Dungeness in Houston?
All this talk of crabs has me thinking of one I've never really understood the appeal of - Dungeness. I love King and Snow crab which are not from the Gulf, but Dungeness --- I've only had it a couple of times, tried to fix it at home and once at a restaurant, though I can't remember which one. Friends in the PNW rave about it but I haven't experienced anything great. So there it is on the menu of that place in El Campo I mentioned in a thread on the TX board. Would I order Dungeness in El Campo? I don't think so, particularly since it's a crawfish farm. But are there any places in Houston that offer it? And what's the dish to go for or what's the best prep if I buy it at a market? Or should I just forego Dungeness in Houston?
I just remembered where I had some delicious dungeness crab. I know it's hard to believe but it was at L'Auberge in Lake Charles on a Friday night seafood buffet. It was about 5 years ago so I wouldn't know if it's still any good. But I was shocked at the size of the crabs and at the excellent preparation. It's hard to find that in casino buffets.
I had it once at Joe's Crab Shack about 8-9 years ago or so. It wasn't bad although the crab was fairly small. Normally I would never order it around here but sometimes you get lucky and that day I wanted it bad enough to give it a try.
When we are in Tofino, BC or on the San Juan Islands, I eat dungeness every meal. A whole crab, salad and bread will run about $18-$25 at lunch. But I'm talking big crabs, not like the anorexic one at Joe's. I'm not so worried about the size when I order, it's more important that it's not overcooked.
The taste is not as great as a blue crab but there's so much meat in the dungeness that one crab is all you need. In Tofino, some places will offer 1/2 crab at lunch and I've had that and it was plenty.
I would forego it in Houston, hop a plane to Seattle, and then a ferry to Friday Harbor. Exit the ferry, head straight up the hill to Friday's Crabhouse and try one. It's the first thing I do when driving off the ferry.
The best ones I ever had were given to me by a property manager in exchange for some fresh halibut and salmon that we had caught the day before in Tahsis, BC. We pulled into our cabin on San Juan Island and I pulled her out about 10# of fresh fish and later that afternoon she brought me two huge steamed dungeness crabs she'd caught that day in False Bay (the west side of San Juan Island). Yum!!
Sounds like something I need to put on my Bucket List. I'll skip taking a chance on Joe's Crab Shack. As I recall, the one I tried at home was rather mushy, which I thought was not my fault, but the other one, yeah, I thought it wasn't as good as Blue so I wondered what all the raves were about.
Well, I love all crab and while it's not quite as good as blue crab, what really is? :-)
It's still very good. But I never had a mushy one. I could eat about 20 blues compared to one dungeness. So it's a lot easier to mess with.
Check with the PNW board, I bet they'll have some tips about cooking them yourself. One place in Tofino would steam them in a small contraption about the size of a toaster oven. I'm not sure if boiling them is the way to go or not.