Go For the 'Chowdah' at Splash Cafe
You know you’re in for a treat when the restaurant you’re going to has a line out the door and around the corner, while the neighboring joints are hosting no one but crickets.
We stumbled across Splash Café while walking in Pismo Beach on day four of a five-day jaunt from L.A. to San Francisco and back. We thought we were chowdered-out, after Pier 39 in San Francisco and the Fisherman’s Wharf in Monterey—which is apparently involved in some kind of Chowder Wars, cause every single place along the pier has a guy ladling chowder from a giant metal soup tureen in an effort to lure them inside.
We’d had our fill. Literally. And then came Splash Café. This is the type of place where you scavenge for a seat, much like a seagull hovering overhead waiting for discarded scraps on the nearby pier, and wait with the other hungry folks to order at the counter. But get that steaming bread bowl full of chowder (or chili, if you must, along with burgers, tacos, and a bunch of fried stuff) in front of you, and it’s all worth it. It’s more than worth it. It’s chowder porn.
Now, it would seem like clam chowder wouldn’t be so hard to make. It’s the same basic ingredients right? Cream, potatoes, clams. Yeah, you think that, until that first insanely creamy, impossibly delicious spoonful hits your palette.
Divey, beach shacky kind of spot? Who cares! Line 30-people deep? What’s a few more minutes? Scarcity of seats? We’ll stand in the corner!
Splash Café has a secondary location in San Luis Obispo, ships its fresh frozen chowder, and also sells the stuff in the local Costco, among a few other places. We can’t comment on what that might taste like, but we know this: no 200-mile distance is enough to make us try home-delivered frozen over the opportunity for another steaming bowl very, very soon.
But when you go, be prepared. Not only is the chowder at another level, but the sourdough bread is stepped up too. Just when you think you’re gonna get away with not eating that hunk of bread they remove from the top and inside of your bread bowl, they go and butter and grill it. Thanks, Splash Café. Thanks a lot.
The clam chowder bread bowl is $6.75 at the Splash Cafe. Go here for the full cafe menu.
· Beach Travel [Jaunted]
· Splash Cafe [Official Site]