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Thanksgiving in Monterey

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DH & I will be meeting his parents in Monterey for Thanksgiving. We plan on spending much of the day at the aquarium. We are looking for a restaurant that will serve a TRADITIONAL turkey dinner, as well as other options---preferably seafood.
Two years ago when we did this, we ate at the aquarium restaurant. Those who chose the turkey dinner felt it wasn't "traditional" enough (as I understand it, the GARLIC mashed potatoes were the problem).
Anyway, the current plan is to go to The Fish Hopper.
We know nothing about this place other than A) it has good ocean views (a plus), B) their clam chowder is supposed to be good (another plus), and C) they are offering a Thanksgiving buffet at $35/person. "C" is where we have a problem. $35 per person? For a BUFFET? I've posted a question about this place, but as of yet there are no replies. Can someone tell me if it's worth it---or if there is a better option? We'll consider anything from a diner to a buffet to white-linen-tablecloth and service. Delicious food is most important. Thanks!

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  1. You might check the Pacific's Edge at the Highlands Inn to see if they are having anything special for Thanksgiving. It may be even more expensive though. They have a "secondary" restaurant called California Market. Check on that one too, both have spectacular views.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Gail

      I don't think there is any 'maybe' about it; Pacific Edge WILL be more expensive..and in fact, I think $35 for a buffet on Thanksgiving Day is NOT expensive for Monterey, especially for a place with good ocean views in a tourist area; indeed, I thought you were going to say that you were worried that the food wouldn't be good because $35 seemed like a low price (A lot of places will be more like $50 I suspect!)

      Also, if your group includes those who think garlic in the mashed potatoes are too untraditional, I certainly would not consider taking them to a place known primarily for seafood in order to get a traditional turkey dinner. While I've not seen too much about Fish Hopper on this Board (Did you try a search?) I'm guessing it isn't a good choice.

      You might check Stoke's Adobe: they strike me as the type of place that would have a traditional turkey dinner.

      1. re: susancinsf

        FYI... Stokes Adobe closed permanently over a week ago.

        1. re: Catymaysmom

          yes, unfortunately, this is an old thread you are replying to (from three years ago).

            1. re: toodie jane

              What a shame! We had my birthday dinner at Stokes in August, and it was great.

              1. re: toodie jane

                Here's the post.

                I've edited the Restaurants & Bars record to indicate it's closed.

                Stokes Restaurant & Bar
                500 Hartnell St., Monterey, CA 93940

        2. Yeah, for the record -- even though I know you're looking for a buffett -- I had T'day dinner at Stokes two years ago. It was wonderful. If I remember right, you had the choice of turkey or salmon, along with a bunch of sides. They also had wine pairings to go with each course -- stuff I never would have gotten to taste otherwise.

          Don't remember how much it cost. It was definitely a splurge. But it was also definitely worth it.

          1. In my experience Stokes is one of the worst restaurants, avoid it!

            1. Check out what the Monterey Plaza Hotel is offering. They had different options last year. Our group of 10 ate in the restaurant where for a set fee we had a whole turkey and all the trimmings. It was excellent, and there was no problem bringing our own wine. Personally, I'd stay away from the buffet they offered last year. Not that it didn't look fgood, but you then wound up sitting in sterile looking conference rooms/banquet halls.

              1. please call Asilomar in Pacific Grove - an incredible place that serves a great local Tday meal. Beautiful surroundings so close to the beach - I grew up right there and have fond memories. you will love it - very NON touristy!

                1. My family has spent several Thanksgivings in Monterey - we went kayaking and then to Roys in Pebble Beach for dinner. It was not cheap, but they did serve a traditional turkey dinner, as well as fish, vegetarian options, and I was always very satisfied with the food. Plus, the setting is gorgeous, with the bagpiper playing at dusk, a big lobby and outdoor firepits for drinks.

                  We usually stayed at the old Del Mar Inn (Hyatt??) on the golf course, and they had a traditional buffet that looked good, too.

                  - S

                  1. Stokes usually has a Thanksgiving meal which is usually very good. Last year's menu is http://www.stokesrestaurant.com/Speci...

                    At the price you mention for a mediocre Wharf restaurant, why not go to one of the area's oldest adobe's and taste Brandon's food?

                    1. Thanks for all the suggestions. The decision has been made---we'll be going to the Old Fisherman's Grotto on the Wharf. They'll be offering a traditional turkey meal for a reasonable price ($16.95 for adults). Their regular menu items will also be available. Probably not the most 'houndish choice, but most likely to satisfy most of the party.
                      So, what should I order there?

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Anne

                        We are eating there the day after Thanksgiving. Why is it not houndish? What would be a better choice for a late lunch near the Acquarium?

                        1. re: melly

                          you might try the Red House in nearby Pacific Grove (5 minutes west) . Nice lunches in a cute old home right on the main street, near shopping district. Definitely chowhound territory.

                          1. re: melly

                            I second Red House... check their hours for a late lunch.

                            Red House Cafe
                            662 Lighthouse Ave, Pacific Grove, CA 93950