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Oct 7, 2012 10:21 AM

Monterey Restaurants

In Monterey Monday to Wed, any recommendations for good restaurants? Any cuisine, casual elegant. Mexican lunch?

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    1. Are you asking just for lunch? or do you need dinner and b'fast too? Will you have a car?

      I'm going to start with The Red House in Pacific Grove. Cafe Fina on Fisherman's wharf is good and not touristy-kitschy. White tablecloths, but not overly $$. Or just grab some cooked/marinated fish or shellfish and some roasted garlic, some crunchy Italian bread, grab a spot in the sun on the wahrf and scarf it.

      ---Actually, I should start with fresh hot donuts from Red's Downtown, before sunup!

      As with any place that's touristy busy, getting to lunch at 11:30 before the rush starts helps if you are in a time crunch.

      For Mexican, just about any Mexican market large or small in Seaside has a deli with good tacos, torta sandwiches, etc. Tico's up in Marina (15 min north of Mont.) is a nice sit down cafe. They do breakfast too.

      For breakfast or lunch with the locals, the Wagonwheel 5 minutes out Carmel Valley Rd from Highway 1 at Valley Pines, is great. Banana-Pecan wafles, tuna melt, m-m-m-m.

      Good coffee anywhere they serve Carmel Valley Coffee Roasters.

      If you're a good driver on narrow mtn roads, check out Cachagua Store, about 25 minutes east of Carmel Valley Village in the mtns. Monday night dinner ONLY. Res recc'd.

      3 Replies
      1. re: toodie jane

        Staying in Seaside, and expect a drive. Like to think we are foodies. Have not eaten in area for several years. Used to love fresh cream and mo trio, have heard good things about restaurant 1833.

        1. re: Fred C

          Have you tried Passionfish? Not as fancy as what you list, but great wine list. Often good seafood preps.

          1. re: Fred C

            Since you're staying in Seaside, here's a link to a google map to Red's in Seaside, where they actually make the donuts:


            I like their devil's food donut with chocolate frosting/glaze. I've been known to call from Oakland to reserve these Red's Downtown and they were all sold out at 7:45 a.m. (some conference bought everything)! The Monterey store returns their unsold donuts to the Seaside location in the afternoon so by the time i got to Seaside, there were a couple saved for me (but no chocolate devil's food <;--{

        2. Breakfast Club in Seaside. Mundo's Cafe right on the Seaside/Monterey border. Fabulous sandwiches, Falafals and burgers. Ferdi's also in seaside- Lunch only M-F Cajun and Creole-good sandwiches-great milkshakes. Pho King also in Seaside, very good.vietmanese. and Baan Thai also in Seaside. La tortuga-in Seaside-mexican tortas, Pico de Gallo-Del monte blvd near the Navy School. Lulu's griddle in the middle-Wharf number 2-breakfast lunch and dinner. I like Il Vecchio in Pacific Grove (Near aquarium) for italian.

          3 Replies
          1. re: villadeste92

            The Haute Enchilada and the Whole Enchilada are not to miss in Moss Landing for Mexica food! :)

            1. re: syrahgirl

              Total agreement with Whole Enchilada, and if in Moss Landing, take a look at Phil's Fish House.

            2. re: villadeste92

              Note Pho king is now closed.... Very sad, loved the place!

            3. For the quality and value, the Whaling Station in Monterey is a fantastic experience.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Nastallion

                NOT. Just went there for dinner. Drinks were very good. But we ordered the 1Kg bone-in ribeye steak for two - $115. We asked that it be rare, but not blood rare, because my wife doesn't like it quite as rare as I do. The steak we received was "black and blue" , meaning it was seared on the outside but nearly uncooked inside (which I do like, but far from what we ordered). Actually cold on the inside. Then when I cut into it, the waiter agreed to take back part of it to cook a little longer for my wife. No change. Furthermore, there was about 6 to 8 oz of fat on the steak - not marble which is what prime beef as should have, just not properly trimmed. Between the fat and bone, the 1 Kg was more like 24 - 28 oz. fried onions and mashed potatoes were poor quality. For the high price this was not a good meal. Ambience is also not good.

              2. anyone try the newish restaurant in Carmel Valley Village run by Michael Jones' son? can't remember the name.

                1 Reply
                1. re: toodie jane

                  Lokal, we enjoyed lunch there in May.