Crab boats at Pillar Point Harbor /Half Moon Bay
Sunday we went down to get some crab at Princeton/Pillar Point Harbor /Half Moon Bay.
We were making ciappino but we got a late start and there were no crabs to be had at 3"30pm. Talked with the nice folks on "The Cricket" - they said that shoppers should be there by 11am or noon. Or to call and reserve during the week..... 925. 757-8615.
Prices that day were about $5.00 a pound. This will fluctuate with the size of the catch and other factors. Recent prices at 99 Ranch have been in this area as well. It was still a gorgeous drive down the coast and fun to talk with the fishermen. They showed us some of the crab that they were holding for those who had reserved them and a strange looking crab - they called a rock crab that was sorta scary looking. We ended up back in Pacifica at a local fish market buying crab for our dinner. The cioppino came out great. We made some garlic bread with some Semifreddi seeded bagette - the toasted fennel and anise seeds were perfect with the soup.
The last crabs I got at Alioto-Lazio were about 2.5 lbs each and ran about $4 lb. Rock crabs are sometimes available from the crab lady at Allemany farmers' market. They are also legal to catch in SF Bay (unlike Dungeness). The meat is very sweet but they cost about half what Dungeness run because there is significantly less meat and it's harder to get to.
The new Oceanview market on Alemany had live crabs for $5.69 a pound but they looked rather lethargic, even when the counter guy took one out of the tank.
our friends picked up the crab while some of us started the dinner prep ..... I'm pretty sure they got the crab from the Pacifica Farmer's Market. It wasn't purchased live - but freshly cooked and cracked. Was pretty sweet and the texture was good - not as good as live but as an ingredient in the cioppino it was still very good. not sure of the price
the link feature isn't working - it's at 450 Manor.
Funny, my Dad did a web search and must have found CH crab info on Half Moon Bay. He said according to the web that was the best place and suggested we go down on Sunday but it got too late. Good to know what the approx cut off time. Ended up going to Oakland Chinatown and getting some 2.5 lb-ers for $6.99 a lb. On the high side but they were very good.
sad to say but prices at the start of the season (11/08) were $6/lb and not so great crab (bland and not very fat). we've been going to pillar point for a few year now and that is the first time we've been disappointed. so maybe the local crabs are bad this year?
andronico's has crab for $3.99 cleaned and cracked at times, so watch for the weekly specials on andronicos.com. i think the crab is from alaska or washington but delicious (can anyone really tell the difference?)
the asian markets get down to 2.99 - 3.99/lb and it'always tempting. in theory it should be much better off the boats but as it said, at twice the price, we were disappointed.