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Gastronomy

May 8, 2008 - Eric Paddock
Food: the first frontier.

These are the voyages of the blog-ship Gluttony.

Its mission of indeterminate length: To seek out new ways to clog arteries and drive blood pressure beyond the mundane realm of diastolic and systolic to the world of PSI.

Along the way I plan to make stops at greasy spoons and better joints around the country and report on the forms of life and luxury they afford explorers of the gastronomic universe.

For instance, recently I landed at Dewey’s Dockside on Tybee Island, located near the mouth of the Savannah River. I could wax wistful on the delights of the island itself or that most beautiful of cities located just up-stream, but I’ll confine my report to this place where plastic tables and plastic chairs are scattered on a wharf where working boats unload wild Georgia shrimp.

There is no better place to enjoy those shrimp, which bear no resemblance to the things you buy here, other than shape and color. Wild shrimp are sweet and savory at the same time, although that description is woefully inadequate.

The things available here called shrimp may qualify as per genus and species, but they taste like they were stamped out of some plastic-like material, flash frozen, thawed and served up with enough additive flavoring to make you think that what comes from the sea naturally tastes like ketchup and horseradish.

You can eat inside Dewey’s, but few people do. The “dining room” might only be a reasonable choice if a storm lasted longer than you care to spend at the bar under the corrugated tin-roof outside. Every town and every resort along every coast has plenty of places with phony nautical stuff like ersatz pilings wrapped with rope, porthole mirrors, and torn up nets — places where you half expect your waiter to show up with an eye patch and a stuffed parrot on his shoulder to greet you with “Ahoy, Matey.” None of that fake crap at Dewey’s. The pilings have working boats tethered to them. The waitresses wear whatever they decided felt good that morning.

And Dewey? When he’s not inside fixing his version of “Steak Oscar” (a sirloin topped with crab meat, grilled asparagus spears and a light hollandaise) he’s probably fetching himself something to drink from the bar.

Go, eat, get drunk enough that the lizards which scamper through the place pause to talk to you.

You’ll have to ask someone how to find the place, because Dewey is a great cook, but he’s got a lot to learn about marketing.

Next: LaMont. It’s French for “the mountain.” It’s American English for “cash in your 401k and be happy about it.”

 
 

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