?`s and ANNEswers

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Three Restaurants

I’ve been to three local restaurants in two days, and the upshot is that my own cooking will be on the menu for the foreseeable future. Eating out just isn’t what it used to be before the pandemic.

Case in point: The first restaurant, Clementine’s, boasted a lobster roll for its luncheon special. The server said it was made in-house with celery and mayo and served on a hoagie bun. The traditional New England style lobster roll is served on a bun that is slit on top and has sides that are flat for toasting. Hoagie has nothing to do with it.

Still, one doesn’t get a lot of opportunity in the Midwest for a lobster roll, so I ordered it. The traditional New England style lobster roll is filled with fresh chunks of recognizable lobster meat along with the aforementioned celery and mayo.

It’s true the server didn’t describe the lobster itself as chunks. But since New England style lobster rolls are the only kind I’ve ever had, my imagination took over as I waited eagerly for my meal.

The hoagie was very large and split in half. Nothing was toasted, but I hadn’t expected it would be. The lettuce and tomato were superfluous, but they could be picked off. The lobster “chunks’ were the size of cooked rice, giving the entire sandwich the consistency of ham salad with essence of lobster. Most of it stayed at the restaurant when we left.

My second foray was at Plank’s, a restaurant in a high end hotel in town. For my taste the food has always been hit or miss. And I’m sure you already know from the tone of this blog where this going. The grouper sandwich was a definite miss. It’s only saving grace was that I shared it with my friend, which reduced the pain of the $20 price by half.

Finally, Earl and I went to Cracker Barrel this evening with a gift certificate. We’d always gone for breakfast in the past, so I was prepared to order eggs if nothing else looked appealing. The local CB now offers a small assortment of beers and wines which is how we started our meal. It did help set the mood.

And to our surprise both our entrees were good; not gourmet cuisine but solid comfort food. To our second surprise, the gift card was generous enough that we can return, have another before-dinner drink, and another meal. You just never know.

I realize I’ve fixated on food these past few blogs. Maybe it’s because there’s not much  palatable in the daily news. Even in small bites.

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