Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Fried Okra

We were visiting Lou in San Jose on the way out of California, and he suggested dinner at a barbecue joint.

Well, not really a barbecue joint, a bar where Uncle Frank, or in this case Uncle Frank's protege, serves barbecue.

The bar is called The Quarter Note, and they probably play music there. When we entered the bar it wasn't at all obvious that they served food, and since it was Friday night and there were only two patrons in the bar, one had to wonder about the viability of the establishment at all.

But we asked and they handed us a menu.

We ordered ribs and brisket. They were out of hushpuppies.

HOWEVER, one of the sides on the menu was fried okra. Put it this way, I go to cafeterias specifically to get their fried okra, and cafeteria fried okra is only okay.

When the waiter, who was also the cook (and a musician, he told us) said they were not only out of hush puppies but greens as well, I was steeled for the disappointment of not getting my okra. But no, he said, he still had okra.

Lou's girlfriend Maricella indicated she was not a big fan of okra, but we talked her into trying it.

Let's just say Maricella is now a Big Fan of Fried Okra. The portions were sizable, served in little cardboard dishes like you'd expect to hold french fries. The okra came hot out of the skillet, breaded lightly and perfectly crispy. We had three orders, plenty of fried okra for five, and we still asked for a couple more for dessert.

The fried okra was as good as any made by my mother, mother-in-law, or wife, and that's saying something.

So, if you're in San Jose and get a hankering for fried okra, you'll find the real thing at the Quarter Note.

Addendum: This just in. I realized on telling this story that the locale was perfectly suited for the product: barbecue.