Saturday, June 29, 2013

Hanging out at Monterey Bay

My husband and I enjoyed a couple of days off last weekend (Hence, the absent posting). We enjoyed a couple of days around the Monterey Coast and enjoyed some dining and R&R: a great way to spend a weekend away from our home kitchen.

View from Schooner's... aaah!

Dining around Monterey is always an excellent adventure. We have been there many-many times and, have rarely had a poor dining experience. Here’s a sampling from most recent visit.

Monterey Cookhouse (on North Fremont Street). Great Sandwiches. Good Service. We had Pulled Pork Sliders, Onion Rings, and fries for dinner on Friday and shared a Grilled Chicken Sandwich for lunch on Saturday. The fries were excellent – crispy and lightly salted. The pizzas look pretty good too: must try for next time. Although we're not big beer drinkers, they have really good beer on tap and local root beer (Sparky's from Pacific Grove). We plan to return, even though it’s not really in the touristy part of town (It’s still pretty safe though). I suspect this is a local‘s hang-out.

pulled pork sliders, french fries, and onion rings
Pulled Pork Sliders, Fries, and Onion Rings from the Cookhouse

Monterey Crepe Company (on Alvarado Street). Great crepes. Huge portions. I had the honey, banana, and almond with extra strawberries, and it was yummy. Last time, I had nutella and bananas (unbeatable combo). Service was a bit slow in the morning, so do not go there at that time if you are in a hurry.  (Note: When checking out their website, turn the audio on mute. The background music sounds classical, like a ‘French Opera’ – not a good match for crepes.).

honey crepes
Honey Crepes! Amazing!

Rosine’s (on Alvarado Street). Speaking of portions, Rosine’s may top the list. It was our first time there. The lettuce wedge is actually half a lettuce head, topped with a generous helping of bacon, tomatoes, and blue cheese dressing. Our shared calamari steak was enough for two people and a kid. And the ‘award-winning’ desserts… they are huge! For a modest dessert portion, I just had the cookies and cream brownie (it lasted two days). Only downside is that they only had two or three seafood items on the menu. I do wish they had more options, since we’re on the seacoast.

Dessert bar at Rosine's
Rosine's Desserts: Objects may be larger than it seems.

Bagel Bakery (on Alvarado Street). Maybe the only ‘bagel place’ in town. Fortunately, the bagels and flavored cheeses are good and tasty. They have a good croissant, espresso, or latte. Nice and quick breakfast place, but service can be a little ‘iffy.’

Schooner's Menu
Schooner's New Menu. Seabass BLT is back!!!!
Schooner’s Coastal Kitchen and Bar (at Cannery Row).  Schooner’s is probably our favorite place in Monterey: great food, great drinks, and truly excellent views. They have revamped the formal dining room – which was the Duck Club for a more casual yet classy dining area. We prefer to sit in the bar/patio area though. It’s a bit more festive.

It can be a bit pricey, but you just have to be selective. Cocktails are great, even the non-alcoholic ones (I had the Pomegranate Virgin Mojito). The tacos look really good (I think I had them last time). And for the piece de resistance, they brought back MY Seabass BLT! It was gone for about a year (our server said that it was the first week back after six months. I think it was longer). I love that Seabass BLT! I dream and talk about it all the while our driving down from San Francisco. My only issue is I think the “T” is gone in the sandwich, unless they made the “T” to be tartar sauce.

Overall, it was a great weekend. We enjoyed a short walk at Lover’s Point and a visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium (awesome place and they also recently remodeled their restaurant). Unfortunately, we did not make it to Asilomar (my favorite beach), the Spanish Bay at Pebble Beach (should be my favorite beach), and Carmel-by-the Sea this trip, nor take a bunch of food pictures, since we quite subconsciously unplugged. No worries, I am confident that we will be back soon again

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