Sunday, May 07, 2006

EVENT: Destinations - May 17

I Was Just Really Very Hungry is hosting a new blog event: DESTINATIONS!

After May 17, the roundup of everyone's suggesttions can be found here.

"Unlike most food blogging events, this doesn't take place in your kitchen.
Make a list of your favorite food related destinations in your home town.
They can be restaurants, bakeries, delis, cafés, gourmet markets, green
markets, kitchen equipment stores, whatever—as long as it's something
related to food and eating, there are no restrictions. Just ask yourself the
question, If my favorite food blogger/food lover came to my town, where
would I take him/her?"

Well if you came to visit me in Seal Beach, Southern California I would take you Walt's Warf on Main Street. Seal Beach is a little town and not a big beach town like Manhattan or Huntington Beach. It is a town where just about everything is closed down on Mondays, sleepy during the week and busy during the weekend. And yes, we do have a Main Street. Most places are very low maintenance but there is the jewel in the crown, Walt's. There is a line almost every night from Thursday through Sunday but still busy during the rest of the week. It is a great lunch spot too.

They have a large oak grill on which extremely fresh fish and the infamous Oak Grilled Artichokes cook up to perfection. When my husband, then beau, took me to Walt's for the artichokes as part of his aresenal of ways to woo me to move to California from New York City where I had spent most of my entire life. Well, it worked, I had only seen chain restaurants until then and needed to be assured there was an excellent restaurant just down the street. Actually, one day when I was lying on the couch, pregnant and on bed rest with the twins, the Today Show briefly mentioned Walt's as a place to go if near the area. Trust me, it does stand up to the hype. Also, you have to have the Special Salad which is mixed greens, blue cheese, onions, and caramelized walnuts. It is really delicious. When the Copper River Salmon is running and they have it on the menu, make sure you order that because it is the best you will taste.

The history of Walt's is a story of love and dedication to fresh food and fine wine. In 1970, Walt and Mona Babcock wanted a restuarant in Seal Beach with fresh fish so they opened one themselves. At first Walt hauled in the fish himself. But in 1979, they closed its doors to focus on building a winery on the land they had purchased in Lompoc, California. By 1984, they had succeeded in building a small winery in which their son Bryan was head winemaker. So, while their son was busy building the wine business, Walt and Mona, went back to Seal Beach and reopened the doors of Walt's Wharf. They would bring the freshest organic vegetables down from Lompoc and worked with the best fishermen around to ensure the quality of all their dishes. So, now we are very lucky to still be enjoying Walt's Wharf's food and the wine from their Babcock Vineyards.

If you can't make it out here, you can try and re-create the magic of their Oak Grilled Artichokes. They have graciously posted their recipe on their website.

For Dipping Sauce, combine the following and keep chilled until use.

1/4 cup Sesame Oil
1/4 cup Olive Oil
3 Tbsp Honey
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
2 tsp Season Salt
2-3 oz Lea & Perrins Worcestershire
1 cup Mayonnaise

Cut artichokes into quarters and steam, boil or microwave until they are tender and/or the leaves are easy to pull from the flower. Grill over any type of barbecue. Baste with garlic butter and grill until the artichokes are hot.


You can find more information at the Walt's Wharf Restuarant website.

Walt's Wharf Restaurant 201 Main Street, Seal Beach, CA 90740

From The 405 Freeway (North or South)
From the 405 (San Diego Freeway) exit at Seal Beach Blvd and turn Left from the off ramp. Continue, toward the beach, on Seal Beach Blvd to Pacific Coast Highway. Turn Right on Pacific Coast Hwy. Turn Left at Main Street. We are located two blocks down on the corner of Main Street and Central Ave. Our address is 201 Main Street.

From PCH
If you are heading North on PCH, turn left on Main Street. We are located two blocks down on the corner of Main Street and Central Ave. Our address is 201 Main Street.
If you are heading South on PCH, turn right on Main Street. We are located two blocks down on the corner of Main Street and Central Ave. Our address is 201 Main Street.

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