Yes, we’re back on the road…uh…back in the air and on the water, that is. Since our last outing to Big Bend last March, we’ve had just a little going on in our lives. Mindy and Tyler became parents to Mason Michael Girard, our first grandchild! He is beyond brilliant and handsome and, when Sandy and I see him, we make total fools of ourselves as we gush over his every move and facial expression. Of course, we would never want any of our friends to hear what idiotic things we say to him or the completely inane contortions of our faces as we’re fawning over him. All of this theater, alas, is wasted, as Mason is only four months old and won’t remember any of it. (Unless the very puzzled look on his face means something; I just wonder…)
We had wanted to do the fall foliage cruise ever since our friends Terri and Jim made the trip a couple of years ago and highly recommended it to us. With the downturn in the economy and all, the prices finally got down to where I couldn’t turn it down.
So, here we are in Boston, having flown here uneventfully this morning to spend the night before we sail at 5:00 p.m. tomorrow. We were starved by the time we unpacked in our hotel room, so I fired up the computer and immediately went to yelp.com, my new favorite foodie website. As usual, we were looking for mom and pop joints that all the locals know about, and Yelp has been very helpful with that. With just a few keystrokes, we could see that Belle Isle Seafood was not very far away and had killer reviews. And, judging from the photo accompanying the reviews on Yelp, Belle Isle Seafood was clearly a dump, so that really settled it for us! Hailing a taxi, we were off!
It didn’t disappoint! This is a tiny seafood market that backs up to Boston Harbor near the airport, definitely a blue-collar place that will cook your seafood for you, with the menu on a dry-erase board behind the refrigerated display case. There are about ten chairs at an eating bar, if you just can’t wait until you get home to eat your freshly cooked seafood. A constant stream of folks pulled up along the curb and fetched their dinner, obviously having called ahead their orders to go.
Sandy ordered a grilled shrimp dinner and I ordered a fried combo platter comprised of haddock, scallops, shrimp and clams. Oh, yes…and onion rings, French fries and coleslaw. This platter was huge! It would easily have fed both of us…and most of east Boston, for that matter. And yes, it was all stupendous in its flavor and freshness; Sandy’s shrimp were not shrimp but big prawns and perfectly grilled.
And, best of all, our bill was perhaps a third of what it would have been at the hoity-toity restaurants downtown! Sadly, we couldn’t begin to finish everything; I think a French fry had to be tossed at the end.
After this exercise in gluttony, we dropped into a shoe store near our hotel. Sometimes for Sandy, a little shopping will help bring closure to a good meal just as nicely as, say, key lime pie. And yes, she found a nice little dessert for her feet!