Saccharine as it may be, I get the sentiment. Life provides unwanted lemons and then, voila!, you make lemonade and everybody’s happy. Simple. But from where I stand, lemons are hardly ever unwanted. And there are numerous better uses for them than just assembling a nostalgic, over-rated beverage. Though, I somehow imagine, putting “when life gives you lemons, cut them in decently sized wedges and squeeze them onto hot crab cakes and if any are left over they can go into your tea” would not make a good bumper sticker. It would, however, strike me as unmistakably more appealing.
For both the literal and the naive, crab cakes are often a conundrum of sorts because of the food world’s endless struggle with language. We always try to shoehorn a word into meaning what we want. Is it a cake (no candle)? A patty (too SpongeBob)? A burger (too, well, wrong)? Or do we need to recruit an entirely new word that has no relation to food – a crab whimsy anyone – to evoke deliciousness? Or do we assume that at some point we will reach linguistic herd conformity à la the unquestioned hot dog? Only time will tell.
In the end, does it really matter that we call them cakes? Probably not. But what does matter is that Acme has those marvelous crab whatever-you-want-to-call-it on the menu this weekend. May the gods be praised. Served with fresh roasted corn grits, baby arugula, and pickled strawberries, it’s easily one of my all-time favorite summer meals. And one of life’s great pleasures that Covid absconded with 30 months ago and locked away in high-priced hell. That makes me doubly happy to have them on the menu this weekend. Don’t worry, I’ll do plenty of taste tests to make sure they’re just right. And I’ll make sure that there are plenty of properly sliced lemons to go around.
Lest you forget, tonight is the Acme Almost Friday $15. Every entrée, every Thursday, $15. The way we see it, the weekend starts tonight. And starts here. What are you waiting for?
This weekend @ Acme: The Acme tomato plate. Cherry pie a la mode. Acme cornbread. Blackened salmon. Beef short ribs. Acme Brussels’ sprouts. Cold beer. Fish & chips. Peach cobbler. Cast-iron skillet crab cakes. Shooting Point oysters on the half-shell. Rosé all day. Mississippi tamales. Smoked tomato risotto. Wedge Salad. Key lime pie. Pecan-crusted fried chicken. Southern tomato pie. Housemade boudin blanc pork sausage. Summer cocktails. Forever roasted pig. Guaranteed; not a single lemon on the menu.
Well, that’s all the news from Carrboro. The staff at Acme look forward to serving you soon.
The Staff at Acme