Uncle Pete's Barbeque Chicken
It was Spring, 1998. The wind was still raw, but the sun was definitely out and trying to warm up the city. I rounded up a total of eight people for the first annual Uncle Pete's Ribs expedition. We were going to walk to Aquarium, near the Marriott Long Wharf, and take the Blue Line to Wood Island. From there it was a short walk to Uncle Pete's in Day Square.
The first sign that we were in trouble, was when all of us got in the elevator and the elevator complained that there were too many of us in the elevator, could some of us get off. This also happened on the second annual Uncle Pete's expedition, which tells you something. We had some big appetites going to chow down.
When we got there, I was sure this was another bad sign, since the place was just about empty. In hindsight, it was Good Friday, and East Boston is heavily observant Catholic, so it was a wonder the place was even open.
We ordered a variety of ribs, pulled pork, and I remember Albert S. ordered an extra barbeque chicken dinner to go (for his evening meal). There was some heated discussion about whether Albert absconded with Peter B's baked beans. Russ B. ordered his traditional pulled pork sandwich to which he added the traditional cole slaw. I surely was there, but I can't remember who else went. If someone remembers remind me and I'll update this.
The next day, Albert looked me up and told me, that when he bit into that barbeque chicken the night before, it was so authentic in flavor that it brought him back to his own childhood experience with barbeque chicken. He had gone to a friend's house to play, and stayed out until well after the grownups had eaten and most of the food put away. When Albert and his friend came in they were given the leftover (cooling) barbeque chicken that the adults had not consumed, and it was exactly this moment, the somewhat cooled-off chicken, the evening hour, the combination of flavors and taste, which came rushing back full force for Albert that evening before.
I don't know what has become of Albert, I hope he is well, but his gift of this story will be treasured by me. Thank you, Albert.