By: Dan I. Cook
As summer comes to a close I bid a fond farewell to this oppressive heat and humidity with one last story from Stuart Florida My wife and I have been going to Stuart just to relax and spend some alone time with each other. I also love heading north from Coral Springs to this town because it reminds me of old Fort Lauderdale in the 1970s.
At our hotel we heard about this seafood joint that is supposed to have a fantastic raw bar called Spoto’s Oyster Bar. My wife and I walk in and immediately my eyes dart over to the raw bar where we see a guy shucking oysters and clams near a beautiful display of them. Best part is, you can sit in front of him and eat lunch or dinner.
After we are seated, we start watching this guy shuck his ass off. Nothing like watching someone else work. This dude is like a machine, so I start talking to him, however, I didn’t want to annoy him because he was pretty busy. I find out his name is Henry, he’s originally from El Salvador and was really friendly. So even though I’m a big fan of sushi and eating Uni – and don’t like raw oysters or clams, I do adore steamed clams, clams casino, and oysters Rockefeller. After watching Henry for a bit, I decided to get a half dozen of the steamed cherry stone clams. They were on the larger size and looked real plump. I knew they would steam up real nice.
Dan I Cook Clam Sandwich
So they brought out my clams and they looked damn good, but I have my own method on how I eat my clams. Being the condiment king that I am, I have a list to create my own “clam sandwich.”
- Melted butter
- Cocktail sauce with extra horseradish
- Saltine crackers
Here’s what I do: I poke holes in the clam and then drown them in the butter. Then I bust out a cracker and then place the clam on top. Next, I add some Tabasco and a heaping spoon of the cocktail sauce with some extra horseradish. Down the hatch it goes. Outstanding!
The best part, is these clams are such a good size they almost cover the whole cracker even after being steamed. Well worth the eight bucks and change for a half-dozen. I’m so proud of my creation I make one for Henry. By the way, Henry doesn’t really like shellfish. He eats it and as he’s chewing, I can tell by his facial expressions he was having mixed feelings on whether he likes it or not. Once he swallowed it and absorbed all the layers of flavors and textures, he realized that it was kinda tasty. I thought so too, so I ordered another half dozen.
Great view of the water and man is it pretty. If your blood pressure doesn’t lower when eating at this joint, then you have a serious problem. A woman wearing all black, not our server, delivered my first round of clams. She stated I was shorted one clam and she would bring another right away. She comes back and says we shorted you one now you get two. How nice is that folks? I smiled and felt like I won the clam lottery. You add this dude Henry in the mix and I felt like a king. Just a great overall vibe.
A Culinary Surprise
Now I’m really not a dessert guy but I love me some Carrot Cake. Earlier, I saw a huge piece of carrot cake being delivered to someone. I can spot carrot cake from a mile away. I asked our server about the cake and she said, the pastry chef makes all the desserts from scratch. The chef just won best dessert in Stuart for her cheesecake. I start thinking, can it be that I stumbled upon the Mecca of all Carrot Cakes? I decided to order a slice to go and eat at the Inn Shepherd, Bed and Breakfast we are staying at. The server comes back with the cake and says the slice was so big that the to go lid won’t close all the way so be careful. Everyone should have problems like this.
So we head home and I get situated on the bed to eat it and watch the Golf US Open. First bite, and right off the bat I know this is gonna be some delicious and decadent cake. I’m carrot cake expert and I’ll tell you right now this is the best one I’ve ever had and here is why; Its moist, yet firm, and with all the different ingredients that go into a cake like this there isn’t one flavor that overpowers the other. It was balanced out perfectly. Even the frosting wasn’t over top. There was just enough it to make you think you wanted more. Actually, you did want more, more of this damn cake. Just a fantastic job by this chef. I wish I could have met her.
Freaking outstanding! It was so good we went back for dinner the next day!
Remember to tell Henry that Dan and Coral Springs Talk sent you and Stay Hungry!