Vallejo - Soultran's Seafood - "You buy, We Fry" ... specializing in crab feeds
This shop was mentioned in another post and this place deserves NOT to get buried, but get a little of its own glory ... and to tell you the truth, I didn't remember the mention when I turned around in a parking lot and noticed the store.
Here's Melanie's recent post where she said "Actually some of the best fried seafood I had in town came from Tran's"
It is just as Melanie described ... it a long counter of fresh fish that you can choose to have fried to order. No seating but at the back of the store is a counter with squeeze bottles of tartar and hot sauce. Hushpuppies are on the menu.
The empasis is on New Orleans style and the entire wall opposite the fish counter seems to have every fish-related New Orleans product ever thought of ... all sorts of bread crumbs and hot sauces. Frankly I was too dazzled to note many specifics.
That has a link to Melanie's first visit where she also mentions the products and the andouille sausage from Louisiana (two large coils, one hot and one mild). They had hot links too.
Lots of shrimp and beautiful looking crawdads. There were some cooked and labeled 'seafood delight' which looked ... delightful.
They are pretty busy and I had just eaten a major lunch down the street for #1.25 ... carnitas taco and all the fresh guacamole & hot chips you could eat.
But next time ... those sand dabs ($5.99 for fillets) were calling my name. I think I spotted pie on a shelf too.
651 Broadway St
Vallejo, CA 94590
Daily: 9:30 am - 7:30 pm
I've just visited the place for the first time today. Report follows:
The shop is just as described, essentially a fish market with a few deep fryers in the back. You buy your fish from the extensive counter, and on request, they'll cook it for you on the spot. There is, indeed, a huge selection of packaged goods along the wall, behind the counter, and on just about any available flat surface.
I had the Ling Cod, an order of fries, and an order of hush puppies. My fellow hound had fried oysters, sand dabs, and fries. We both ordered a can of cola to drink with our meal.
SoulTran didn't fry the oysters that were on offer in their shells, but rather opened a jar of shucked oysters and fried up the contents. I'm not an oyster fan, so I didn't try those, but FH said they were as good as any fried oysters he's had.
Fries were of the frozen variety; good, not too oily, but by no means outstanding, and in need of salt. Comparable to just about any drive-thru in the area.
My ling cod was seriously overcooked to the point of being dry, tough and chewy. Sand dabs, on the other hand, were perfectly cooked but too oily, and their delicate flavor was overwhelmed by the crunchy corn meal-based coating --presumably, one of the many fish-fry preparations offered along the walls and behind the counter.
My order of hush puppies consisted of five thumb-sized balls of dough, which were inoffensive but blandly seasoned and nondescript. I wouldn't suggest anyone go out of their way for these.
The seafood offered for sale in the counter was varied, abundant, and interesting, and it all smelled fresh. The place seems to do a good steady business, so turnover is probably brisk. I'd potentially go back again to buy seafood, or even some of the products offered on the shelves. I won't be back to eat the fried fish.
Yeah, I was hoping for better also. I really wanted to like this joint. I wouldn't hesitate to buy fresh fish from them, but I think I'll cook it myself next time.
We didn't make it to the paleteria this time, but plan to explore your other rec's in Vallejo, at least those within striking distance of I-80. We work near Fairfield, and as you probably already know, that's a food-lovers' wasteland. We'd like nothing better than to find some good lunch joints and/or a decent pub within short driving distance.