Monterey County's Top Five Must-Do Adventure Meals: Number Three
March 20, 2013
The Retired Men’s Social Club (899-3332) in Seaside is open to fully employed folk and enjoys a membership that’s close to 50 percent female—in fact, both the current and past chiefs are both lady presidents.
But they are social.
That was immediately apparent as our small group poked in last Friday in pursuit of an alleged fish fry.
About 10 representatives of old-school Seaside—when it was far more military and African-American—gathered at the bar in one corner of the small hall, conducting all sorts of storytelling, playful teasing, laughing and “this is my bestest friend right here” introductions.
“Come as yourself,” says outgoing president Illona D. Cooper, adding, “some of us are too much of ourselves.”
(The difference now that she’s no longer pres, Cooper says: “I can raise more hell.”)
Members hang out regularly, meet monthly, participate in charitable causes together and host events at the simple kitchen-bar-bathrooms space.
The club itself sits hidden in plain view at the top of Del Monte Boulevard near Seaside High.
Like one diner last Friday said, "I've driven by 1,000 times."
But he, like so many, had never really noticed it, let alone peeked in—though the curtains are usually pulled anyway.
It turns out there are a number of compelling reasons to do so, like card tournaments, old friends and, come Fridays around 6, crispy cornmeal-crusted catfish.
After a cocktail at the classic American Legion-style bar comes the catfish, in combo plates with spot-on battered-and-fried prawns or tilapia layered on a bed of absorbent white bread.
Flanked by a bottle of Louisiana Hot Sauce and authentic Southern sides like cabbage, cole slaw, potato salad, hush puppies, red beans and rice and banana cream pudding, it’s a transportational treat for just $10-$12 a plate.
I'm already applying to be a member of the 501(c)(3)—$7/month; $84/year—which, if granted, means I can provide input on the Styrofoam boxes they like to bundle treasures in.