I am not sure I remember the last time I felt so pathetic about being in love with both food and Champaign-Urbana at the same time.
Here are the facts:
- I am almost 31 years old.
- I have lived here my whole life.
- I absolutely love food.
- I absolutely LOVE fish and fish sandwiches, if you remember.
- I work about two walking blocks from Derald’s Catering Truck on Matthews St. in Urbana.
- I had been told about this by someone I really respect.
- I had never eaten one of Derald’s Famous Fish sandwiches until today.
Hence, my feelings of being pathetic.
Move over, Seaboat. I think we have a new winner.
And here’s what’s more: the owner of Derald’s Catering, Eric Seed (Derald was his Uncle and established the truck in 1976, in the very same spot it is today!) tells me that within weeks, his truck’s menu will now also have a permanent home to go with it.
That’s correct — the Bermuda Triangle of extremely visible commercial corners in town (1st and Green) is getting a new tenant starting in October, and according to Seed, “the fish sandwich will be available every day.”
Until now, it’s only been available on Fridays.
Oh good lord. Words cannot express just how gratifying this news is; I have longed for a terrific diner in this town for years. And now, that’s not to take away from Merry Ann’s — after all, their Diner Stack truly stacks up — but I think there is room for another joint ‘round these parts.
But back to the fish sandwich. You know, there is no better. more ubiquitous way to describe this. It tastes like what a Filet-o-Fish would taste like if it were really REALLY delicious. And I don’t mean that euphemistically. I mean it sincerely. Every bite, every lip-smacking moment, was filled with mutual feelings of joy and sorrow.
Joy for the happiness that now exists as a result of finally just ordering up and trying it out. Sorrow, for the long laments that will follow while I look back upon a life, here in C-U, working literally down the fucking block, and without Derald’s delicious fish sandwich’s on Fridays.
But no use living in the past. What matters now is the future. And I foresee many meals at Deralds, both mobile and grounded.
This one is for real, my friends. This sandwich is what they used to call, “the bomb.”