Saturday, September 22, 2007

My Sonoma Shrimp & Grits Disappointment

All right, it really wasn't much of a disappointment. After all, who goes to wine country for shrimp and grits anyway? Still, I was going up to Healdsburg, in Sonoma County, on Labor Day with my high school chum Harry and his wife Mary Ann, to have lunch with Steve Minkin, the only professional square dance caller I know (a New York Jew, no less). Researching Healdsburg restaurants that served lunch, I found Zin, a place specializing in California takes on regional American dishes. When I suggested it to Steve, his response was, "Zin? Beer-battered green beans!!"

According to the online menu, they served Charleston shrimp and grits at lunch. Once again, you might ask, who goes to wine country for shrimp and grits? Well, if you were declared an expert shrimp and grits pundit by no less an authority than Google's search engine*, you would. Imagine my disappointment when shrimp and grits wasn't on the menu. Try to imagine! I had to settle for the other healthy choice, crispy chicken hash with organic poached egg, over wilted spinach with bacon. It was very good, but it wasn't shrimp and grits.

And, of course, we all shared some of those addictive beer-battered green beans; the flecks of cilantro in the batter added an interesting dimension.

* This year Word of Mouth has had close to 2,000 hits resulting from searches for shrimp and grits.


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