I was going to grill fish for dinner the other night but the Beast said he would treat me to dinner at The Fish Store on College Street. Amy Pataki from the Toronto Star recently wrote about the fish sandwiches they sell here.
The Beast frequents the place more often than I do. I think he and Nick Edwards often have dates here. They follow up their fish sandwiches with veal sandwiches from California sandwiches, just around the corner.
So, instead of slaving over a hot barbecue, I met the Beast after work on their tiny patio out front.
Beast: I’m starving! Do you have any money?
Foodie: I think I have $20.
Beast: I’m still buying you dinner but I only have $16 so I might have to borrow some but I’ll pay you back.
Foodie: Uh, okay.
Inside the shed-like space, all the fish is on display. The hard part is choosing which type you want to fill your sandwich with. I usually get halibut while the Beast often mixes things up. This time around he got the Arctic char. We sat outside while our dinner was prepared.
Beast: So I think I’ve really improved with my flute playing. Breath control is a big part of playing wind instruments. When I play the clarinet or the saxophone there is natural resistance created by the reed. Put your fingers together and try to blow through them–see, there’s a natural resistance that controls your breath for you.
Foodie (nodding my head with interest and thinking the following): what colours should I do my nails tonight? It should be neutral, just so I don’t have to plan outfits around something too bold. I wonder if the new Sex in the City movie is as bad as everyone is saying. I mean, it can’t be that bad, can it? I’m still going to see it. I wonder if the Beast will come with me.
Beast: ….but with the flute–put your mouth on top of your fingers and just blow–see, there’s no natural resistance. It all has to come from in here (pointing to his diaphragm). I need to work on it. But other than that, my flute playing is coming along well, don’t you think?
Foodie: Pardon? I mean, oh yes, is it ever! And here come the sandwiches!
The fish, gently doused with dried garlic, spices and a balsamic/olive oil topping, was cooked to perfection. It’s always cooked to perfection. And it’s so tasty that I’m always tempted to just eat it right out of the bun. The Beast enjoyed his Arctic char equally.
Foodie: I know! It’s the best I’ve had here. And we just beat the line-up too.
Beast: I’m getting another one to take home.
Foodie: You’re joking, right?
Beast: No, not a all. May I borrow $10.
Foodie: You’re joking, right?
Beast: There’s a bank machine across the street! I don’t have cash on me and they don’t have Interac.
Foodie: I just love how you taking me out for dinner turns into me buying my own dinner and buying you your second dinner. And do you really think you should be buying a second dinner when you’re trying to save for an iMac?
Beast (throwing his arms up in exhaustion): I know, I know! I get so close every month but then I accidently buy books and CDs!
Foodie: And second dinners. You buy so many second dinners. If you’d just wait 20 minutes you’d probably realized you’re not even hungry.
Beast: I’m starving right now.
Foodie: Fine, here’s the money. But you’ve got serious problems.
Beast: I will order the sandwich and then go across the street to the bank machine. And I know I have problems: I’m sorry that I’m interested in so many things and that I want to learn.
Foodie: Library books are free.
Beast: I have too many late fees.
I got my $10 back from the Beast and we walked all the way home. It was a beautiful night. The heat had finally lifted and there was even a slight breeze that seemed to push us along.
Beast: On a scale of one to fun, how much fun do you have listening to me playing my flute?
Foodie: Which one?
(The Beat has so many flutes that he recently brought home some contraption from his work and converted it, using an assortment of dowels, into a flute stand to organize them all.)
Foodie: Because if we’re talking about your new, Western metal flute, then I choose “fun”. But if it’s one of your kid flutes then I choose two or three.
Beast: I resent that. They’re not kid flutes.
Foodie: You should start wearing Renaissance costumes. Or maybe you should start dressing like a new world settler who’s just arrived in Jamestown.
Beast: God I would love to dress like that.
Foodie: Oh fuuuuck.