Sittin’ On the Dock of the Canal

In food on 08/08/2011 at 8:48 am

We’re well nigh into the swing of Ramadan. My Muslim co-worker greets me each evening at the beginning of the shift with his big plastic baggie full of nosh, home-cooking just waiting to be gobbled down at sunset. He looks hungry.

Intractable night float – that’s what I call what ails each of us by the end of the first week of the 6pm to 6am shift. First we lose track of what time and day it is, then we lose our appetite. By 2am I am usually starving and/or dead tired, but I have no desire to eat. Near the end, I could only tolerate pretzels, fruits and vegetables. Everything else was just unpalatable. The rest of the time I was asleep. At the end of last month, I lost 5lbs, basically from eating healthy next to nothing.

It’s been two weeks back in the land of the living and only this weekend I’ve started eating again. After awhile, the appetite roars back and I’m craving very fatty and sweet things. Two nights ago, I ate two slices of cheese pizza at 10pm at a place recommended by Teacher Lady. I could taste the soulessness of the processed flour, and the obsequious texture of the soft oozing cheese. It was like my mouth was operating on autopilot against stark emptiness, a giant culinary void.

On my last night in the land of the living this month, we went across the street to the marina. It houses a dockside cafe connected to the office. We’d heard rave reviews here and there. I was excited to nosh on some fresh, raw seafood.

Canal Cafe is the kid sister to the enormously popular Tiderunners across and up the way. Both sit along the Shinnecock Canal. We bellied up to the bar since the wait was 45 minutes for a seat outside amongst the yacht-sized boats. As I eyeballed the menu, I was becoming dismayed that there was nothing raw to be had. This place seemed no better than a bar with greasy fried bar food.

Finally on the specials menu I spied the Ponzu tuna. The rest of the accoutrements were hard to make out in that scribbly script. I asked for it, barely grilled, please. The other half decided on the Red Thai mussels. They have Palm beer on tap here, so it gave me hope.

My Ponzu was monstrous slices covering a large mound of Sriracha-coated wheat noodle. The fish wasn’t top notch, but it was close enough to satisfy my yen. The mussels swam in  a thick coconut spicy broth, accompanied by starchy enough mildly sourdough bread.

Anything that says key lime also gets us. So for dessert we had to try the key lime cheesecake. This double layer slice was average, but pretty good by Hamptons standards. The meringue top held the zest which spiced the pie. The bottom was slightly lumpy, the crust just a touch burnt. The piece de resistance was the whipped Cool Whip on the side.

I’ll be seeing you on the other side of daylight.

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