There we were in Seaside for an overnight and with no clue what to eat. Sure, I wrote down a few ideas but all of them had equal amount of praise and pan on the internet. What to do? Well, we merely chose one from the many restaurants that littered the main drag in the heart of town. Dooger's seemed like safe choice right? It is a chain restaurant of sorts that offered up a kid-friendly environment and menu. Was it a recipe for disaster or something that would do the job? I guess we were about to find out...
As part of the entrees, we were started off with a Green Salad topped with baby shrimp. Nothing particularly wrong with the salad as it was fresh and plenty crunchy. However, I found the baby shrimp to be a touch too soft for my liking. It wasn't as if it didn't taste fresh, it just didn't have an appealing texture. I did like the blue cheese dressing as there was just enough of it and the chunks of cheese didn't hurt either. My daughter opted for a bowl of Clam Chowder instead of a kid's meal (love that she doesn't accept mediocrity). Despite having a good balance of creaminess and briny flavour, the broth itself was too thin. Also, the chunks of potato were far too small and there was too much sand.
For my main, I went for the Ahi Tuna which was prepared perfectly rare inside. Despite this, the tuna itself was rather under-seasoned while not exhibiting the qualities of ahi tuna. It was not particularly moist nor tender. Instead, it was stiff and the overly strong onion-flavour of the salsa overwhelmed the fish. I hated the side of rice as it was cold, dry and clumpy without any noticeable taste. Viv decided on the Cod and Chips which featured 5 fairly decently-sized chunks of fish. The batter was light and mildly crispy. The fish was a tad overdone, but not too much so. It was still flaky and in some pieces, still moist. Lacking acidity, the tartar sauce didn't do much for the dish. Same with the starch-covered fries, something fresh-cut would've been better.
Guy Smiley went for a relatively safe dish in the Salmon Burger that featured a relatively thin piece of fish. Hence, it was overcooked and slightly dry. Moreover, it didn't seem to have much seasoning and the squashed bun didn't help matters. He thought it was rather "meh". Girl Smiley opted for the Clam Steamer which looked impressive and appetizing. In reality, it was only passable. The clams themselves were fresh enough, but there was something lacking in the seasoning as they had no apparent flavour of any sort (other than its own brininess). Again, the dish was okay enough to eat, but there was nothing screaming out for it to be memorable.
My son ended up getting something from the kid's menu being the Fettuccine Alfredo with a side of garlic bread. Much like the garlic bread on my plate, it was stone cold and not toasted enough. We actually had to ask for butter because there was barely anything on the bread itself. As for the fettuccine, it was a touch soft, but the sauce was actually quite good. It was creamy, rich and well-seasoned. Now if the only "good" thing of the meal was the kid's fettuccine, there are some issues. Seeing how the prices are not exactly cheap either, Dooger's needs to be a whole lot better.
- Attentive service
- Food ain't good
- Not cheap either