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Duarte Disappointment - Mussels not cleaned properly...

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Duarte Disappointment - Mussels not cleaned properly...

RWCFoodie | Feb 14, 2008 03:15 PM

I'm still not sure if Pescadero belongs here or on the California Board but I'll post here for now...

On our way home from the Santa Cruz area Monday afternoon I suggested that we stop in Pescadero at Duarte's for lunch as it's been quite a while since we've been there....

Maybe I ordered the wrong thing: Steamed PEI mussels. Seems like a pretty straight-forward dish and something I really like.

Meal started out well with a bread basket full of warm, very crusty sourdough.

Plate of fried smelt was forgettable; were not crispy enough and seemed to have gravel in them - large enough pieces that I thought I'd broken a tooth... a waste of calories.

My mussels looked promising when the bowl appeared; a generous serving piled high and they were very large and meaty. But things went downhill from there: the mussels hadn't been de-bearded (the byssal threads hadn't been removed...) I know my way around a mussel and I know that the beard is supposed to be removed just prior to cooking. If you've ever been served mussels with the beard, then you know why I didn't like them - the beard is like eating hair or steel wool! I ate about half the serving, pulling the beards out as I went...

DH decided he wanted to try their tripe stew - he liked it but I tasted it and found it very one-dimensional. Just strips of tripe in a very plain tomato sauce with chunks of celery. I would not recommend it and I love tripe...

I guess that Duarte's is an icon to a lot of people: Is it really best to just stick with the artichoke or green chili soup and olallie berry pie? What have you had there recently that was really great?

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