Half Moon Bay’s Restaurant Trail

by | Nov 10, 2010 | Beer, Restaurant Overviews, Travel

My friend Patty and I took our bikes down to Half Moon Bay for a long awaited bike ride and seafood fest. We started our excursion at Poplar Beach (where there is free parking) and headed North on the Half Moon Bay Coastal Trail, a beautiful 6-mile paved trail that winds along the coast to Pillar Point Harbor.

It’s an absolutely gorgeous ride along the beaches and cliffs of the Pacific, and boy-oh-boy, star studded with restaurants the entire way – you could eat yourself into a seafood coma along those 6 miles! On the route we cruised past the Bach Dancing & Dynamite SocietyMiramar Beach RestaurantSam’s Chowder HouseCrab LandingBarbara’s FishtrapHalf Moon Bay Brewing Company and Mezza Luna. We didn’t quite make it to Mezza Luna, we parked our bikes at the Brewing Company, found a seat outdoors on the patio with a view of the harbor, and soaked in the sunshine. Gotta love California, we were in our t-shirts and shorts, and after the fog broke, and it was down right balmy in November! But just in case, they have firepits blazing on the patio to keep you warm on the days the fog doesn’t burn off. The brewery is definitely dog friendly, there was a dog at every other table on the patio, from small to large.

We started off the seafood fest with their Mavericks Beer & Ale Sampler: Bootlegger’s Brown Ale, Harbor Lights Ale, Pillar Point Pale Ale, Mavericks Amber Ale, Princeton-by-the-Sea IPA, Sandy Beach Blonde Hefeweisen and a specialty pumpkin brew. The brewskis were the perfect companion to the Mavericks Artichoke Hearts and ½ order of Garlic Steamed Prawns (we forgot to order the ½ order of artichoke hearts, oops). The ‘chokes were beer battered of course, with the Mavericks Amber Ale, crunchy and delicious with a bleu cheese dressing (I don’t like bleu cheese but this was very mild and tasty). I always order artichokes when I’m on the coast, it’s their home after all. The garlic prawns were so fresh and perfectly cooked, and chock full o’ garlic.

That should have been an entire meal, but oh no, the fest had just begun. We ordered the Half Moon Bay Dungeness Crab Louie (paired with the Bootlegger’s Brown Ale) and the Fish and Chips in their signature Mavericks Amber Ale Batter. You have the choice of Rock Cod, Mahi Mahi, Salmon or Halibut.

We were so excited when the food arrived I forgot to take pictures, so we had already eaten half of both entree’s by the time I remembered to snap a shot! Their portions are generous indeed! The fish and chips were cooked to perfection, 5 large pieces, delicate white flaky cod, crunchy batter, with steaming hot chips on the side. The Louie took me back to the 60’s and 70’s when we would eat out with our grandparents – Thousand Island dressing, fresh Dungeness crab, plenty of avocado, cucumber, tomatoes, and boiled egg to boot.

I’m already planning my next visit so I can try the brewery’s Avo’s Portuguese Fisherman’s Stew, a seasonal mix of fresh fish, shellfish and Linguica in a garlic broth with cilantro, this place is definitely a keeper! It was a good thing we were on bikes, we did end up in somewhat of a beer/seafood coma that we rode off on our way back down the coast.

Surfs up at Mavericks!  Nancy