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Down to Earth Cafe in Windsor Launches Pop-Up Seafood Shack

Perfectly executed fish and chips, fish tacos, Dungeness crab hushpuppies and more are on the menu. And a mean cheeseburger, too.

First off, don’t worry, because the popular Down to Earth Cafe’s Windsor outpost hasn’t closed. Instead, chef/owner Chris Ball has rejiggered his hearty breakfast and lunch spot into a pop-up seafood shack.

A former chef at Sausalito’s iconic Fish Restaurant, Ball’s fish and chips were once described as “perfectly executed.” We agree. Using local rock cod fried in a beer batter, they’re flaky, clean and crisp rather than an oily, sodden mess hidden in a puffy pancake jacket. I take my fried fish seriously, and the good stuff is a rare find indeed. We also heartily recommend the fish tacos, Dungeness crab hushpuppies, fritto misto combo with local rock cod, Monterey Bay calamari and Gulf shrimp, as well as a lovely crab Louie salad. Not a huge seafood fan? Ball makes a mean cheeseburger, and he’s added buttermilk-fried chicken tenders, a Cobb salad and a chicken breast BLAT (think BLT with an avocado) to the menu.

Why the changeup? Ball’s breakfast foods just weren’t translating well to takeout. More importantly, though, he wanted to support the local seafood industry, which has been pummeled by restaurant closures. The reopened patio is super summer-friendly, though takeout is nearly as good and we enjoyed a little al fresco dining at the nearby Windsor Town Square.

9238 OId Redwood Highway, Windsor, 707-657-7701, facebook.com/dtewindsor

Editor’s Note: Travel, dining and wine tasting can be complicated right now. Use our inspirational ideas to plan ahead for your next outing, be it this week or next year. If you visit restaurants, wineries, and other businesses during the pandemic, remember to call ahead, make reservations, wear a mask and social distance.

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