It was New Year’s Day and Greg and I and a group of friends were off to Hollywood. No, not that Hollywood! This one’s in Port Angeles ... at the beach.
We went to see Ariel, the giant Pacific octopus at the Arthur D. Feiro Marine Life Center.
Ariel is not on a menu, thank goodness! She’s absolutely fascinating and my recommendation is go and see her! And talk to the volunteers; they’re a fount of information.
But let’s get to the food.
Afterward, we were hungry for lunch. And it was just a short walk across the street to the Red Lion’s CrabHouse Restaurant.
I’ve been there several times over the years and never had a less than satisfactory experience. And, you can’t beat the view!
Before it was the CrabHouse, it was Denny’s. And before the restaurant was part of The Red Lion Inn, it was called Haguewood’s, and it was located across from the Cornerhouse on First Street. That was until there was a natural gas explosion that necessitated the move.
The CrabHouse is spacious, offering two rooms. The “coffee shop” features lots of comfy booths upholstered in — what else? — a nautical theme. The other side is where you’ll find the bar. But it, too, has a great view, lots of tables and a few booths.
The CrabHouse is, fittingly, known for its fresh crab.
And you’ll find it everywhere on the menu. Crab cakes and crab cake salad, crab and artichoke dip, crab and prawn fettuccini (with cremini mushrooms, artichoke hearts and herb mustard Alfredo, $16), crab cake sliders (with Tillamook cheddar, tomato, slaw, greens, tartar on toasted slider buns, $13), crab and artichoke melt (served on an open-face telera roll, $15) and in its Trio Seafood Platter along with breaded cod fillets, coconut prawns, fries and slaw ($24).
Mac n’ Cheese is the new “it” dish and the CrabHouse serves one with crab and shrimp covered in a three-cheese blend and a Cajun-herb parmesan crust ($16 at lunch and $17 for dinner) although a more traditional version is available, too.
Awhile ago I had the crab Louie salad — the first I’ve ever ordered — and it was fresh and crisp, and the Thousand Island dressing was right up there with the best of ’em. Alas, that is no longer on the menu but our waitress told us there would be no problem to serve up one.
And speaking of waitresses, they took good care of us (yes, we had two!) and that always adds to a good dining experience.
The Happy Hour menu, available daily from 4-6:30 p.m., offers a baker’s dozen of dishes, including burgers, blue cheese chicken fettuccini, fish tacos, daily sandwich specials, mushroom risotto — all for only $5. What a bargain! You also get a break on drinks.
Our table ordered a variety of dishes. Friend Becky who “travels the world and usually orders wedge salads” says the Wedge Salad ($7) with iceberg lettuce, bacon, tomato, egg, red onion and chunky blue dressing was very good — and the hard-boiled egg, usually not served with a wedge salad, was a great addition.
I ordered the half-pound Chop House Burger ($9) that came on a toasted telera roll served with field greens, tomato, red onion, pickle and special sauce. Telera, like panini, is a variation on a Spanish word dating back to biblical times and usually is a soft round bread.
Greg also ordered the burger — with everything. He liked the sauce. I took the skin-on fries or I could have had a field green salad or added soup or chowder for a little extra.
The CrabHouse also is open for breakfast and offers eggs, omelets, pancakes and waffles. For $10.95 you’ll get to go to the Roaring Start Buffet and fill up on your choice of scrambled eggs, breakfast meats, potatoes, pancakes, fruit, breakfast breads, cereals, yogurt, juice and coffee.
Let’s not forget dessert. Salivate over house-made hot apple tarts, bourbon bread pudding and their most requested, creme brulée.
All this and a view of the harbor. If you ask me — and I’ve been there — it’s better than Hollywood!
Reach Shelley Taylor at email@example.com.
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