Blowing my diet at The Fish Market

Since I have been visiting my family in California, my eating regimen has been a total bust.  Although I have been getting out and about more than usual, I have been balancing the new exercise with a healthy dose of local cuisine.  For example, the other day my mother offered to take me to lunch at the Fish Market. My internal struggle lasted only a fraction of a second before I said “Okay!”

What? Stop looking at me like that!  How could I say no to lunch at The Fish Market?  You expect me to refuse a chance to eat their decadent clam chowder? Or miss tasting their sourdough bread slathered with butter?  I think not.

The Fish Market is a local restaurant chain that started in 1976 when a sport fisherman and a boat captain got together and decided to offer delicious, fresh seafood at an “honest” price.  Although the seafood at The Fish Market is diverse, fresh and very delicious, I have to argue that the price isn’t all that affordable…not when it costs $13 for a half-dozen oysters, but I digress.

My mom and I arrived right after the lunch rush on a Friday afternoon.  As soon as I walked into the restaurant, a flood of memories washed over me with the smell of fresh seafood.  I remember coming to the Fish Market every year on my birthday and ordering a live Maine lobster with a cup of clam chowder or coming to the restaurant with my mom for a special lunch, feasting on huge salads featuring avocados stuffed with crab or shrimp. We were seated in the back of the restaurant facing the water (a man-made canal that runs through San Mateo and Foster City).  We made our selections quickly and relaxed while reminiscing about our past experiences there.  Another server made his way to our table with some ice water and a bread basket featuring a half-loaf of their delicious sourdough bread. I discovered that they get their bread fresh from La Boulange based in San Jose when all this time I thought they made it there.

The bread is so delicious and perfect with a nice cup of New England Clam Chowder, which came out next.  I am a huge fan of clam chowder, creamy and chunky at the same time, rich with the flavor of fresh clams.  The Fish Market has always done this soup great justice and I can’t resist ordering at least a cup every single time.

For our main dish, my mom and I decided to split their Fish & Chips Combination plate featuring panko fried Sea of Cortez prawns, Massachusetts sea scallops and Pacific lingcod.  When it came out, the waitress had kindly pre-split the entree for us, which I though was a nice touch of quality service.  Everything was so tasty, fried perfectly in the panko crumbs and still moist with no nasty rubber-like texture…especially the scallops which are so delicate.  The seafood was also served with coleslaw and french fries plus a nice tartar sauce for dipping.

So, even though it wasn’t an “official” cheat, I couldn’t help enjoying myself, hanging out with my mom and savoring the flavors from my past.  I figure after this trip, I will come back home to New Orleans and re-start my diet.   I promise!

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