The Great Monterey Clam Chowder and Calamari Festival

It's the first outing for a delicious new Memorial Weekend fest.

RESTAURANT DRAMA: There isn't a hotter topic between two pals just sitting down to lunch at a seafood restaurant than calamari. Very often on friend is addicted to the dish, the other is like, "yeah, it's pretty good," and much debate ensues over whether to split an appetizer or not. Anedoctally? We think the calamari fan will get his or her way four out of five times and the person who was just so-so will end scarfing the bulk of it. We're not wrong, are we? You've been there. So we're pleased to see the chewy little rings of deep-fried deliciousness get their own foodie circuit shout-out at The Great Monterey Clam Chowder and Calamari Festival. True, they come second on the billing to clam chowder, but, if we're going to be fully truthful with ourselves, clam chowder probably deserves first billing on most things. Also? One's a bivalve, one's a cephalapod, so they don't seem to have much in common save sharing the same home turf. (Spoiler alert: the ocean.) But we can go with it, figuring that chowder is so popular and calamari is a seafood restaurant's most-debated appetizer.

MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND: It's a three-day party -- if you landed on Saturday, May 26 through Monday, May 28 for the dates, you'd be correct -- at the Customs House Plaza in Monterey. Music and cooking demos are on the docket as are, wait for it, a bevy of seafoody selections. The two title dishes'll be served up and lots of other goodies, too. Heading south for the holiday weekend? Tired of quibbling with your pal over the calamari, only to see him eat all of yours? This could be your thing.

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