Down the street from Fisherman’s Wharf sits a line of fish and seafood stalls that feature yes, touristy, but still delicious options for mid day grub that’s reasonably priced, quick to grab and no need to tip. After quick visual research, I concluded that all the menus and pricing are pretty much the same all the way down the line. We chose a stall that looked clean and offered some seating inside their storefront just across the way.
On our journey down the line, you come face to face with dozens of Dungeness Crab, lobsters, shrimp, oysters, clams, mussels, calamari, lobster rolls, corn – all that jazz. Basically most seafood you’d desire coming to you either fried or chilled in cocktail form. It was overwhelming and the hawkers were offering their wares like their lives depended on it. I smiled and acknowledged each of them but continued down the row until we found our spot of choice – Crab Station…address…3rd stall in on the right. I guess.
As this was just to be a snack, we ordered fried calamari – maybe not the best choice in retrospect, but that’s what we felt like at the time. Oh, and I’ll just go ahead and lay my cards on the table now – we ate a lot of different fried calamari during our trip. This version was decent. The young man behind the counter offered to make us a fresh order as the little guys sitting under the heat lamp didn’t look too happy. It was an unnecessary and kind gesture on his part.
We grabbed a spot on a couple a stools inside and waited patiently for our squids to arrive. It was a super bare bones operation on all fronts. A big cauldron of boiling water ready to cook up some lobster or crab. Large pots of bubbling oil for shrimp, clams and calamari of course. We were happy to be there of course, but still skeptical as far as food quality as this was a super duper tourist trap.
Our calamari arrived and it looked great. It was piping hot, nice large tentacles and rings spilled out of the cardboard. The mound of squid sat atop a bed of french fries that were only okay until dipped in some of their house made tartar sauce. That was the move.
The calamari itself was also pretty good, but not great. The fry kind of started to fall of the meat as you can see in the picture, and the squid itself could have been more tender for my taste. Still, it was incredibly fresh, and in this case, the experience was more about the atmosphere and location than the food…somewhat unfortunately.
No local would ever be caught dead here. But, we were tourists after all and it’s fun to see the scene down there; trying the food isn’t completely necessary in my opinion. Onward!…
I’m hungry. Let’s eat!