A longstanding staple in the area, Tarpy’s Roadhouse is conveniently located right off Salinas Highway, and instantly welcomes guests with its beautiful landscaping, bubbling pond and outdoor patios. The expansive restaurant is as lovely on the inside as it is on the outside, with gorgeous stonework, and seven different private and semi-private rooms to dine in. Each room has a slightly different feel but fits in with the overall vibe of the restaurant.
The restaurant is open for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch, and has a menu as big as its square footage. Providing guests with impressive American cuisine, Executive Chef Todd Fisher creates a menu that has plenty of options and definite influences from other countries. When we dined at Tarpy’s for dinner, we started with the Crispy Calamari, which was much ‘meatier’ than your average calamari and came with both a lime-Thai and a “srirachannaise” dipping sauce. The serving sizes here are generous and the two different sauces gave the calamari unique and different flavoring that we really enjoyed. Other appetizer options include Sun Choke Fundido, Spicy Tuna Tacos, Frickles and many more intriguing dishes.
It was hard to pick an entree but since we were on vacation we went wild and ordered up the half rack of Baby Back Ribs, which came with a side of roadhouse fries and apple slaw. Our eyes were hungrier than our stomachs, but it was a good choice. The tangy bbq sauce on the ribs was finger-lickin’ good (literally) and the fries were perfectly crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. But for those of you that don’t want to eat like you’re Fred Flintstone, other options are just as tasty sounding, like the Prawn Pasta, Chili-Crusted Chicken Breast, Maple Brined Pork Chop and the list goes on.
Another plus at Tarpy’s, and the area in general, is all the delicious wine right at your fingertips. The Wine Manager is knowledgable, friendly and helpful if you want to pair wines with your dishes and they have a marvelous wine room packed with many local wines, as well as international selections. Since we were so full from dinner, we opted to try their Ice Wine Flight as our dessert. This included three sweet and luscious tastings of different ice wines, which we were happily guided through.
If you’re in the area, definitely save one of your meal for Tarpy’s – it’s worth checking out! Plus, just a few minutes down the road is a fun craft beer bar called Post No Bills, where you can settle down after dinner and try your hand at cards or dice games while discovering new and unique brews. (Shout out to the locals who introduced me to this hidden gem!)
Twisted Talk: What are you favorite restaurants in the Monterey area? Have you been to Tarpy’s Roadhouse before? Discuss below!