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May 31, 2012

Monterey Trip - Day 2

Day 2 consisted of attempting to hike out in Carmel Valley after eating breakfast at one of our favorite breakfast places, Katy's Place. This restaurant is in Carmel and has all the breakfast staples, including omelets, eggs benedict in every flavor you can imagine, and all kinds of pancake and waffle flavors. Normally, I order the chocolate chip pancakes with bananas on top...and I probably should have stuck with that instinct, but instead I decided to be adventurous.

My mom ordered the Huevos Rancheros, it's like her favorite breakfast meal. I tried it and it was pretty good.

So, at first I was going to order the Crab Cakes Benedict, but our server recommended going with the Dungeness Benedict, which had spinach and better quality lump crab meat. I went with his recommendation, but I think I probably would have liked the crab cake benedict better. The one I ordered was good, and it was good quality crab, but I picked out the spinach and I was kind of craving that fried crab cake texture more than lump crab meat texture. I guess I should have just gone with my gut, but it turned out ok. 

After our crappy hike out in the Carmel Valley (it was an ugly trail, out in the hot sun, and extremely short), we stopped by the Earthbound Farms Cafe Stand for something to munch on. They had frozen yogurt, so we each got the raspberry-honey swirl they had for the day. We walked through their gardens and throughly debated getting something else to eat, but we decided to save our appetites for dinner.

After much searching, we finally decided to try the Old Fisherman's Grotto out on the wharf. We've tried several places out on the wharf that were just ok, but what finally sealed the deal on this restaurant was that they had the ever elusive fried artichoke hearts on their menu! We got there and immediately ordered some before they ran out too! They were delicious, and served with a creamy ranch dip. We somehow managed to finish the whole plate of them, and still have room for dinner and dessert.

My mom ordered the Sand Dabs, which we had seen on many menus, but theirs was delicious. It was served over a caramelized onion risotto, which was almost better than the fish itself!

I decided to order a special appetizer they had for my dinner, because I couldn't choose between the coconut shrimp and the crab cakes. The appetizer was the best of both worlds, and I asked for some tartar sauce to dip the shrimp in, which turned out to be a good idea. The crab cake had a tropical fruit salsa on top, and a delicious sauce. I mopped up my whole dinner. 

For the piece de la resistance, we ordered the chocolate creme brûlée for dessert. It was amazing and the sauce on the plate was the perfect complement to the brûlée. The sugar top was thick and extremely crunchy, and the creme below was a thick, cold, pudding-like consistency, which I loved.

This turned out to be by far my favorite meal of the trip, and I highly recommend this restaurant to anyone traveling to Monterey, or anyone looking for a good place to eat on Fisherman's Wharf. It is a little pricey, but no more so than other places on the wharf that are half as good.

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