Saturday, May 28, 2011

Day 149: Holding Swai

Today was a rather fishy day. First, we took a trip to the Birch Aquarium in La Jolla, CA to look at the fish (that's me with the big whale statue outside). Then we went to Alfonso's Mexican Restaurant to eat some.

At the aquarium, we learned a lot about seahorses and jellyfish and, of course, we found Nemo (or one of his brethren). At the restaurant, we learned a tiny bit about something called swai, which I hadn't heard of until this afternoon.

The first thing I learned about swai: it's not good.

I didn't think so, anyway. I ordered a fish burrito, and trying to be a bit healthier and less wimpy about my fish order, I asked for the fish grilled instead of fried. But when I got my burrito, I discovered that it was filled with a pretty fishy fish, one that seemed to have its skin on, one that kind of tasted like it smells when you walk out onto a pier. Oceany, fishy, dirty. I had no idea at that point what kind of fish I was eating--I kind of assumed it would be something like cod--and the waitress, when asked, said it was swai, which she said was a lot like tilapia. Okay. I've never had tilapia, either. Whatever it was like, my dad had the same fish in his fish tacos and he agreed that it was not the tastiest. He was the one who said it tasted like dirt. And then, when we went down to La Jolla Cove and got down near the cliffs, we smelled that smell. Which is like dirty fish. Or bird poop. Or fish poop. So you can understand why I ate less than half of my burrito and lost my appetite for quite a while. (That's La Jolla Cove in the picture.)

Later, at home, after a little nap (I also had a melon margarita at lunch which was not disappointing at all but actually quite yummy), I looked up swai fish on the interwebs. Apparently, the dirty descriptor is appropriate--it's like a Vietnamese catfish. It's also pretty cheap. Which explains why a restaurant would choose to serve it. I've had regular catfish before, fried with a substantial sauce, and I liked it that way, but I don't think my burrito filling was rich or sharp enough to stand up to it. But hey, it was something new.

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