Munch goes to McCormick & Schmick's

Oh, the many types of turkey: The traditional roasted turkey; the turkey roasted in a bag; barbecued turkey; turkey breasts for the families that hate dark meat; and deep-fried turkey for the families who hate the arteries leading to their hearts.

Turkey has been on Munch's mind since Munch is cooking the bird, baking the pies, boiling the potatoes and hoping the corn souffle rises.

There is only one antidote to the Thanksgiving meal: fish -- the other white meat.

In an anti-turkey mode earlier in this week when Munch was planning the shopping list, Munch and Former Editor of Munch hit McCormick & Schmick's in the SouthSide Works, conveniently located next to Sur La Table, which has all of the turkey roasting gear.

And while McCormick & Schmick's isn't known for its budget fare, Munch and FEOM found it surprisingly reasonable for lunch, with sandwiches in the $10-$11 range and the seafood specials in the mid-teens.

The other nice thing about going to McCormick & Schmick's for lunch is that you really can come as you are. Munch was in jeans. Some guy across the way was in a hoodie and sitting at a table with two other guys, both in white shirts and ties.

No matter the diner's attire, the staff was just as nice.

Munch had a cup of the clam chowder ($4.50), which was good. With a couple of turns of the pepper mill, it had the right amount of pepper. The broth was a thick cream, but not gag-you thick, as chowder can sometimes get. The potatoes were tender, but not falling apart from being overcooked.

As a main course, Munch chose one of the lunch entrees, the classic etouffee ($10.95), a mix of shrimp, chicken, Andouille sausage and crawfish in a browned roux, a sauce of flour and butter or vegetable oil cooked with onion. The sausage added a bit of heat to the dish, which was served around a pile of rice.

The etouffee was spicy, but not reach-for-the-glass-of-water spicy. Instead, Munch was later reaching for the glass of water because it was salty, but not so much so that Munch noticed while eating it. Munch also did not notice an overwhelming amount of garlic, though Dear One of Munch (DOOM) later questioned Munch on Munch's garlic intake for the day.

FEOM looked to the "Seafood Specialities" section of the menu for her lunch and found rainbow trout ($11.95) from Buhl, Idaho. Now Munch may be somewhat geographically challenged, but the last time Munch looked, Buhl isn't exactly a seaside town.

This, of course, led to a discussion of what seafood is, precisely, and, as with any such discussion among newspaper people, dictionaries were brandished. FEOM claimed any fish was seafood, and Munch, being a purist, insisted that the first definition: food from the sea, was the proper one. But FEOM went with the second definition of any kind of fish.

The seaside trout of Idaho was grilled and had what the menu described as a sweet chili sauce poured over it. Munch believes there was a taste of apricot in there. It was served with mashed potatoes that really were mashed and not all smashed and lumpy as is the latest retro-cooking fad, and roasted asparagus.

Here's the best part, even with iced tea and coffee, the meal came in less than $35 before tip.

And now, back to the regularly scheduled turkey.


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