Friday, February 9, 2024

Yo-Ho-Ho, Owen Is Here! And A Restaurant Review

There's a new restaurant called The Trident down near the coast in Panacea, a little town that I've written about before. I lived there for awhile with my first husband with a bunch of other hippies. We were basically squatting in an old house that had neither plumbing nor electricity and only some of the rooms were usable as the floors in other areas were no longer, To put it mildly. But the house was right on the bay and that alone was worth the mild inconveniences. 
We were a motley crew for sure and there's an entire book's worth of stories from that time. No need to go on about that at this point. 

The new restaurant is also on the bay (Dickerson Bay, to be exact) and right down a dirt road from the house I lived in which is no longer there. The building itself is not new as it was a restaurant back about thirty years ago. Twenty? Some time ago, shall we say?
The new owners have obviously put a ton of money into fixing it up, from structural repairs to a new interior design and a fancy new bar that looks out on the water. It is pretty spiffy. 

We've been wanting to try it, having eaten many good meals at the old version of itself. Glen and I would often stop there on our way down to Dog Island when we were young and crazy and would cross the bay in the dark. We've heard good things about it under the new management and so we went down today to check it out. 

The decor was quite fancy. And whimsical. That I did very much like. There were schools of fishes hanging from the ceiling and I am a gal who does love whimsical things hanging from ceilings. 

The plastic plants didn't do much for me though. God knows they get enough light to grow real ones. 

The bar.

We weren't having drinks and sat at a table by the window in the dining room with the hanging fish. The view was lovely. 
The menu was disappointing as hell. 
Panacea seafood is well-known throughout this whole area and generally, the restaurants there serve classic favorites. Shrimp, fried, boiled, broiled, or blackened. Oysters- fried, roasted, or raw on the half-shell. Crab claws, fish of various kinds, hush puppies, baked potatoes in foil with salted skins and lots of butter, or cheese grits or french fries, if you'd rather. Seafood platters with ALL of it. Simple salads but with delicious dressings. 
And so forth. 
Sometimes fancier specials. The old restaurant had served a dish of sautéed cocktail crab claws with scallions and tomatoes that I did love so much. 
But the menu we got today was very limited. There were appetizers, sandwiches and wraps, salads, and a few entrees. The prices for the entrees were crazy. Side orders were all extra. 
We ordered an app called "stuffed crab balls". Almost all of the menu items had cutesy little names. The stuffed crab balls were, I have to say, very good. Cream cheese was involved.
Mr. Moon ordered a shrimp salad, I ordered a seared tuna salad. 
We got our salads. The greens on mine were pathetic. Tired as a forty-five year old mother of twelve children. Way past their due date. I sent it back. This is a new thing for me. But you know what? I'm not having it. I get the seared tuna salad at a sports bar in Tallahassee that's delicious and the greens on it are lovely. I told the server that the tuna was fine and I'd just keep that if she could find me some fresher greens. She brought me another plate and the greens were...a little better. I just ate them. Mr. Moon's greens weren't doing any singing or dancing either, but mostly they were not slimy.
So that was our lunch and I was vastly disappointed. 
I kept sighing over the memory of something that all of the seafood restaurants in that area used to bring to the table along with your menus which was a clever little green and white ceramic dish in the shape of a boat with Captain's Wafers in the long part of it and soft, molded garlic butter in the separated bow part. 
I doubt there was so much as a saltine in that entire restaurant. 

I think they are probably counting on making their money off drinks. That menu was extensive. And of course they are not cheap either. And look- when we go out for a nice meal, we don't mind paying what it costs. But if I feel like things are really overpriced, it pisses me off. I've worked in the service industry, in restaurants, and I know how hard it is to make enough money to stay afloat in that business. And I realize that change is inevitable. There are still restaurants down there serving the good-old-days food. People love it! But it seemed like it would be fun and interesting to try this new place with a new attitude. "Sea to table" is their motto. That's the name of a huge, big shiny boat boat on a trailer at the entrance to the restaurant which Mr. Moon looked at and said, "What a great tax write-off!" and which I doubt one fish has ever been caught off of. I could be wrong.

Well, anyway, we had a good time despite my bitchiness and it was nice to walk out on the dock afterwards. 

See that house across the bay? I want it. 

On our way home we stopped by the Wacissa just to look at it for a moment. 

It was so peaceful. This is the river's time of year to rest. Soon enough, it will be hot again and families and teenagers and church groups and all the people will be flocking once again to its shore. But for now, it is beautiful and serene. 

And then we came home and Mr. Moon went and got Owen and he's even taller than he was a few weeks ago. 
As my friend David used to say, "I shit you not."
He is literally a head taller than me. I said, "Stop it! Stop getting so tall!" Then I thought about it and said, "No. Don't stop it. Grow to be eight feet tall. I will still hug you."
He said, "That would be awesome." 

Here he is with his short hair. 

I've got the chicken cooked, carrots and onions and green beans and portobellos and garlic and celery simmering away. I'll tear up the chicken, add it in, make the dumplings and drop them one by one into the broth, put the lid on it, and let it become food for the soul. And I'm going to make us a little salad with greens that do indeed sing and dance, right on the tongue. The sheets on Owen's bed are clean and crisp, he knows he is loved. 

Happy Friday, y'all. 

Love...Ms. Moon



  1. Sad restaurant review. But the rest of the day worked. Especially that great tall boy there. So cute.

    1. You're right! The food wasn't really the important part anyway although it sort of is the important part of a restaurant.

  2. If Owen were an old man, I would be in love with him! It's wonderful that he is such a fine young man.
    How sad a "signature" restaurant would fall so short of the mark. You get that house across the bay for that review.

    1. Ah, that's the sweetest thing for you to say, Joanne! He is a joy.
      I'm so excited! Another dream house for me!

  3. nothing worse (to me) than sad salad greens.....ruins a whole meal. have your tall handsome grandson with MerMade chicken and dumplings to look forward to....clean sheets for all, Martini's for you, and purple cow for Owen? Happy evening to you all!
    Susan M

    1. Sad salad greens are a bummer when what you ordered is a salad. Oh well. That's life.
      Yep! Clean sheets and treats for all.

  4. The greens were mostly not slimy in the salad. Yuck! Glad you are having a good evening with you rapidly growing grandson!

    1. "Mostly not" being the key phrase here.
      That boy is shooting up!

  5. Good for you for sending that salad back, with a clear critique (tuna - fine. Greens - not). They need to hear that - especially at those prices.

    Owen - he does indeed know he's loved. And lordy, he is shooting up!

    Chris from Boise

    1. Yes- I didn't need a replacement for the tuna and would never let a piece of good tuna go back to the kitchen although I doubt it would have gone to waste.

  6. No excuse for slimy greens.
    You live in a beautiful part of the world. I prefer the river as it is - people mess things up.

    1. Oh gosh. The river is perfect right now. In the summer, if you get there early enough, it is still beautiful and peaceful.

  7. What a disappointment to have the food not up to par after that great introduction with the "underwater" look of the ceiling and the exterior looking so great too. I love the Bar, so shiny, is it wood? Highly polished wood? Real plants might be better, but they do require watering and trimming of dead bits, plastic ones can be stood under a shower to get the dust off and that's it, no more maintenance required.
    I see Owen's face changing now, the boy is becoming a man. I LOVE his T-shirt :)

    1. I really did not look at the bar very closely but I think it is at least partly wood. Not a bad place to have a drink and watch the water.
      You're right about real plants needing more care, of course, and as Glen pointed out, this may have been their attempt at carrying the undersea theme farther with fake seaweed.
      Owen's t-shirt is pretty cool, isn't it?

  8. He is certainly growing into himself. I hope you had a nice evening. Your dinner sounded lovely.

  9. I’ve only been following for such a short time and even I’m stunned at Owen’s growth. He looks great. And what a smile. There was nothing about bitchy about your behavior description of the restaurant. What a disappointment, especially after that cool ceiling. I would want that house on the water, too, although it needs to be moved to some water here.

    1. He's at that age, Mitchell. He's going to be changing, too, and that's going to break my heart and make my heart so proud at the same time.
      I'm sure they could load that house up on a barge and take it right on out to the Gulf and then head south and east over to the Atlantic and then...
      Okay. Probably not.
      I don't blame you for not wanting to leave Spain AT ALL.
      I didn't feel that bad about sending that salad back. Who sends out dead salad?

  10. Tim has a 'favorite place'. It is one of those classic diners. I got a taco salad last time. The meat was very dry, almost like taco crumbles. There was something off about the black olives. This time I ordered a tuna melt. The first thing I noticed was I'd asked for wheat, but got rye,which is not a deal breaker. But the tuna was vinegary, a premade tuna. Mostly what I know is that the acoustics there hurt my ears. It is just too loud.

    But it is Tim's favorite place.


    1. Oh god, Debby. That sounds pretty horrific. You're such a sweet wife. Do they have anything on the menu that's reliably okay?
      And oh yeah- I forgot to mention. They were playing loud country music in that restaurant yesterday. That alone was enough to make me never want to go back.

  11. What a lovely day for views of the water! It sure looks so nice!
    Owen looks so happy to be with you!

  12. maybe they should have spent a little less on decor and a little more on the menu. good for you for sending that limp lettuce back. my guess is they just let it sit out instead of keeping it in the refrigerator. but even so they should be embarrassed to serve it. Owen is a fine young man.

    1. That was my thought exactly, Ellen. I mean, fun decor is great but if the food isn't that good, the hanging fish aren't going to be enough to save it.

  13. Is Angelos still in Panacea? Many fond long ago memories of delicious seafood there’s. I’m still processing that Owen is old enough to be working at Publix.

    1. Yes! Yes it is. I just told Glen tonight that if want to eat in Panacea again its going to be there.


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