In the American Tin Cannery
125 Ocean View Boulevard
Pacific Grove, CA 93950
The just about perfect calamari breakfast has been confirmed. In all honesty, we Squid Brothers have known for a very long time that First Awakenings—in the old American Tin Cannery sardine can making plant in Pacific Grove just over the City line from Monterey in the Cannery Row district—has been doing a great calamari breakfast for a long, long time. So it was about time to give it the serious Squid Brothers test. The results did not disappoint.
This is one of the Monterey Peninsula's most popular restaurants on weekends and holidays around Cannery Row, and it pays to avoid the tourist traffic if you can. If not, then just hang out and know that no matter how busy they are you can be assured the calamari breakfast is as good as it gets and the wait will prove well worth it for real squid lovers.
Their squid steaks are generous and well seasoned with a batter that stays on the shingle! Here's a big Squid Brothers plus: tell your waitress (many working there for way over a dozen years—which tells you a lot about the owners and their operation) that you'd like "Craig's special double-calamari breakfast." Craig is one of the two owners (his partner, Chris, runs a great sister restaurant in Old Town Salinas near the National Steinbeck Center). For just a couple bucks more they double the huge calamari steak that pushes the cottage potatoes and toast, or English muffins, and eggs-your-way, almost off the plate!
OK, so there's lots of food and and endless pot of coffee at each table. The best part is that the calamari you came for meets the highest standards for breakfast squid anywhere we've put squid to the breakfast test so far. And I promise it will be a tough time to knock First Awakenings out of the top spot in the Squid Brothers ratings so far.
Remember, a trip to the Monterey Peninsula isn't complete for a real squid fan until you've done breakfast calamari at First Awakeings, just around the corner from the Monterey Bay Aquarium on Cannery Row. OK squid fans, here are the ratings—out of a total of 10 tentacles each:
Presentation: 9.5 (unpretentous value looking at y0u)
Taste and quality: 9.5
Service & Atmosphere: 9.5
Overall Squid Brothers Rating: 9.63