Legal Sea Foods: Boston: Logan Airpot - Legal Test Kitchen - Terminal C

I was flying back from Atlanta to Boston and it happened to be Veterans' Day.  The seat between me and some woman that otherwise would've been empty was thus given to a young man in his army fatigues, coming home after a tour of duty in Afghanistan.  We talked about life and about war, and he showed me videos of his team blowing things up in Afghanistan.

Predictably, we wound up talking about food at one point, and I learned that he didn't think he liked seafood but had only ever had frozen fish sticks.  He also didn't really think he cared for vegetables, but he'd only had canned or boiled, bland vegetables served to him.  I invited him to accompany me to the Legal Sea Foods in our terminal when we landed, my treat.  I had never been to a LSF before, but I was hoping it'd be good enough to expand his horizons a bit.

He was quite taken aback by a stranger, a young woman, some 25-year-old lesbian he met on a plane, wanting to take him out for lunch on Veterans' Day to expand his culinary horizons, but he agreed to go and to try new things, and he really wanted to like them, for me.

Just walking with him was interesting for me.  It was of course Veterans' Day, but still, all of the flight crew, at least a dozen strangers we passed by, all of the wait staff, and several nearby patrons thanked him for his service, and he humbly nodded, clearly unused to figuring out how to respond.

We started with clam chowder, which seemed to me like a safe bet.

$4.95 Clam Chowder

He said he liked it okay, but I was disappointed because it really wasn't very good clam chowder at all.  Here we were, in Boston, a city full of clam chowder at a restaurant that I thought was going to be overpriced but good, and the chowder tasted about one step above a can of Campbell's.

Call me crazy, but I'd been watching Mad Men, and so I moved us straight on to oysters.

Naked Cowboys from Long Island and Connecticut Bluepoints

My soldier friend was such a good sport.  He asked me how we were supposed to eat them, and I said, "I have no idea.  I've never ordered raw oysters before.  My only reference is my memories from TV and movies.  But you can eat things however you want.  Fuck other people.  What are they gonna do, judge you?"

So we ate the first pairs with a fork, the others we slurped down.


He liked them better with the marinara or thin, sweet, Asiany-sauce.  I preferred tasting them straight up, just because it was so interesting: this is what people find worth paying, in this case, $2.45 a pop for, these slirpy things that taste like, well, the ocean.  I think the deal is, other than looking fancy and sophisticated of course, these are a great thing to have if you're drinking, because they're light sources of fat and protein that will keep you going without filling you up.  Sounds good to me!

Lobster Roll: "freshly shucked lobster, celery mayo, brioche bun," with Jalapeno Cheddar Polenta as my side

I wanted to try their lobster roll for comparison purposes.  Oddly, though the menu lists the roll as coming on a brioche, they do actually serve it on what everyone knows is the correct shell: a buttered and lightly toasted piece of white bread.

It was good, but it wasn't at the top of the list of lobster rolls I've had.  There was too much mayo, and it just threw everything else off.  The market price turned out to be $22.95, which certainly makes it my worst lobster roll per dollar spent.  The jalapeno cheddar polenta things were nearly tasteless little triangle patties.

I explained the situation of my new friend's lack of culinary experience to the server, and they decided that maybe the most accessible thing to get for him would be the random Asian dish on the menu.

Kung Pao Shrimp Wok - $17.95 - stir fried peppers and bean sprouts with grilled pineapple and peanuts in a spicy garlic sauce

Soldier boy ate several bites of it, particularly the pineapple, but he didn't like the texture of shrimp and was still wary of vegetables.  The funniest part to me was that he actually really liked the third of my lobster roll I gave him.  Apparently, the man has expensive tastes.  It's a good thing to remember, though, that if you want to convert someone to new food, you have to think of the texture first.  Of course the shrimp turned him off but the smooth chunks of lobster were chicken-like enough for him.  I should've realized.

Anyway the server comped the Kung Pao dish despite our protestations that he didn't need to do that.  It was nice to see a soldier being treated so kindly by everyone.  He couldn't believe he was having these experiences with a stranger and kept talking about how it was like a movie.  This was certainly the most fun I remember every having on a Veterans' Day.

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