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Monterey trip (long)

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Monterey trip (long)

Swarthog | Jun 9, 2003 02:02 AM

We just concluded a 4 day trip to Monterey and I followed some advice listed here. First off I want to mention a great local Root Beer made in Pacific Grove, Sparky's. Lots of birch, cane sugar, and good aftertaste. We didn't do lunch Day 1 because I packed a cooler loaded with Trader Joes Goodies and we were whale watching anyways. That night we went to the Old Bath House, for the early fixed price menu. Nice and quiet ambience, my wife LOVED it. Artichoke was well prepared, my lobster bisque had 1 tiny piece of lobster, yet the table across (full dinner) bisque had lobster falling off the spoon, oh well. Entree's were fine, if a bit over grilled. Dessert included a Creme Brulee (nice standard) and a Lemon cheesecake with a foo foo presentation, creme anglaise, mango sauce, raspberry sauce. $68 no wine. Overall this dinner had synergy and the whole experience was greater than the sum of its parts. Service was excellent. Contrast this to Stokes the next night, noisy and crowded, no view but a nice space. Service was not bad but the waiter started to get annoying by the end of the meal. They had a Navarro Gerwurztraminer grape juice listed in a spritzer, I asked twice about getting a whole bottle, yet he returned with just two glasses sans soda. Duck Confit was outstanding, sweet corn chowder was as well. However my wife ordered the vegetable canneloni, the only sour note of the evening. It arrived with a mass of lightly dressed sweet pea leaves covering the entire entre, (a big no no in my book) the canneloni themselves were not bad, its just they didn't work together well, and at 16.75 I would call it an experiment not worth repeating. While dinner was enjoyable, the overall experience was not as good, even though I liked a few of the items at Stokes better. The one other meal of note was a visit to Don's Central Texas BBQ in Castroville, all I can say is Don was behind the counter slicing it up himself. I can eat a mess of good Q, but there was no way I could finish the massive amount of meats in my combo ($13.50) MMmmmm don't miss it or the brisket.

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