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June 2012
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Flamingo Row!

Column and photography by the Takeout Artist

Hello again, takeout-loving Paducahans! Summer is here, and I have to say it couldn't have come quickly enough. I've been in the mood for a long-time local favorite, Flamingo Row. This restaurant has been around for as long as I can remember, and has been a staple for everyone I know. When I need good takeout, I can always rely on Flamingo Row to satisfy my craving for interesting, flavorful food that makes it feel like summer all year round. While I wasn't brilliant enough to think of this at the time, this would be the perfect meal to enjoy on the patio!

Flamingo Row's appetizers, or "Teazors" as they're referred to on the delightfully quirky menu, are off the charts. While I have several go-to items on this portion of the menu alone, I went with the "Castaway Cove" (aka fried green tomatoes) because who doesn't love this Southern staple? These were something special. Fried to crisp perfection and surrounded by an ultra-light breading, these were best possible start to my meal.

For my entrée I decided to stay with the fried theme (once you've already splurged does it really matter?) and ordered the "Neptune Shrimp." They were everything you want out of coconut shrimp -- crisp and sweet on the outside, while perfectly tender on the inside. These are usually served with fries, however I couldn't overlook an old favorite of mine on the menu, so I asked if they would substitute the "Jumble Rice" for the additional fried-ness (it was getting out of hand, even though their fries are amazing!). This rice is seriously addictive despite its simplicity. Roma tomatoes and green onions can brighten anything up, but add applewood-smoked bacon, and you have something truly irresistible.

Since it's clearly Rosé season, I thought the perfect pairing with this summery meal would be something dry, crisp, and most importantly, pink.

I chose a unique Rosé from Cline Cellars made with Mourvèdre grapes. This is a great summer wine with its bright acidity and grapefruit notes. It is also a bit heavier than most Rosé wines, making it a great complement to my somewhat heavy meal.

I know this is only my second column, so I'll go ahead and admit that I very rarely skip dessert, and ordering takeout is the perfect opportunity to enjoy dessert at your leisure â ¦ in your pajamas â ¦ in front of the TV after a fantastic meal that required no effort in the kitchen! I have a minor key lime obsession (OK, major) so the natural choice for me was the Key Lime Pound Cake. I hope no one ever makes an entire one of these cakes available to me, because I would very likely eat the whole thing.

Moist, dense and delightfully sugary, this is the best pound cake you've ever had with a tangy key lime twist! It is truly a must-try the next time you treat yourself to a fabulous dinner in the comfort of your own home, with the help of none other than Paducah's favorite Caribbean destination: Flamingo Row.

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