Monday, November 20, 2006

Return to Clinton Diner

I guess my announcement that I was back and blogging was a bit premature. I didn't want it to go this long without updates, but life can sometimes interfere with one's best-laid plans. But then, sometimes a really fabulous meal can interfere with life (or what passes for it), which is why I started this blog in the first place. Saturday night's meal was one of those occasions when I was imbued with a desire to blog the food as I experienced it.

I was gadding about with The Lurker and Perfect Tommy this weekend (as is often the case). Dinnertime found us heading back across the Delaware River into Jersey, a perfect time to think back on the Clinton Station Diner. Even though I had breakfast in what seemed to be the middle of the night the last time we visited this diner, I perused the menu enough to know that I wanted to order "real food" from this place someday.

Someday turned out to be last Saturday. As we pondered our choices, I decided to go for something on the light side; some fish and chips seemed to be the ticket. A little less expensive than the other entrees (like chicken marsala) that I wasn't in the mood for anyway. No biggie.

Well, when the platter arrived, I realized my "mistake." Slabs of fried fish were piled on top of a bed of mixed greens, side by side with the "chips" or fries, heftier and darker than regular french fries. An enormous expanse of food stretched before me. Well, diner portions do tend to be big...then there were the obligatory sides!

When I bit into the fried fish, I almost attained nirvana. The batter was crisp and light, and had a flavor that immediately brought tempura to mind. Within the crisp coating, the fish was perfectly done, slipping out into perfect slabs of fork-tenderness. (Golly, did I just write that? That's food porn!)

A lot of leftovers came home with me that night (not that I'm complaining), but that's the first time fish and chips has ever reminded me of tempura. I may need to up the ante next time I go back and order a longtime favorite like chicken marsala or prime rib. This diner is that good.

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