Monday, June 25, 2007

The secret key to the perfect summer meal

One of the humble, unacknowledged elements that really kind of finishes a summer day to perfection is shredded cabbage and dressing. In a word: slaw. There's sweet and simple, there's tangy and biting, there's green cabbage, there's red cabbage.

If anything competes with lemonade for the true taste of summer, it's the crunch of ice-cold cole slaw.

Any self-respecting BBQ joint around town serves it in a little ramekin alongside slabs of ribs and baked beans and those starchy potato wedges they call french fries. Most are perfectly serviceable and toothsome. But we found the best cup of slaw in an unexpected place: At the Tin Fish, Lake Calhoun's odd little fish and chips stand. (Odd, because it's kinda pricey, but definitely the dough, for a paper plate of fresh salmon, calamari, haddock, or salmon and yummy criss-cross-cut fries.)

Tin Fish's slaw is of the vinegar-based variety, with a light treatment of parsley. It's simple and straightforward, and it's precisely the thing to clear the palate when you're finished with your delicious breaded and fried greaseplate.