I mean, do squid around… cause there’s gonna be oceans of family fun at Monterey’s first annual Clam Chowder and Calamari Festival, May 26-28.
Clam Chowder and Calamari?
Yep. Let it never be said that the city of Monterey has trouble finding excuses to celebrate. This free festival at the Custom House Plaza at Fisherman’s Wharf will feature music and entertainment, arts and crafts, marine exhibits, cooking demos, and plenty of food and drink. (Besides soup and squid, there will be fish and chips, pasta, sandwiches, strawberry shortcake, caramel apples, cookies, ice cream and more.)
Beer, wine and margaritas will be available, and three live bands will play each day, including John “Broadway” Tucker, the Cachugua Playboys and Red Beans and Rice.
Hours are 11am – 7pm Saturday and Sunday and 11am – 6pm Monday.
Let’s Go Truckin’! Just in case you haven’t heard, Food Trucks are in.
In, in, in… yes, mobile munchies are the latest rage, and on May 12, the first ever “Monterey Street Food Fest” will take place at the Fairgrounds from noon to 6pm.
From cupcakes to Cuban cuisine, there’ll be something for every palate. But if the thought of yummy gourmet and international street food isn’t enough to get you to the Monterey Fairgrounds… go for the music.
Because “The Money Band” will play from noon to 2pm, followed by “Triple Threat” until 6pm. (The Money Band has a fair number of groupies at Monterey Bay Property Management, and they guarantee that from “Love Shack” to “What I Say?”—this band will get the crowd rocking.)
The Fairgrounds are located at 2004 Fairground Road, Monterey. Admission to the Street Food Fest is free.
The Breakfast Club tabletop
I asked the gang for a list of their favorite breakfast spots, and they scrambled to answer:
Rhiannon McCraner said everything is good at Holly’s Lighthouse Cafe in Pacific Grove, and Chris Navarro recommended “the huevos rancheros at Rondita’s.” After fruitlessly searching Google, I realized that his wife is named Rhonda. Very funny, Chris.
Then our faithful property inspector Howard Hartman chimed in. Now, Howard knows a lot about breakfast spots (playing golf or racquet ball five mornings a week, the man needs his nourishment!).
Here are a few of his favorites:
- Wagon Wheel Coffee Shop, Carmel Valley: “The steel cut oatmeal.”
- First Awakenings, Pacific Grove: “Huge blue germ pancake with blueberry compote.” I told him I thought “blue germ” sounded a bit unsavory, and in between forwarding funny emails on his iPhone (how else would we know that rubber bands last longer when refrigerated?) he responded, “U have to try new things!”
- Best Western Hotel, Del Monte Beach, Monterey: “Best breakfast views on the Peninsula. The potato skillet with vegetables—but no cheese, please.” (Howard is vegan-ish.)
- Porter’s Grill, Poppy Hills Golf Course, Pebble Beach: “Good food and great golf course views.”
- The Breakfast Club, Seaside: “Omelet with fruit on the side.”
He said he had more, but he had to go to breakfast.
Property manager Frank Gallagher (our version of Don Draper, but without the martinis and cigarettes), seconds Howard’s vote for The Breakfast Club, adding that the coffee is good—and that his kids love the Mickey Mouse pancakes.
Wonder who makes the best burger on the Monterey Peninsula? I asked the staff at Monterey Rentals – and they must’ve been hungry – because I was inundated with responses.
Ashley: R.G. Burgers in Monterey and Carmel has the BEST burgers.
Frank: R.G. Burgers, Monterey and Carmel!
Jo: R.G. Burgers. I like the way they taste.
Michelle: Sorry, I went to R.G.’s about a month ago and my burger was supposed to be turkey but they gave me beef that was red in the middle. I like the one in the mall way better… Islands Burger?
Frank: Sacrilegious!!! Scandalous!!! Do NOT listen to Michelle. She must have gotten Mad Cow disease at the “other” place.
Michelle: Ha, ha… probably!
Patricia: Edgar’s Restaurant at Quail Lodge: ½ pound char-grilled beef patty with hickory-smoked bacon, sharp cheddar, red onions, tomato, lettuce, and pickles on a brioche bun…. well, yum!
Rhiannon: Wow, 11 emails about burgers?
• Quail Lodge Golf Club: 8000 Valley Greens Drive, Carmel
• Islands Restaurant: 300 Del Monte Center, Monterey
• R.G. Burgers: 570 Munras Ave. #30, Monterey, and 201 Carmel Crossroads Shopping Center
Monterey is one of the seafood capitals of the world—sardines made Cannery Row famous, after all—but if you’ve had enough “surf” and are in the mood for “turf”… do what the locals do: head up to the Whaling Station on Wave Street.
Located right next to the Sardine Factory, the Whaling Station serves excellent prime rib, steak, fine wines and wonderful martinis (and yes, they serve great seafood too – try the grilled sardines with Sicilian salsa appetizer). Recently renovated, the Whaling Station serves the county’s finest selection of USDA prime beef. And it’s open every night for dinner at 5 pm (except Christmas).