Columnist Dinner and a Movie

Dinner and a Movie

A Seafood Utopia at Pier 46

By Teri Bayus 

One of my favorite culinary romances is with Pier 46 Seafood in Templeton. Owned and operated by Eric Gonzales and Tony DeGarimore; they’ve created a fish market and seafood food utopia that makes me fall in love every time I visit.

At Pier 46, they desire to share all their expertise with their customers and to stay on the forefront of environmentally sustainable products. They buy directly from the fishing boats and hand cut most of the product in-house.

The front is stocked full of fresh fish, hard to find catches like abalone and delectable premade dips and salads. They now offer sushi on Fridays and Saturdays, and I went nuts for the freshness and flavor they presented.

Over recent years, Eric has seen increasing demand by consumers for sustainable, eco-friendly seafood items. And more and more, people want to know more about where their food comes from and how it’s prepared.

He enjoys bringing this knowledge to the public, so they feel confident about the choices they make when shopping for fish.

Eric’s experience in the seafood industry is vast and diversified. He has worked long on establishing relationships with valuable contacts, suppliers, customers, and fisherman, and loves sharing what he has learned with others, so that everyone can continue to enjoy seafood while making a difference for the future of the oceans.

I special ordered oysters to do a side-by-side comparison of four different kinds (this was a bet with my best friend Kathy, who stodgily said that blue point was the finest mollusk to ingest, and I was out to prove her wrong).

They presented us with 12 oysters on the half shell, freshly plucked out of the tanks of seawater keeping them vibrant and alive.

First my process: Each oyster is rinsed in Champagne (A Spanish Cava), a dab of mignonette sauce (coarsely ground black peppercorns, red wine vinegar, and chopped shallots) and then slurp them down.

Gary goes a bit more flavor forward and adds a dab of horseradish, a dash of tobacco and a squeeze of lime.

Still rarities on East Coast menus, Kusshis are all the rage out West, due to their small size and ultra-clean flavor. Grown by Keith Reid, a highly innovative grower in Deep Bay, outside Vancouver, Kusshis are grown in floating trays and tumbled very aggressively. This breaks off the thin growing edge and forces them to deepen and thicken their shells. The resulting oyster is called a “Kusshi” — Japanese for “precious.”

The last was from local waters, as in Morro Bay oysters. Uniform in size and sweet in taste, I think these will be a new hit around here.

Bottom line, we agreed that all were better and more flavorful than blue points. At Pier 46 they have fresh and local sushi-grade fish every day, and live tanks filled with crabs, lobsters, clams, mussels, shrimp, and more.

After the tasting, we were ready for real food, so Gary had the lobster roll, with freshly cooked lobster in a fluffy bun with salad and truffle fries (garnished with a black truffle salt). It was phenomenal.

My friend had the pecan encrusted local red snapper dinner, with wild rice and herb vegetables. She said it tasted like the sea. We shared some excellent crab cakes, served on a bed of mixed greens with cherry tomatoes and two sauces. They were flawlessly done. The fish tacos were served with warm tortilla strips, shredded cabbage, pepper jack cheese, cilantro, and a spicy sauce with limes on the side.

I went for my favorite dish, the Ahi tacos. These delectable treats call to me over the Cuesta Grade more times than I can count. Chopped and super fresh raw Ahi steaks are laid atop a delicious cabbage slaw with flax and sesame seeds.

The shell is a fried wonton and the sauce drizzled on top is a wasabi aioli. Pure, unadulterated Neptune’s Heaven.

With a bottle of Dr. Loosen Riesling, I let my mermaid side emerge. These victuals will force my car over the Grade to consume them weekly. You can come here for a full meal or just to pick up a fresh fish.

Pier 46 Seafood is located at 1131 Rossi Rd., in Templeton. They are open Mondays-Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sundays from 11-5, or call them at (805) 434-1950.

‘A Star is Born’ — Brave, Beautiful, Utterly Flawless

I have loved every movie variation of this story, and this is the fifth one. It is a fairy tale, a love story, and a passionate exploration. But this alliteration of “A Star Is Born” is a three Kleenex-rated film; meaning, they pull at your heartstrings with every frame, and you will cry for an hour after it is over.

This is brilliant from start to finish. Lady Gaga is a natural and very gifted performer both on stage and the big screen. No one could have done a better job with this part, as her vulnerability and compassion just shined through.

Bradley Cooper, as always was a master class in acting and absolutely should get awards for this, they both should.

Cooper, the lead actor and director, tells this story in the rawest way possible. This movie feels so real. The conversations stumble, yet flow with ease. The romance shows that you don’t always know why you love someone.

This is his first directing role, and my God did he deliver. From the cinematic moments that you will remember forever, to the small moments that pulled us in, this movie has it all.

This movie has a lot of intense moments, and it takes us through a musical journey. It makes you feel bad, happy, cry and unknowingly disturbs your inner conscience of what you’re doing and what you actually wanted to do.

Cast, music, direction, sound editing is way too awesome, and it would make you feel like you are in Jack and Ally’s world, sitting next to them and should do something to fix their broken hearts.

Not only is the acting, cinematography, writing, and directing utterly flawless, it is brave and beautiful.

Mental health, alcoholism, co-dependency, and suicide are topics that are so very hard to talk about and to comprehend, and those who suffer are viewed as weak, selfish, mean, or a joke.

This movie dug deeply into the human condition with the most elegant of touches, and Bradley Cooper is to be commended for his utter genius with this film.

A Star Is Born is an Oscar magnet without wanting to be. In most Oscar-nominated films, the films seem to try to check the “Oscar nominee” boxes instead of focusing on what matters: the rawness of it.

These movies try to check the race box, the gender bias box, the stir your soul box, all reaching for that Oscar. This movie is seamlessly innocent and raw, wanting nothing more than to tell its story. The husband loved it too, mushy as it was.

Teri Bayus can be reached at: or follow her writing and ramblings at: Bayus also hosts Taste Buds, a moving picture rendition of her reviews shown on Charter Cable Ch. 10. Dinner and a Movie is a regular feature of Simply Clear Marketing & Media.

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