Since Sue had family obligations for two Fridays in a row she asked Ed & I to not eat in her absence. “Don’t eat out anywhere new without me,” she pleaded, bobbing her wing tips held in place by side barrettes. We honored her request and ate at our favorite restaurants, returning to two off of our former list and one added to our list: Blue Point, Symposium, and the new addition that we visited several Fridays ago, Waterstreet Cafe. At the time we were enjoying our fantastic meals at Waterstreet we said, probably with food in our collective mouths, that we just had to take Alex & Alicia for a meal – we agreed that they would love it.
The clam chowder with cornbread at Blue Point is my most favorite chowder in the whole SouthCoast region and is by what I compare all other chowders to (Bittersweet serves my fav lobster bisque), anything from Blue Point’s menu compliments their chowder – I added grilled swordfish that melted in my mouth. I inquired if flan was on their dessert board, but it was a no-show, sold out perhaps? When my out of state friends & relatives visit I take them to Blue Point for chowder & seafood (their clam boils are to die for!).
Ed and I took the kids out Thursday night to Waterstreet Cafe in Fall River, as I said earlier, it was a repeat for us because we liked it so much – the ambiance was eclectic with an 100-year old “Big Oak” wall cabinet with nooks, niches and crannies holding all types of special nick-knacks, fifties industrial wood tables & chairs, upholstered l-o-n-g benches that stretch over 4 or so table set ups. There are four angels watching over all patrons from their bright niches above the bar/counter area, plants and the panache of exposed old factory brick walls round out the cafe’s atmosphere. The food is also eclectic; the range runs from Mediterranean to Mexican to steak and seafood. The guys had Blackened Ribeye, Alicia loved her Shrimp & Scallops Provencal, and I enjoyed my Mediterranean Sautee with grilled chicken, featuring calamata & manzanilla olives – yum! Alex added his caramelized onions and later, his summer squash to my dish (he has been eating both unknowingly since he could eat whole foods!). Both Alicia and I declined dessert (no flan here for me) and took half of our meals home with us – Alex and Ed cleaned their plates and had coffee with their dessert. We had a leisurely meal, full of catching up (Alex is taking his LSATs on Monday, good luck wishes his way!) and laughter: a mixture of Melville, Ed’s fish tales, movie reviews and my teaching stories. We left happy and sated – good company & excellent food!
I have been wanting flan for dessert recently but sadly, for me, haven’t found any lately at the restaurants we have visited. Now, really, this is not totally a bad thing because I take it as a sign from above that perhaps its meant to be – that I honestly don’t need the extra calories this one time out! Flan is out there somewhere waiting for me. [I had my first authentic flan in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, in 1976. I was attending the Institutio de San Miguel de Allende to study PreColumbian Art History, way before the sleepy hillside town was discovered by the travel media. It was a mecca for American art and poetry professors, art students, artisans, artists and poets looking for inexpensive summer residence and cultural change. Oh, the fresh, juicy mangos dripping down my chin and arms as I walked home from school for siesta, trying to avoid the rain which turned on every afternoon from twelve to two and stopped on cue.]
When I got home from school Ed asked me if I felt like a fishfry – so we headed off to Symposium, Ed’s favorite waterhole and home away from home. “Do I have my spot?” he asked as we slowed to look if the handicapped parking spot was free, which it was although someone had parked in the walkway – it was 5 PM and the restaurant was waiting only. Ever since the SOCO magazine featured Symposium in its interest section new customers have set their GPSs for New Bedford’s northend. Seating is in order of arrival and the wait always offers interesting conversations, cute babies, and hustling waitresses to watch. Maria, the hostess and joint-owner along her husband, chats us up as she keeps a lookout for an open booth for Ed. I love catching what she is wearing – she always knows the latest the trends and wears them with an interesting style. Once seated, Ed ordered fried scallops and I, fried clams. Normally, I prefer broiled seafood but tonight its fried clams and lots of tartar sauce. Ed traded a plumb scallop for two of my clams – this was after I divided my fries from the clams – I don’t like greasy fries, or at least greasier fries. After quenching our fried scallop and clams carvings we sang out our goodbyes and drove home for marble cake and a movie, missing Sue’s company and her little peals (squeals, really) of laughter. We’ll be out as a threesome next Friday – look for us.