Monday, August 21, 2006

Jasper White at the first of what will no-doubt be a string of 40th birthday celebrations

August 21

A dear college friend, science teacher Michael Gerber, turned 40 last week, so this weekend I took a bus to Boston to help him celebrate.
Greyhound has become surprisingly middle class in recent years. The dregs that used to accompany me on bus trips in college in the 1980s are nowhere to be seen. I wonder what has happened to them.
From Boston I took the T to Alewife, where I was picked up by Michael and our friend Shane Curcuru, who started as a debugger of spreadsheets at Lotus and now works on cutting edge software for IBM. We then drove to Lincoln to pick up Dennis Liu, who's a corporate lawyer of some sort, and then to the Millbury Park 'n' Ride where we met John Bruce, who does computer network consulting. We switched to his car and we all drove to Mohegan Sun to have dinner at Summer Shack.
I thought this was an odd choice of a place to honor Michael, who does not drink nor gamble. Nor does he smoke cigars, another thing one can do indoors at Mohegan Sun and not many other places in the northeast. But apparently Michael was in favor of trying something new, and he likes seafood (he's a native of Lexington and now lives in Gloucester, Mass., though, so it's not like we needed to schlep to Connecticut to find seafood).
But it turned out to be a lot of fun, and who did we see when we got to the Summer Shack but its chef and owner, Jasper White! He was in the kitchen, stirring sauces and expediting and stuff. Summer Shack has four units, so you don't really expect to see Jasper at the one you're eating in, especially if it's at Mohegan Sun on a Saturday night.
Anyway, I said hello and he sent us clams casino and peel-and-eat shrimp cooked in beer and Old Bay seasoning. Other than that we had a couple of "towers of power," which is what they call cold seafood platters, along with two styles of calamari and fried clam bellies. Then I had a lobster with drawn butter.
Michael doesn’t gamble, but he did try his hand at some penny slots. He got bored, so Shane took over and managed to turn an 18-cent bet into 40-some-odd dollars. Michael, not being a gambler, knew that that was the time to cash out.
Since he doesn’t drink, I bought him a shot of Macallan 18.


Anonymous said...

It was a pleasure to see you as well. The food was excellent, though for those of us that remember "Jasper's" can get a good versions of his old signature items, like pan lobster (which I had) and wood grilled squid salad (which was a special and I didn't have, but remember from my days as a Jasper's patron.)

I'd also be the one smokin' cuban cigars.

Bret Thorn said...

Thanks John.
Do you think I was foolhardy to order the straightforward steamed lobster? I so rarely get to eat things like that these days.

Anonymous said...

I think the "dregs" that used to frequent your bus trips are now taking the Fung Wah buses (and their competitors) instead, as it's significantly cheaper than the "middle classe" Greyhound fares. You bourgeois pig you....

Bret Thorn said...

Bourgeois, certainly. But pig? Well, actually, yeah, I guess I'm that, too.

Anonymous said...,0,3673895.story

How to REALLY eat a lobster...