I95 and you’re going to fly like you’re a Virgin Atlantic flight on a nonstop from Miami to Aventura. Landing gear is down and we’re on direct flight.

BLURP.

I hate hot dogs.

(Okay, there was a time when I liked the processed ones with the little cheese bits in them, but that was like a decade ago.)

(Oh yeah and when we go to holiday parties….don’t stand between me and the Little Smokies in the hot pot. I’m like a blue haired lady on double bingo night. Get out of my way!)

I feel so ill. It’s like the time when I was little and thought it was a good idea to eat 6 hard boiled eggs.
Wrong.

BLURP.

What compounds the problem is that I can’t get rid of the smoker smell off my hands. What I enjoyed so much at the restaurant….a wood smoke smell from what I can only imagine is an enormous smoker in the back recesses of the kitchen….is now stuck to my hands like a foul tattoo.

It’s like having hairy palms.

I can’t get rid of it.

BLURP.

I hate hot dogs.

Still….after several washings.

I tried two different types of hand sanitizer.

I get home and use lemon soap.

The cats are now intrigued and wondering how to nibble off one of my thumb pads. I’m being stalked by three furry critters who are trying to figure out how to hold me down just long enough.

Great. Every time get a whiff of my hands, my stomach rolls. This can only mean one thing.

I’m going to have to sleep with gym socks on my hands tonight.

That’s all fun and games until I wake up in the middle of the night, forget about the socks and freak out believing I’ve developed some strange mitten hand disease overnight from the swine all the while thumping The Mister in the head while screaming repeatedly until he wakes up.

BLURP.

It’s Either This or That.

Most people, on their days off, prefer to escape and relax by enjoying the outdoors, shopping, being creative, cheering on their favorite sports team or who knows what.  It offers a break from reality and a chance to let go and be yourself.

If you want to dress up like a Storm Trooper and pretend your fighting the Empire – knock yourself out.

If you want to dress up like a Forest Fairy and save the dying Elm Trees – have at it.

If you want to pretend you are the next James Bond, looking for the drop at your local Starbucks – why not.

I, however, enjoy something completely different.  On Wednesdays this summer, instead of doing the obligatory household chores and warding off the evil empire of dust bunnies…I chose to work at Tracy’s King Crab Shack in Juneau, Alaska.

Located right on the docks, next to the parking garage and library…Tracy’s little crab shack  services thousands from May thru September.  Having known Tracy for years, I thought it would be fun to work one day a week for her.  I wasn’t wrong.  This is my second year as the beer wench…..and I love it!

There are two shacks….I’m in shack one.  I’ll take your order, your money and provide your beverages…beer, wine or soda.  Shack two cooks up your crab and brings it out to you.

 

How do I describe Alaskan King Crab?  Nom, nom, nom…..that pretty much covers it.

What’s on the menu?  King crab of course!  Her award winning crab bisque….

Yes, I did say award winning.  Her bisque won third place in the Rhode Island Chowder Cook Off and is the People’s Choice of Seattle and Anchorage.  HA!  Take that Food Network Iron Chefs!  I am of the mindset that you could just cover me in the bisque…I’d be content to lick it off myself.  It’s amazingly good.

There’s also silver dollar sized crab cakes.  Regular or coconut.  You could have Snow Crab, Dungeness (when in season), Alaskan prawns or scallops.  Each and every item is delicious.  You can’t go wrong.

What’s great about The Shack is the reputation.  People come from all over.  “Friends of ours from Belgium said we had to come here.”  Or “The Captain of the ship said this was a must have lunch.”  It’s fantastic.  Of course, you also never know what to expect…

I found it’s best to show up to work each Wednesday as frisky as a feline on premium catnip.  It came in especially handy when the husband, with his camera in hand, couldn’t stop looking at me while his wife was ordering.  Finally, he broke down and said:

“Do you mind if I take a picture of your chest?”

Sure!  I thrust my oranges out there and he snaps a photo of me.  Why?  Well, duh.  My shirt says, “Best Legs in Town!”  Of course, he wasn’t taking a picture of my legs was he?  Hummmm, weird.  Chalk that up to the strangest moment yet in life.

Tracy’s is so popular, we get HUGE lines.  I am talking enormous.  You would think the latest Tickle Me Elmo was being released at the shack – that’s how big the lines are.  If you don’t believe me, check out my photo below.   Yes, it’s definitely worth the wait. Someone could offer fortune telling services while folks wait in line to get to me….they could make a coke dealer’s bank roll in 30 minutes of searching the tourists’ future.

The beauty of a line, is it gives you ages to decide what you want to eat.  Would you like:

A King Crab leg?

Half a Snow Crab?

Dungeness – if in season?

Bucket of King Crab?

Bisque?

Crab cakes?

Scallops?

Prawns?

The menu, is very easy.  However, I’ll be damned if people don’t wait until they get up to me before they even look at the menu.  One of three things occurs when they reach the front of the line:

1.  They know exactly what they want and rattle it off like a Drill Sargent.

2.  They want to know what I recommend.

3.  They haven’t looked at anything and can’t make up their mind.

Those who are in the first group are fabulous.  Ring them in, get their beverage and off they go.  If ordering their meal was an Olympic event, they’d get gold.  No messing around.  Straight to the point.

Those who need recommendations come in two groups.  Those who, after hearing your recommendation say, “Perfect!  We’ll go with that.”  And the doubters.  You make your recommendation, based on their group size, how hungry they are and your gut instinct.

Their response?

“Is it good?”

Okay. Seriously?  I mean really?

I’m looking at you now out of the corner of my eye.  Did you just ask me for a recommendation and then ask if it was good?  No, I’m suggesting you eat crap. Are you kidding me?  Why ask for a recommendation and then doubt what I recommend?

Let’s take a moment here and ponder which one of us is the professional?

Uh, right.

I am…so listen up.

However, it is the third group of people that absolutely, positively, without a doubt, drive me insane.  I’m talking like crazy Norman from The Bates Motel….nuts.  These are the ones that cause me to drink, chew my nails, roll my eyes and curse silently under my breath.

“We just don’t know what to order.”

Alright.  Let’s do this.

You’ve been waiting in line for 15 minutes and you still don’t know what to order?  It’s a one page menu for crying out loud!  There’s fewer items on our menu than on a McDonald’s lunch special.

Well, I hope you’re hungry for crab, cause that’s what we’ve got!  (Note: It’s helpful when you can flip a little bit of shit their way as part of the ambiance.)  This declaration only leads to one question:

What kind of crab do you have?

We have King, Snow and Dungeness – explaining the differences between the three along the way.

Huh.  (Imagine far off gaze, as if I suggested marshmallows tasted like motor oil….really?)

I don’t know what to get.  What do you suggest?

And there’s a big speech I could bore you with about Combo Number 1 and Combo Number 2 – but I won’t do that.  Most people decide the Combo 1 is perfect for what they’re looking for and we’re off and running….god bless them.

Still, there’s others that are completely in a stupor.  These folks tend to travel in groups.  Which is probably smart as I don’t know how they’d survive otherwise.  The conversation usually goes something like this ….when dealing with a gaggle of clueless and bewildered diners:

“What do you recommend?”

Well, it depends on how hungry you are.  The number 1 combo is very popular, it’s like a sampler.  You get a King Crab leg, some bisque and 4 crab cakes.

“Does anything come with it?”

No, but you can order a side of rice or cole slaw.

“You have french fries?”

No, just rice or cole slaw.

“What about the bisque.  Anything come with that?”

A roll and butter.

“What kind of roll?”

A dinner roll.

“Anything else?”

No.  But you can order a side of rice or cole slaw.

“Ah huh.”

>> silence <<

“I can order a single King Crab Leg.  Is that the same as the King Crab Leg in the number 1 combo?”

Yep!  Same kind of leg.

“You just get extra stuff in the combo?”

Yep.

“Do you have chicken burgers?”

No.

“Anything other than crab?”

Well we have prawns and scallops.

“I don’t like seafood.”

Okay, well there’s a few other food options along the pier here that may interest you then.

A few weeks ago I had a group of four little ladies who were traveling together.  OMG.  Just shoot me.  This isn’t rocket science – it’s crab.  There’s like 12 options on the menu.  PICK ONE!

“What does the bisque come with?”

It comes with a roll.

“Nothing else?”

No.

“What about the crab cakes.  What do they come with?”

Just the cakes.  You can order rice or slaw on the side.

“Well if I get the crab leg, what comes with that?”

A roll.

“No fries or anything?”

No.

“But the combo comes with 1 King leg, bisque and cakes.  Does it come with anything else?”

No.

“Fries? Or anything?”

Still no.

“Well, if I order the bisque and the crab roll sandwich, what comes with that?”

A dinner roll.

“Oh.  Nothing else?”

No.

At this point I am taking a pencil and slowly carving out my third eyeball.  JUST PICK SOMETHING PEOPLE!  This isn’t rocket science.  It’s crab. What don’t you get?

Tracy’s

King

Crab

Shack

Then the topper are the ones that run you through the 1001 questions and then say,

“You know, I’ll just get a burger and fries.”

We don’t serve those.

“WHAT? You don’t sell burgers and fries?”

No.  It’s a crab shack.

“You mean you only serve seafood?  I don’t like seafood.”

Okay.

That’s it.

Put a fork in me.  I’m done.

I patiently ask  if they see a rock on the counter where they’re standing.  Of course, they don’t.  Oh, damn.  I’ve lost the rock I like to beat my head against.

NEXT!