Welcome to What I Miss Most, a recurring column in which writers wax poetic about the things from home that they found themselves yearning for upon moving to NYC (or the things from NYC they craved upon moving away from it). For an archive of previous What I Miss Most columns, click here.
I fled Florida. The balmy nights, the tepid waters, the mid-afternoon storms that’d so frequently punctuate summer’s long, hot days. I traded those things (and a bunch of other true cliches about my homeland) for New York City, leaving behind friends, family, and Publix in the process.
Most importantly, I left behind grouper sandwiches.
It would be years before I’d accept the grim truth: there is no good grouper in NYC. In retrospect, it was completely naive of me to believe anything else. The fish -- a slow-swimming reef behemoth -- is most prevalent in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, where the water is warm. In New York City, the water is as warm as the reality, which is to say, it’s quite cold. Also, exceptionally grouper-less.