Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Fried Shrimp, Under The Stars

I'm lucky enough to have some great friends here in town who have packed me up well and are shipping me out to Montana on Thursday morning, complete with a bottle of outlaw bourbon and a homemade jug of sloe gin, both sure to chase lonesome Montana blues (if any) away in a flash. One of the things I've been doing in preparing for my voyage has been to hit places here in town that I won't have in Montana, and yeah, that's a lot of places, but there are a precious few that stand out amongst the rest. A top-notch--as always--meal at Lula Cafe last night, sitting in the coveted window seat (the new expansion looks great, but you know, I think I will always want to sit in the old part of the dining room); a pizza party of epic proportion (sure, I'm gonna be neck deep in pizza all summer long, but this is all about the people I was with, some of the friendliest and most giving folks I've run across in a long, long time); and of course, my beloved Jeri's Grill.

But perhaps the experience I'll remember most was a new one for me: a 4am jaunt to the Goose Island Shrimp House, after a going-away party, with a crew that of course included Old Crazy Hair. Walking in, the first thing I thought of was this scene in Weird Science. There weren't bottles of booze being passed around, and I don't recall any cigars, and I really don't know if there was any music. But man oh man, was it intense: loud and bright as all get out. We ordered a huge sack of fried shrimp, and some french fries; I drank my first 7up in years, and we headed across the street to the parking lot of Restaurant Depot, where, under what I'm told are stars, we dug into some really nicely done food and listened to the anti riff-raff elevator music playing beneath the awnings of the Depot on that mild night/morning. And that's what I'll take with me to the Big Sky country. What an experience. It's like Woody Allen says, "I love Manhattan because you can get Peking Duck any time of the night, even 4am. And I'll never get Peking Duck at 4am, but it feels really good knowing that I can." Amen.

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