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Arms And the Woman...eight arms, in fact.

Last time, I left teasing you a little about having the worst tentacles I’ve ever encountered. Well, sorry. Actually, it was Patty who had the tentacles. But they were terrible. So there’s some logic to it. If not much...

Anyway, it was our last night at Patty’s. We wanted to get out for dinner, but, unfortunately, no one was real hungry, so we decided on something simple.

Specifically, we decided on Bertucci’s. What’s that? you say. So glad you asked, I answer. It is a chain of pizza and Italian food restaurants, most of them in New England (website is here: They make terrific pizzas (among other things) in big brick ovens. It was among our favorite places to eat while we lived here.

In fact, we’ve never found anyplace quite like it in our particular part of Texas. There was a similar chain in New Mexico -- Il Vicino, which we really, really liked (the website is here: And I’m sure if we looked, we could find similar pizza in Austin. But, so far, not Georgetown or in any of the other suburbs close at hand.

Oh, there’s some good pizza in town. Don’t get me wrong. There’s Firo, for instance ( which offers a pretty darn tasty slice-o-pie. Or, for something with a bit more of a funky atmosphere, there’s Roots in downtown Georgetown ( though, we usually go there for sandwiches.

But, right here, in close proximity, there isn’t anything quite like either Il Vicino or Bertucci’s, both of which offer pizzas that have a certain quality that’s hard to describe. Let’s just say that, somehow, a Bertiuci’s Classic Margherita or, maybe even better, the “Sporkie” (“Sweet Italian sausage, ricotta, mozzarella, Pecorino Romano & house-made tomato sauce”), are just really, really hard to beat.

So, when Patty suggested Bertucci’s we jumped at the chance and off we went.

As per norm, nothing to do with the story. This is a snap of Martha at one of our current favorite coffee houses, the Rivery in Georgetown. It dates back to February of 2022, and you can see that she was still using her walker at the time. I’m so glad that period in our lives is over.

We got to the closest Bertucci’s to us and soon found ourselves in a great, long line. It’s a popular place. Fortunately, though, and in spite of the staff shortage that is the norm for restaurants in the days just after Covid, things moved fairly quickly and we were seated after a short wait.

Martha and I selected the Sporkie pizza. Patty, however, is not so fond of pizza, so she ordered instead the Calamari...

That’s “squid” if you’re interested. Or, in some cases, octopus. It’s a very New England dish and a very Italian dish. You slice up a tentacled creature and fry it up. Looks like a big onion ring, except a lot more chewy. (When she proofed this piece for me, Martha pointed out to me that Calamari is, in fact, the official state appetizer for Rhode Island. No. Really. Rhode Island has a state appetizer. Could I make that up?)

I don’t like it. Tastes to me like rubber bands. That have been deep fried. In diesel oil. By a really sick human being who suffers from the delusion that they can cook. Tragic really. And boy! If Cthulhu the Tentacled Demon God Of The Deep ever does get here, there’s gonna be some really unhappy fried seafood shack operators out there. You betcha.

(Uh, just in case you don’t read Lovecraft, here’s a useful link:

Anyway...the pizza came and it was delicious. And then, a plate of something appeared at Patty’s place. I’m not quite sure what it was. I suppose, technically, it might have been Calamari. I mean, somewhere in there, under all that batter, there might have been a squid. Or something. But it sure wasn’t clear.

She poked at it, tentatively, with a fork. I can’t say it really and truly then grabbed her fork and poked back. But, on the other hand...

We looked at it. The crust was somehow hard as a rock... and very dry. When she finally chiseled her way through it, the meat on the inside was actually cold. (What is it, recently, with restaurants not being able to get food hot? I mean, for heaven’s sake...)

I asked if she would like me to “make a fuss” -- which, by the way, I fully intended to do. She said no. She said she wasn’t really hungry, anyway. I looked at her plate. It looked like she had brick pudding on it. I started to say something about how we really ought to talk to the manager...

A cute version of Cthulhu. I generated it with Stable Diffusion. I mean, not too scary, but charming in its tentacled way.

But then the waitress appeared. Thank goodness, she’d been watching the situation develop. I’m guessing she had known something was wrong with the meal when she picked it up at the kitchen. Whatever...she said, “Let me get you something else.” Patty declined, but still, the waitress was quite charming about it all, apologized for the problem, and made certain that the Calamari didn’t appear on the bill.

So, all in all, that night, in letter grade terms, Bertucci’s got an A in pizza, a F-minus in seafood, and an A-double-plus with a gold star in customer service. We will be back next time we’re in New England.

(Oh, and note to Bertucci’s folks. Wouldn’t you like to open a restaurant a little further West? Say, in Georgetown, Texas? I’ll be happy to send you address so we can co-ordinate the location. I’d prefer it to be in walking distance. That way we could work off the Sporkie calories in transit, don’t you see.)

Anyway, that was our pizza dinner in Rhode Island. The next morning, we would head up and head out to Massachusetts and the town of Amherst...where, forty years ago, we met and married.

On this trip, we would also discover that Amherst had changed greatly...and that we are no longer 22. Or 42. Or, hell, 52.

In a word, dang.

More to come.


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Copyright©2023 Michael Jay Tucker

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