A recent thread on BARF reviewed great clam chowder places in the Bay Area. I of course praised my beloved Splash Cafe down in Pismo as the end-all be-all of chowders. Another chowder house that came up repeatedly was Phil’s Fish Market in Moss Landing.
Since Splash is 3+ hours south of San Jose, I resolved to check out Phil’s. Sunday being sunny and not excessively cold, I got Tony out of bed at the insanely early hour of 11 am to have a quick breakfast and gear up the motorcycles. Robert (Squidhunter) was also availble.
The riding was nice. For the most part, the roads were part of our normal “quickie” repertoire. Bailey to Uvas to 152 Hecker Pass. From there we tried out something new. With the help of my GPS and a printed map, we found Elkhorn Slough Rd, which none of us had been on before. It was very nice, but we were following a slow moving econobox and a Honda Nighthawk the entire time. In it’s favor, Elkhorn is one of those roads so curvy that there are very few opportunities to pass. Unfortunately, this doesn’t help if you’re stuck behind someone who doesn’t seem to know the purpose of turn-outs. The scenery was nice at least.
Phil’s was pretty crowded, which was encouraging. Robert and I both ordered the clam chowder (Tony got a fish sandwich. He doesn’t like clam chowder). Robert thought it was pretty good. I found it good also, but still not comparable to Splash’s nectar of the gods. It was thick with good chunks of clam but strong potato and bacon overtones. Also somewhat grainy opposed to Splash’s creamyness. Splash also has more of a sweet seafood taste.
I’d go again to sample more of their food, but the chowder there won’t be my big draw. I’d like to try the cioppino ($$$) which also got high marks from BARFers.
We headed home via Hwy 1, Soquel San Jose Rd, and 17. SSJ was fun as always. We got a good run in on SSJ with very little traffic in our way. My confidence on the BMW is definitely improving. I kept Tony and Robert in my sights most of the day. I only fell behind on SSJ, but when Tony asked how I was doing over the radio when he reached the end of SSJ rd, I was able to respond that I was right behind them and pulled up just a few seconds later. A nice ride which ended up being about 100 miles for the day.