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Disappointing meal at Massaro and Santos, and the Breakwater Deli, but not Passionfish..(Monterey Peninsula).

susancinsf | Jul 28, 200501:19 AM

Met some friends in Monterey Sunday night for dinner. We were supposed to go to Passionfish, but one of the friends, who neither drinks nor eats either seafood or beef (she has always ordered chicken when we go out) asked if we could go elsewhere instead, 'just once'.

Hubby and I had had an outstanding dinner at Passionfish the night before(one of our best yet, could it be getting even better?) so I reluctantly agreed, and we went to Massaro and Santos. Sigh. I wish I had put my foot down....

Three of us had cream of spinach soup to start, hubby had spinach salad. The salad was just whole spinach leaves and a cut tomato, lightly dressed. Fine, but boring. The soup tasted commercial (although our non-Chowish friends enjoyed it).

Mains: the server read off a *huge* list of specials (there were at least 7), all without prices. So, of course we had to go back through the ones that interested us: in all cases the prices were half again as much as comparable regular menu offerings.

I debated getting sand dabs, and decided instead on scallops, in a 'light' cream sauce served over spaguetti. ($22) Probably a mistake: I am fairly sure the san dabs would have been better ( and they were $10 less). I've had good seafood pasta there before but this was a gloppy mess. Hubby had cioppino, which he pronounced ok, one friend had the same scallops (he sighed also). The picky member of our group had an Asian chicken salad with large pieces of fried chicken. I suspect she got the best dinner of all of us: it looked fresh and appetizing.

The three of us who drink wine shared a bottle of David Bruce Pinot Noir. Sorry I can't remember which vintage or location, but at $31 it was probably the best deal on the limited wine list.

After this disappointment, the previously attentive server just disappeared. For a *long* time. It took forever to get the bill.

I am going to have to take that one off of the list for a while....

And since we are talking about restaurants on the San Carlos pier, I have to hearby officially withdraw any previous endorsements of the Breakwater pier deli (downstairs below Massaros and Santos). The reports I'd been getting from the dive community regarding extremely rude service (there is actually a half -serious move afoot among some divers I know to start a picket line/boycott of the place) are well-founded. One of my dive buddies ordered two bbq pork sandwhiches and a can of soda, and the person behind the cash register tried to charge her $32! When friend protested that it appeared the calculation was off, she got a snarl in return and lots of muttering about how unreasonable she was being to even bother the cashier when she was busy....

Such is life.But to end on a high node: Passionfish, better than ever. The halibut I had there Saturday was steller.

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