Best Bites: July 6-12

For those of you who missed my column in Thursday’s Go! section of the Monterey Herald, I’m reposting the stories here on my blog. But wait–there’s more! That’s right, you’ve read about the best thing I ate all week, but what about some of the best bites that didn’t make the cut? Thank god for the internets–now you can see the top three foods I ate this week, complete with mouth-watering photos! Check back each weekend for a recap of the week’s tastiest treats!

Best Bite: Eggplant parmigiana, La Piccola Casa (Pacific Grove)

I absolutely adore the eggplant parmigiana at La Piccola Casa--the perfect dish on a cold day.

With the fog socking in P.G. on Friday night, I headed to La Piccola Casa for a plate of eggplant parmigiana to fight off the gray gloom.

The eggplant was so tender, cut into thin slices and layered delicately into a tower of deliciousness. The marinara sauce — housemade, of course — was sweet with hints of savory. A generous helping of crumbled Parmesan cheese on top was a welcome indulgence.

Anytime the weather’s chilly out, La Piccola Casa’s eggplant parm is the perfect bite of comfort food.

Better Bite: Seafood crepes, Bistro Moulin (Monterey)

Bistro Moulin has buckwheat crepes filled with chicken and mushrooms on their regular menu, but every now and then, Chef Didier cooks up delicious seafood crepes as a weekend special. Filled with shrimp, scallops and crab, these are quite decadent.

Definitely make the effort to get into the Bistro when Chef Didier is cooking up his delicious seafood crepes.

And if the filling weren’t enough, the crepes are served over a shellfish veloute and topped with big chunks of lobster. Yum!

These decadent–but surprisingly light–crepes are a must order when they grace the weekend’s special menu.

Good Bite: Burrito de fajitas, Taqueria del Mar (Monterey)

Inside the belly of the beast!

I was in the mood for a quiet lunch, so I wandered down to Taqueria del Mar. I wasn’t quite in the mood for a burrito–until I spotted the burrito de fajitas on the special board. Filled with meat (choice of chicken or carne asada), grilled onions, grilled green peppers, sour cream, guacamole, rice and beans, it sounded too good to pass up.

This was a beast of a burrito! Giant! Monstrous! Gargantuan! I dug in with a little hesitation about what I’d gotten myself into. And then I took a bite . . . It was delicious! A nice combination of freshly grilled meat and veggies, with the rich tangy bite of avocado and sour cream.

I managed to make a sizable dent in the burrito, but couldn’t finish it all–I mean that thing was HUGE! I’ll definitely keep this delicious dish in mind next time I’m craving Mexican food.

Honorable Mention: Bacon-avocado turkey burger, Phat Burger (Seaside)

I tried Phat Burger for the first time the other day. I’ve always been intrigued about this dive burger joint, more so when I heard rumors of a turkey burger on their menu. (It’s such a rarity in these parts!) I took the plunge with mixed results.

The toppings might not have been anything special, but the turkey patty at Phat Burger shows some promise. Could I finally have found a good one in these parts?

I ordered a turkey burger, but tarted it up with bacon and avocado. The burger itself wasn’t bad. A little salty, but nice texture and good flavor. The toppings were what killed it though–the bacon was fatty and chewy, the avocado a little slimy and too large of a portion. But my palate’s been piqued and I’ll be back to try the turkey burger on its own.

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