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Friday, June 19, 2015

A Fishy Fish Story

I was in Williamsburg, Virginia a month ago for a week of wining and dining.  Located about 30 miles from the Chesapeake Bay, the city offers the most preciously preserved colonial town in our country.  One of the restaurants I ate in specialized in seafood.  I had previewed their online menu in advance (including their glowing reviews) and was on a high with anticipation when I arrived.  The restaurant didn’t accept reservations so I had been warned to arrive early.  I arrived at 5:15pm and the parking lot was jammed.  I took that as a positive sign.

Even at this hour on a mid-week night it was a 30 minute wait.  More good news.  My friend and I went to the bar to look at a menu and inquire about any daily specials.  I sought counsel of the bartender who told me he had been at the restaurant for 5 years. The conversation went something like this.

“I’m a crab lover and am torn between the 2 different offerings on the menu.  I need your help in deciding”
----“We’re known for our crab cakes.”

By now people were flooding the bar and I overhear that it is now a 45 minute wait for a table.  Wow!  This food was really going to be great!  
“I want to be sure the crab is fresh.  I don’t want anything frozen.”
---“Sorry, but it’s frozen.”

“I wasn’t sure when your local season is. When does it come in fresh?”
--“Never.  We always use frozen crab as the Chesapeake has been fished out.”

“If the bay is fished out, where do the crabs come from?”
“ O.M.G.”

“All right…then I’ll move to my second choice:  jumbo shrimps.  I just drove today up the coast from North Carolina where I ate delicious dishes made from their uber fresh shrimps.  They are fresh, right?”
---“No, they're frozen.” 
“Frozen from nearby North Carolina?”
---“No.  Frozen from Cambodia.”

By now I hear someone enter the bar and announce to his friend sitting next to me that the wait is now > one hour.  It’s not even 6pm.

“I’m stunned.  Let me ask another question:  what seafood on your menu is fresh?” 
---“Nothing except the scallops.”

Next I hear my name being paged:  “Mrs. Dunn---your table is ready.”

I wanted to leave, but my friend was tired and hungry.  We stayed.  And you definitely know what I ordered.  But, what about the hundreds of other diners who flock here?  

The name of the restaurant was "Food for Thought."  It was named appropriately.

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