“It’s amazing you are not 300 pounds.”- my friend Junior, to me
My pal Junior arrived in town last Thursday. Friendly and respectful when we first met years ago, we have become damn good friends over the past five years. He is on his journey, and I am on mine, journeys of self-improvement and self-mastery. We talk regularly, discussing our progress, fears, and offering each other support. I remember one of our first conversations years ago, as we both began taking the baby steps required to break out of our shells and drive a lifelong, intentional journey. How do we start? First step?
Just try a new food.
Upon his arrival in New Orleans, we drove straight to Domilise’s, maybe the best po’ boy place on the planet. Unfortunately, we were met with a sign on the door that said: “Closed Today. No Workers.” Fortunately, it’s New Orleans, so we drove three blocks to Guy’s, maybe a top fiver on Planet Earth.
I think the only thing they got wrong was Junior’s name, the nice lady referring to him as Julian for the rest of the day. They definitely did not get “The Bomb” wrong, a footlong plus sandwich stuffed with shrimp, catfish, cheddar, creole mustard, and pickles, the flavors melding together perfectly.
‘Twas the bomb. Dot com.
Lost in all of this overly serious self-journey talk, Christy has become an unbelievably creative chef, tossing in flavors here and there that reinforce Junior’s curiosity about how I am not 300 pounds. On the menu were fajita bowls, a tag-teamed shrimp and crab boil, fresh fish tacos they caught themselves the day before, and this chow chow relish over a pork shoulder recipe that I found in some bullshit flimsy flyer that landed in my mailbox.
Flavorful. Spicy. Colorful. All abk words that bleed over into so many other aspects of living.
It is no coincidence that in a recent ESPN article, LSU just down the road in Baton Rouge was named the unequivocal best place to tailgate in America. One contributor chose to mildly dissent, offering The Grove just up the road at Ole Miss as a valid challenger.
I’ve personally been to twelve of the fourteen SEC campuses (coming next week), and if the food/drink/vibe/football quality is the general measurement, it’s not even close. Gumbo, jambalaya, alligator… stuff that I never would have even sampled years ago.
For me and my current way of living, it all started with trying a new food, both literally and figuratively. I still don’t know any better way to figure out what you truly love in life.
Christy and Banks took Uncle Junior back to the airport on Tuesday, a wonderful five day feast finally coming to an end. Well, for me, at least. Those sneaky jokers grubbed at Domilise’s.
Apparently, some workers willing to pile high the shrimp, roast beef, and gravy had indeed been found.
Have a great week.-Benj
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