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Jul 17, 2009 03:32 PM

What to eat at Spengers

Family reunion lunch this Sunday and I am outnumbered so we are meeting at Spengers. Has anybody been recently that can suggest or discourage any dishes??

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  1. The best recent CH rec was the happy hour pork sliders. Check the chain reports on McCormick and Schmicks. How about a Reuben?

    1. Raw oysters, fish & chips, any of the fried dishes. Simple grilled fish can be good but be prepared to send it back if it's overcooked.

      1. I took my Dad to Spengers last year for father's day, a week late. I was pleasantly surprised. The place was packed which made me wonder...are these people nuts. After eating I concluded they weren't. No it's not totally fabulous but it wasn't bad, quite acceptable and certainly an improvement from the past...hadn't been in over 15 years(?).

        The big thing I noticed was the menu sighted where the fish was sourced (location) and if it was wild or farmed. I figured I'd play it safe with grill wild coho. It came out on a pile of mashed potatoes and greens. I believe it was around $20.

        It could have been my low expectations since I was expecting something along the lines of hotel banquet food but it wasn't at all. The big thing was they didn't kill the fish by over-cooking it...but maybe I was lucky. (I'd ask for it medium, which for salmon you can do.) It was a decent piece of fish, if not spectacular.

        Any way, I'd go simple prep and go w/ salmon since it's difficult to mess up -- minus the the top few most expensive (like copper river) on the premise it could be goofy. For family stuff with seniors, this place is totally fine. I had a pleasant time. On the plus side, great bar and they know what they're doing so just order lots of drinks if you're feeling trapped.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ML8000

          It's definitely much improved from the last years under the Spengers and better than the Skates / Kincaid's / Horatio's chain.

        2. I had lunch there about two weeks ago for the first time since forever. It was empty at 11:30 when we got there ("uh huh", I thought) but every table was filled by the time we left at 1. Weekday.

          The pan fried sand dabs were very good. I forget what my friend had but he was liking it too.

          Lots of "Join the McCormick and Schmick Frequent Diner Club" crap all over the tables and menu to remind you you're eating in an industrial chain. But aside from that it was entirely pleasant. Very subtle odd smell to the place. Not exactly bad but not exactly fish either.

          1. What did you get and how did you like it?

            Spenger's Fresh Fish Grotto
            1919 Fourth Street, Berkeley, CA 94710

            2 Replies
            1. re: rworange

              well rw, after all the helpful advice on the morning of my check -engine light was flashing maniacally and I bailed on the outing. I talked to my mother and she said Meh. I didn't ask for details. Thanks all for the suggestions.