Friday, November 16, 2007

Things to do in Fall River

From one of our WestPort correspondents:

If you are going to the Narrows, Fall River is an interesting place. I have worked and lived in Fall River. My dad was born there.

If you are looking for a place to eat, I recommend sampling one of the Portuguese restaurants, which are actually Azorean by way of America. If you could eat shellfish, I would recommend Shrimp Mozambique – perhaps you could push that on a dining companion. Their steak is served in a really delicious garlicky gravy-like sauce and normally served with a roasted red pepper, egg, and plenty of fries for sopping (or rice). You are hard pressed to find vegetables in these restaurants. I don’t know why these people don’t get scurvy or something. You can’t go wrong with Flan for dessert.

All the restaurants have variations of the same dishes and everyone knows which place serves each dish in their favorite way. I have taken part in numerous arguments over who has the best Shrimp Mozambique -- I liked O’Gils. Also, you can get true rose wine – not that crappy White Zinfandel that has replaced it in the rest of America. Many of the bars/restaurants have a very “grandpa hanging out at the lodge” feel. And, I bet you can still get a draft for a dollar or two at most of them.

The restaurants have bars with separate entrances because only the guys go into them. You rarely see women in them. We quite a ruckus in these places. Many of these places have dancing in the evening on the restaurant side. I’ve bartended them. They do some old-fashioned Portuguese dances and it’s pretty fun to watch.

The local folk are great. Loud and brash blue collar families who never leave the city. They live in 3-deckers with their extended families. Girls live with their parents until they get married. When they get married, their husbands literally hand over their paychecks to them – the wives give them an allowance. When the husband dies, the wife wears black for the rest of her life. They have these Catholic feast days where there are parades led by people carrying statues of the Virgin Mary and old women bringing up the rear crawling on their HANDS AND KNEES. Crazy folks.

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