Best bites: August 9, 2012

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. Check out this week’s Best Bite–a recap of the week’s tastiest treat! As an added bonus, check out some extra tasty bites I found this week dining around town.

Best bite: Burger at Red House Cafe (Pacific Grove)

After a long, hectic day fueled by little more than coffee and a couple nibbles here and there, my stomach was growling for something substantial for dinner. So I dropped into Red House Cafe for a quiet dinner: a burger and a glass (OK, two) of wine.

I kept my burger basic: no bacon or avocado this time, just lettuce, tomato, caramelized onions, cheddar and aioli.

Without the smoky bacon or buttery avocado, the rich flavor of the meat really came through. And it was cooked perfectly medium rare — really the best, if not only, way to have a burger, if you ask me.

The burger at Red House Cafe was absolutely sublime!

Sure, that juicy burger got a little bit messy by the end, but I happily devoured it.

I had previously given Red House Cafe the silver medal for No. 2 best burger in town — but the decadently delicious burger I had the other day has me thinking they might deserve gold instead!

Red House Cafe is at 662 Lighthouse Ave. in Pacific Grove. 643-1060. www.redhousecafe.com.

Honorable Mention:
Tilapia tacos at Cafe Lumiere (Monterey)

Cafe Lumiere is probably most famous for their coffee: awesome Americanos and luxurious lattes made with Acme beans. But their lunch specials deserve mention too — they’re some of the best in town, and won’t cost you too many pennies.

I needed to take a break from tacos after an extensive tasting at our local taquerias. But when I got word that chef Cirilo Aragon was making tilapia tacos for lunch at Cafe Lumiere, I couldn’t resist.

This trio of tilapia tacos was quite tasty!

Sure enough, the tacos were mighty tasty. For just $7, I got a plate of three tilapia tacos — hot off the grill — and all the fixin’s, including lettuce, pico de gallo and sour cream. The pickled carrots — pickled by owner Brandi Lamb — were a nice touch. They added a little kick of heat that was perfect with the flaky, flavorful fish.

Cafe Lumiere is at 365 Calle Principal in Monterey. 920 -2451. www.montereylumiere.com.

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