We got our money's worth on a Groupon coupon for Fins Market and Grill on Sierra College Blvd. in SE Roseville... but barely. The $24 coupon put two entrees on our table, preceded by a salad, followed by a dish of ice cream.
We'd never tried Fins, thus validating the purpose of the coupon. Other reviews made it sound good, and we were in the mood for a well-prepared fish dinner. Our wait person recommended the Caesar Salad as well as the Oreo Cookie chocolate ice cream dessert. The entree choices were up to us.
The way this works is based on the magic value: $17.95. You can order any entree up to that amount. Go over, and you pay the difference plus $3. Which makes no sense as it amounts to a penalty for using the coupon. About half of the entrees are priced $17.95 or less, while the best sounding ones (sea bass, salmon, swordfish) are in the penalty zone. Oddly, there are no discounts if you order something priced under $17.95.
Hard nosed and cheap as we are, my wife chose the clams in broth (14.95) while I went for the sampler (17.95) after hearing the "back story" from our wait person. The sampler includes grilled filets of snapper and catfish (I love fried catfish) as well as large grilled prawns. Side choices for both entrees included potato choice or veggie medley. My wife went for the spicy recooked mashed patties while I took the medley. Then we swapped halves.
Arriving on a square plate, the Caesar salad was excellent as far as it went. These were child-sized portions and they disappeared quickly, accompanied by pedestrian french bread and butter. Our outdoor table was missing salt and pepper, with no wait persons in sight. We ate all the salad sans pepper before our wait person appeared.
My entree was very good. The filets were properly grilled as were the shrimp. I'm guessing that the serving size was 7 - 8 oz total. The veggies were al dente and serving size was adequate. Matties Patties were also a tasty way of serving mashed potatoes.
Unfortunately, the clams were disappointing. There were plenty of them. However, they were so small (only a few larger than a quarter and that's the shell size) that the total offering could not have been more than a few ounces of actual clam. The tasty broth cried out for a pasta or rice. Alas, neither accompanied the broth. We asked for an received a second basket of bread to help bolster the offering.
The ice cream was the best part of the meal as it was a generous serving and very tasty. When the bill came, no surprises. I rate it as a fair deal. Had my wife order something other than the clams, it would have ranked as a very good deal.
My recommendation to Fins is to be less parsimonious about the menu. Increase the salad size and offer a cup of the chowder as an alternate. Then, pick up a Legal Seafood cookbook and learn how to turn several dozen tiny clams into a memorable dinner that'll bring customers back in. Finally, take the penalty off the deal. I would have gladly covered the difference but the penalty is just an unnecessary slap when your real objective is to build loyalty.
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