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Apr 26, 2009 12:40 PM

Creekside Smokehouse in El Granada—smoked fish, cheese and BUTTER

With ten pounds of paddlefish to smoke, I was quickly running out of options. The Sportsman’s Cannery in Emeryville closed long ago. The phone at Scandinavian Smokehouse in San Francisco has been disconnected. Red River Smoke House in Princeton-by-the-sea is no longer, although Blue Ocean may take its place. Which left Creekside Smokehouse in El Granada by Half Moon Bay.

Located next to a small creek with an inviting lawn, the smokehouse is run by Dave and Teri, who are extremely friendly and knowledgeable. In addition to custom smoking, they offer a variety of items. Cold smoked salmon is their most popular product. A sample of their “rich jerky strips”, made from boneless rib-meat that was brined and then cured with brown sugar, was decadently rich, and dripped with salmon oil. Teri called it “velvet fog” and Dave suggested dipping it in chocolate. As much as I enjoyed the jerky, I’m not sure I would enjoy that combination.

Besides salmon, they also offer sturgeon, yellowfin tuna, halibut, and albacore—Teri’s favorite, since she enjoys its meaty texture. Their sturgeon is another meaty choice. Teri said that smoked sturgeon is a favorite of their Russian customers. Another favorite is their crab dip, which is available only during the holidays. Nothing smoked, just quality ingredients highlighted by Dungeness crab. I can’t wait to try it. They also sell smoked trout and eel, but these are processed elsewhere. Flat bread and crackers are also available.

Besides seafood, they smoke a variety of dairy products, including cheese and butter. The butter is a new product, and I tried two varieties. One was intensely smokey, and would be perfect to finish a sauce or a dish. The other was milder, and could be used more liberally. Both were unique and delicious. I sampled a number of the cheeses, and decided on the Parmesan (DiGiorno). I grated the cheese over a plate of spaghetti, and enriched with a tab of smoked butter, the combination was simple and terrific.

The paddlefish, both cold and hot-smoked, was amazing. Alongside a Greek salad, Irish brown bread, Russian-style sour cream, and a glass of kvas, the fish was the star of a satisfying, multicultural meal. It’s good to live in the Richmond District.

Creekside Smokehouse
280 Ave. Alhambra
El Granada, CA 94018

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  1. Thanks for the report. Perhaps with yours and these other recent mentions El Granada will not remain and "unknown" gem.

    1. I'm sorry to hear about Red River. I liked them.

      However, it seems like Creeside is currently going full speed. That smoked butter sounds wonderful. It has been a while since I've been down that way, will have to check them out. T

      Thanks for the great update.

      Creekside Smokehouse
      280 Avenue Alhambra, El Granada, CA

      1. Thank you again. I stopped in on the way to Monterey. You did mention the tasting but left out the that samples included most of what is available. I settled on the jerky, 2 kinds, cold smoked salmon and parmesan. My wife came in to see what was keeping her idiot husband and took a few tastes and we added the silky sturgeon to our ice chest.

        1 Reply
        1. re: wolfe

          I'm very glad you enjoyed the fish and cheese. We're just about out of the smoked Parmesan--almost time to make another trip down south.

        2. We stop by there whenever we're in the area. We buy this and that and then take our "picnic" over to some friends house and watch (help) it disappear.
          If you buy some smoked fish or other cold thing, but don't live nearby, they will give you an "icepack" to keep it cold til you get home. They're very nice.

          1. Paddlefish? Where in the world did you get THAT?