Sunday, August 5, 2007

Monterey/Santa Cruz II

Our dinner reservation at the Sardine Factory was at 8:00 P.M. They have valet parking so that made parking easy. The interior of the Sardine Factory is wood paneled clubby. We got there a little early so we sat in the lounge area. A waitress came by as soon as we sat down and asked if we were OK and we said yes so she never came back which was a little disappointing.
Luckily we didn't have to wait long before they seated us. We were taken through one dining room which was clubby looking into this magical atrium room. We all kind of went "WOW". It was a glass room ceiling to floor. There was a patio outside and all around the walls was planted ferns, leafy plants and trees strung with little white lights. It was totally a surprise and a very nice one. I didn't take any pictures of the room or food since it was a more upscale restaurant I didn't feel comfortable snapping shots. We started out with cocktails, a slightly dirty Martini for me, blended Margarita with Patron Silver for Charlie and a Virgin Strawberry Daiquiri for the G-daughter. She said it was the best she's had so far. We were brought a basket of bread-bread sticks, focaccia bread,poppy seed topped potato bread(I think) this was served with a little plate with green olives, butter and a bean spread. It was all good.
For our first course G-daughter had escargots w/Pernod,garlic and herbs in Toscani bread for an appetizer. She said it was great. For the secondi I had the Abalone Bisque, thick, and rich,buttery with a dash of Sherry. Very Very rich. Charlie had the mixed green salad. G-daughter had the clam chowder. Entrees were; G-daughter Prime Center cut Fillet Mignon (this is off the kids menu) I had the Sole American-lightly breaded sole, scallops and lobster pieces sauteed in butter on a bed of spinach. I had a side of Black Truffle Risotto. It was all so good!
Charlie had the American Kobe (very rare) with a side of sauteed mushrooms. I had a bite of the steak, I could tell the difference.. it was like butter! That was a good steak.
We were enjoying our meal when a couple was seated next to us and the wife complained about everything.. First off I noticed her ring.. HUGE princess cut diamond, HUGE!!! She wanted to know what the waiter recommended, I don't know what he said but she started with the oysters on the half shell.. she ate it all then when he came to pick up her plate she said she didn't like it because the oysters were too big.. hello, these were pacific coast oysters, they are big compared to those from Washington or back East... She ate it all, what was she complaining about??
I don't know what she had as an entree or if she liked it, I got tired of listening to her bitch about everything. I guess if you can have a ring like that you can feel entitled? I think not.
I felt sorry for the server. Her husband really didn't say much, just ate his dinner and didn't complain at all. Isn't that the way it usually goes? If the woman is bitchy she has the nicest husband on earth.
Anyway, back to the meal. Of course you have to have desert no matter how full you are. I guess I was way too full for anything but I did have to take a look. G-daughter wanted caramelized bananas which they made for her (it wasn't on the menu). I had one of their Flaming Sardines- Coffee,sugar and Sambucca which is flamed at the table. As the waiter flamed the liquor and was swirling it around the glass a little flame of alcohol dropped on the carpet. I was more interested in seeing if the carpet was going to go up in flames also.. the drink was pretty good.. not great. I think i'd rather have an Irish Coffee, which is what Charlie had.
We took the left overs back to the hotel since we had a fridge, I thought there was a microwave but there wasn't, so the next morning I ate the left over Risotto cold. Even cold that risotto was delicious.
I mentioned that the hotel had a complimentary Continental Breakfast. We got there around 9:30am and it was pretty crowded. The staff was rushing around trying to refill platters. Why is it when food is offered free people descend like locusts? I came down warning my G-daughter we were pretty late so there might not be much left. They had a good selection of food items.. Blueberry coffee cake, bran ,cranberry muffins, lemon poppy seed cake,granola,yogurt, melons,bagels, cold cereal boxes, milk, coffee, tea, juices.. plus all the butter, jams etc. There were a few platters that needed to be refilled so I told the G-daughter to just take what she wanted and wait until they refilled things. Other people were getting irate because platters weren't full or there wasn't this or that. Can't they see the staff was replenishing platters as fast as they could? Plus there were two kids, not little kids these two were about 8 or 9 and running through the room chasing each other. One of them ran into me as I was standing to the side waiting. Where were their parents? and why didn't they tell them to stop? One of the staff told them to be careful but it didn't do any good. I figured if they ran past me again I was going to snag one of them and tell them to knock it off. I just hate it when kids who do things like that, don't parents teach manners? No wonder there are so many disrespectful people around. My G-daughter just looked at me like "what is wrong with them?". She would be in big trouble if she ever did anything like that. It was a nice selection of breakfast items.. too bad all those people were there. One of the staff came up and asked me if there was something I needed, I said no, I was just waiting for them to finish replenishing platters. He said usually it isn't this bad on weekdays, but on weekends it gets hectic. He apologized and said they were working on it, I told him it was fine, we weren't in any hurry. When everything we wanted was out we served ourselves and took our food back upstairs to the room. I took my coffee and a piece of cake (yes this is after I ate the risotto)out to the balcony and had a nice peaceful breakfast... though I was still P.O. about those kids.
After we finish eating, packing and making sure we had everything we check out, yes the car was still there in handicap space. We were now headed for Santa Cruz.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like fun..wish I could've had some of that Kobe beef.

I am in Portland and we ate at this place that floats on the river...near downtown. The fish was great but the service was sketchy. WE got the Japanese Kumamoto (sp) oysters on the half shell..delicious but small :).

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