Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Dungeness Crab at Fisherman's Wharf

Fishermen still moor their boats and unload their catches daily at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. I walk along Jefferson Street in the early morning, and see tanks full of live crabs at Alioto-Lazio Fish Company, one of only two commercial fish-processors and sellers here, and one of less than two dozen companies at the Wharf that still catch and process their own fish. The family-run operation opened in 1940 and offers shipping services throughout the nation.

Hours later, I walk back towards the docks for dinner. Classic fish stands line the sidewalk where vendors extol the virtues of their enormous shrimp, plump Dungeness crab, succulent swordfish and glistening oysters as hundreds of visitors stream past. Stomach growling, I enter Nick’s Lighthouse - a seafood institution since 1934.

Gingham-checked vinyl covers the tables, fake grapes hang from the ceiling and model ships and thousands of Christmas lights line wooden walls. I seat myself as Sinatra croons and order linguine with crab and tomato sauce. Huge bits of crab are tossed in a chunky light tomato sauce and tiny shrimp pile high on my house salad. I order a crisp chardonnay, dig into my pasta and wonder if the crab came from the Bay this morning.

No comments: