Clam Chowder @ Spud Point Crab Co. in Bodega Bay
Spending an extended weekend in Bodega Bay was my opportunity to try some of Sonoma County's coastal cuisine. Last year I'd noticed Spud Point Crab Company on the road out to Bodega Head, but all my meal tickets had already been punched. This go-round, I slotted it into Monday's breakfast.
I had called before to be sure it would be open on Monday. The woman on the other end of the line, who I assume was Carol Anello, confirmed that it would be open. She explained that she gets there around 6:30am to get things started and that some of the fishermen come in for coffee and socialize before the doors "officially" open at 8am. Then her husband takes care of opening and minds the store while she goes home to shower. She cautioned me that he doesn't use the cash register and that I should hold off coming until 9 o'clock when she's there if I'm in a hurry to pay! It's open 7 days a week during the summer, and will be closed on Wednesdays after the season.
Monday morning I found a neat storefront with a few customers eating in front at the tidy picnic tables adorned with fresh flowers.
Image of SPCCo facade and outdoor crab cooking station -
Initially I flinched on reading that the clam chowder was priced at $6.75, but recovered quickly when I learned that was for a full pint served with oyster crackers. The chowder won this year's Bodega Bay taste-off, and it scored with me too. This is a white, well, actually ecru-colored chowder shot through with chunks of sweet and tender clams and irregular pieces of potato in a slightly thickened, creamy base. It's savory with the sweetness of roasted garlic, black pepper, and dried thyme, parsley, rosemary and oregano. The garlicky herbed style reminds me of the old Monterey-Italian clam chowders I grew up with. This was a very tasty start to the day and I was impressed with the generous amount of clams.
Image of pint o' clam chowder -
Spud Point Crab Company
1860 Westshore Road
Bodega Bay 94923
After our start at Fisherman's Cove, we went next door to Spud Point Crab for a taste comparison.
The clam chowder is richly flavored and still a long time favorite. But my friend preferred the less creamy version at Fisherman's Cove.
New to me was the red clam chowder, and we had a chance to taste a sample. Packed with herbs and alliums, the dominant taste is tomato. Not enough clam flavor, and more like marinara sauce waiting for the addition of seafood.
I went there when they first opened a couple of years ago. I remembered I was glad to see this kind of place going in rather something inappropriate for the area. I had a tri-tip sandwich that was not great, but silly me to order that in a place like this. I spend lot's of time up on that coast I will check it out again.
Thanks for the report, and so sorry to hear that it's not better. The fish shack it replaced was a favorite around here for fish and chips. I did a walk-through, and was turned off by the appearance of the fish in the display case.
Image of Dee's Bayside Deli -
re: Melanie Wong
re: Melanie Wong
I've been to Dee's recently and had the nastiest fish (chips were fine) this side of frozen food. Actually, frozen food was much much (dare I say much again?) better. The tartar sauce was pretty good, but maybe that's just as a contrast to this greasy gloppy mess they were passing off as fish. (And, though I'm loathe to admit it, I love just about anything deep fried. Try not to judge me.)