Hungry. Will Stand on Ridiculously Long Line for Seafood.


Walking around City Centre I suddenly realize that, after the 25-minute bike ride into town, I’m feeling too lazy to cook dinner. Well, am I living on the beach or what? Heck yes, I’m living on the beach. That means fresh seafood at bargain price all over the dang place. So I head to a fish restaurant – a Pescheria –Β  and park my bike against a tree. It’s a large shack, with “take away” written in English underneath the large neon name. A dry/erase sign reads: Fried Calamari 5 euro. Roasted potatoes 3 euro. Mixed antipasto 6 euro. I’m sold.

I look up. A long line is snaking outside of the shack, arching past me. I hear Neapolitan tourists shouting: Do we take a number or what? How do we do this? Children are crying: How much longer do we have to wait, Pappa? Can’t we get a pizza instead?

I check my watch: it’s 9:15pm. It’s the same old death match – laziness versus greed. Greed ftw, every time.

It’s a nice night, a mild night. I can see the moon – nearly full – hovering white and shiny above the shack, above a glistening carousel across the street. I check my watch again – 9:20pm, gah! We haven’t budged an inch. To comfort myself, I take photos, or try to, anyway. So many heads in my path, slight jostling, and there’s a mofo trying to wiggle in front of me. I don’t think so.

There’s nothing to do but wait, so I start thinking. I think – not shockingly – of Shake Shack back home in New York City. Another food stand with interminable waits on a line. At least Shake Shack is in a park; loads of people watching opportunities. I crane my neck towards the boardwalk; it’s too far to see anyone. I try to people watch here on line; someone tries to nudge into my spot.

But the line eventually creeps closer to the shack itself. I can see people in the eating area, fisting plates of seafood risotto and piles of fried calamari. Jerks.

A smug joker taunts me from his cozy table, laden with plates of spaghetti alle vongole and roasted potatoes.Β  You’ll pay for this, dude. Internet karma!

Almost there… and a sign taunts me a second time. Colorful pictures of delicious sea creatures, as well as the boast: “Pick the fish you want; we cook it fast!” Oh, really? Then why do I count five more gray hairs on the head of the person in front of me? Come on, let’s go ragazzi – while the fish is still fresh. You’re dealing with hungry people here.

Eureka – inside at last! Beautiful fresh fish to the left of me….

A counter of succulent seafood delights to the right of me.

And finally – at 10:20pm – dinner is mine. From left: an orange Fanta, seafood risotto, fried calamari and shrimp, sauteed spinach.

Seriously the best fried calamari I’ve ever had. So fresh and so tender – salty with the brine of the sea. A beautifully delicate batter. The risotto was a little heavy on the wine, but the spinach was perfect. And, dudes? Let’s not forget the Fanta. The Fanta rocked my world.

Now, the downside of standing on line so long for a meal is that you can’t tell if the food is good because it’s good, or because you’re hungry enough to sell your own mother. I don’t know. I really don’t know. Methinks this issue will want quite a bit of research. In the name of science. Of course.

This post has been brought to you by WanderFood Wednesday.

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8 Comments Add yours

  1. Gourmantic says:

    I’m glad it was worth it! Sometimes long queues indicate cheap food but not necessarily good food πŸ™‚

    1. ieatmypigeon says:

      I’m glad it was worth it, too. I actually got slightly too much food, operating under the idea that if I was going to wait on line for over an hour, I wasn’t going in for just a plate of fried shrimp. Delicious – every bite.

  2. Ruben says:

    I could kill for a delicious calamari fritto misto..
    When I was about 8 years old, in summer, I used to go with my dad to buy huge take-out fritto misto, always in those oily brown paper bags… so missing it right now!

    1. ieatmypigeon says:

      Signor Ruben! δΉ…γ—γΆγ‚Šγ­οΌŸοΌŸ I hope you’re well. Are you still in Japan? I moved to Latina about a month ago. Will be sure to enjoy some fritto misto in your honor!

      1. Ruben says:

        Signorina! Tutto bene, tutto bene! Lei?
        Yup, still in Japan.. hope to come back next year to visit my parents and catch up with old friends (oh and eat some wickedly good bistecca Fiorentina) πŸ˜‰
        How long are you thinking to stay in Italy?

      2. ieatmypigeon says:

        I can’t tell you how much I miss Japan sometimes. It’s a hard place to visit from the West, but it is my goal to make it back there some day… takoyaki and CocoIchiban curry still call my name! πŸ™‚

        I’m going to be living here indefinitely… no plans to come back! Or go back. I’m still a bit confused about where I am these days. But I’m here for the long haul.

  3. Wanderluster says:

    What torture, but what a sweet reward. And it sure beats standing in line at the post office! πŸ™‚

    1. ieatmypigeon says:

      Beth, you ain’t kiddin’!

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