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Rover Reviews

as told to Pam Bonsper

Abalonetti Bar and Gril

Fisherman's Wharf, Monterey
(831) 373-1851


abalonetti“Arf!   Arf, Arf!  Arf, Arf, Arf”! 

I pulled at my leash as Mom led me down Fisherman’s Wharf. I heard the barking increase, and I thought I’d have to fight for my lunch. I’m just a little pooch but  like to eat a lot, and from Mom’s conversation with her friend, it sounded like the perfect lunch spot. As we got closer to the famous Abalonetti (towards the end of the wharf, on the left), the barking got even louder.
But upon entering the huge,  dog-enticing enclosed patio, my fears were whisked away with the ocean breeze. The other dogs, enjoying the incredible smells, were well behaved. The barks, which now blended with the screams of gulls and shouts of children, were from sea lions! I curled up beside Mom’s chair, perused my doggie menu, and enjoyed a bowl of fresh water.

I felt at home here.  A large sign in the window—Peace of Mind Dog Rescue Fundraiser— was a reminder of the owner’s generous fundraisers and his devotion to canine causes. Positioned on the edge of the ocean, I had a dog’s-eye view of the marina: kayakers zigzagged, sea otters somersaulted, and pelicans swooped.

“Can we have the local’s menu, please?” Mom asked the waitress.
This was good news. Locals get really good deals every day and even get free parking Mondays through Thursdays. A glass of wine for $2.99, entrees for $8.95, and only $2.00 for one of the marvelous desserts! I ordered grilled chicken and waited patiently while Mom and her friend nibbled on giant slices of buttered Italian bread served with roasted garlic. I positioned my nose right at Mom’s knee. With the slightest touch, I asked for—and was given—just a small morsel. Yum! This was starting off well.

The restaurant was filling up quickly and tables were bursting with food: oysters (on the half-shell, wood-roasted, fried, and Rockefeller); calamari (barbecued, grilled, and Napoletana); and plates of antipasto from the fresh antipasto bar. There was also sesame-crusted Ahi tuna, cioppino, shrimp and seafood, steak and fries, chicken, pork chops, and different kinds of pastas and pizzas.

I was going nuts!  Morsels were falling as fast as I could grab them. Mom was devouring crab ravioli and her friend was swooning over rock cod on a bed of mashed potatoes and fresh steamed spinach.

Just as I was about to burst, the dessert tray was presented. Crème brûlée, raspberry cheesecake, coppa mascarpone, chocolate soufflé—and of course cannelloni!

“Arf!   Arf, Arf!  Arf, Arf, Arf”! 

The sea lions were screaming to catch our attention. As I plodded out of the restaurant, my tummy dragging, it finally occurred to me—it’s all about discrimination.

“Why are dogs allowed and not us?” the sea lions were protesting.

 I bumped Mom’s leg so she’d pick me up. Hanging over her shoulder and facing them, I barked smugly, but loudly...

“Just be glad you’re not on the menu!”

I smiled all the way home. I’m glad to be a canine.

Woof, Woof!


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