Thursday, September 20, 2007

Manzanita Seafood and Chowder House

When Katie was off work on Saturday, she was good enough to take me on the long, winding road out to the coast so I could see the ocean, and soak up some sun. And see some surfers.

Manzanita, Oregon

We arrived in what she calls "the Four-Door Sports Car," her well-used vehicle that has an exhaust leak too costly to bother fixing. It gives a satisfying roar as you cruise along, getting a lot of surprised looks from the hippies -- but hey -- it still passes the emissions tests. Katie has done some surfing herself, and she knew just where to stop the car to follow a beautiful trail that led out to the beach. To me, it was like a fairy tale.

Oregon Trail

The beach itself was magnificent! Perfect, warm weather (but not too hot), and the soft, smooth sand was like walking around in your own living room. If it was wetter on your toes.

Oregon Coast

After strolling up and down the beach a bit, we decided to move on up the road. Twiddling your toes in the sand can make you really hungry. That's a bit of a joke... But seriously folks, any contact with water makes me ravenous. Always has. It doesn't matter if I've been strenuously swimming or skiing in the waves, or if I just got out of the bath for a soak. (Cue Seinfeld: "What... Is the deal... With THAT?")

We pulled off the road just about ten minutes later in the little town of Manzanita. Katie said, "Let's eat somewhere by the water," but as soon as we passed the Manzanita Seafood and Chowder House, I knew I wanted to park and give it a shot. You gotta have seafood on the coast!

Manzanita Seafood and Chowder House

As soon as we went in, I thought of an adaptation of the Visa commercial: "But if you're going to this little coastal restaurant in the town of Manzanita, bring your appetite. And bring your CASH, because they don't take American Express. They don't take Visa, either!" Luckily, there was an ATM across the street. I was back in a flash.

Manzanita Seafood and Chowder House

All of the seafood looked good. I felt that I should get crab, at first, but none of the offerings were really calling out to me. Katie wanted fried fish, and I decided to join her. Why not see if it was better along the coast, eh? Truth be told, that's what I really wanted anyway. I got the cod (I was hoping it would be a Pacific cod, and therefore would be really fresh), and Katie got the halibut. Excellent.

My first shock came as I ordered, of course, an iced tea and took it back to the table to drink it. It was the foulest liquid I have ever had the misfortune to drink. Either something had gone wrong with the batch (very, very wrong), or these people just don't know how to make iced tea. I usually say you can judge a place by their iced tea, and so this did not bode well at all. In addition, because I always save a few calories by not getting the fries, I had ordered the lightly dressed pasta salad, and they were all out. I ended up with a double order of cole slaw. Lastly, there was no malt vinegar on the tables, and someone had to get a few bottles from the back. That's no problem, but I think it shows a bit of carelessness. Needless, bro, I was not stoked.

My misgivings were pushed aside, however, when my meal arrived. What a beautiful platter of fried fish, alongside a mountain of cole slaw. It truly was the best fried cod I have ever had. The fish had such a firm texture, I really want to compare it to the food that one is never to compare food to (like chicken, there, I spelled it out). It had NO fish taste at all, just clean and lovely.

Manzanita Seafood and Chowder House

Katie was equally pleased with her halibut. I gave her my tartar sauce, and soaked mine in malt vinegar.

Manzanita Seafood and Chowder House

We then scooted out to the beach, where Katie lay down to sunbathe, and I braved the excruciating cold on my feet to gawk more in the surf (the day was warm, the water was not). I've been in the ocean on either coast several times, but this one was crazy cold. Katie said the warning was generally that hypothermia sets in after about 30 seconds. I'm surprised it was that long.

After lying about in the sun for awhile (and yes, I always wear a strong sunscreen), we drove back, showered (no Chris, not together) and went out for... what else? More eating! And for that, I'll see you next time.


  1. Seriously Geeners... That one surfer guy was DELECTABLE!

  2. Mmmmm...that looks like some mighty tasty fish!

  3. Sounds lilke an awesome day!! Great beach experience and seafood to boot!!

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