Beach season for a kid growing up in northern NJ (like me) always meant one thing: a trip to the Jersey Shore. My parents are creatures of habit, and every shore vacation to our favorite destination, Wildwood, included a visit to the massive boardwalk (Watch the tramcar, please!), a round of mini golf, and at least one meal at Urie’s Waterfront Restaurant.
I was about 5 or 6 year old. My parents, growing up in the Bronx, took me to their idea of a perfect vacation spot: the Jersey shore. Every year, we visited a restaurant called Urie’s, a faux-Polynesian restaurant that sat on the waterfront of the bay in Wildwood.
We were there enjoying frozen Hawaiian drinks in the intense July heat, when our meal arrived. My mother had taken the liberty of ordering a favorite meal of mine (and most 5 year olds) – chicken fingers.
I immediately grabbed one off the plate and inspected its odd, round shape. An inquiry to my Mom about it resulted in a reply that they were “fine”. So, I ate one. It did not have the same texture or taste I had remembered but I liked it, so I just kept on eating.
Once my plate was nearly empty, my parents glanced at each other, smiled at me, and said “How did you like the squid?”.