Mike told me he learned to cook from his father and his mother on the farm in Iowa. That helped set him up for a life of eating. As he traveled south, eventually sailing to the Caribbean, he grew a fondness for the spices and delicate balance of flavor. In Louisiana, a friend traded him some Cajun cooking lessons for his mama's fried chicken recipe and the deal was done. His passion was cooking for his friends and this bar and grill was and remains his hope for a gathering place. I hope that one day I can return for an ice cold beer and some jambalaya on the patio as the tugs lock through.
I notice the seashells outside are full of perfectly round holes so I ask. He bends over, picks one up and hands it to me. "Here ya go, you're holding a piece of Guttenberg history." There was once a thriving but short-lived business in town of drilling buttons from the shells. The discarded shells were tossed generally where the fish market stands. One weekend with his girlfriend, he picked up bags of the shells and decided to concrete them into the seawall/patio he built out back. The result is a small and unique piece of folk art.