The nosh in San Fran

This past week I spent time in San Francisco as indicated in the previous post. I was extremely looking forward to a new experience with dungenous crab. I am pleased to say that my anticipation was met with joyous flavors. When we arrived in San Fran we rented a car and headed straight for Fisherman’s Wharf. Let me paint a bit of a picture for you.

I expected a place called fisherman’s wharf to be extremely commercialized and touristy when in fact it seemed exactly the way I would imagine a fishing pier to be on the coast of main. The crab shacks were rough and a bit dirty. Not a dirty in a way that makes you want to steer clear, but dirty in the way that a hole in the wall bbq joint in Kansas City serves ribs on newspaper. A sort of authentic dirty. A sort of attractive dirty. A much different scene from the nearby Pier 39, which in my mind is the Disney world of piers.
My first dungenous crab meal was a crab cocktail consisting of the crab meat from different parts of the crab. I believe meat from the claw, knuckles, and body of the crab was all included in the cocktail. I simply dropped a tiny bit of cocktail sauce on top and enjoyed the hell out of it. It was delicious.

My second experience with this beautiful crab was in the form of a sandwich. After a long morning of site seeing in the bay area we decided one last crab meal on the water was in order. We went back to the same stretch of crab vendors on Fisherman’s Wharf and dined on the delicious fish before boarding the plane and heading back to KC. This time however, I decided on a large hoagie style bun stuffed with a crab salad of sorts. It seemed to me that the salad consisted of about 99% crab and a splash of mayo (just to hold it all together). The crab was fresh enough and delicious enough to stand strong and sweet almost entirely on its own. Simple and divine. Needles to say, my experience with dungenous crab was a fantastic one.

Deep Sea fishing

An absolute world of experiences occurred between my two wharf dining experiences. The first being deep sea fishing off the coast of Sausalito. We left our hotel in Sausalito at 430 in the AM. Heading out to sea we floated right under the golden gate bridge and then watched the sun rise behind us over the magnificent piece of engineering. After a two hour boat ride away from land we threw our lines in. We originally began fishing for king salmon by dropping our bated hooks and trolling for a bite. After about two hours of this with no bites to speak of, our captain came out and said that it was too nice of a day to spend it hoping to catch a fish. He asked us if we wanted to head out to sea an extra two hours and fish for rock cod. A much smaller fish than the salmon weighing in at an average of 3 lbs. versus the 45 lb monster of a salmon. However, he said it was almost guaranteed catch. So, we decided to bring up the lines and head out. After a short two hour, beer filled boat ride we arrived at 3 rock islands that these fish call home. All of a sudden the cap through the engines in reverse until we came to a quick stop, stuck his head out his window and yelled throw them in. We did just and that and I am not lying when I say that our lines were not in the water for more than 5 minutes before we started pulling fish on the boat. After about 2 hours we had all caught our limit…10 each. There were nine of us on the boat equaling 90-three pound rock cod. Our deck hand, Alex cleaned all the fish and turned our 90 whole fish into 180 filets.

We had fully planned on eating these fish that night at our hotel in Sonoma until we hit a bit of a snag in the plan. The hotel had no grill for us to use and even if we had one, they would not let us grill on the premises. So what we did next was the best decision we could have made. We had heard the Mexican restaurant across the street was fantastic. So, we went over and simply asked…if we provide the fish, will you cook it and make us fish tacos at no charge if we run up a hell of a bar tab. They took us up on the offer. So, that night we ate the best, freshest, fish tacos I have ever had. The fish was topped with fresh house made pico de gallo on corn tortillas and served with white beans and rice. We were in heaven. Oh, and we did in fact run up one hell of a bar tab that night. We ran the bar entirely out of Pacifico and Corona.

The next morning was the beginning of a three day wine tasting. However, I will continue later with my thoughts on the vineyards we visited in Napa Valley and Sonoma County (from Opus One to Beringer) and a breakdown of the wine we tasted. And, the Noshery’s favorite wine from California (and it's not the wine pictured below).

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