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?”
“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.