Monterey: Phil's Fish Market

I'd heard about Phil's Fish Market and its cioppino many, many times.  But there was never any excuse to head down to the Monterey area.  Until last month, when we took advantage of a long weekend to do a little family trip, first to Pinnacles National Park and then to Phil's:


We'd been warned about the long lines, so we weren't surprised when we arrived.  We were, however, extremely surprised to be able to snag a spot in Phil's tiny parking lot.

We were definitely all cackling as we got out of our car.

The line continues inside, past the bar, and past where you can buy cioppino to go by the bucket:


Plenty of time to look through the menu and decide what you want.

After you place your order at the counter, find a table (either inside or outside), then wait for your food to be brought to you.  While you're waiting, grab some free bread and butter:


Entrees come with a salad:


And garlic bread:


As an appetizer, we decided to try one of Phil's many artichoke dishes.  We asked the lady who took our order what her favorite was.  She said boiled.

Well.

That awkward moment when you ask for someone's recommendation and they say the one thing that doesn't appeal to you at all and then you have you pretend to consider it before picking something else.

We ultimately went with fire roasted, which came with an aioli sauce ($8.95):


As I've mentioned multiple times before, my mother is a bit of a noodle/pasta fanatic.  In deference to her, we ordered linguine and clams ($19.95):


I think my sister basically drank the white wine sauce like soup.  Lots and lots of clam inside.

And of course, we couldn't leave without getting the cioppino.  Here it is for two ($48.95):


Definitely not cheap, but it came heaping with all sorts of seafood from mussels to fish to scallops to crab.  Enough to go around the entire table and still have some leftover to take home.

We figured we should go all out since who knew when we would be back again, so we also ordered the three item fryer ($17.95).  We chose shrimp, squid, and halibut (which was an additional $2):


The squid was not quite what we expected, but we rolled with it, though the breading kind of overpowered the squid itself.  The shrimp were huge, which we appreciated.  And the halibut was nice and juicy.  Gotta love the fries too.

All in all, Phil's a great place to stop when you're in the Monterey area.  I probably won't make the trip down just to eat at Phil's, but it's nice to have a go-to seafood joint when you're there.  The seafood is solid and the portions are big, but the price tag is a bit hefty (as expected of a seafood restaurant), so prepare yourself for that.

Now I can check Phil's Fish Market off of my list.  Woot woot!


Phil's Fish Market
7600 Sandholdt Rd
Moss Landing, CA 95039
(831) 633-2152
http://philsfishmarket.com/

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