Thursday, December 02, 2010

Avocado-Crabmeat Gazpacho Preempts Cuban Sandwich Egg Rolls

I spent an afternoon in Salem this summer, en route from Rockport back to Boston, and lunched at Finz, a spacious, sunny waterfront seafood restaurant. I had decided on a lobster roll, which at $17 was about $7 bucks cheaper than the same thing in Manhattan. And I was planning to start with an appetizer that was quite tempting to a pig-happy guy like me, something I'd never seen before but immediately declared a brilliant idea, on paper at least: Cuban sandwich egg rolls. What's not to like? Pork shoulder, ham, Swiss cheese and pickles stuffed into an egg roll skin and deep fried. Not only that, if it looks like a Chinese egg roll it's practically kosher!

But I was waylaid. We asked what the soup of the day was and the waitress told us it was an avocado gazpacho topped with crabmeat. That sounded good too. An inner struggle ensued. Gazpacho or egg rolls? Egg rolls or gazpacho? A foodie more neurotic than I could have been crippled by indecision. But not me. "I'll have the gazpacho," I said, hoping I hadn't made a mistake I'd regret for all my living days.

I did not regret it. It was wonderful, the perfect summer soup. It was like a cross between a guacamole and a gazpacho, and the pristine white crabmeat was the jewel in the crown. The lobster roll was good, but an anticlimax.

I must return to Finz next summer. I can't stop wondering about those Cuban sandwich egg rolls.

Pickering Wharf
Salem, MA


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