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- Lisa on Sorry Mom, You Suck at Cooking
- Rachamn Benhava on Brocato’s and Join Chickens, Like Your Aunt Nina Probably Had
- admin on Week 47: No Brunch: Just Some Vows, Goat Cheese Balls, and Neil Diamond.
- admin on Get your Happy Ending at The Wharf
New Year, New Web Site, New Chapter
February 2, 2012
So we’ve disappeared for a while, about 12 weeks to be exact… but I ensure you we weren’t dieting. We were busy building this great new site, which will allow restaurants and fat kids to come together in harmony. We were also busy creating a new chapter in our lives– a chapter for the adults; it’s called “commitment.”
This week’s brunch adventure takes place in Key West … and it’s slightly romantic how we ended up here, off the mainland, in the Keys, at Dj’s Clam Shack on Duval Street . We are going to have to rewind to Saturday, 4:30 AM. Off for a rugged new adventure, a New Year’s Eve celebration in the woods: Camping on Cayo Costa to be precise. The journey ahead requires a 2.5 hour drive followed by a ferry that will take us to the island of no civilization—hence the 4:30 wakeup call. I’m in regular camping attire- leopard headband, backpack of baby wipes, sports bra, a bare face, sneakers, t-shirt, gym shorts and something new I’m trying out: neon green fingernails.
My friends have been planting seeds in my head. Typical girly nonsense and the reason I have no girl friends to begin with… “This is the weekend,” “Oh my God he is going to propose,” and “This is SO typical of you guys, weekend in the woods, up pops a ring!”
Well you know what, to be honest I’ve had my hopes up since the day I met Ryan. I refuse to be let down. Out of complete ignorance and stubbornness I have painted my nails the most hideous shade of neon green I have ever seen. Thank you Walgreens for your “Wet and Wild selection” of nail color. A girl with neon nails does NOT expect a ring. She expects a weekend in the woods, with the one person who accepts her for who she is. The one person who won’t barf at the sight of green tips. That’s one way to set expectations and stomp the fairy tale. Yeh.
While getting ready in the morning, which really only involves brushing my teeth, I thought I looked a little pale. I know we’re off camping but I just hate my winter face, so I opt in for some blush. It’s missing. Why the hell is my blush “missing?” I spend the next two hours in the car making up stories and scenarios in my head, driving myself nuts.
Perhaps he is going to propose. But why the blush if we are in the woods? To make a better picture? Does he hate my face the way it is? Shit, what is he up to? Ahh now I know. We will go camping, and then on the way back to Tampa after a weekend in the woods there will be a surprise, a stop for dinner or an impromptu hotel stay somewhere— are friends involved in this?
After 2.5 hours in the car we pull up to the Key West Express Terminal in Fort Myers . “Ahh babe, this is definitely not the right terminal. This boat goes to Key West , not the tiny inhabited island of Cayo Costa .” Ryan: “Oh? It doesn’t?” (Continues to pull forward and pay for parking).
It was then I blacked out. My mind was racing between happiness and utter panic as I stared down at my neon green fingernails. I am a fucking idiot. For once in my life could I have been a normal Caucasian and French tipped these bad boys?
Everyone keeps asking me how it happened. And to be honest, I don’t really know. I was very confused and the only thing I recall is him asking me in the middle of the Key West Terminal parking lot if I’d like to go to Key West to celebrate a New Year and a New Engagement. Naturally, I said yes, but unfortunately I think I may have called him a “real dick” in the middle of it all. Marriage? In the Key West Terminal? Is there a Priest hiding on the boat, because I’m not Catholic anymore and I’m not sure if Father John received the memo. Ah Father John, he was actually pretty hot. We then proceeded to conceive our first child right there in the parking lot. That’s not true, but that does after all come with an engagement/lifetime of happiness doesn’t it? Swedish meatballs?
Now listen up: Every overweight 12 year old princess out there: Prince Charming is right around the bend. With fitness, puberty, some makeup and a solid network of friends who know when to keep your fat pictures buried in the past, you too can someday land a husband. Ryan had all of my real clothes and shoes hidden in the trunk so we took our suitcase, ditched the camping gear, and we’re suddenly off to a new chapter in our lives called the meatball matrimony.
Oh my God. You don’t care about any of this. So now, after 30 or so hours in Key West, I have seen enough wieners to be content with one for the rest of my life. I’ve posed like a slut in a strip club’s human cage (in clothes). I have kissed a stranger. I have experienced New Years Eve in Key West . Alright, it’s out of my system I swear. Until the bachelorette party (insert a real sick laugh here).
This morning before departing this fiendish island, we’ve stopped at DJ’s Clam Shack… Just because we’re on this wonderfully romantic journey doesn’t mean we forgot – it’s not about us, it’s all about the frigan food. Now, clam shack slam shack. I’m a lobster roll faultfinder. You wanna toss a lobster roll at me? It better be 3 things: a) fat b) creamy yet crunchy and c) from New England .
Growing up on the Cape turns you into a real snob when it comes to lobster and clams, and I own it. Better to set standards for yourself in life, than go around pretending that Red Lobster is fine dining and real seafood.
DJ’s Clam Shack was created in late 2009 when two lower keys restaurateurs decided to be buddies. Or at least share a profitable establishment. Who knows. One partner is from Massachusetts but he (or she?) is from Ipswich and you should never trust anyone from Ipswich. Ipswich: a town with nothing for townies to do but go to Marty’s Donut Land at 2AM blazed out of their minds.
The other partner is from New York . Enough said. But, hey, none of this has to do with seafood and no one is accusing them of being strangers to big blue. In fact, come to find out, they know big blue very well. Hands down best conch fritters I have ever (really, ever) had in my life. Actually, I’m a little late in uploading this entry and I must say that as I sit here writing about them, I am yearning for them. I’m on one of those “bridal diets” and would leave it all behind today if those glorious balls were in my face.Lobster Roll: Well, it met 2 out of 3 “like factors” when it comes to my lobster criterion.
Fat= One of the fattest lobster rolls I have ever seen.
Creamy yet Crunchy= No. Lacked celery which gives the occasional crunchiness, that begs one to wonder—was that celery, or did I just crack a piece of exoskeleton with my teeth? I love that mystery of the mouth. Gives me chills. And, creaminess, unfortunately not creamy enough. Soak those little guys’ claws in a savory coat of mayo, it’s the least you could do after destroying their lives.
From New England = Well, you said it was, and I believe you. Rock on, New England . If there’s two things New England does right, it’s Tom Brady and Lobster Rolls. 2 out of 3 ain’t bad and you’ve completely redeemed yourself with the conch fritters.
We plan to make Key West an annual trip, an anniversary of sorts. So, DJ, we will be back and I hope to return to an improved lobster roll, the same cold beer, and the same GLORIOUS conch fritters. I also plan to have the same fiance I initially arrived with.