Friday, May 30, 2014

Free Range Friday ~ Zaco's Chowder and Chowder

Wandering in town yesterday, literally, because every place I wanted to go or people I needed to see wasn't happening right then, I ended up at Zaco's for some out of the sun refreshment. At least, that was the original plan. Then I saw the specials. Tongue taco? Conch chowder? 

I happen to be one of those people who like tongue, so it was decision time. As much as I like it, I love conch chowder and hadn't had any in years. Many years. There are good conch chowders (rare) and plenty of bad ones out there. I flipped my mental coin based on eating plenty of Zach's food before in favor of giving it a try. And try I did.

Usually when ordering chowder, I expect a small bowl or a cup. Instead, I got the endless bowl of chowder. Delicious chowder. Zach goes with minced rather than chunks and a Manhattan style broth that has hints of many seasonings...I didn't get a chance to ask him what seasonings, because I was working so hard on the chowder. Alicia was next to me and after a couple tastes, we got her a spoon and SHE went to work on it. Nope, the level barely changed. Walt came in and I tried to share with him, but he'd just ordered his own bowl. We laughed a wicked laugh and wished him good luck. If you do order the chowder, prepare to leave sloshing with goodness. Oh, and be surprised by the good toast. It works great as a dipper.

I have memories of a conch chowder that was probably the best I ever tasted, but in truth it was a bit of a mix, New England style like a clam chowder but with conch at a place that sadly no longer exists on the Miami River in Florida. Tugboat Annie's was a big fixture in those long ago days, casual and funky, like a lot of places on the Miami River. You could dress up, dress down, arrive by vehicle or boat, eat great food and people watch until your eyes were dizzy. You could dance to the music until you were dizzy as well. Unfortunately, it appears that it closed, reopened and then closed again, taken over by someone else who may be running a fine restaurant but I doubt I'll ever know. 

On a not so clear day, I could see forever. But not to the bottom of that bowl of chowder. 
Have a feast your face Friday. Do something (non)fictitious. 

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