Last Saturday a couple of friends and I piled into a car and headed for the shore. We heard it was going to be gloriously hot, and it was – in Philly. When we got to Seaside Heights the wind had picked up and an announcement told us the temperature was 68. I don’t speak Fahrenheit but it was chilly enough that I had a hat on and two towels around my shoulders, cape-fashion. It was too cold to lie on the beach for long, so I got up and trawled the boardwalk to indulge in my morbid fascination for carny beach food.
I started off with deep fried Oreos: 6 for $5. Yes, they are as horrifically decadent as they sound, but good golly are they tasty. Heated, the chocolate biscuit turns to pillowy goodness (I could wax poetic here about how the biscuit and the filling become one - but I won't) and the golden brown crispy batter is a surprisingly good pairing. I do love Oreos. Yes yes, trans fats, fake flavoring and shelf-stable icing but…everyone needs a vice or two, right??? (Just don’t tell Michael Pollan.) Then I moved on to a salmon avocado temaki ($5.50), which was actually, unexpectedly, pretty great for a boardwalk seafood stand. Expertly rolled and stuffed with a generous amount of fish and a fan of sliced avo. Mmm mmm. I continued down the way and sampled a ‘zeppole’ from a pizza stand: “It’s a fried dough ball sprinkled with powdered sugar, hon.” Sprinkled? More like doused. Ouf! $3 for 4, or $1 apiece. A knot of greasy glory, but two bites and I was done. Soon after one of my friends had a craving for some sweet potato fries ($4 for a small), so I said, sure, sign me up. (I heart sweet potatoes. Am thinking about getting a tattoo of same.) Quite, quite fantastic: medium-cut, lightly salted, crispy on the ends and fluffy in the middle. Bucket still in hand, we moseyed along and glanced at a menu across the way, and thought a half-pound of shrimp sautéed “Cajun-style” – tossed before our eyes in a skillet with garlic, olive oil, chopped tomatoes, chilli powder etc - for $9.99 sounded like a good deal, so we split that too. Cajun? Eh. But it was yummy nonetheless - fresh, tender and flavorful.
By then the sun was going down, so we waddled off to find our car and headed back into Philly. It was warm when we got there, and I would’ve liked a water ice to finish off the day…but there was no way I could’ve fit it in. Sigh. So much food, so little stomach space. Til next time, wooter oice.
Wednesday, May 6, 2009