Saturday, May 29, 2010

Springfield Grille and the Soft Shell Crab Incident

On Friday we had to return a tricycle to a 10-year old girl in Butler (don't ask), so on the way home I asked DB~ if she wanted to try Springfield Grille in Adams Township off Route 228. It's one of my personal favorites, but she had not had the pleasure yet.

We got there at 7:30 pm and still had to wait 15 minutes for a table -- it looked like all of Treesdale decided to dine out here tonight. The interior of the restaurant reminds me of a warm hunting lodge. The walls are all deep mahogany or cherry wood, the ceilings are pressed tin, and the paintings tell the tale of sailing your boat or hunting animals for the most part (we had a huge mounted elk above our table).

The basic cooking philosophy of the Springfield Grille is "If we can fit it on our grill, we'll cook it", especially if it was something that was walking around just 6 hours ago. They are known for their steaks and chops, but they have a nice selection of seafood...perfect for DB~ who is not a fan of the red meat.

I went with a very boring choice of 10 oz. strip steak and a loaded mashed potato (bacon, sour cream, cheese). But DB~ went off the grid to the specials and selected a Soft Shell Crab crusted in cashews and served on a bed of coconut rice pilaf. Now, we've been together nearly 18 months....I sort of know the tendencies of DB~. She doesn't strike me as the kind of person who would enjoy chomping down on the claws, body, and eyes of a crab. Especially with it being served kind of looking at her. I asked if she ever had one before and her response was "Yes, I know I've had one in the past at some point". OK...I think the lure of the coconut rice pilaf temporarily short-circuited her synapses, but this should be entertaining....

Sure enough it came out and I could see that she was unsure how to tackle this object staring back at her. I saw some tentative scoops of rice around it and a poke of the fork to make sure it wouldn't bite her back. DB~ tried a claw and said it tasted great and then I watched her surgically peel back the soft shell to do an exploratory search of the crab's insides. All the while, I'm practically using laser precision to carve my steak apart and put it in the cake cruncher. I was looking around the restaurant and checking things out, when I slowly see DB~ reach for the ever-present iPhone. She has it set on this frequency that only dogs can hear, I think, so I'm not surprised to see her check texts periodically. But I caught her and she sort of laughed so I asked what she was looking at. With a little cajoling, I got out of her that she was on to figure out How To Eat a Soft Shell Crab!

This was too good to keep to ourselves, so of course the next time our server (Roz -- very perky and pleasant, if you go to Springfield Grille ask for her!) came over I shared this factoid with her. All three of us had a good laugh at that. She assured DB~ that you eat the whole crab...the whole kit and kaboodle.

The rest of the dinner consisted of me cleaning my plates to the point that they didn't need to wash them and DB~ eating all of her rice and pushing the remants of the crab's body around the plate to make it look like she ate it.

On the way home, she started to over-analyze the taste of the crab in her mouth and practically used all the toothpaste in the tube while brushing her teeth. The best part is that she still tries to convince me that she ate one before!

We will go back to Springfield Grille, probably in the fall/winter (it just feels more like that season of restaurant)....out of soft shell crab season.

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