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California Trip Report

Trip Report: Santa Barbara, Cambria, Monterey, Yosemite

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Trip Report: Santa Barbara, Cambria, Monterey, Yosemite

Mulan | Oct 11, 2009 05:41 PM

Thanks to those who gave me advice on this post:
http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/648762

Here is my trip report. Overall, the food we had was fantastic. I wish I could transport some of these restaurants to DC.

EMILIOS (A-):
We had the most wonderful caprese appetizer. I overheard the waiter telling the patron that they got some good tomatoes at the farmer’s market that week and, boy, was that ever true. We both had Spaghettini Al Fruitti Di Mare for the entrée. It was delicious. The seafood was so fresh.

SAMBO’S (B):
Mediocre breakfast place. Blah coffee, bad corned beef hash (although Californians may like their hash differently from east coasters). Waffle with strawberries was decent although some of the strawberries tasted bruised.

MADELINE’S (A):
Best restaurant of the trip. Originally, I was planning on trying Black Cat Bistro and Robin’s, but that was before we checked into the Blue Dolphin Inn and got the half-off any bottle of wine coupon for Madeline’s. We are so glad we changed our minds because Madeline’s was great. We ate there both nights we were in Cambria. The standouts: chicken stuffed with walnuts, brie, spinach; eggplant caprese with spaghetti, and the mushroom crepes. Decent but not great was the boar with pasta, duck wontons, lobster appetizer. Also enjoyed the friendly service of Cody, the hostess, and a blond waitress, all of whom made me and my husband feel at home. Hope one day to return to Cambria and try out other dishes.

SEAFOOD HARVEST (B):
This place is supposed to have the best fish and chips and I did see some Brits ordering it, but I don’t like so much fried stuff so I opted for the grilled halibut. My husband had trout. We both thought the meal so-so, the theme being real bland and forgettable. We had the local Monterey wine which was pretty bad.

MARLYN’S (B+):
Decent breakfast with $2 off coupon from Monterey Bay Lodge. Eggs and sausage were good. Friendly service.

YOSEMITE MOUNTAIN ROOM RESTAURANT (C):
Total ripoff. I ordered $30 prime rib only to be given a piece that was obviously reheated from the night before. There should be a law against this or a discount when you receive reheated food. My husband ordered a steak that cost like $36 or so and he said it was really chewy but tasty. Sides were okay but turns out I could have the same sides at the Food Court for much less, which is where I ate for the remainder of my stay.

YOSEMITE LODGE FOOD COURT (A-):
Good wholesome food at a good price. Seems like it comes out of the same kitchen as the Mountain Room food. I swear the squash dish was identical. Anyway, we loved the Food Court. Not great on atmosphere and sometimes it is a pain to wait on the lines, but the food is really good. My dinner entrees varied from fried trout (great) to burgers and spaghetti (decent). Breakfasts were wonderful—their blueberry pancakes are to die for. And their applewood bacon is cooked correctly and is delicious as are their sausages and eggs. Their premium coffee (which is free with coupon if you are staying at the Lodge) is quite good. The apple pie is fantastic as well. I appreciated their having the half bottle of wine available with proper wine glass (though don’t come too late or their wine glasses will be gone and you will be drinking wine from a coffee cup).

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