Sunday, February 10, 2008

The One That SHOULD Have Got Away.

After the ranch safari last Tuesday, we were all starving and I felt I could've eaten a horse.

But as the only horse we'd seen was in a paddock and belonged to a staff member, we all decided to stop off in Lake Placid for something more traditional instead. Wild hog maybe !

We ended up at the Main Street Diner which is a very popular eatery in the area and there is usually a line of customers for most meal times. Lunch time on Tuesday was no exception and as there were 13 of us, I didn't hold out much hope of getting seated until supper time.....on Wednesday.

There were 2 parties of 6 ahead of us and yet after only about 10 minutes, our greeter and seater announced that our table was ready and with our heads bent low and our eyes even lower, we shuffled apologetically past the parties of 6 mumbling things like "sorry", "not our fault" and "we'll eat really really fast" to make up for jumping the line.

The drink orders were taken before our butts had time to spread into the corners of the seats and I rushed to peruse the extensive menu as I felt we were 'on the clock' and if nothing else, 12 sets of eyes were boring into my back from the entrance corridor. I thought about ordering a lettuce leaf (hold the dressing) just to be able to leave the table but the other 12 of us had settled down for the duration and so I relaxed and took my time.

The large table, or a combination of a couple of tables, was under a Union Flag which made me a little homesick. But not a lot.

I was also slightly upset that it was the right way up as I fancied the idea of telling them if it hadn't been so. I'm sad that way.

Here you can see Mary and Clair on the left of our table and next to Mary was Debby who had gone to the diner with the express wish to have one of their famous desserts.

So while the rest of us were working through the starter and/or entree choices, Debby had already made her choice of dessert and was ready for the waitress to reappear.

Reappear she did and she passed down the table taking our orders. Debby ordered her dessert and with a speed that had me checking out the waitress's feet for roller blades, it arrived before the rest of us had folded up the menus to put to one side.

This, of course, meant that Debby had to start eating her 'meal' while the rest of us looked on. Well I say the rest of us but really I mean everyone but Mary who made several attempts to make the eating of the dessert a shared experience.

Camera in hand, I wanted to record one of these sneak attacks for posterity but fearing a blurred outcome (as Mary's spoon action was faster than any setting that my camera could capture), I asked them to pose for a photo.

Doesn't look staged at all, I hear you say.

Maybe it was the presence of the flag over my head or the lack of anything else I fancied but I decided to order the fish and chips just to see what I'd get.

I've had meals described as fish and chips several times in America and the UK chippy industry can rest assured that nothing you can order over here will EVER put them out of business or even cause UK residents returning after a holiday here to say "oh how I miss those American fish and chips" Many things they do better than us, but delivering fish and chips is not one of them.

This was the latest variation and it takes a bit of explaining.

The chips, or fries, were fine. Very nice in fact and just how I like them. Actually tasted like they'd started off as potatoes.

But the fish.......ah the fish. I'm not sure my fish had ever been a fish at all. I suspect it had been genetically cloned from a picture of a fish. A photocopied picture of a fish.

The batter wasn't bad. Light and semi crunchy in a sort of moist crunchy way. Inside the batter was some sort of mushed watery fish paste with a consistancy only found after accidently standing on a Birds Eye Fish Finger back in the UK.

The fish this came from, if indeed this came from a fish at all, had to have been at death's door already and was probably grateful to have been caught up in the net. It had been a mercy killing.

The added presence of the fluffy KFC style biscuit only seemed bizarre if you didn't notice the little bowl of fresh fruit that also came with the meal. Definitely not something I'd expect Harry Ramsden 's to start adding to their fish and chips anytime soon. If ever.

All in all it wasn't a meal to remember although I did bring it up again (in conversation only) later that night when trying to work out why I was feeling a bit queasy prior to going to bed.

l'll be trying something different if we go there again, that's for sure. Maybe it was karma for being moved up the line ahead of those 2 parties of 6 !!

Speaking of fresh fruit, all the way from Lake Placid back to sunny Buttonwood Bay, US27 cuts through acres of orange groves and the rows of orange laden trees come right down to the roadside.

I was looking at them as we sped past and had my camera handy when I noticed one tree that looked like it had been shaken by the hand of some enormous giant. (Is there any other kind ?)

Most of it's oranges were just lying on the ground and the denuded tree looked slightly ridiculous next to it's neighbours.

What could have caused it ? Global warming ?
A sonic boom ? A tree sneeze ?

Yes a tree sneeze. That seems the most likely explanation after all. We had a cold snap a few weeks ago and this poor little tree probably caught a chill.

Before you dismiss my theory, I bet you're all picturing it in your minds now. A sort of Disney Pixar moment where Jaffa, the orange tree, is chatting away to his pals about the price of strawberries, feels the sneeze building up and suddenly........ahhh-tishooooooo !!!!!

An embarrassed silence is followed by his pals laughing their pips off as Jaffa stands almost naked before them.

Yep, even in Florida, he'd been Tango'd.

1 comment:

Daphne said...

So many things you write about America are fascinating and make me want to visit.
The fish and chips, however, is (are??) not one of them. The chips, as you say, look fine. The fish looks as bad as you say it tasted. And fruit salad? Afterwards, maybe. But not nestling next to your fish and chips. And where were the mushy peas? And the newspaper? The very sight of this strange concoction made me proud to be British. (Though I - er - don't know which way up the flag goes).

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