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What Goes with Puppies? Why Lobster, of Course!

Last night Sam and I did the last leg (pardon the pun) of a puppy transport. I was looking forward to it, until I saw the weather report-snow, sleet, rain, dangerous road conditions throughout the state. Oh boy. I was having one of those “what have I done?!” moments!

The drive began with heavy snow. The transport was an HOUR ahead of time and I was grateful for it still being light out when we left. The roads were slushy and slippery, but once we hit the Interstate, it improved somewhat. The traffic backed up, then opened up, then backed up again. Traffic Reporters call this “rubber banding” I call it annoying.

We got to Danbury a few minutes late. The sky had grown dark. I could barely see into the two stuffed crates. Where there really animals in there? Oh yes...looked like four black dogs, two per crate. They whined softly as we moved them from one car to our own. I placed one carrier next to me in the back seat, so I could hold the puppies as Sam drove.

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There were only two problems: 1) I could NOT open the damn crate, 2) there was a BIG NOTE saying NOT to take the puppies out of the crate unless absolutely necessary and that doing so could risk their health and that did YOU WANT TO BE LIABLE FOR THE DOGS DYING because you are carrying God knows what disease on your coat, shirt, person and it could spread to the puppies???!

So all I could do is stick my fingers in the cage when they really got loud so they could nibble on my “contaminated” fingers. I couldn't even SEE the dogs. I tried to get a few photos, which was the only way I saw them at all.

The next hour was spent trying to “gently” (passive-aggressively) remind (nag) Sam to drive carefully (not get us killed) because the temps were hovering around 34-35°F and he was driving too fast and I was feeling very anxious (sick to my stomach and, well, anxious).

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We dropped off the puppies with Liz, the lady from the rescue group that was taking them. Since our drop off location was The Chowder Pot IV (that would be the Roman numeral “4”, though “intra venus” would have been more appropriate description-which we discovered later)

The Chowder Pot IV or CPIV, is an old by-the-highway sort of pit stop restaurant that's been around “forever.” It's next to a highway overpass and flanked by darkened buildings that sell light fixtures during the day. The place is in a black hole, to be honest, but what the heck. It was 7pm, both of us were hungry and needed a break from the white-knuckle drive. It wasn't snowing, just raining, so we thought we could take the time to eat. Cue ominous music here...

The interior is like so many I've seen before-recreating a New England-y, Yankee, Olde-y, Ship Interior-y, dimly-lit-to-hid-the-tattered-appearance style. With heavily varnished wooden tables and wooden planks, mounted fish and neon signs to remind us to enjoy a cappuccino or an espresso! This place was on the Travel Channel, I think or Food Network, so I thought it would be okay.

Maybe I'm old and my mind has faded or maybe someone paid off the Host of the TV show or...I dunno but...I ordered some clam chowder. A classic. It was a cold night. Perfect for some GOOD, yummy, chowder. Sam ordered some, too.


Quickly served and still hot, the chowder was VERY thick, almost too thick, yes, there is such a thing as too thick chowder. I tasted a big chunk of potato, then another, then another. There was a weird aftertaste. Was it shot of wine, which is commonly used in clam chowder? Was it bacon? The dreaded and all-hated celery? Nope. Drain cleaner? Dunno? Something was not right. Where were the CLAMS? Oh, there was one, two, ...nope..that was it. Two tiny clams in the non-clam-tasting, borax flavored chowder. Yecch.

This would be a good time to eat a bit of bread to kill the taste in my mouth.

This is the bread. I called it “Spooge Bread.” YES, it was SHINEY and WET. Why? I do not know. I touched it. It was slimey. Sam touched it and bravely licked his finger. He said it was sweet. So maybe there was a sugar (yecch) glaze on the bread? Sam sawed and I do mean SAWED off a small piece. As he tried to cut into the bread, the entire lump was flattened. It was so tough he could barely get a chunk off it. I watched him as he took one for the Team and had a bite. He said it was “Okay, but weirdly sweet and kind of gross.”

He handed me a small piece which I took out of desperation. It was just as Sam described and no, it did not get the weird soup flavor out of my mouth.

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I had some salad that was drowned in Balsamic vinegar. It was fine. It had a lone slice of cucumber, which I cherished.

Next up...LOBSTER!

I didn't get my Lobster-fix last year as we did not to go Maine or go anywhere to eat Lobster locally, so I thought, “why not?” Ha ha ha ha! Why am I an idiot?

First, I should have ordered it steamed, but I'm a carb-fiend so I got it stuffed. It arrived looking very nice. It even came with lemon wedges on the side and drawn butter and I got to wear a bib and use tools to crack apart the exoskeleton. There were green flakes of something all over the dish, lobster, stuffing. Maybe it was just grass, but obviously the person got a C- on the garnish portion of their cooking school finals.


I nibbled at the stuffing. It was very dry, but okay. There were some recognizable chunks of shrimp in it. Then I got to work on the lobster. It wasn't cooked very well. Funny it should be that way since they are KNOWN for their lobsters and to serve it with basically soupy, raw claws seems pretty unlikely to me, but yet, there it was. Yes, I blame the baking. That may have been the reason. My first bite did not take me to that blissful taste bud nirvana. Instead it was OK, maybe a bit mooshie, so I picked at the stuffing, hoping it would kill the ever-present Chowder fumes, if nothing else.

I did my best to enjoy the dinner (stuff my face), but between the weird flavor battle going on in my mouth and the fear that we might have to drive home on icy roads, I figured I'd better just finish up quick so we could get the heck out of there.

The drive home went all right (I only nagged Sam to slow down about four times). Sam declared he had “dibs” on the bathroom when we got home (got the “trots”). I felt bloated (nothing new), and was determined to brush my teeth the second we got into the house. That bad taste was driving me crazy.

We each went to our respective bathrooms. I brushed and brushed, flossed and gargled. Nothing would get that taste out of my mouth. Sam stayed in the bathroom with the fart fan raging. I didn't dare go any where near him.

Sam recovered well, but I did not. I ate two, then two more tiny slices of bread to absorb the funk that died in my mouth. Did not work! What in the blazes did they put in that damn Chowder? I was considering taking a mouthful of clumping cat litter to see if it would suck out the funk!

I knew the only solution was to either go to sleep and hope that it would go away after the morning tooth-brushing or cut my tongue out, which would be good to do, initially, but bad to do because I would never taste fudge brownie or garlic (not at the same time), again.

I decided to watch CNN (again!!!) to see if there were any updates on the situation in Haiti and to try to get my mind off the evil taste situation going on in my mouth. Sam and I both stared dreamily at the TV until 1:30AM. I grew tired of breathing in my own fumes. Sam's stomach had stopped gurgling, so we went to sleep.

So ends yet another neurotic day in the life of your black stretchy pants laden Hostess. And yes, the taste DID go away this morning. I think. Wait...hmmm...

P.S. I'm taking FIVE of the foster cats to the Vet in the MORNING! Insert obligatory curse word here:________________ More on that tomorrow!


I get my lobster fix by signing up for the Stew Leonard's email list. The last two summers they have had sales on lobster for $3.99 a pound! Multiple times a summer! Worth the drive for your own mini-lobster fest (and not as far a Maine). Matter of fact they are on sale right now for $5.99 a pound through the end of tomorrow night. :D

Stick to puppy & kitten pix - those food ones made me feel ill....

too bad your chowder pot experience sucked...ive never been to the one by hartford only the one in branford, the bread is covered in honey butter, and the clam chowder there is good.....i dont know whats happening in hartford....lammeee

You're too polite to send stuff back to the kitchen, aren't you? I am too. But I have friends, and I've seen them in action, that just keep sending back everything until it's the way they like it. Or until they are offered another menu item, on the house.
That so called bread looks like it might be an undercooked dumpling. Or some species of pickled egg.
Nice of you to help out the puppies, they look sweet. I very much doubt you'd pass typhoid on to them.

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