Monday, April 6, 2009

Poseidon vs. Neptune: Battle Chicken of the Sea

I love kitsch. I love cheesiness. I also love the strange. One can never underestimate the power of Hello Kitty's appeal to the young Japanese male population, a wine that compels you to buy it with a weird but adorable little animal on its label or the glory of resurrected and reincarnated Greek deities, especially as savvy restaurateurs.

The god of the sea seems to have done quite well on the international dining scene.

I have been going to the Neptune Diner for years. When my genius boyfriend forgot to pay our utility bills for several months and our power was cut off, sometimes we ate there three meals a day (that was a low point in my graduate career).

And yet we have always been troubled -- no, seriously disturbed -- by the fact that although the Neptune Diner is smack dab in the middle of a Greek neighborhood, somehow it is not called the Poseidon Diner.

Yesterday, I decided to investigate. I brought my camera, a pen and my sweetest smile. But still, the head waiter only laughed when I asked why Neptune wasn't called Poseidon and said, "A lot of people ask that question and you're asking the wrong person."

Whatever. They do make really good fried chicken, though, all crunchy on the outside and piping hot and tender meat inside.

Good chicken seems to be constantly associated with the sea god's various restaurants.

For Spring Break, Mel and I decided that it was about time we got away from studying, got away from Classics and our everyday lives in general. We were determined to make everyone we knew insane with jealousy. We went to Jamaica.

Little did we suspect that the Grand Palladium of Montego Bay would actually attempt to be something of a Grand Palladium. Kind of. We went sailing and pedal-boating, we walked the marble, colonnaded halls barefoot, we got tans (well, I got a tan, she got some weird pink splotches). We laughed at the Spring Breakers well into their fifties who begged for bathroom breaks on bus rides after double-fisting margaritas straight off the plane. We marveled at the swim-up bar. We also stuffed ourselves silly at the most un-Jamaican, all-inclusive hotel restaurants: the Pastafarian and Poseidon's Sunset Cove (where we did not get shipwrecked, to my great surprise and disappointment).

But Poseidon sure does make a mean jerk chicken. I devoured half a plate of it before it even occurred to me to photodocument the occasion.

Well done, god of the sea, on both accounts.

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