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Wilmington, a major financial center for credit card issuers, has a pretty impressive skyline for a city of just over 70,00 people. The city is built on the site of Fort Christina, the first Swedish settlement in North America. It is at the confluence of the Christina River and Brandywine River, near where the Christina flows into the Delaware River.

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Wilmington and Christina River

With all this water I’m thinking there has to be some good seafood around. A Google search reveals that Banks Seafood Kitchen is in RiverFront Market along the river. Sounds Perfect!

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Oy, Oysters

I pick patio seating overlooking the Christina River.  I see the Grand Seafood Plateau, a raw platter, on the menu and this is a no-brainer. Exactly what I’ve been craving. I place my order and am asked what kind of oysters I want. Probably sounding smug, I reply “Raw on the 1/2 shell”  I’m thinking that was kind of a dumb question for a raw seafood platter. The server then directs me to a list, I thought it was a wine list. But it is an oyster list:

Acadian Pearl (New Brunswick) – Plump, slight salinity, mildly sweet

Blue Point (Connecticut) – Good salinity, plump, firm

Cavendish Cup (Prince Edward Isle) – plump, good salinity, mineral finish

Dabob (Washington) – salty, slightly sweet finish

Lady Chatterley (Nova Scotia) – light salinity, sweet, mild mineral finish

Pemiquid (Maine) – light mineral flavor, good salinity

Watch Hill (Rhode Island) – sweet, petite, briny finish

Man, they take their seafood serious here!  I scan the list and see the myriad of adjectives describing each one, I feel pressure mounting as the server is waiting for me to decide. Finally, I just offer that the chef select. That’s usually a safe bet and seems to satisfy her.  A good choice on my part. I’m not sure what varieties I got but they were surprisingly sweet with a light salinity and just a slight mineral finish and a dollop of horseradish and cocktail sauce. Probably prudent that I didn’t ask for a saltine to make a shooter out of it.

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Grand Seafood Plateau

River Walk – For the Birds

Much to my surprise, a river walk runs directly behind the restaurant for as far as I can see.  I walk up the boardwalk admiring the many birdhouses that are on display here.  A series of birdhouses, resembling real houses, with elaborate windows, doors, chimneys, and siding. They were created by artist Thomas Burke, who drew inspiration from works by the late painter Andrew Wyeth, whose landscapes often depict weathered rural homes.

I assume these are for swallows based on sized and the birds insect-eating capabilities.

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Thomas Burke Birdhouse

The riverwalk appears to be a work in progress as parts were under construction and businesses seem to be in process of opening. I admire the ingenuity of the Constitution Yards as they create an inviting open-air venue out of stacked railroad cars.

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Come on in

Biking the River Walk

I’m happy to come upon a bike rental place so a can bike the rest of the Riverwalk area.  Shortly after pedaling down the boardwalk I come upon a tall ship boarding passengers.  I find this ship fascinating and watch the boarding process for a while before heading on down the river.  After less than a mile the trail ends at the Russell Peterson Wildlife Refuge.

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Come Sail Away

I turn around and am excited to see the ship is now a sail. (Though it is motorized). Its pace mirrors that of my pedaling and I follow the ship towards the Delaware River watching the drawbridges raise along the way.

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Bon Voyage

My visit here is short, and I certainly enjoy the riverfront. I believe I’ll stop back by the restaurant. I’m really craving some Washington Dabobs.

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