Last night we met friends at the new-to-us Norm’s for dinner and a couple beers. I had the fish and chips, which was unspectacular and served on, um, potato chips. The chips are made on the premises and were not greasy in the least, so light as to be fluffy; but goddammit, fish-and-chips is NOT fish and potato chips; and the serving was only about half what I was expecting and certainly not enough for an average-sized adult. Otherwise, it was nice to see that there’s a plain-folks type pub in Fremont yet, resisting the tides of money and hooting frat boys that have otherwise adversely affected the texture of the place. Viv had meatloaf which was both a generous serving and very tasty.
After dinner Viv and I walked around a bit and dropped into the entirely empty (one table of customers on a Friday night: bad sign) Blue C Sushi, attracted by the unpopulated expanse of the upstairs bar for a drink. We had some freaky thing that was served at $5.00 ‘a pair’ and involved a blue liquid. I counted eight or nine employees to six customers. The P-I notes that the place is owned by ex-dot-com peeps. Hmmmm.
On the good side of things, the plate prices were extremely moderate, and I noted dishes rotated on the kaiten belt with regularity (although I shudder to think of the wastage that must have happened that night).
I noticed a witty take on the famous Hokusai print of high seas with Mount Fuji in the background, and peering through the murk, made out the signature: ‘kozyndan,’ it said, which amused me because I knew their work. Uprisings is the painting, and it was used as a Giant Robot cover.
After that we were headed back to the car and decided to wander around the cavernous PCC, where I flashed on the idea of a midnight picnic in 40 degree cold by the banks of the beautiful Ship Canal, one thing that Fremont is likely to always have going for it. We got olives, hummus, pita bread, and then Viv scored an awesome find: persimmon pudding, one of two or three foods that are traditional in my homeland of Southern Indiana, persimmon trees being native to the region.
Viv was doubtful about the whole concept (fear of cold being endemic to her tropical peoples) but had a wonderful time complaining about the chill and wondering why we couldn’t sit in the car, concerns I had an equally wonderful time ignoring while feeding her and looking at the lights reflecting on the canal.
There was a real meat-market vibe to most of the bars we strolled by that night – it’s puzzling that the sushi place isn’t drawing the hooting young people in backward baseball caps. Overall, while still disheartened by the changes to Fremont, it was a good night and a pleasant stroll.