The Patriots didn't play last week, so Emily and I were free to sneak down to Providence for an afternoon of stuffed clams and cheap drinks. Thanks to everyone who suggested bars. The highlights were a nice brewery called Trinity and a less-nice dive called McDonough's.
The other kinds of lights included Aruba Steve's for pumpkinsomething shots and a peculiar deli-bar hybrid where you can buy Busch by the bottle and provolone by the pound. Weird town, Providence; I love it and I'll be back any time they'll have me.
I ate quahogs and peppery calamari (noted Rhode Island delicacies) because I am a bold and adventurous tourist so long as the tour in question takes place within 50 miles of my house and requires the eating of stuffed and fried sea things. The one Providential sort of thing I had to pass on, however, was patronage of the subtle and tasteful gentleman's clubs that popped up out of nowhere about every third Dunkin Donuts or so.
For a city with a god-fearing name and a big Catholic college right downtown, Providence is refreshingly unembarrassed about its strip joints. Boston only has two, and they're right next to each other in an otherwise worthless patch of should-be Chinatown. In Providence, they're scattered about here and there, so there's always one handy when you need it. That's thoughtful strip club placement.
But alas, I don't like strip clubs. I'm not sure if they're Emily's scene, either, but I don't think so. She's much less gentle than people assume; just look what the woman does to the toothpaste tube.
Barbaric. But she does not, to my knowledge, go to strip clubs. That's too bad, because it means she's not eligible to play tight end for the Patriots.
Since I was able to take advantage of the Patriots' week off to pursue my other interests, I certainly don't begrudge the actual players doing the same. Emily and I chose to continue our world tour of New England's medium-sized cities with breweries and train stations (Get ready, Hartford, you're next!); Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski chose to let a porn lady tweet a picture of her wearing his shirt and him wearing no shirt at all.
I found this scandalous for seven-tenths of a second, then I remembered that he's a 22-year-old millionaire athlete who went to college in Arizona. Just as I belong in bars that sell sliced meat, Rob Gronkowski belongs in pictures with porn ladies. I am very judgmental, and I judge that to be just about right for Gronk's off-week agenda. I would like to think he also found time to enter a high stakes video game tournament and eat beef while bibbed and grinning, but it's reassuring to know for certain that he took care of his obligations vis a vis pictures with porn ladies.
The Patriots other tight end is Aaron Hernandez. No word on whether he had any porny entanglements last week, but he's even younger than Gronkowski, also a millionaire, and went to college in Florida. Oh, and his touchdown celebration mimics throwing money at strippers. So let's all jump to a conclusion or two about what he got up to last week between trips to the library and the laundromat.
It's back to football this weekend for me and the Patriots and oooh lookie, they're playing the Steelers. I love it when that happens, because the Patriots tend to win and then the Steelers tend to make excuses. I'm on record as acknowledging that the Patriots aren't the most noble team to root for, but man, it's beats being a Steelers fan. John the soda boy is a Steelers fan, which is weird, because he seems like a decent human being. But decent human beings don't cheer for Ben Roethlisberger, do they?
The Patriots are going to win 28 to 20, and now that we've talked about football and quahogs and strippers, it is time we turn our attention to deviled eggs and Bloody Marys. The Pitt-appropriate recipes are coming right up, but I'd like to devote the following paragraph to the memory of a delightful deviled egg I ate Monday night.
Emily, despite being an untamable beast of a toothpaste-squeezer, is a very competent and conscientious person, and one of her coworkers acknowledged this in gift certificate form. Thank you, Dr. Julie, for sending Emily to Oleana for dinner, and thank you, Emily, for not having anyone better to take. Thank you, Oleana, for serving tuna deviled eggs.
For the Deviled Eggs
I don't know a lot about the culinary traditions of western Pennsylvania. I know there's that sandwich place where they put French fries on everything, but I don't want fries on my eggs. So I started brainstorming pitted foods or maybe burghered foods, but then I remembered that Serious Eats community pillar Amandarama had suggested a pierogi-inspired egg as an acknowledgment of Pittsburgh's Polish population. It seems Grandmarama was an accomplished pierogist who dabbled in cottage cheese, mushroom, and sauerkraut. I'm not a cottage cheese enthusiast, but I like A's suggestion of replacing half the yolks with mashed potato and then working some buttery onions and sauerkraut into the operation.
For the Bloody Marys
Shit, I forgot to ask what Grandmarama drank. Let's just go with a French fry garnish and a Steel Reserve chaser.