This month marks the 15th anniversary of the first date I had with my husband. To celebrate, he took me to a surprise place I’d never been to before, and it was a really great place.
It’s called Market Broiler, and it’s located just south of Downtown Riverside in California, and it’s a seafood restaurant. When we first came in, we were greeted by the friendly hostess who accommodated our reservation professionally and with a friendly attitude. In the lobby was a display of fresh seafood for sale in a market like set up.
The smell and the ambiance as we were led to our table was reminiscent of an old San Francisco seafood restaurant. It smelled of fresh seafood, like what you would smell as you stroll through Fisherman’s Wharf. For my husband and I there was a lot of nostalgic feeling to the place after having lived in San Francisco for eight years and, since our very first date 15 years ago also took place in a seafood restaurant in Rio Vista, California.
Our waitress was friendly and very knowledgable about the menu. I ordered the Fisherman’s stew and sweet and spicy calamari as an appetizer while my husband opted for their craft house burger and a cup of clam chowder. You can choose between the classic white Boston style clam chowder or the red Manhattan style.
We received complimentary sourdough bread which was homemade and very reminiscent of the famous Boudain sourdough company in San Francisco. Also, my husband appreciated that his favorite San Francisco artisan beer Anchor Steam was available on tap.
The portions were huge. My calamari was delicious and came drenched in an Asian style sweet and spicy sauce, and the fisherman’s stew included lobster, king crab, calamari, scallops, shrimp, clams, mussels, and pieces of fish fillet all cooked in a tomato broth over linguine. It included a side of garlic bread.
My husband’s burger Angus burger included aged cheddar; apple smoked bacon, fresh tomatoes, and lettuce, and a house aioli sauce all atop a brioche bun. He also received a pile of fresh house fries.
The food was amazing but what really made this restaurant great, aside from the nostalgic San Francisco ambiance, was the attentive staff. We received a visit by the manager who was eager to go the extra mile to make sure our food was everything we expected. Since it was our first time there, he gave us a card for a complimentary spicy calamari appetizer on our next visit. This wasn’t just someone hoping for a big tip; he and his staff really went the extra mile to make sure our experience at his restaurant was memorable.
For dessert, my husband enjoyed a ‘smokin old fashioned.’ It was a Four Roses bourbon with Carpano Antica, and Peychaud’s bitters. I don’t drink, but the presentation of this drink was interesting as it was served in a smoking glass on top of a cedar plank. The smoky aroma reminded me of a campfire. My husband was delighted with the taste of this drink as well.
Lastly, as we were getting our check, we were surprised with a complimentary hot fudged sundae to celebrate our anniversary.
This place really made our anniversary special. The staff went above and beyond for us and the chance to reflect on the past 15 years in a restaurant that reminded us so much of the city we left behind was very memorable. I would recommend this restaurant to any seafood lover, and if you aren’t a seafood lover, like my husband, there are plenty of land lover options to choose from as well.
Source: Market Broiler, Riverside, CA
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