Dana lives in Seattle, and Tracie lives in Germany. We are businesswomen, writers and humorists. We write about life, dating, and today's modern women.
Wandering through the ancient city of Cagliari, I stumble upon a restaurant named Su Cumbidu which features specialties of the sea. I am absolutely not hungry, but I’ve been walking for hours and it is so very hot and muggy. So why not–it’s lunchtime as my sister and Co blogger Dana would say. There are seven tables outside with menus on them and I pick one up and I read it. Seafood, pasta. Looks good. So I sit.
I remember that one of my tour guides suggested that I definitely should make it a point to eat Burrida – a typical food native to this area. Shark fish cooked with walnuts. And so I order.
Good grief. Anthony Bourdain I am not. This specialty cold fish appetizer –tastes overwhelmingly tart due to the vinegar it’s cooked in. And it just doesn’t look right. Kind of like octopus and fat and pork meat all in one. I don’t think I’m gonna be able to do this.
I take a sip of white wine which is cold and dry and tastes refreshingly good . . . and I try again. “Pull out that Anthony Bourdain in you Tracie,” I tell myself. I think I’m going to gag. Sitting alone outside in the Sardinia heat facing palm trees and the Mediterranean Sea gagging would not be a good look. I think if I google what the hell the tour guide has suggested for me to eat, it might help me out.
I discover that this dogfish is oftentimes a bottom dweller of the sea. Not exactly a bottom feeder like the crab and lobster and cray fish and shrimp that I love, this hunter of the sea will sink it’s teeth into anything that it can. Hm. . . I look at it. It still doesn’t look right. It’s just not gonna work. The waiter and waitress are so kind I hate to tell them that I just don’t like this at all but I must.
By now, in my mind I’m hungry so I order the menu–pasta is always good. I push the Burrida away. I ask the waitress what her favorite pasta dish is. She points out a dish with mixed seafood that I planned to order anyway. It arrives. It’s beautiful. Its going to work. When I finish, I ask for the check. Before it arrives, a dessert that I didn’t order does: a fat, moist glazed cookie with currants and walnuts and a chocolate pastry with figs (which are homegrown) and it’s really quite lovely, but again it’s not for me. At least not right now. I push it slightly away and the waiter comes out and looks at me and says, “Signora!” in exasperation. It’s like they just can’t make me happy-even though I’ve eaten more than half of the pasta dish.
He brings me a digestif. Grappa. It’s about 3 o’clock now and 5000° outside with just as much humidity. Can’t do it, push it away. He brings me another one: this time it’s a Limoncello–sweet and lemony and just as strong. I push it away. But it was just so thoughtful!
After I pay my check I get up to go to the restroom and I find that the restaurant is packed with people who have the common sense to eat lunch inside sheltered from the scorching heat. I leave the restroom and walk past the kitchen–it’s open–I just have to make a quick picture. My waiter notices me and pushes me inside and takes my iPhone from my hand and prepares to snap a picture. There is suddenly a wonderful pandemonium in the kitchen as the owner welcomes me in and picks up a plate. “Where are you from? Did you like our food?” he enthusiastically asks me.
Just the friendliest people on the planet! And as I thank them profusely and they thank me, I walk away from this special restaurant and my stomach and heart are full. There’s nothing like serving kindness on a scorching summer day. Or any day for that matter: After all, we are all sweating . . .
I do think I’ll skip the dining tour though. I’m just not the one. This meal has taken my respect for Anthony Bourdain to a whole new level.
*DE Amazon link: https://www.amazon.de/gp/aw/d/3775158057