Thursday, March 31, 2011

Overeating in Old Town

Besides a large number of chain and fast food joints, Salinas is lacking in what it offers for eateries.  For dinner, we had a choice between two of the main restaurants in the area:  Monterey Coast Brewing and Salinas Valley Fish House, located right across the street from each other in Old Town.

We opted for casual fare over a second night of seafood.  Booths lined the wooden walls.  The pub atmosphere was expected, as was the pub style food.  I decided to be brave and try out some Salinas-pub-style seafood after all.

Once again we started out with an appetizer of Calamari.  I enjoyed their version much more than that of Neptune's Palace (see my first post).  The batter was crunchy, and the meat inside tender.  It was served with a delicious garlic aioli, which complemented the fried calamari well.

For my entree I chose a Sea Bass served with a Risotto.  I never have had sea bass before but was motivated by the hope that I would finally get the good risotto I had been craving.  The sea bass was tough and there were no redeeming qualities in its flavor.  However, the risotto was great!  It was surprisingly creamy, smooth, and well seasoned.  I ate around the fish, sticking to the rice.

It is a brewery, but I unfortunately am not a big fan of brews.  Brendan told me that he enjoyed them.  They also served local wines in addition to their beers.  I got a nice glass of Pinot Noir from Paraiso Vineyards.

Overall, it was a decent meal.  Don't expect fine dining and you'll find it a pleasant pub experience.

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