Monday, May 7, 2012

No more stoopid traditions

I’m charged up from a great weekend. Sunday we went hiking on headlands on the Oregon coast and had a perfect day – warm sun, wildflowers, lush greenery, and the Pacific in all its majesty. 
Cascade Head Scenic Research Area

No meltdowns. No drama. This was the kind of day that seems so simple when it happens – a sunny day, a backpack, the family and friends – yet is impossibly elusive for all the usual reasons. But sometimes we get lucky.

After the hike we wanted to get some dinner in Lincoln City. A friend raved about Mo’s Seafood Restaurant and we decided to try it out. We had long heard about Mo’s, as it is one of those legacy restaurants that people associate with growing up in Oregon and taking a trip to the coast. I’ve been living in Oregon now for 10 years and felt it was time to see what the commotion was all about.
Mo's in Lincoln City, OR

The Lincoln City Mo’s was right on the water on Siletz Bay, a beautiful location affording diners an excellent view of a breathtaking seascape. A big venue, the restaurant appeared capable of seating over a 100 hundred diners at a time, with an efficient line system for quick seating and a capable group of servers.
The setting is nice, I'll grant you that.

I understood immediately why this place is so popular with families, most of the tables had benches instead of chairs which allowed for flexible seating of many kids, most of the food is fried, and prices are reasonable for a seafood restaurant. The fried food was perhaps also responsible for the BMI of the wait staff.

After a long day, we wanted food and we wanted it fast – in this capacity Mo’s is an excellent choice. My son ordered a hot dog and fries, while my daughter had fish and chips – all processed food items. The deep fryer was working well, no problems or surprises here.

I ordered the clam strips appetizer, an oyster shooter, and the “Cannonball,” Mo’s signature chowder served in a sourdough roll. This was a disappointment as the bread not touching the soup was hard and stale, and the soup itself only tepid.

There were flecks of bacon and small pieces of clams in the chowder, but I couldn’t get excited about the bland flavor. Perhaps if hot the soup would have been more inspiring.

The clam strips were fried correctly, but overly breaded and had little taste.

The best thing was the oyster shooter. The oyster had a firm texture, and delivered that cool kiss of the sea with the tang of lemon and the sweetness of cocktail sauce.

The kids finished the meal with root beer floats, and generally I felt glad we had found Mo’s before they got too cranky or tired. There is so much great food to eat in the world, at not that exorbitant prices, I feel remotely disappointed that I let them eat the fried processed stuff.

I remind myself that every moment should not be about education. Sometimes we need to celebrate. The kids get to choose the food they want when we go to restaurants, and their food likes reflect their ages.
Satisfied customer or duped consumer?

As they see it, they will be “forced” to eat the unfried fish, the not-a-French-fry potato at home. I’m hoping that out of all we did Sunday the point that sticks out in their minds won’t be the root beer float. Time will tell.

Despite the above-mentioned bit of Zen, I hope to stamp out a legacy of bland processed food. I’m hoping to be able to get away with another 10 years before going back to Mo’s. I’ll be much happier if my kids eat Asian noodles or a burrito when they wish to invoke a happy memory of childhood.
Nearby sculpture which lead to discussion about breast augmentation.

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