Phil's Fish Market. Is it worth a trip?
For fathers day my SO wants to eat a lobster roll at Phils.
Has anyone been? Is is worth a road trip to eat there? We have had lobster rolls at Woodhouse (not my favorite), Redwood City (Lobster Shack?), and Sam's Chowder House (Half Moon Bay), and Willi's (Santa Rosa).
Woodhouse was chilled and not my preference. The others were all decent, but not as good as the one I had in New Hampshire ;b.
Phil's is known for Cioppino, but again I've yet to find one up to snuff with what my best friend's (Portugese) mom used to make, so I'm rarely tempted by that......
Sam's Chowder House
4210 Cabrillo Hwy, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
I 'm a big Phil's fan, but have never tried their lobster rolls, so I can't help you there, altho I've seen it go past on other plates and it looks good. I happen to love their cioppino, and other favorites are their combo fried seafood platter, the stuffed artichoke, spicy jumbo prawns, and their clam chowder is one of the best I've had.
I've been to Phil's several times. In my opinion, their Cioppino is some of the best I've had. I get a sense of a spicy peppery flavor that goes great with the broth that I can't recall tasting in other Cioppino's. You can also buy some to go (I would recommend the small bucket; trust me.) Caution though, parking is a nightmare. Their lot is small, so you may have to park along the road and walk down. If there's a long line inside to order, don't let it discourage you; it moves pretty fast.
I've been a few times to Phil's and the food for me is just good, not great. However, I haven't tried the lobster rolls. If you are prepared for the scene there (crowded parking, long line to order, huge cafeteria feel to the dining areas, kids running about) it can be a fun place for a quick sit down eat, but I don't personally consider it very high on my list of places to return.
re: stan D
I think it is a fine stop if you are going to Santa Cruz, Monterey, or Capitola, but not a destination.
The lobster roll was good with lots of lobster, maybe a little light on the butter (could use a side of garlic butter or something), but warm and a generous portion of lobster.
None of the food was a "wow" experience, but it was an excellent location for Father's Day. We arrived early, parked in the lot and had no lines to contend with....
The layout is kid friendly, with our toddler free to roam about and make loud noises without bothering anyone (tables are mostly outdoors). So definitely a good place for parents of little ones.....
After you eat, you can walk straight back to the beach and the kids loved that too....so we got some nice photographs.
The raved about chowder to me was way too milky/creamy and bland without much clam flavor at all. I tried the chowder in a bun and did not care for the soft bread used either. I prefer a chewy sourdough.
My son had the fried squid which was very tender but could have used some seasoning (no discernible salt/pepper).
We also tried the strawberry shortcake which was nice with unsweetened or barely sweetened berries and a warm savory shortcake base. This was topped with a very lightly sweetened piped stream of whipped cream. Probably my favorite dish of the meal.