New England Clam Chowder. You could argue it’s my favorite soup and food. It all traces back to when I was a kid, going chowder hopping from place to place in Cape Cod with my dad. Ever since then, if I see it on the menu, I’m ordering it.
When I was organizing the places I wanted to go to in San Francisco and along the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway), seafood and clam chowder of course came to mind. I hit up Google and Twitter and various review sites and this place in Half Moon Bay, Sam’s Chowder House kept coming up. I gotta get there.
Half Moon Bay, perfect. It was in-route on my already planned PCH trip from San Francisco and Pacifica to Santa Cruz, Capitola and points beyond. I got there around lunch time and parked a couple of blocks away along the road. This place is busy, it must be good!
Sam’s Chowder House opened in 2006 and sits right along Half Moon Bay and the Pacific coast. I immediately saw all of the outside seating. Yeay!
I found my spot. There was an ice-cold lemonade waiting for me. Not really, I ordered it when I was in inside. It definitely hit the spot, going through several during my time there. You couldn’t have asked for a better weather day. The sun was shining right on me. Being right along the Pacific Coast in this part of California it tends to me foggy, misty and cooler a lot of the time. I checked out SamCam early in the morning to see if it’d be an outside or inside eating day.
You can also sit on an Adirondack chair without…
…or with a fire pit…
…and stare at the beach, blue ocean and skies, the coastline and…
…the greenery and flowers right in front of you. You just wanna run out there and get out on the open water.
The scenery was breathtaking, but it was time to eat. Some freshly baked bread and sweet butter found its way to the table first. Too bad the outdoor bar in front of me was closed. Who doesn’t love an outdoor tropical bar?! 🙂
Shortly after the bread came well you can guess. It was New England Clam Chowder goodness time.
Look at those big pieces of Yukon gold potatoes, celery, carrots, little necked clams and more. If that wasn’t enough, there was also smoked bacon within. A foodies dream! It had a great creamy base and was as good as advertised.
Hard to believe but that was just a cup. I can’t imagine how big and how much goodness there was in a bowl. I finished the chowder fully satisfied, next! You see I also had ordered the fish & chips. You can always tell how good a seafood place is to by their fish & chips. 🙂
The fish & chips came with coleslaw and plenty of tartar sauce. I try to be fair to all additives when eating beer-battered fish, rotating between lemon, tartar sauce, ketchup and Four Monks California Malt Vinegar English Style.
The fish was as good as it looked. 🙂
They tried to get me to order dessert, which I should have since everything is made in-house but I was full and didn’t want to overeat since I was getting right back out on the open road. In hindsight, a regrettable decision. Something to look forward to next time along with one of their famous lobster rolls! Have you had one?
They also offer a spacious inside dining experience and a bar area.
You can get up close and personal with the seafood…
…including the clams!
Sam’s Chowder caters to large private parties. How about an oceanfront wedding and reception? If you can’t make it to Half Moon Bay be on the lookout in the Bay Area for the Chowdermobile, Sam’s very own food truck!
It was a great day on the PCH, more on that in a later post. It was x times better with my stop at the award-winning Sam’s Chowder House. The service from the hostesses to my waitress was outstanding. Others came by as well asking me if I needed anything. For great scenery and atmosphere, tasty fish & chips and of course their New England Clam Chowder, you know where you need to get to. I don’t know how I never new about this place before. 🙂