Today I was incredibly excited to be eating at Jakes Famous Crawfish whose been in business since 1892. And claimed to be the oldest restaurant in Portland. This place was your typical historical location featuring a museum of period photos, written history accounts and good ole Americana. Waiters in bow ties, white pressed shirts and long black aprons. You get the picture.
But take a look at this photo, doesn’t it look nice? My bowl of little, tiny shellfish goodness, book, ice tea and Garlic Bread? What a nice looking lunch, looks very enjoyable doesn’t it! But are crawdads really enjoyable? How soon does one forget about the hazards of some foods. The older I get, memory loss is becoming more frequent and I find myself reliving experiences I should have learned from.
People have you ever eaten crawdads before? Tearing apart scorching tiny hot body parts, whose bodies resemble dull razors, while trying to tear, smash and dig for tiny bits of flesh isn’t exactly a clean activity for you or them. 10 minutes into my initial assault, the stack of dirty napkins reached eye level and I started using the sourdough bread to soak up the meat, guts and my blood. I had had enough tearing apart and being torn apart and motioned to the waiter to assist me off my stool. Why did I need help off my stool? Because I was afraid of grabbing onto anything I might slide off of and land face first on the floor. My hands were completely covered in oil, butter and body parts. After dismounting my chair, carefully guided by my waiter I backed into the bathroom with hands held high like a surgeon with clean surgical gloves entering into surgery. I slowly climbed into the sink for my bath. Glancing into the mirror I noticed my entire face had joined the crawdad massacre and some body parts had reached my forehead, so I crammed my face in the sink as well. Looking back into the mirror again, I laughed and noticed my teeth were caked in crawdad, corn, parsley and pepper. Holy shit, what just happened to me? Just 30 minutes earlier I was a clean happy person. Now I looked and smelt like a flesh eating zombie from the Walking Dead. Dejected, still not completely clean, I paid my bill using two hands to hold onto the pen as it tried to escape my grasp and walked directly to my hotel room.
As I walked into my room I noticed my glasses were covered in oil, my book looked like it had been recovered from the Exon Valdez disaster and my shirt was covered by polka dot oil splatter. Undressing and piling my flammable outfit in the corner of my room; I Immediately jumped in the shower and spent the better part of an hour flossing, cleaning under my nails and attending to razor sharp cuts all over my hands. Result, People! -Fuck Crawdads unless you have an assistant to clean them and feed you. This is not a safe eating activity and you might as well go mud wresting in the leftovers and trash from your local Chinese Seafood Buffet.
Tonight, was a very gun shy dinner – As the waiter approached my table, he said, “Can I help you? My response, “Can I have a milk shake?”
If you love Portland check out this story about another great restaurant, Pok Pok.