Lunch al fresco in South West Florida, 19th December 2014

Of course I would not create envy, nor would I want to "rub it in" for friends and family members in colder winter climes (ahem!), but I knew that you'd like to know that I enjoyed lunch out of doors today.

I was at the Dry Dock Water Front Grill on the intra-coastal side of Longboat Key, FL  see

I ate "Fish and Chips"  (for the first time since I was in the U.K. last May/June).

The fish (haddock?) was entirely delicious, cooked as it was in a light batter.

The coleslaw was no more than "O.K.".  (I find that most restaurant coleslaws have too much mayonnaise, and not enough seasoning. This was the case today. -  I prefer my home-made 'slaw).

The chips  -  well what to say about the chips?

Chips  (french fries) should be crispy and brown on the outside, and fluffy in the middle.  I know that, 'cause my Mum's chips were the best ever. Maybe it was because she deep fried them in lard.

The chips at the Dry Dock looked good, but there was no crunch on the outside, and no fluffy texture inside.   I should not fault the "Dry Dock" alone, for such is the sad case for most restaurant "fries" in the U.S.A. - and even for the chips I had in the U.K. last summer.

Bring back "twice-fried" in lard chips will be my next crusade!


HOWEVER  (despite my Gordon Ramsey without the F word review of the Dry Dock) I had a lovely time.

This was in part because it was more than wonderful to be able to dine outside in mid-December, with a lovely view of the intracoastal waterway  to boot.

Good as that was, the best part was that I was the guest of my dear friends Fred and Diana. 

Fred and I were colleagues in the Diocese of Western Massachusetts,

I got to know Diana after she wed Fred,  and they bought a winter home on Longboat Key.

They are a delightful couple, and their company is to be cherished.

So much so, that having met them at the Dry Dock at Noon, I was so utterly relaxed that I did not glance at my watch until we left the restaurant.  It was 2:15 p.m.

That's a mark of good friendship:  to sit at a meal table for two and a quarter hours, but to be unaware of the passage of time.

Thanks Fred,

Thanks Diana.


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