If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, you’ve probably heard the news that this year’s Dungeness crab season (which started just last month) is in limbo because of a strike by boaters who don’t want to harvest the delicious crab until they get paid what they were promised at the start of the season.

Despite the drama at the sea, the Fisherman’s Wharf’s 2012 Crab Fest still went on as planned on Sunday. And looking at the array of crab dishes served up by the participating restaurants, there were more than enough crab to go around.

The event at a special room in Fisherman’s Wharf above the Wax Museum was sold out, as diners circled around tables from nine restaurants, also from the Fisherman’s Wharf area. I actually don’t dine often in Fisherman’s Wharf, so it was a chance for me to taste the skills of these restaurants.

The crab was definitely shining in various small bites. Many of the restaurants chose to offer clean, simple bites that didn’t overpower the delicate flavor of the crab. There were a few crab cakes, but most people offered up cooked crab with just a punch of flavor from accompanying ingredients such as mango and fish roe.

This annual festival is a great way to get your feet wet into the Dungeness crab season. Now if those boaters and wholesalers can compromise so we can start seeing whole fresh Dungeness crab in the market soon that will make everyone’s holidays.

Crab served with fish roe on focaccia. It was good but sometimes there was too much focaccia.

Of course there were mini crab cakes for the tasting

Wine was being served by Treasure Island Wines to pair with the crab bites

This crab and corn chowder was a nice alternative to the crab dishes. Even though it was hard to detect the crab, it was packed with flavor.

A couple of restaurants paired the crab with mango, like this one above. I enjoyed the combination because the mango added to the sweetness of the Dungeness crab.

A chef from Scoma’s waiting to serve in front of sourdough crabs

One of my favorite bites came from The Franciscan, which served up crab with avocado and lox. The lox added the salt needed to enhance the crab flavor.

Another favorite dish was this crab louie from Bistro Boudin. The louie dressing gave this dish a lot of flavor. This bite didn’t have a lot of crab, but that’s OK because I just went back for more. 🙂

Everyone in attendance looked like they were having a lot of fun, especially this couple with their crab heads.

6 Responses to No Shortage of Crab at this Festival

  1. Row says:

    What a lovely selection of crab dishes at this festival! I must say though that I love crab unadorned. Give me a whole steamed crab with a bowl of rice and I’m good to go. 🙂

    • Ben Ben says:

      I’m with you, crab by itself is great. My goal is to find a crab feed sometime in the next few weeks! 🙂

  2. Carolyn Jung says:

    It’s a crab-a-palooza! Dungeness is one of my favorite foods in the world. Lobster can’t hold a torch to it. 😉

  3. Crab is one of my most favorite seafood items, I wish I’d been there…this post makes me think of the lobster day on Bob’s Burgers (one of my favorite shows, lol)

  4. sandy says:

    ooh, I have not had the requisite crab fix yet, so I am totally into reading about these dishes… Must get out soon to get a pile o’crab, that crab on lox looks fantastic! Let’s go eat sometime soon Ben!