On December 26th, or Boxing Day as known in the UK and Canada, or the shopping day after Christmas as we know it in the US, my family members, all five of them, wanted to do different things. The list of places were Laguna Seca, Elkhorn Slough, and possibly shopping. I decided to go with my Dad, Jodi (bro-in-law), and The Hubby to the range. The women were understandably not keen on the activity and as one of my sisters thought of going for a day hike in Elkhorn Slough, my Mom, Claire, and Kat all planned for the hike instead. In the end, we all ended up going to Elkhorn Slough because the range was closed for the day. A silver lining I’d say.
By the standards of mountain hikes we’ve done in the past, Elkhorn Slough was very easy. It was a beautiful sunny day and the terrain was relatively flat, yet during the hike, I bellyached, both figuratively and literally, about me not having had enough breakfast and that I was hungry. I had a chant for the day and it was, “Who wants fried calamari? I do! I do!” My Mom had crackers and she also brought along her homemade bibingka, a dense cake made with rice flour and coconut, which The Hubby calls the Filipino lembas because it only takes a small amount to satisfy hunger. Yet even with two bite-sized pieces of bibingka, I still wanted fried calamari. Luckily, everyone in our family loves seafood so it wasn’t hard to get everyone on board with going to Phil’s Fish Market, we were near enough Moss Landing after all.
It was close to the dinner rush by the time we arrived at Phil’s and we encountered a long queue. The staff at Phil’s are many and they also move fast. The wait could be worse, and we luckily were able to find seating right away.
Waiting in line allowed everyone to figure out what they wanted. I know I wanted fried calamari and also fried shrimp, so The Hubby and I got those. My parents ordered seafood quesadilla for themselves and the family jumbo platter for everyone. Who’s going to complain over more fried seafood? Kat made a boss choice with her order of steamed mussels and fries, while Claire and Jodi went with the combo seafood platter. The platters consist of calamari, shrimp or prawns, scallops, and artichoke hearts, all fried to crispy goodness.
Did everybody get their fill of seafood? I’d like to think so. We demolished the fried goods and I was pretty content and felt like a tubby tabby after leaving Phil’s. By the looks of the other diners, they all seemed content with what they got as well. One dish I’d like to try when we return to Phil’s is the steamed mussels that my sister ordered. The broth was garlicky and salty but it worked just fine with the mussels, and it made for great dipping with the fries.
Phil’s Fish Market is a Central Coast California restaurant favorite for a reason. It’s certainly one of our favorites.