I have decided to nominate Jennifer of the Melt Shop as the Friendliest Person in Eastwood! She is absolutely wonderful!!!!!! Who’s with me? – Dave
You know how it is when you get stuck in a rut. At the moment when you’re the hungriest and most brain function has shut down, all you can think of is that one item that you know they’re serving over at your usual spot… whatever that is.
So it’s Friday evening and we’re hungry and we just want some fried haddock. Where to go? Well, we live in Eastwood and we’re fairly near to the Fish Cove in Shop City and I can’t for the life of me think of any other place in Eastwood that serves haddock (and I’m sure there are at least a half dozen). So Dave drives over there to pick up the fish and returns almost immediately. “The Fish Cove is gone. There’s just some pizza place there.”
This is what I get for sending a brilliant designer/musician on a fishy errand. He’s already got fried brains – how is he going to find fried fish?
I can’t believe that Fish Cove is gone. They always seemed to be doing such a booming business! But alas, these things happen. I accept his report as true (although it’s not). This is a good thing, because it forces my own fried brain to focus… focus… Where… is… the… fish?
Oh YEAH! The Melt Shop! Silly us! We can walk over there. It will take us maybe five or six minutes to stroll over on this glorious summer evening. And we’re so glad we do.
We’d been in the Melt Shop months before. Times are tough, we’re not eating out quite as often, we don’t usually look for sandwiches. We wondered how the place was doing.
Quite fine, as a matter of fact! The place is still immaculate, the walls are now even more covered than before with fascinating huge photos of iron works and aluminum smelters, men doing some of the most incredible, hot, dirty work. I mean, they’re pouring molten steel from buckets the size of my house!
There are black and white checked table cloths on every table and the counter has five people sitting at it. Lots of room to sit and relax in here. A TV is going (the only negative point in my book, but I guess people like it) and the service is extremely friendly and spot-on.
We order the beer battered haddock. I’m not interested in anything but the fish so I order the sandwich without the bread. Who needs it? (Dave, as it turns out, but he’s a guy…) I just want to dip that fish in the ample tartar sauce that’s served with it. Utter simplicity, nothing to get in the way of the crunch of the batter, the delicate warm juices from the fish, the perfectly tender yet ample white flesh of the fish, and just the right level of tang in that sauce.
I eat the thing with my fingers, it’s so crispy on the outside. I’ll confess, I’ve been known to surreptitiously lick the plate in high-end restaurants… when the sauce simply could not be washed down a drain, when nobody else was left in the room, when the lighting was low.
But not here. In this brightly-lit dining room, I stick my fingers right into the tartar sauce and lick them while taking more bites of the fish. Shameful!
Check out the Melt Shop’s website. Nice photos, all the information you need right at your fingertips (it’s not overdesigned by some college kid who’s more impressed with his Flash skills than with your need to find the hours of the restaurant). It’s a reflection of what you find at this restaurant: down-home, bright, cheery and hey! it’s close to everything!
August is a tough month for restaurants. If you’re reading this, then do yourself a favor, this month. Pay them a visit. Then let us know what you ate there and how you liked it.