While most times I do stick close to the office for lunch, I’m guilty of wandering rather far afield every so often. I tell myself that it’s a perk of being an independent consultant — technically, I’m supposed to be able to set my own hours and working locations, as long as I actually do get work done. Sometimes I’ve been known to wander out and not come back, although on those days I’m bringing my laptop with me and continuing to work, sometimes finding myself more productive than I would be had I actually stayed to work at the office.
There’s a place I’ve heard about off and on called Sam’s Chowder House in Half Moon Bay. I decided I’d head there for lunch Monday, despite it being a bit (ahem) out of the way for me. A friend suggested it wasn’t too far to go as long as I wrote about the meal here later, so I am. (This reminds me that I’ve never written about the meal at Manresa, have I? Perhaps later.)
As it turns out, Sam’s is just a little north of Half Moon Bay, right on the Pacific. I didn’t eat outside, but I did get a window table. The restaurant’s nearly worth it just for the view. No, it’s not a very cheap place to eat — but hey, fresh seafood isn’t a cheap proposition. I managed to get there before the lunch rush, or at least before the canonical lunch hour. There’s a reason I usually get to the restaurant by 11:30 or so when I can. (This may change a little as I’m trying to stick to a diet, but that’s another post.)
Given the place’s name, I figured I had to have a cup of the clam chowder; while they advertise both Manhattan-style and New England style, their theme seems to cant toward New England, so I gave that a shot. They don’t thicken their broth with flour, and I’m told this is more authentic; it does change the character of the chowder, and I’d say for the better. It was an excellent soup, showing off the freshness of the vegetables and, of course, the clams.
For an entree, I had escolar — the fish nearly everyone else calls “ono,” but the waitress said they went with the Spanish name because we’re in California — topped with a mango salsa. The vegetables it’s stacked on are new potatoes and spinach, with little bits of grilled lemon. Regardless of what you call this fish, it was wonderful; it has a mild flavor, was seasoned and prepared expertly, and all of the accompaniments worked.
I didn’t stick around for dessert, despite temptations; it was already, as I’d said, a long lunch, and not one I’d brought my laptop along for the ride on.
(This is also my first ‘experimental’ blog post with pictures I’ve taken from the iPhone. I may do this a little more often, depending on feedback and general inclination…)