Besides Roli Roti Rotisserie at Ferry Plaza Building, another memorable meal I had was a private event called “EatWith“, hosted by Don. I first heard about EatWith from a travel website. The concept is to “bring people together one meal at a time”. It’s an alternative and delicious way for travelers to explore more about the local culture by dining at a local’s house. Though it might sounds a bit sketchy and weird, but I knew that it would definitely be a great experience.
How can ones leave San Francisco without having king crabs, oysters, and clam chowder? Instead of afraid to get ripped off at the touristy Fisherman’s Wharf, I saved my seafood cravings for this meal. I came across Fishmonger’s Crab Feast, hosted by Don, who has zero average reviews on trip advisor!
Since my friend couldn’t go with me, I went by myself. Yes, I went to dine at a stranger’s place alone (my mom flipped when she found out). Honestly, I was nervous in the beginning, because I’m anxious about the uncertainty, and worried that I’m the only one who went solo. However, my worries weren’t any problems after all.
When I rang the bell, I was greeted warmly by the hostess. She led me into the kitchen, where the people were gathering around the kitchen island, and enjoying freshly shucked oysters by Don. He had prepared three types of sauce to go with the oysters, and I loved all three of them, especially the spicy one.
When it’s about time, the hostess suggested us to move to the dining table, and the feast is about to begin. The meal started with a simple salad with homemade dressing. The dressing was light, and the avocado added the creaminess to the salad as the romaine lettuces were fresh and crisp. The sourdough bread from Tartine Bakery was served along with the salad, and it was warm!
After the salad, here comes the Don’s signature clam chowder. I had the clam chowder bowl from the Boudin Bakery the day before, but honestly, I think Don’s was better. There are lots of fresh clams. The ingredients like potatoes, onions, and carrots made the clam chowder sweet. The soup wasn’t too thick that made me feel full and heavy. Such a comfort food to have in winter!
These raviolis were bought from an Italian store, and topped with Don’s homemade tomato sauce. There were three flavors of raviolis (one flavor each). It was cooked to al dente, and the amount of sauce was just right, which did not overpower the flavors of ravioli.
Half way through the raviolis, Don brought out this giant crab to show us.
The live king crab soon became the gourmet food on our plates. Each guest gets half of the crab. When it comes to seafood, I like to eat it in its original way, therefore simply steam it without any extra flavors is more than enough. Less is more. The crab was fresh, as the fleshes are tender, and firm.
Last but not least, the dessert. Homemade chocolate chips cookie with salted caramel ice cream. After the dessert was served, Don and his girlfriend finally had the chance to sit down with us, and join the conversations.
It was a memorable night. The awesome food, and people I met made the night better. I figured that I have to push myself outside of the comfort zone when I’m attending such social event alone. However, the things I heard/learned never stopped to amaze me. You never know who you are going to meet. Just like I didn’t expect to meet two girls who came from Taiwan, and an old couple whom drove all the way from New Mexico had lived in Taiwan for quite a few years back then! Also, I wasn’t the only one who went solo.
Don is working his way to become an independent chef. I can assure that the quality of the food is one of the tops, and fresh. It was truly just like dining at a local friend’s. There’s no need to worry about no common interests or topics with others, because “food” brought us to the dinner, therefore, the night was all about food! Overall, it was an unique experience. I would definitely recommend to add a bit of spices in your journey.