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San Francisco ’11 – Part 6

Here we are today at Fisherman’s Wharf of San Francisco near Pier 43, checking out a few of the many outdoor seafood specialty shops that line this busy, “touristy” bayside waterfront corridor.

If you click the next image to enlarge it, you can read the menu, which will gives you a good idea of what’s being offered at what price at all the competing seafood shops alongside this marketplace. Each one, of course, claiming theirs is “the best”, especially in the bid for “best Clam Chowder”. Let’s check it out!

Crustaceans abound, with Dungeness Crab being especially bountiful.

Crab A  protests to Crab B behind him, “Dude, let go of my FRIGGIN’ leg!” Crab B shiveringly yells back, “Dude, I’ve got a baaaaaaad feeling about this, and I’m scared as hell! You’re all I’ve got here!”

“Dude, I’ve got a last-ditch effort plan: Let’s play dead and they’ll think we’re spoiled and throw us back in the drink.”

What must be noted, is at the time of our visit in the early part of November, we were told the Dungeness Crabs sold all over San Fran’ were mostly brought in from Washington state further up the north west, as commercial crabbing season off the central California Coast hadn’t started yet (just days away).

“Rock” the Lobster whispers out, desperately searching for his two crabby friends, “Psst, dude, you guys still there? You sti…

Now for my fave’, New England style Clam Chowder served in a genuine, fresh-baked San Francisco Sourdough Bread Bowl!…

With all the different shops competing with each other here selling essentially the same things, I ended up trying the Clam Chowder Sourdough Bread Bowl from the Crab Station

So how was Crab Station’s Sourdough Bread Bowl “Chowdah”? EX-CEL-LENT!!! So, so, so, so, so ONO! Surely the sights, sounds and smells of the bay just steps away from where I was eating it helped put my brain into “the zone”, same as the enhancing effect I experience whenever eating a simple nori-wrapped musubi on the beach. While not quite as simple in execution as a nori musubi, that seemingly simple combination of New England Clam Chowder served in a Soughdough Bread bowl, when eaten in unison, is just, soooooooo goooooooooood. So, so good, and San Francisco Bay’s “negative ion” sea air makes it oh-so that much better.

You get velvety-creamy from the chowder soup broth, then chewy-toasty from the bread bowl crust. Meaty from the clams, then slightly tangy from the sourdough “meat” of the broth-soaked bread bowl. Simply put, it’s a unique contrast of flavors and textures that work absolutely fantastic in unison with one another.

Surely you can replicate this at home wherever you are. Yet the ambiance of sitting right on the bay as the sea birds squawk and ferries float by while enjoying a hot bowl of  Clam Chowder in a genuine San Francisco Sourdough Bread Bowl, all while paying a thrifty $6? My friends, that’s pretty much as good as it gets. Da’ best-est-est-est-est!

10 SPAM MUSUBI for Crab Station’s Clam Chowder in a Sourdough Bread Bowl, served right on the bay waterfront at San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf.

Like majestic Diamond Head overlooking world-famous Waikiki and the Statue of King Kamehameha near downtown Honolulu, the Golden Gate Bridge and the former prisoners island known as Alcatraz are probably two of the most photographed landmarks in San Francisco. Yet have you ever seen it from UNDER or behind it? Well, if you take one of the many boat tours offered along the bay’s waterfront docks, you can do just that, as we’ve done, with photos in this next gallery set from that tour. Enjoy.


Pretty cool boat tour. Cost is $24/person, with the cruise around the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz taking about 1 hour. For your convenience, sandwiches, snack foods and drinks, including spirits are served on board. For more info, visit RedandWhite.com.

Back to the Wharf, my guess is whoever chucked this uneaten Clam Chowder Sourdough Bread Bowl to the birds must have got it from the “other guys”…

Even that sea bird is lookin’ at it like, “Hmmm, I don’t know, man. Looks sketchy. They must have got that from those other guys.” lol

Here’s the pier nearby the seafood markets I walked you through earlier…

A sign explaining the typical catch San Francisco’s local fisherman bring in off California’s  coastal waters…

Next post, breakfast at our newly relocated hotel digs at Hyatt Fisherman’s Wharf, a tour through nearby Boudin Sourdough Bakery & Cafe and Ghirardelli Square, plus more fun musings around the Wharf area.


12 thoughts on “San Francisco ’11 – Part 6

  • December 31, 2011 at 3:33 am

    Pomai, my late great grandparents and late grandmother stayed on Angel Island while waiting to get admission to San Francisco. Some waited a month while other waited 3 or more months just to get turn away back to China. There were uprising from time to time .

    Lobster sandwich is my fav. and when I am in Stonetown mall Bordin Bakery serve clam chowder that way also in bread bowl.

  • December 31, 2011 at 9:51 am

    Yes, like Amy in the early 1930 they still have Chinese do that in San Francisco stay at Angel Island.There a ice cream shop on Valencia St. that serve Indian style ice cream. In sunset district on Irving St. Wonton King they make their own wonton wrappers by kneading dough with a large bamboo pole. It like in Hong Kong and China . It only place in San Francisco that have it.

    Wonton and other dishes wonderful.

  • December 31, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Amy and Vickie, I sure wish we had more time, as Salsalito, Tiburon –and now you mention Angel Island — are definitely places I would have, and now DEFINITELY will want to visit. I heard Salsalito is a beautiful waterfront town with gorgeous ritzy homes and cool restaurants.

    Vickie, I should have taken the opportunity to check out SF’s Chinatown district (I hear it’s HUGE), but got “lazy” when the window opened up and decided to stay around our hotel area instead. Bah. That sure would have been a GREAT photo op’.

    Amy, I take it your grandparents weren’t in the group that got sent back to China. That would have sucked, at least back at the time. China sure is becoming prosperous today, unfortunately at the expense of the U.S. jobs.

    The Boudin Bakery & Cafe at Fisherman’s Wharf is fairly new and HUGE. Really nice place, albeit their “gift shop” is WAY overpriced (expected in such a touristy area), especially the mark-up on local products made by various third party companies. There’s an interesting history about the whole San Francisco sourdough biz.

    Quick (sort of) note on The Tasty Island’s new “look”: I changed the masthead back to the original Diamond Head theme, as I felt the one with the montage squares of 12 different dishes on each revolving switch-out was too BUSY. I’d rather the POST page be the focal point of attention to the visitor, not the masthead, which as it was, seemed somewhat distracting. Plus it was too tall by the default Twenty Eleven theme specs, so I had to do some CSS tweaking to shorten its height. Much better now, me thinks.

    The Diamond Head masthead design will switch to a different local Hawaii dish on each new page load, where as of now there’s a bowl of Saimin (made by yours truly) on MH1 and a Hawaiian Kaukau tray from People’s Cafe on MH2. I’ll add a few more later when I have time to path them out.

    I’m still on the fence with the Lauhala background. I might play around with the BG some more.

    Just wanted to freshen things up here (in a retro way) for the ’12 New Year.

    Hau’oli Makahiki Hou!

  • December 31, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    Shinmen Akemashite Omedetou Gozaimasu Pomai-san! Will ring in 2012 with a glass… or two of Champagne. Maybe a glass of Burgundy or Rhone. Of course, gotta have sake too… Who am I kidding? We’ll ring in the year with a ___-load of vino!

  • December 31, 2011 at 3:03 pm

    Happy New Year Pomai! Wishing you and your family a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2012! Thank you for sharing so much with us. I look forward to reading your adventures in food and travel in 2012!

  • December 31, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    Ryan-san, domo arigato gozaimasu soshite KANPAI! Surely you’ll be scarfing some Sashimi with that ____—load of Vino… ha ha! Ozoni soup tomorrow on New Year’s Day for sure. I really dig the Japanese symbolism of traditions.

    Vegas, ditto right back at ya’. Mahalo!


  • December 31, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    I remember getting that “boat” of crab, shrimp, prawns, lobster for $28 back in 2002 – Do you remember how much that thing is now? Nice to see that I don’t have to go to Boston to get a lobster roll. Those sandwiches look delicious. Maybe a quick weekend trip in the new year is in order. Thanks!

  • December 31, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    Mmmmm…. everything looks so yummy! I love clam chowder. However, it’s going to be a while before I can allow myself to eat crab after this post.

  • January 1, 2012 at 8:50 am

    Happy New Year, Pomai! Can’t wait to see what wonderful adventures 2012 have waiting for you!

    Sigh…seeing all these pictures makes me miss the No. CA and the piers. Well, mostly all that seafood.

  • January 1, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    Traci, I didn’t notice any seafood “boat” on display with all the premium stuff you mentioned. I’m sure it was there though. Just so much stuff to take in!

    Kay, I remember when I was a young boy, my first taste of fine New England Clam Chowder was at Pioneer Inn in Lahaina on the valley isle of Maui. Ever, since, NE Clam Chowder has always been my favorite soup, with Shijimi Jiru (Japanese Miso Soup with black clams) right next to it as my top 2 faves in the soup category. Clams rule the soup world! lol

    Then again, Portuguese Bean Soup is up there as my top fave’ as well. In fact, that’s what I made today in my pressure cooker (saves lots of time!), and it turned out supah’ ono! We’re talkin’ BROKE DA’ MOUT’ ONO! I’ll blog that one later after I finish my travel-ventures thing here.

    Mahalo Carol. Same to you! I dig that “Top 5 dishes of 2011” post you did. Very cool! Cioppino was my dad’s favorite dish. That Cioppino recipe you presented is one I’ll definitely try doing myself!

  • January 1, 2012 at 9:15 pm

    Happy New Year Pomai! Wishing you and your family a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous 2012! Thank you for sharing so much with us. I look forward to reading your adventures in food. Oregon also has lots of things to see too!
    If it looks good taste and eat it.

  • January 2, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Reminds me a bit of the Sydney seafood market. If you haven’t been there Pomai, I think you will love it.


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