My Friday Night

I look forward to Friday nights, there is always a ripple of rebirth and youth in the air, the marking of the end of a stressful, laborious week and the start of a regenerating and coveted weekend. The odd thing is, I never do anything on Friday nights these days, yet feelings of anticipation still hover over me like so much mayonnaise on a club sandwich. This powerful Friday night intoxication stems back a few decades and seems well ingrained in me now.
Back in South Florida my friends and I would gather at a strip of beach known as DOUBLE ROADS and we would toast the Friday night blood red sunset with a cold pony-keg of beer and warm Jack Daniels whiskey, shots pulled from found whelk shells. We would eat wonderfully greasy Wild Boar, butter poached Alligator tail and key lime marinated reef Snapper, all simmered in rolled foil - cooked on an open air beach fire. In our gastronomic frivolity we would heatedly debate such crucial topics as who served the best conch fritters in town and what was the greatest album of all time. To this day I stand by my answers, THE GREENHOUSE on Singer Island and TV EYE by Iggy and the Stooges (but EXILE ON MAIN STREET by The Rolling Stones is a very close second). It's funny though, I consider the concept of the greatest album to be an objective 'obvious' point and the food question to be quite subjective. Strange that I see one black & white while I see the other as colorful as a edible flower salad.
But all this got me thinking; what would the greatest album of all time "food" equivalent be? Would it be pate de foie gras? Wagyu beef? sliced Fugu? Or something more peasant in nature, like an elementary slab of slow smoked bacon? Would it be as simple as an ingredient or as complex as a prepared dish? Could I nail it down as pat as I did with the album debate? Sadly, no - I think there are just too many variables involved with such a momentous decision. It's a conundrum that is most likely sparking debate over fishy shots of Jack Daniels everywhere this Friday night - and one that poses no forthcoming answer.
Screw it - Weekends are for chasing that food grail with a pitchfork in one hand and a steak knife in the other, not jawing about it. This is a big city with a million opportunities to start a greatest food search. I think I'll let the drug of past Friday nights find a fresh vein tonight and venture out to experience a new flavor.
Friday night Street Tacos at the Tonga Hut Bar in North Hollywood Caifornia

A Friday Night Favorite:
Caribbean Heat Conch Meat Soup
Saute in butter/olive oil:
fine chopped stock celery, 1/2 chopped onion, 1/2 green chopped bell pepper, 1 clove minced garlic & 2 TBS chopped parsley
3 cups Coconut Water*
1 bottle clam juice
2 cups chicken broth
1 TBS lemon juice
24" stalk of LemonGrass cut into 4" pieces
4 dry whole Arbol Chilies
1 TBS chopped Cilantro
chopped heads of 4 Bok Choy
Daikon root - diced into small cubes
1 cup oyster mushrooms
1 TSP crushed red pepper flakes
3 TBS rub + pepper + salt to taste
-Simmer all 40 minutes uncovered then add shelled shrimp and cook 2 more minutes.
Add: small pieces of a fresh raw white fleshed fish, 1 cup cooked chopped Conch Meat (or octopus) and
bring to boil, quickly remove from heat and serve - Garnish with thin sliced lime pieces and parsley.
Be sure to place a whole chili pepper from the pot in each bowl
Even better the next day, so I usually make it on a Thursday.
*To make COCONUT WATER using canned Coconut Milk:
- start with 1/2 cup coconut milk & add spring water (tap water is unacceptable) to equal 2 cups.
thicker flavor: 3/4 cup can milk to 2 1/2 cups water