Monday, January 24, 2011

Fried Green Tomatoes at Fisherman's

It started when I read the Fannie Flagg book Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Café. I became obsessed with tasting a dish that hinted at exotic Southern cookouts, where belles drank mint juleps and fanned their faces in the afternoon sun from all the humidity. It sounded so odd that people would eat green tomatoes.

I finally got a chance to eat this tasty dish at Fisherman’s Market and Grill the other day and it was worth the long wait. For $5, I received a plate of six hearty tomato slices coated in a crispy batter and served with the perfect, refreshing tangy white sauce. Biting into the tomato was a delight; the frying makes the normally hard green tomatoes soften, to release flavorful juices, but without getting mushy like the red, ripe ones would.

This is only one of the many things I love about Fisherman’s Market and Grill, the fact that on any given day there are unique little specials offered that rotate based on freshness, availability and season.
Thirteen years ago lifelong friends Louis Pagano (who grew up in San Pedro on his father’s fishing boat) and Bill Mortz opened up the restaurant to deliver the catch of the day to desert residents. Now, four restaurants later, the places are known for their casual atmosphere, glass deli counters that showcase slabs of fresh fish, and no nonsense

For me it’s become the place to go for the perfect cajun salmon Caesar salad or baja fish tacos on busy workdays, hearty swordfish sandwiches for early evening dinners, oysters and chardonnay on lazy spring Sundays, or raw ahi for sushi-making dinner parties. Located between Trader Joe’s and Michaels with a large patio for eating alfresco, it also provides great people watching in the bustling shopping center.

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