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Feb 11, 2010 11:42 AM

Salinas Dining Recommendations

I'm going to be visiting Salinas this weekend and would like anyone's recommendations on where to eat down there. Also, you could throw in a fun place to take a kid too.


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  1. Here's a link to reports on my home town, Salinas, which is discussed on the California board.

    1. I like Salinas Valley Fishhouse. I think the food is good and reasonably priced. As far as fun place to take a kid, I presume you mean to eat?

      3 Replies
      1. re: porkchop

        Thanks for the recs. As far as places to take a kid, I was thinking of off the food subject if someone wanted to interject an activity...

        1. re: hankstramm

          The Steinbeck Museum is a stone's throw from the SV Fishhouse recommended by "porkchop".

          1. re: hankstramm

            If it's a place to take a kid to have fun; Dennis the Menace Park in Monterey

          1. re: Melanie Wong

            Sorry, just realizing that I never reported. What I do remember is going to Mi Pueblo and eating a fair Al pastor taco (nothing like what I get in Mexico City) but palatable.

            I also ate a Mexican place that looked like it was in a converted Carrows restaurant that was decent.

            Sorry, 3.5 years later, my memory is off.

            1. re: hankstramm

              My, my, we've been quite the penpals these few days, and how kind of you to report in so many years later!

              The converted Carrows-looking place was likely Los Altos, 107 Kern St Salinas, CA 93905.

              1. re: Melanie Wong

                I was thinking the same thing myself. Yup, I think that might be the same place. I like Salinas, but I prefer Watsonville for its close proximity to Santa Cruz. There's a place there that has an excellent dish (the only thing on the menu I like).

                It's Cilantro's on Main. The dish is their Cilantro's Special Dinner. My fave in SC County. I don't recommend anything else, really (except the ice cream which is a Santa Cruz creamery--Mary's or something).

                1. re: hankstramm

                  What makes up the special dinner Hank? I found an old reco from 2006 for the Red Snapper en Guajillo sauce.

                  1. re: PolarBear

                    It consists of a grilled steak (probably 6-8oz portion), grilled "snapper"(about 4-6 oz rock cod/rockfish--but tasty), a house ceviche, which is avergage, but decent, and some grilled shrimp. This comes with decent beans and rice and tortillas.

                    I'm a pretty big eater and I have to be really, really hungry to eat the whole thing. Usually, my son and I split it.

          2. I am going to be in Salinas for three days, any recs? I will definitely go to CASA de Sazon, and most likely Ellie's because it is so close to where I will be working. Any gems I should check out?

            6 Replies
              1. re: karenfinan

                Really legit mexican:
                Generous portions, seafood cocktails and ceviches are spicy (!), the carnitas are famous.
                Kind of a dive, great deal and really busy on weekends

                  1. re: karenfinan

                    Here are a couple threads on Gutierrez Drive In,

                    If you're in Salinas on a Tuesday and not on per diem, discounted tacos at Gutierrez will be the value leader for dinner.

                    1. re: Melanie Wong

                      The marinated pork sounds great. I am on a per diem, but always spend over, so one day under spending would be nice:-)