The other day, Akemi went to the St. Lawrence Market.  There, she engaged one of the seafood purveyors in conversation.  The conversation went something like this:

“Do you have social crab?”asked Akemi.

“What?”asked the woman at the counter.

“Do you have social crab?”

“Social crab?”

“Yes.”

“No.”

“Oh.”

“Do you mean soft-shelled crab?”

“Yes!”

“No.”

When she returned home, a bewildered Akemi asked me to confirm the correct pronunciation.

“Soft-shelled crab,”I enunciated for her.

“Not social crab?”she asked, clearly disappointed.

“No.  Not social crab.”

She now claims the fault lies with me for having referred to it as “social crab” in the first place.

I chalk up this misunderstanding to the fact that she is suffering from hay fever that has affected her eyes, nose, and, apparently, her ears. Also, the fact that she’s Japanese.  To combat the hay fever symptoms, she is thinking of wearing one of those wacky surgical masks you see half the population of Tokyo sporting on any given day.

Whenever I see them, I’m reminded of the King of the Hill episode where Hank Hill finds himself in Tokyo, trying to flag down passersby for directions: “Hello? Pardon me.  Excuse me, doctor.”.  Akemi argues that everyone in Japan wears them to keep from passing along their colds to co-workers and fellow citizens.  It’s common sense!  I told her that while the reasoning was certainly logical, the wearing of face masks wasn’t the norm in North America and would look, well, kind of weird.  She suggested that, maybe, a stylish designer model would be the way to go.  Something like this –

Or this –

Though, given the choice, I’d probably opt for something that would provide the fullest protection.  Probably something like this –

While the cultural divide puts us on opposing ends of the face mask debate, one thing we can both agree on is our love of fish.  Which is why were both so looking forward to dinner last night.

We ended up going to Chiado, a charming little restaurant specializing in “Progressive Portugese” cuisine.  In addition to the fresh local catches, Chiado offers up a selection of fresh fish flown in daily from the Azores.

Following an amuse-bouche comprised of a delicate cow’s milk cheese served with a streak of aged balsamic and a dot of intense rosemary-honey, we were served our appetizers – a salad of arrugula, fresh pear, melted Lourais cheese, lemon, and extra virgin olive oil for her, and the grilled tiger prawn spiced with piri piri, roasted jalapenos and banana peppers for me.  Both wonderful, but not match for our third (shared) appie –

Sardines marinated with lemon, parsley and extra virgin olive oil.  We had a choice between raw or grilled and went with the former.  And, boy, that was the right choice.  Simply prepared but packed with flavor – not fishy (as I feared) but rich and somewhat sweet.  Excellent.

We selected our main course from the day’s fish platter –

Hmmmmm. Decisions, decisions.

I was going to have one of the filets, but Akemi beat me to it, so I opted to go whole fish –

The dorado was grilled, then finished in the oven.  Crisp and smokey-charred on the outside but plump and moist on the inside, it was, again, simple and simply delicious.  I passed on my server’s offer to filet the fish for me and attempted to do it on my own.  I managed one vertical cut before Akemi shooed me away and dud the honors herself, executing a long horizontal cut along the backbone, flipping over the meat on both sides, then hooking her fork just below the pectoral girdle and lifting the entire skeleton free.  Her only complaint was that the only way to properly eat a whole fish is with chopsticks – an opinion I happen to share.

Akemi went with a fish she instantly recognized from back home.  The Japanese call it Tachiuo (I believe it’s known as Black Scabbard or beltfish here) and prepare it a variety of ways although I hear that aburi-style and grilled are the most popular.  Chiado’s version was lightly dusted with flour before preparation, then served on a bed of saffron risotto.  It was unbelievably good.

We shared three desserts to conclude our meal.  My favorite (surprise surprise) was the  chocolate mousse.  Although I wasn’t quite as enthusiastic about the pear tart, Akemi’s Molotof (an airy meringue of egg whites with vanilla cream sauce) was surprisingly good.

Our dinner at Chiado Restaurant was one of those meals that left me satisfied, impressed, and already planning our return visit.  It wasn’t cheap ($40-$45 per entree) but it was spectacular.

We returned home and took Bubba and Lulu out for an extra-long walk. As we were heading back, we happened across an adorable blond whose eyes lit up at the sight of the doggies.  Lulu actually spotted her first and made a bee-line for her, promptly presenting herself for petting and general attention grabbing.  The doggy admirer handed  us a flyer for her comedy show at the local Grindhouse Burger.  Anyway, she (Julia Hladkowicz) was kind enough to say hello to the dogs so I figured the least I could do was give her a shout-out on the blog: Julia Comedy Dot Com

Principal photography on Transporter: The Series starts next week in Berlin.  Paul and I are finishing up the rewrites on our first scripts, getting them ready for the start of production (July) here in Toronto, after which we’ll be switching gears to tackle the rewrites on our next two scripts.  Two weeks from now, we’ll gather to spin the final three episodes and then, it’ll be smoooooooooooooooth sailing!

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hampuusi
hampuusi

Have you met Steven Seagal?

dasNdanger
dasNdanger

See that cheetah face mask? I’d totally wear that. smile

das

Drew
Drew

Hi Joe,

Not sure if this has been answered before but are there any plans for a Jason Statham cameo? Or would that kind of ruin what you guys are trying to do?

Cheers!

Moriel
Moriel

You are lucky that Lulu isn’t big, my dog (a Pitbull – found him in the street 7 years ago, funny story for another time) would have jumped on her and scared her with all his cuteness. He’s intimidating yet adorable on the outside, so people don’t know how to react haha

And question for the sneaky mailbag: Who will compose the music and will the the series feature alot of vocal based music like SGU did?

Cheers.

Etagrats
Etagrats

Hey joe! I hope you did not forget about telling us more of the journey of Atlantis back to Pegasus as you said you would more than a week ago!! i can’t wait for more! smile thx

Pitcairn
Pitcairn

hi joe! any chance you could reveal the locations and times for the shoots in berlin next week? as im going to be in the city next week i might want to check it out if i have the time.

thanks in advance

Coyote Southbridge

You can tell Akemi the way those surgical masks are designed they are kind of lousy for preventing you from picking something up. They are actually only good for keeping your own germs to yourself. More of a public service rather than a genuine prevention.

That is another of those things I wish I hadn’t learned in science.

Ponytail
Ponytail

Akemi is so cute and she is right! I would love to have one of those masks. Akemi needs to wear a mask and start a fad so I can wear one too.

prof.madmax

Evening Joe,
I’m so glad to have discovered your blog. I so enjoy Stargate anecdotes and glimpses of your writer’s craft posted here. The meal sure sounded grand.

grapesofwraith
grapesofwraith

Looks like she mentioned you too! (or Bubba and Lulu at any rate) https://twitter.com/#!/juliacomedy/statuses/76695043079016448

Bailey
Bailey

I second Etagrats query, any more Extinction tidbits coming up? Glad you and Akemi found a good place to dine!

Randomness
Randomness

Brian J Smith interview here for anyone interested

http://www.mediablvd.com/magazine/the_news/celebrity/brian_j._smith_is_the_lead_in_red_faction%3a_origins_201106032524.html

And surprisingly it isn’t a negative one, he isn’t playing the blame game.

Quoting one statement from the interview I agree with

*You can point fingers and you can blame whoever you want, but the ratings were not there*

Pretty much says it all, and that coming from one of the main cast members, as supposed to someone playing a character that could of easily of been killed off mid season with no impact on the story :3

It’s a pretty good interview for anyone wondering, and has a few moments to spare, he mostly just speaks Red Faction but it has a little SGU bit in the end.

Randomness
Randomness

Anyway back on the Transporter point. Berlin huh? Lucky, been there before, its a nice city. Best of luck with the filming, hope it all goes well. Chris Vance is one lucky guy, not only does he get to travel Europe, he’s doing it in style.

josephmallozzi
josephmallozzi

“Pretty much says it all, and that coming from one of the main cast members, as supposed to someone playing a character that could of easily of been killed off mid season with no impact on the story :3”

Don’t quite know what the hell that’s supposed to mean. Presumably you’re suggesting the franchise’s supporting characters deserve less respect than our series regulars?

And, again, for the record – yes, the ratings were the ratings, and – as “the guy playing the character that could have easily been killed off mid season with no impact to the story” intimated – the douchebags were the douchebags.

jafacakes
jafacakes

Is it sad that I’m so happy you liked a restaurant from my country? You know, we are second to the Japanese on how much fish we eat per capita per year, until I came to live in the UK I was so naive I believed everyone in the world ate fish at least once a day,lol. Akemi has very good taste , she choose my two favorite things, peixe espada,the scabbard fish ( there are two , the silver and the black, who is the better one) and the molotov puding. Just shame you don’t like coffee , we make the best bica (expresso) smile

MNP
MNP

I’ve worn a mask at work when I get sick. I don’t do face to face (mostly computer and phone) every day. My coworkers thanked me for being considerate after I explained it to them. I want to start a trend.

I know you’re in Canada so you don’t have to worry about healthcare, but it’s economically wise to wear a mask if you can.

dasNdanger
dasNdanger

Joe, here…this should cheer you up. I think it’s one of your neighbors (caution: strong language):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSILbSzvgnY

das

Diane
Diane

Fish flown in daily from the Azores? Wow. I have a friend who lived in the Azores for a time. She said the people were wonderful, but they would scold her for throwing away any part of a fish. They would use it for soup. Another “no no” was throwing away coffee grinds. They would just add new grinds to the old, making an extremely strong coffee.

Nice meal. And your fish looks so friendly. He’s smiling! I need to like fish better.

Transporter, see you soon.

IggyMing
IggyMing

“To combat the hay fever symptoms, she is thinking of wearing one of those wacky surgical masks you see half the population of Tokyo sporting on any given day.”

Um, why not try Reactine, or any one of the other antihistamines that are available? They’re really effective, and are way less conspicuous than wearing a mask smile

Your meal sounded wonderful. I love fish, too, but prepared in a very simple Chinese way (steamed with ginger, onions, garlic, soy sauce, oil). Deceptively delicious.

Sparrow_hawk

Dinner looks amazing! I’m glad you found a great restaurant and hope your apartment hunting yields a place in a good location with functioning heat and air conditioning and park access for the pups.

I think Akemi has a good idea with the mask – it might help keep the pollen out and relieve her hay fever symptoms.

scottland7
scottland7

Well looks like Akemi has a fan!
My wife loves to read about here adventures now.
Keep em coming Akemi! smile

Watched the Transporter the other day (yes the first- finally). I do live under a rock thanks. smile
If this is how the first show rolls, Looks like we are all in store for a good time with the series!

dasNdanger
dasNdanger

Joe, I believe Randomness meant ‘opposed’, not supposed. In other words, one of the starring cast members humbly admits that the ratings were not there, as opposed to a minor actor who has nothing to lose in acknowledging the same since most people look to the main actors as the ones who make or break a show, not the secondary ones. Also – unlike some actors who blame producers, networks, writers, disgruntled fans, and everyone else for the cancellation of a show – Brian is just saying it boiled down to weak ratings.

das

Ponytail
Ponytail

@ das – Wow, that man! I would not want to be around anybody like that. They probably saw him coming and closed the store.

dasNdanger
dasNdanger

@ Ponytail – If folks here in the States started wearing masks like that, everyone would mistake ’em for bank robbers. razz

das

Bailey
Bailey

I’ll admit to being quite pleasantly surprised by Brian J Smith’s interview – very classy and it has done much to improve my view of him as a person and as an actor. Very happy to read that. I wasn’t sure I was going to watch Red Faction but now I think I’ll try to make that happen. smile