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Oct 2, 2012 07:57 AM

The strangest location you have ever had a meal at/in and what was it?

Like the top of Everest or in a cave or in a tree.
I'll start: While living on a sail boat in S. France as a kid, every couple of months some of the ships from the US Sixth fleet would anchor just off the fishing village where we were moored. Golfe Juan). They'd send hundreds and hundreds of young men on 'shore leave' into the poor village. These men were ferried ashore by Liberty boats. A day or so before the fleet arrived about a dozen whore houses masquerading as 'bars' would open up and dozens and dozens of hookers would arrive by train coming from the last location the fleet was visiting. After a few days the fleet would move on along the coast and the temporary bars would close their doors and the hookers would board the train and meet the fleet a hundred miles up or down the coast. Anyway. That's a different subject. Because I was a Canadian and could speak 'English' I used to hang around with some of the sailors. I was even allowed to hang around in the 'bars' and the sailors and I were happy to speak 'English'. They would buy me Cokes. I got to know a few of these guys because they'd show up every couple of months. My parents would have some of them come to our sail boat for lunch/dinners. I was sort of a 'little brother' to them I guess. One time a couple of these men asked their officer/s if I could visit their ship and see what it was like. Permission was granted. I went out by liberty boat to the USS Trout. A submarine. The plan was I'd have lunch, get a tour of the ship given not by my sailor friends but some one who was trained to give tours then take a liberty boat back ashore. Just after I went aboard one of the famous 'mistral' wind storms hit. The waves got so high that the order was given to submerge below the surface. There I was in a US submarine under the water. We stayed submerged for three days. I ended up having the run of the ship. No supervision. I scrambled all over the ship from the conning tower to the engine room. Some one found a sailers cap for me. I can't remember what the meals where but I always had seconds. (My parents knew where I was and that I was safe of course) After a few days we surfaced. Some one gave me a deck of cards and an ash tray with USS TROUT on them and a carton of Pall Malls and a box of Mars bars as I left.

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  1. A few years ago I was in Los Roques Archipelago, Venezuela going skin diving by boat. Out in the middle of the ocean was a place where it was very shallow. There were a small group of buildings on stilts. No land to be seen. You stopped by in the morning placed your order for fish or lobster, and came back in the afternoon. They would go out and fish fresh for you, then cook it. Very simple but tasty.

    But the most memorable meal I ever had was this:

    4 Replies
      1. re: JMF

        This reminds me of the time a few years ago when I was on a dive boat perhas two or three hours outside of Juneau, Alaska. We were anchored in a straight in an uninhabited area (well, there were grizzly bears if you went on land..). anyway, a couple of teenage boys, perhaps 16 yrs old, in a small motor boat came up to our boat and asked to talk to the Cpt. Turns out they had been fishing in one of the kids father's boat, had caught a huge halibut, but had forgotten to put gas in the tank before taking the boat, had no radio and were out of gas in more or less the middle of nowhere, and were quite worried about the trouble they'd be in when they didn't show up on time (not to mention the trouble they'd be in if they had to spend the night somewhere and wait for a search party...). And of course they had no money to buy gas, not that there were any nearby towns to buy it...Would the Cpt. possibly be willing to 'lend' them a tank's worth of gas?

        Our Cpt look one look at the beautiful halibut in the boat, got a sly smile on his face, and said he was sure we could arrange a trade. That night, all 20 or so passengers and 10 or so crew had a delicious dinner of just caught halibut and I presume the two kids got home safely, with hopefully a bit more maturity for the experience....

          1. re: susancinsf

            Great story! The kind that comes around on Chowhound only once in a while. Thank you Susan.

        1. Down at Seven Mile Hole (Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River) in Yellowstone National Park. Fished for Cutthroat Trout - successfully - pan fried - with sliced potatoes/onions on the side. Wonderful meal in one of the most gorgeous places in North America. Strange because of the sulfur (rotten egg) smell from all of the thermal features all around. From steam vents, to fumaroles, to hot pots, and hot springs. Strange but beautiful.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Maggie19

            I wonder if anyone has ever cooked in those thermal features. Geyser trout?

            1. re: chowser

              Back in the early 50s my Dad heated my brother's bottle in one. I don't think they let people get that close any more!

              1. re: Jeri L

                I love that it was your dad who did it, in the 50's.

              2. re: chowser

                Very common in some of the thermal parks in SE Asia to find folks boiling eggs in the pools.

            2. I was stationed at Tan Son Nhut AFB Saigon in 1967-1968 and ate many wonderful meals at a Vietnamese run "cafe" that was located on the base. Probably, more than half the time I ordered what would these days be touted as "Heritage" pork chops. Thick and fatty, these chops looked more like beef than pork. I doubt these lunches cost more than 2 or 3 dollars. These days, I occasionally get Berkshire chops at $15 per pound and they aren't as good. Anyway, the strange thing about this cafe was that it was located on the edge of the mortuary property and the usual view was caskets and/or body bags. A lot of my friends refused to eat there for this reason. They said the smell of death was in the air. I believe what was in the air at times was the smell of formaldahyde. For this reason, I always checked the windage before ordering. So there it is; not very romantic, but pretty darned strange.

              5 Replies
              1. re: grampart

                Ever watched 'Fried Green Tomatoes'?

                1. re: Puffin3

                  Once, when it came out, but I can't make a connection.

                    1. re: JMF

                      Oops, got confused with Steel Magnolias. Never saw Fried Green Tomatoes. What is the connection?

                      1. re: grampart

                        The restaurant in the movie was serving a human being to a customer and the customer thought the 'ribs' were delicious. LOL Maybe the restaurant you eat at was serving dead humans dug up from the graveyard. LOL That's the connection.

                2. Probably the Treehouse Restaurant at Alnwick Garden.


                  Food was pretty good as well.

                  1. Interesting thread!
                    Ok, let's see:
                    Spending a week in the Grand Canyon and having a wonderful cook-out every night on one of the beaches.

                    Lunch on a houseboat on the River Kwai in Thailand

                    Lunch in the Anavilhanas/Brazil on a boat

                    BBQ on a Russian spy ship ( The Vavilov) in Antarctica out in the open in full Winter gear.

                    Thanksgiving Dinner at Erg Chebbi in the Sahara desert. The Turkey was served with head still attached!!

                    Dinner/Camel Stew shared in a mess tent at a total Solar Eclipse in the Libyan Sahara.

                    One of the most supreme BBQs ever, at Sossusvlei in Namibia. The choice of meats ranked from different types of Antelopes to Zebra, also Crocodile. It was incredibly delicious!!

                    Spending several days in the base camp of Mt Everest in Tibet, dinner at the mess tent.

                    Fresh seafood truly straight out of the waters in Iceland on a Puffin cruise, most delicious Urchins and Scallops, YUM!!

                    We bought some Harzer Roller ( specialty German Cheese) at the Market in Torgau/ Elbe. (Torgau was the first contact point during WW2 of Russian and American Army) We also picked up some fresh rolls somewhere, we had Coffee along in a Thermos. Now one of us had a Scissor!!, but no knife. So we sat somewhere in a forest, ate Harzer Roller on a Brötchen cut up with a scissor. Unforgettable!! One has to know that both of us loved this cheese growing up and hadn't eaten in in many, many years.

                    Ok I could go on here for a while....

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: RUK

                      So "go on". You certainly have been around. How did you find yourself on a Russian spy ship? Did you know at the time it was a spy ship?

                      1. re: Puffin3

                        regarding the Russian ship -
                        no, we had simply booked the Antarctica trip and we knew we were not boarding a typical large cruise ship, but rather a much smaller Russian research vessel with a Russian crew. It turns out the Academik Sergey Vavilov was indeed ( along with her sister ship the Academik Ioffe) a scientific research ship owned by the Soviet Academy of Science, but we learned later that it was classified by NATO as a Spy ship. The ship was equipped with all sorts of fancy Sonar equipment, which was of course now used to detect Whales. And the ship was certainly comfortable enough - as it was refurbished now to take tourists to Antarctica.

                        We found out later that after our great trip this Ship was chased 8000 miles across the Atlantic by some German creditors as there were some outstanding bills to be paid to the Academy for the refurbishment.