Well, that was the surprise on the menu along with the special dessert of half a fresh mango with a scoop of raspberry ice cream that was decorated with a sprig of parsley.
From the very accurate citysearch user review (link below), the Thai chef here makes seafood with a French twist.
There were indeed menu items like escargots ($7.75), trout almandine, scallops St. Jacques, and baked green mussels with garlic, parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, butter and parsley (6.95).
I parked at the opposite end of the block and the air was filled with the smell of fried seafood. Uh, oh, that cant be good, I thought. However, I was determined to check out this restaurant for my daily salmon fix.
Theres a big white board of about eight specials. What I loved was the waitress carried it to a nearby table for me to review. All items sandwiches, pasta, entrees come with either soup or salad. For an additional $2.95 the salad can be topped with crab or bay shrimp.
Soup of the day was spinach or clam chowder. Looking the waitress directly in the eye I asked if the clam chowder was canned or fresh. She said they made everything from scratch. Well, that was true. It was a thick potato soup with about a half a teaspoon of finely chopped clams taking refuge at the bottom of the bowl. It was sprinkled with fresh parsley. My suggestion would be to go with the green salad or the other soup of the day.
Three slices of nicely tangy reheated sourdough bread came in a napkin-covered basket.
There is a choice of saffron rice or sautéed potatoes. I chose the rice which was ok, if not memorable. Fresh veggies were steamed chopped carrots, peas and chopped green cabbage. The salmon had grill marks and was moist. Not sure if this was fresh grilled or a good version of pre-grilled restaurant supply salmon. The dish was decorated with a wedge of lemon and a sprig of parsley. I had the special of the day salmon which was topped with sun-dried tomatoes and sautéed mushrooms. The salmon on the menu comes with dill sauce. I think the sautéed mushrooms started out as canned button mushrooms. It never occurred to me to sauté canned mushrooms. It actually perked them up, but I like canned mushrooms anyway.
There are a few bottles of wine and some beer. The house wine ($2.95) was Franzia. Since that is usually my house wine, I upgraded to the premium house wine by Blossom Hill ($3.95).
I was going to skip the desserts ($1.50 - $4.95), but the perfectly ripe sliced mango ($3.95) was a refreshing way to end the meal. Regular desserts are along the line of sorbet, ice cream, ice cream sundae, key lime pie, mud pie, cheesecake, and a few tortes. Since I wasnt originally interested in dessert, dont know if they are made in house or not.
The fish list is pretty standard. There is pepper steak and NY steak for any meat eaters in the group. There are a few chicken dishes and for vegetarians some veggies sautéed in garlic butter and served on garlic fettuccini. There were a few green salads like Caesar. The fried fish selection included prawns, oysters, scallops and red snapper. Some other appetizers were grilled oysters, fried crab cakes and fried calamari steak strips.
Most dinners run in the $10.95 - $12.95 range (steak & lobster tail excepted).. From 5 -7 there are eight early bird specials at about $8.95. They are regular menu dishes marked down $4.
If this restaurant reopened tomorrow as a Thai restaurant, they wouldnt have to redecorate. It has the look of a mid-range Thai restaurant with lots of green plants, some large ginger jar vases with silk cherry blossoms and a few more silk flowers around the room. Each table had a bud vase with two pretty roses from someones garden.
The windows have sheer white curtains; there are white tablecloths and navy blue napkins. The Cape Cod theme is not asserted, but there are a few pictures of fish on the walls along with a small shell-decorated mirror.
The cottage cheese ceiling was low so the restaurant had a lively, pleasant buzz. Occasional laughter brightened the room. The three Asian waitresses were on first name basis with customers often asking about grandchildren. Yes, it is a primarily middle aged to senior crowd. They are fussed over by the waitresses and some customers get a farewell hug as the citysearch review notes.
That might sound like too much, but it works at Cape Cod. These women were really pleasant. There was a table of ten celebrating two birthdays and out came sundaes with candles with the wait staff singing Happy Birthday mommy and kid and the rest of the tables joining in. Usually stuff I despise but it was sweet and I left the restaurant smiling.
Given the Thai surprise, I asked how long it was in business and if it was the same owner. Yep, in business for about 15 years, same owner.
The bill for soup, entrée, fresh fruit dessert and one glass of wine was $23 with tax.
This is a place you could take your older aunt and she would probably be very happy unless your older aunt was me. Still, I was charmed by the friendly staff and there are a few people that I know who would like the place. The food good enough not to make me unhappy. It was a little better than I expected and a notch above chain food. I might just try that chicken satay one of these days.
The Cape Cod Restaurant
1150 Solano Avenue
Albany, CA 94706
Tuesday Friday: 11:30 am 2 pm
Tuesday Sunday: 5pm 10 pm