Wednesday, August 22, 2018

a last supper

On the assumption that tonight would be the final night to have dinner with my buddy since third grade, I drove down to Fredericksburg to meet my friend Mike. There was another reason to visit: I wanted to transfer the title of my Honda Fit over to him. The car has been in his family's care since I left for Korea again in 2013; Mike's been paying property tax on it, and he's been paying for gas and maintenance and all other car-related expenses, including insurance (I canceled my policy a while back). In effect, the car's been his for five years, so it was high time to formalize this fact. Luckily, the procedure for signing over the title would be simple enough: I had to fill in three blanks on the title, then leave the rest to Mike to fill out and take to the DMV.

We did the paperwork after we did dinner: food came first, and after some deliberation, we ended up going for seafood at a happy restaurant on the banks of the Potomac River called Tim's II at Fairview.

Here's the exterior:

Here's the menu:

Mike suggested the snakehead basket as one appetizer. It's not actually listed on the menu, but it's apparently a popular off-menu item. Chinese snakehead fish are a nuisance species, not native to the area, so just as we eat unwanted immigrants in the US, Mike and I decided to do our part to rid the area of foreign freshwater critters.

Below: fried clams on the left and snakeheads on the right. I commented on the huge chunkiness of the clams, correctly guessing they were probably geoducks (Mike said they were "Pacific clams"). I also said the snakehead seemed to be somewhere between a light whitefish, like cod or tilapia, and a more oily fish like bluefish. Mike noted that the snakeheads' flesh was quite firm. With its mild, neutral taste, the nuisance fish could be a blank canvas on which to paint all sorts of different flavors. I enjoyed the Cajun remoulade dipping sauce that came with the snakehead, and I always enjoy fried clams.

Mike ordered the ambitious "Steamer Tray":

I got the "Fried Rivershore Platter":

I hate oysters, so I gave mine to Mike. We talked about family strife, matters of life and death, and lighter topics as well. It was a good dinner, and a chance to reconnect with someone whom I consider family.

As with Chima, I ended up stuffed, but not explosively so. Mike and I walked out to the pier and talked some more; a severe storm had raged outside while we were eating, but the weather had calmed completely down by the time I was downing my last fried clam. As we were walking back to the car, Mike thought it'd be a good idea to take a picture of the ersatz palm tree outside the 'straunt. It was no aesthetic match for the undead tree at Mile 20 of Skyline Drive, but it had its own weird and tacky charm:

All that was left was the drive back to Mike's house, the filling-out of the car-title form, and the saying of goodbyes to Mike's wife, son, father, and Mike himself. I don't know when I'll see my friend again, but I hope it'll be soon.

1 comment:

The Maximum Leader said...

I am sorry that we didn't have more time to spend together. It makes me a little sad in fact, but there was so much going on that it wasn't really possible for me. As our President would say, "Sad."

Thank you again for dinner. You shouldn't have, but I am glad you did.

I hope you have a safe and uneventful trip back.

I will miss you.