Steamers Pismo

About once every 5 years I am required to eat at Steamers for some reason or another… Ya know, it’s honestly not *that bad* of a restaurant, all things considered. Ambience is great; Tablecloths; Quite professional service (observing both my table and several around me with other waiters); Everyone over 50 is dressed for dinner–and you can tell everyone under 50 was actually TRYING to dress for dinner or at least looked in the mirror before heading out: Something so rare in… um…. that area of restaurants. Food is prepared well… I mean it’s not crazy stupid innovative good, but it isn’t ‘brown glomp’ either. And I get it. For the Bible-Belt crowd, you have to strike a very cautious balance between haute cuisine and protein-mainlining with a side of carbo-loading. Presentation is acceptable and everything cooked perfectly. The fish dishes were lovely, of course–again, nothing crazy over-the-top but not boring either. I typically opt for the ‘McClintocks Menu’ just because… well I can get fish anywhere and despite the fact you couldn’t pay me to step foot in a McClintock’s, they DO know their way around a piece of beef. Interesting: the menu presented it as Rib-eye with vegetables and potatoes, but when it came it was STEAK-FRITES straight up–which shocked me at first to be served lunch-food at dinner on a Friday, and then it occurred to me I had ordered Steak-Frites at Casanova recently for lunch and it was absolutely the most dreadful rendition of this wonderful dish–just WRONG-WRONG-WRONG on every level–every item, every step was wrong and I was so shocked because Casanova is a…. well, if you don’t know what Casanova is you probably shouldn’t be on this forum. So the juxtaposition last night was: I’m sitting in a tourist-dump and sitting before me was one of the most wonderful renditions of Steak Frites I have had–even in France. The rib eye was MR-perfect and cross-seared–not grilled–with butter and parsley on a pile of WONDERFUL fries. OK, they were 1/4″ so technically wrong for classic steak-frites, but they were parboiled (or at minimum parfried) and perfect. This is the ONLY way to make frites properly. The “vegetable” turned out to be nothing more than an asparagus garnish. So after I got over my horror of the menu being a little mis-represented, the dish itself was wonderful. The wine list OMG the winelist is so horrid and boring and dreadful and just paso paso paso paso miserable tourist plonk–ok there was ABC pinot and Qupe syrah ON TAP!!!! but other than that… and of course the stemware are these Coke-bottle 5lb dumbbell things which reek of line-cleaner. Anyways… I know these big almost-chain sorta tourist places are not the sort of place which get talked about on here very often. It is just hard to believe this place is actually a reasonably sophisticated, quality dining experience and owned by–and basically across the street from–well… you know. And it will always be one of my top go-to places for out-of-town guests from East of here. Just take your own wine. And glasses. Curious what other locals’ opinions are of this place–because admit it: We’ve all eaten there.

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