Whenever I don’t feel good, I usually prefer to eat rice congee, also called as rice porridge, or lugaw in Filipino.
Rice congee is my comfort food. I know most people would say chicken soup is best to eat when you are not . I prefer it over chicken soup. Come to think of it, chicken soup is not even on my top 3 food that I eat when I’m not feeling well.
I felt like I was coming down with something and I didn’t have any appetite to eat anything. So I had asked Chris to make me some congee. I always find myself eating congee when I can’t eat anything else.
Congee is good because it’s a clean food when it comes to how simple the ingredients are: rice and water. It can’t get any simpler than that. What you add to it are based on preference and there are a lot to choose from. Even I have so many different preferences when it comes to my rice congee.
There are many different types of congee and/or rice porridge. This one is just a simple congee.
The rice was boiled with 3 parts water ratio compared to the rice. So with 1 cup of uncooked rice boiled with 3 cups of water. No salt added or any seasoning when it was cooked. You can add chicken bouillon and ginger too. But with this one in the picture, the congee was made simple. Once it’s cooked, then that’s when I add seasoning. My go to seasoning and toppings for my congee is soy sauce and the Chinese dried pork floss, also called rousong. I sometimes like adding century egg too. Sometimes you can also add a bit of lime juice, a sprinkle of onion chives, and dab of fish sauce. You can always switch between soy sauce and fish sauce. But if you don’t like the color on your congee, you can always use salt.
We’ve always loved the food at Frenchy’s in Clearwater Beach, FL, and we also absolutely love crabs. So when we heard that Frenchy’s was doing their 35th annual Stone Crab weekend block party, we decided to go. Not for the party, but for the food!
Saturday came, we hesitated to go. “The parking usually sucks and I’m afraid if we would get stuck there because of the traffic or drive in circles to find a parking spot.” I dreaded.
We still drove to Clearwater Beach because even if we can’t find a parking space, then we could at least show my mom Clearwater Beach for the first time. It wasn’t the best time as it had been raining for most part of the day. Additionally, the sun was actually about to set as we were heading out. Fortunately, we arrived at Clearwater Beach with still a little bit of sunlight, but the sun had already set. We went to the parking lot on the north side of the beach, because it was closest to the venue.
As we arrive at the parking lot, it was no surprise that the lot was full. I was telling my husband, “it’s ok we can just go have dinner else where.” Chris tried encouraging me by saying, “Who knows? We might get lucky.” I nodded. We just completed our first lap around the lot. Then, as we were about to start our second lap, a driver from a distance flagged us down and signaled that they were leaving. We had to back up a bit to give them room to vacate the parking space and make way for us. “Appreciate it. Thank you!” Chris said as he was giving a quick wave towards the driver and his passenger for their kindness. Turning towards me, Chris says, “See? We got lucky.” We sure did! As there was still another car behind us. But we were able to get this one because we were in the right place at the right time. Yup, we sure did get lucky!
Once we got in the event (which was a free event, by the way), we realized that we had to buy tickets to be able to buy food — the stone crab claws and the grouper sandwich that Frenchy’s is famous for. I’m actually surprised that this was not a grouper sandwich festival (which I think they should have one, if they don’t have one yet).
Each ticket is equivalent to a $1.00 value. If you ask me, I feel like I’d rather order this straight from the restaurant with no hassle of buying tickets. Also, I feel like the price seems a bit higher than usual. I could be wrong. But then again, I shouldn’t be shocked as I was in Clearwater Beach, where most times, things are priced for tourists and not for locals.
The grouper tasted fresh. But the sandwich itself was dry, because they don’t put any sauce or dressing. You would have to season or dress it yourself. So, before taking a big bite, it would be best to check to see if it has any sauce or dressing.
The stone crab claws were definitely medium in size. We didn’t order the bigger ones as we wanted to share. If you notice the sign above, you get less claws when you order the bigger ones — which makes sense! For the flavor of the stone crab, it was deliciously sweet and fresh.
Yes, you see that name right – Frenchy’s Garlic Crab Fries. So those on top of the fries are actually crab meat. They were delicious. As a tip, you will need a fork to eat this. Actually, make that a spork! So that you can scoop the crab meat along with your fries.
There were also bands at the block party. But we were only able to watch the band Never Stop Believin’ (Journey Tribute Band) perform, which I believe would have been the best band among the line up. The band truly sounds like Journey! It was crazy how the lead singer’s voice sounded like Journey’s lead singer. It’s almost as if they were playing a CD and that the band were just lip synching.
Several songs were played, most of which we didn’t know the words to the song. (Sorry, blame it on our being Millenials) Until they got to Open Arms. (Now, that I know!) I was also waiting for Don’t Stop Believing. But it was still too early for their set to be singing the most popular Journey song. We decided not to stick around and headed over to an ice cream parlor to get desserts. After finishing the ice cream, we went to the pier and enjoyed some fresh breeze before going home.