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dungeness crab without the work?

I'll admit it - I'm lazy. Cracking crab legs detracts from my enjoyment of it! I went to R&G Lounge and I was cursing the shell for coming in between the sweet meat and the delicious fried outside.

Is there anywhere in SF that serves good dungeness, pre-cracked?

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  1. Sounds like you're not wanting pre-cracked, but crab meat that's already been shelled? Most cooked crabs served in the shell have already been cracked by the kitchen...

    1. i guess that's what I mean

      1. It's called 'picked'. Swan Oyster Depot on Polk has it.

        1. You can buy pure dungeness for $25/lb at Monterrey Fish on Hopkins St in Berkeley. I assume good fish mkts in SF have it for a similar price. I have seen it as cheap as $20 there. Just make sure its fresh, not frozen, and dungeness, not some other species.

          1 Reply
          1. re: sensi63

            I've bought picked crab meat at Monterey Fish before and it was Maine Peeky Toe crab meat - the same kind of crab that the French Laundry uses and several high end NYCity restaurants use. It's very good. Monterey Fish might also carry dungeness crab meat picked so ask if that's what you're set on buying.

          2. Most places that have dungeness crab also sell the meat pre-picked for about 5x the price of live or un-picked crab. Mollie Stones, Whole Foods, Bi-Rite etc. all carry it.

            If you want a well-priced alternative, go to Tower Market (Mollie Stones) or any decent fish market and ask them to cook and crack one for you. You still have to pick the meat but most of the hard work and mess is done for you. and usually it doesn't cost extra.

            1 Reply
            1. re: rdean

              I was at Tower Market about 2-3 weeks ago and I was able to buy pre-picked crab meat. They had it in the case, right next to the whole steamed crabs. Just tell them how much you want and they'll pack it, weigh it, and slap a label on it for you.

              Unfortunately, I don't remember how much it was. I do remember thinking it was really reasonable.

              Call first. By the time I left the market, they had ran out of the pre-picked.

            2. >meat pre-picked for about 5x the price
              >
              as they say,
              cheap, good, fast: pick any two.

              1. Just a tip - if you are buying pre-picked meat make sure you ask if it is fresh. Some markets place previously frozen pre-picked crab meat right next to fresh whole crabs and many people assume the pre-picked meat is fresh. The frozen stuff is not that bad but it's good to know what you're getting.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Grubbjunkie

                  Totally agree with Grubbjunkie. I did make sure that the crab I got at Tower Market was freshly picked. In fact, when they ran out and this lady wanted more, they offered to go in the back and pick some more while she shopped.

                2. you're so close you should be able to taste it already...

                  When i order Cioppino, I'll indicate to the waiter that i'd like it "Lazy Style". My favorite places already know what that means, ie: The Fish Market San Mateo, and Tadich Grill. the only shells i get are the clam and mussels.

                  As for the other places who don't quite understand this concept of "lazy"...all you can do is explain and hope. My thinking is, if the menu includes crab louie...they have picked crabmeat in the kitchen already and only need a way to adjust the price and portion.

                  if it isn't cioppino you're after, and crab louie doesn't tickle your pickle either...move along to the next reply i can't help you.