Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Big Ass Florida Post

It was good pho, and the first time I had been to this particular restaurant. The woman gave me grief about putting the hot sauce directly in the broth, saying that it is cooked for eight hours and if us white boys make it too hot we won’t be able to enjoy the flavor. Whatever. Don’t tell me how to eat my pho just because you are some sort of expert.

The obligatory fortune cookies arrived with the check, and I asked for a to-go to take home the remainder of my delicious broth (because it kicks ass with ramen noodles). She shot me a sideways, judgmental glance and headed back towards the kitchen.

I opened my cookie and smiled, sticking the little piece of paper in my pocket.

That was two days before I left.


THE FLORIDA

Tampa Bay morning.

The first question that crossed my mind when my inbox pinged with the conformation to photograph a beach wedding in Naples was where am I going to fish?

That question was quickly answered by a couple of FB messages, and I was all set to party at the beach.

... as soon as the work was done.

I like Florida. Well, I can't say that. I don't really know Florida, but I like the Ritz Carlton in Naples and their heavy Makers pour, I like the weather in March, I like the beach, I like getting the winter-pale off my feet in the sand, I like the smell of water, I like hanging out with James, Erin and little Cooper in a sweet house in Apollo Beach with its own dock housing twenty-three feet of Bay Runner fishing potential. I like these things.

Bling. This is where the wedding was.

James and his big dock.


Patio and Bella.
Moving on...

THE FISHING

spanish mackerel

James wasn't happy about the weather. The cold front that had just passed. The lunar and solar tables. The tides. I was a little early for the awesomenes, he said, but we made due and I had a good time regardless.

We ran from spot to spot: oyster bars, bays, inlets, outlets, down edges and around points searching for the fish. We caught a few here, and a few there.

Black Drum... ate a shrimp.

Sea trout could beat up most of the trout in my state.

Bay Ninja.

"Go tell your mama what I done."

Morning Mackerel

Solo Red.

Double Jacks


On the eleventh hour, between a metal scrap yard and some other industrial hardware we found this school of jacks and I think these little guys were the highlight of the trip for me, mostly because it was the first time I had something to throw a fly at. The rest of the time was a combination of glass minnows and shrimp covering a lot of water just trying to find the fish.

James told me that I had to come back during the summer when the fishing is how it should be. I think I will have to do that and in no small part because of:

THE FOOD

I love food. I love buying it. I love cooking it and I especially love eating it. So does James.

NIGHT 1: DRY RUB RIBS, SEASONED POTATOES AND GREASY BEANS WITH BACON AND MUSHROOMS



NIGHT 2: FISH TACOS



NIGHT 3: PRIME RIB, ROASTED ONIONS WITH JAMES SECRET FILLING



NIGHT 4: GRILLED MARINATED SHRIMP, GRILLED PROSCIUTTO-WRAPPED AND OLIVE OIL ASPARAGUS, 3-CHEESE TORTELLINI WITH BACON BUTTER SAUCE


Little Cooper helping his daddy with dinner.


So yeah, I had a good time.

The End.

-Alex who knows that this post is pretty ridiculous.

7 comments:

  1. Honestly, with food like that I dont even care about the fishing. I just woke up from a pizza induced coma and I'm hungry all over again. Nice work.

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  2. A mighty fine photo essay you got there big guy! I especially like the the shot of the fortune, which is positioned just perfectly to accentuate Snacksnaurus's "premium waistline". The dinner lineup was a fitting conclusion.

    MG (who knows James will be reading this)

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  3. Thanks hungry Nate... *insert bong noises here*

    MG, I saw your Snackosaurus Rex Pshop handiwork when I was there... quality stuff, my friend.

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  4. Looks like a good trip to me. Man those sea trout got some chompers.

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  5. Truth be told...Alex was a great guest and a fine lad in the kitchen I might add. My biggest regret of the week is that other fat people were not there to join us like Gracie
    (Kyle & Aaron included by default). We did make little smokies one afternoon as an appetizer, so it was reminiscent of Gracie flailing his mini appendage stream side in the old Colorado days. Man, I miss all the Denver peepers,...I mean peeps.

    I am currently taking applications for "The Big Ass Florida Crush 2.0" and looking forward to appearances by Lord Gracie, Butters, and Chef Kyle. Stay posted for the sign up roster. Bitch!

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What sayeth you?