For those of you looking for a “something for everyone” old school kitchen type of place for visiting kin during the holidays, I thought I’d post about the Golden Tee restaurant, an old-timer complete with full bar in the Monterey Airport terminal. I got this one from Uncle Ty, who recommends the sand dabs and the prime rib here. The recently redecorated restaurant validates parking in the airport’s short-term lot just outside the terminal entrance.
Golden Tee Restaurant -
My mom and I tried it this summer for the first time, and scored a comfortable booth with a view of planes landing and the sweep of the bay in the background.
Runway view -
We were there on a Wednesday, when we learned that prime rib is one of the lunch specials on Mondays and Fridays only. The prime rib is available every night for dinner. Our waitress encouraged us to come back at dinner hour for a BIG slab of prime rib. She also explained that the same menu is available in the bar, from the same kitchen, when the restaurant dining room is closed between lunch and dinner.
Lunch menu -
Mom ordered the sand dab plate and I had the Monterey combo (calamari and sand dabs). These come with a choice of soup or salad, and we got one of each. The green salad had a bed of chopped iceberg lettuce topped with some fancier greens. While I won’t order the Italian dressing again, the vinaigrette made with red wine vinegar and served on the side is very good.
Lunch salad -
The clam chowder’s quite respectable too, made in the New England style with chopped clams, potatoes, celery, bacon, and thyme in a slightly thickened base. It needs more clam flavor though.
Clam chowder -
The seafood dishes are described as “grilled” on the menu. But I couldn’t have been more delighted when our food turned out to be served doré style. That is, the filets of fish and calamari steaks were egg-washed and griddled in butter staying quite moist. It’s been ages since I’ve had this old-fashioned type of prep, and this trip down memory lane was quite delicious especially accompanied by the killer tartar sauce. Fresh corn on the cob and some good mashed potatoes completed the plate. The Monterey combo at $16.95, was a lot of food, enough for two meals. Mom prefers the sand dabs, whereas I think the calamari is superior.
Sand dab and calamari combo lunch plate, $16.95 -
Back again for a Friday lunch, I had a chance to try the prime rib sandwich, offered as a lunch special for $15.95. The other daily specials were salmon, halibut, beef teriyaki, and a reuben sandwich. But I only had eyes for the prime rib, especially after I saw one and smelled the beefy aromas of an order for another table. An inch-thick slab of prime rib is perched on a buttered and grilled slice of sourdough bread. The fresh veggies this time were some very tasty French green beans, and again those good mashed potatoes. Medium-rare as ordered, this wasn’t the most tender prime rib, but it was as satisfying as any, especially when doused with the cup of jus and powerful creamed horseradish.
Prime rib sandwich, $15.95 -
There’s nothing earth-shattering here or trendy, rather well-prepared local classics. With very good and friendly service and attraction of runway views, Golden Tee offers a glimpse into this area’s culinary past that is very welcome today.
2001 Monterey County Weekly review -
206 Fred Kane Dr, Monterey, CA 93940