February 17, 2010 | 8:53am
My best girlfriend and I have always had a long-distance relationship. She lives in the same state, but somehow we always end up at least five counties away. Now she's up in Volusia, but we make excuses to see each other regularly. This time, I had to pick up a new car in Palm Beach, so she schlepped down to meet me in Jupiter. Besides, we had lots to catch up on now that she's recently dumped her man and I'm committed to a guy who I hope will be The One. I used our reunion as the perfect excuse to dine at Little Moir's Food Shack, a restaurant I had heard so much about.
Now LMFS is no shack, but it's no Taj Mahal either. The spot is tucked in a strip mall and, from the outside -- to steal the words of Halle Berry's character Ginger Knowles in Swordfish
-- it "sure don't look like much." But inside is near pandemonium. Even on a Tuesday night, it was packed with customers, taking up every table and barstool. From what we could deduce, no one inside this
small space with tomato-colored walls, tropical artwork, and signs
reading things like "What if the hokey pokey is really what it's all
about?" was here to just have a drink either; they were all about the
After being presented with both a
laminated menu and an 11-by-17-inch pink paper poster with daily
specials, I quickly understood why LMFS was so popular. What this
restaurant lacked in square footage, it more than made up for with
offerings: We counted more than a dozen "Shackatizers," easily more than 20
entrees (excepting the eight different ways diners could ask for the
nine different varieties of fresh fish that night), and ten desserts.
We had to ask the server to return twice but finally committed to a
decision. My BFF asked for the sriracha-tinged mac and cheese, sans
chicken, and I went for what the waitress assured me was the house
specialty: sweet-potato-crusted grouper cheeks over greens with mango
chunks and garlic-lime dressing.
As we waited, she and I talked about -- what else? -- men. Her ex-husband, though a perfectly good guy, didn't fill her love tank. He landscaped, cooked, cleaned, and brought home the bacon but was more interested in spending time with his son (from the first marriage) than my buddy. Within months, she had found someone else who seemed his exact opposite. Dude Two had no kids or ex-wife and wanted to spend time with her (and was great in the sack, to boot), but he didn't lift a finger to help, and his lack of assistance left her busy running errands and picking up after him.
Now, my guy has a lot of desirable qualities for sure -- he is sweet as can be, loves yours truly, and has his priorities in order -- but he also hates helping around the house, often won't eat anything that wouldn't appear on a fast-food menu, and leaves all the bookkeeping to me. (Not a smart move, by the way.) As my girlfriend and I made a verbal wish list of desirable male attributes, we dug into the spicy, creamy, smoky coated pasta and my fried fishy deliciousness with just the right combo of temperatures and flavors. Yep, this was a place we could commit to for a lifetime of return visits. But as we chewed, we wondered aloud whether our men of the moment or future would make us want to do the same with them. Fingers crossed.
What we decided next, as we shoveled down a glorious slice of chocolate Whosiwhatzit?!?, a brownie disguised as cake with dollops of ganache, fresh whipped cream, toasted coconut, and berries, was that perhaps we just have to resign to regularly refresh our wish lists, just like LMFS does with its whopping list of daily specials. After all, there are tons of fish in the sea, we hear, but if they're not going to be top quality and good enough to satiate our desires day after day, it may be tough to keep on throwing out our lines.
Little Moir's Food Shack is located at 103 S. U.S. Highway 1 in Jupiter. Call 561-741-3626, or visit littlemoirsfoodshack.com.
Freelance writer Riki Altman eats everything that won't try to eat her first (with exceptions, of course) and dates younger men, older men, and older men who act like young men, along with locals, tourists, illegal aliens, and just plain aliens. Love Bites is a compilation of what happens when her dining and dating ordeals collide. Sometimes, it just ain't pretty.