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Let's eat.

From Big Sur's killer cliff-clinging eateries to Salinas' unparalleled produce, this blog aims to sniff out all things Monterey County can stomach, via picture and prose, curiosity and appetite, hand and mouth.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Another Great Way to Stretch $20

You heard it hear first: the apocalypse is officially here. For the first time ever, movie houses are charging $20 for a single ticket: Four different New York City theaters are asking for an Andrew Jackson to see Shrek Forever After IMAX 3D. Not one goddamn Milk Dud thrown in either.

Fortunately the Weekly found some medicine to combat the madness: The Good Old Days prix fixe at New Monterey's Whaling Station (373-3778), which harkens back to the community institution's early years. Four courses, lots of entree choices, just $20 (before tax and tip).

It allows for a luxurious midweek meal at an affordable rate—and one that starts well at the bar with a reasonably priced beer (no point blowing the stategic savings from the GOD deal on a martini just yet) with gregarious mixologist Jeffrey and his magic tricks. (They also have some good values on the $16.95 bar menu, like a popular chateau sirlon steak sandwich or the blackened salmon sandwich, which both come with salad and fries.)

First course for the Good Old Days, which happens in the dining room: A Castroville artichoke with a tomato remoulade-aoili assist.

Next up: The coconut curry soup they call "famous." I just call it yummy. I could drink a bucket of it.

The range of options for the main course impresses—a dozen or so choices include the king salmon (above), filet mignon tips, flat iron steak and prawns scampi.

One of our group went for the beef wellington. Hard to knock that entrée play.

But I tend to steer toward the pan fried sand dabs dore with a screamin' caper lemon sauce.

A tableside-tossed Caesar closes the sequence, furnishing a fresh and happy ending for a fairy tale I'll take over Shrek any night of the week.