When God closes a door, He opens a window.
Or in this case, when happenstance or the bad economy force our favorite restaurant to close, we were forced to find a new chowder eatery. And find one we did. I don’t know why we have never eaten at the Sea Hag before. It has been on the Depot Bay waterfront for years, yet we have always sped past on our way to Newport, in search of the best chowder around, to be found only at the Whale’s Tale. Mo’s doesn’t hold a candle to what the Whale’s Tale used to make.
Sadly, we may never taste their chowder ever again.
Happily, though, we found the Sea Hag. I am always wary of trying chowder at new places, since I never know for sure whether they have spiked it with bacon, as many places do. If that bacon were to have nitrates, as most does, I would be rewarded with a doozy of a migraine. Do you serve aspirin with that chowder? Plus, now I have the whole gluten avoidance issue to deal with, and it is usually thickened with roux (made from flour and fat). So, unfortunately, we were not searching for chowder for me, but for my sweetie.
Besides, when I perused the menu, the bouillabaisse nearly jumped off the page at me. It sounded so good, I decided I would take the plunge into eating soup with my fingers in public.
Talk about overcoming your fears. It took me a very long time to eat any seafood “finger food” other than deep fried prawns when in front of others. Isn’t it funny, all our worries and fears that involve what others may or may not think about us?
My first step toward seafood freedom was actually on our honeymoon, though I do not recommend indulging in all-you-can-eat crab right before boarding a plane to go home. A stomach full of Dungeness and a gut full of anxiety do not mix. Pepto, please carry me home.
This was a whole new issue, however, because it involved broth, not simply cracking dry crab legs. I actually had to fish them out of the stew before any cracking could take place. Doesn’t it look like there’s a crab trying to escape my bowl?
It was well worth every drip of broth that ran down my wrists. I have never tasted such a delightfully perfect bouillabaisse. If that guy across the room really wants to gawk at me while I tuck my napkin into my collar and lick that delectable broth from my fingertips, that’s his business. I don’t care anymore.
I was there for the good food and the only man I cared about was Ken, who was drooling as he eyed my bowl, wishing he had ordered the bouillabaisse instead of the oyster stew.
Sorry baby, this bowl’s all mine.