There is an Irish pub in a small community west of the large city that I live in – out here in the middle of the prairies. Every body of water that a person will observe as they drive around the city that I live in has been purposefully constructed. If not for these holes in the ground filled with a mixture of storm water and over capacity sewer discharge, not to mention bird feces, there would not be any water around for miles and miles and miles. Our drinking water comes from a real body of water approximately 40 minutes away, by car, going 120km/hr. Yeah, that’s right – the middle of the prairies.
In the small community to the west there is a real river that flows through it. And in this community there is an Irish pub which has been there for a generation. This Irish pub is so popular that now that the owner’s children are all grown up they decided to come into the city where I live and open up another location. A weird way to go about finding success. First you start in a small community and then you move to the large city. That seems backwards to me for some reason.
Anyways, I have to get my timing right for when I go to this pub because this pub likes its Irish heritage and likes entertaining its guests with live music or lively Irish themed events. I enjoy all of that as well – heck it is part of my own heritage, however being crammed into a small amount of space with a large amount of people and overwhelming noise is not my idea of a fun night out. Fortunately this pub does not hold these types of events every night of the week so if I plan it right I can get there before the evening rush and when there is no such events going on. And if I get the timing right – wow am I ever in for a treat. Their fish and chips.
I have had fish and chips from a lot of places. Being originally from the west coast of this country that seems to be an expectation of entering adulthood. I have enjoyed fish and chips from restaurants that are a stone’s throw away from the source of the meal. From a authentic British restaurant on the inner bay of the large coastal city, right across the street from where our dinner was just caught. But even closer to that I have had fish and chips from a restaurant located in the same venue where the fresh fish was literally taken from the boats, processed and sent off for sale in the fresh fish markets.
That practically makes me an expert.
I can honestly say that none of those places compares in the least to the fish and chips in this Irish pub in the middle of the prairies.
This of course will blow everyone’s mind and even now, having enjoyed these fish and chips for the last several years that I have lived out here, well, I have to think about it every time I make that declaration because it just doesn’t compute well. A fish and chips place located in the middle of the prairies where there are no significant bodies of water close by and even if you travel to a large enough lake to fish in you really don’t want to eat the fish that you would catch. So you and I both know that they have to ship their fish in but there is something simply wonderful and magical about what they do with that fish once they get it.
What was I talking about?
Oh, right. Resisting this yummy meal. As you can imagine, feasting on a eight to ten ounce piece of deep fried battered fish, lying on top of deep fried crispy fries, all soaking into the newspaper lined basket with a side of coleslaw and tartar sauce is not really helpful to the whole, “Let’s loose weight” thing.
But last night I did.
It was a long day and a stressful one and after my last appointment for the day I needed to just get out onto the open road to clear my mind and to talk through the day’s events with my wife. The problem was that neither of us had eaten yet – I had a banana and some popcorn for lunch and I found myself getting quite hungry. We had resolved only the day or two prior that we were not going to eat out – that not really being helpful to the whole losing weight thing but here we were desperate to get away to clear our heads but also desperately hungry.
We rationalised our way into getting fish and chips in the neighbouring community. But as we were making our way out of the city, navigating rush hour and red lights we were beginning to second guess our rationalisation. While waiting for the traffic to clear we found ourselves coming up with another plan.
And then we did it.
We turned off and headed to a grocery store. Inside we purchased a couple grocery items that would serve as our supper and headed back out to the car. We still went for the drive to the neighbouring community but we didn’t stop for fish and chips because we had already eaten – and eaten healthy as well.
I’ll take that as a victory even though later that evening my youngest daughter, only days away from getting her driver’s license and who desperately wanted some fast food chicken, convinced me to drive her there and as a payment for my kindness she bought me a chicken burger. I ate it, feeling guilty with every bite, which only made me eat it faster.
But, I didn’t get fish and chips. That’s gotta count for something right?