Crab Season = Crab Roll

It’s one of my favorite times of year, dungeness crab season. We had a little bit of a late start this year because the fisherman and the distributors couldn’t agree on a price. The fisherman were asking for $2.50 per lb while the distributors were only willing to pay $2 per lb. After two weeks passed by including the Thanksgiving holiday, both parties gave in at $2.25 per lb. What a relief to restaurants that wanted it on their menu. What a relief to those that love dungeness crab like me.

Yesterday I had lunch at Southie on College Avenue in Oakland. Southie opened earlier this year and is a fancy sandwich shop. Their big sister restaurant is Wood Tavern right next door. It’s a very small place with counter seating and small tables for parties of two. My sister, my friend, and I were lucky to be seated at the counter. It was the best seats as you get to see all the preparation happen.

Both my sister and I are currently on Weight Watchers so we agreed to share a sandwich and a salad. Although there were many interesting sandwiches on the menu, today they offered the dungeness crab roll which we couldn’t resist. Neither did my friend. She was having the full sandwich all to herself.

Butter was spread on the rolls and smashed under the panini grill for several minutes. This technique gave it the form of a pocket and a generous crab filling was stuffed in it. As I mentioned, you get to see everything sitting at the counter. The crab roll came with Cape Cod potato chips. Yum! Sharing was definitely a good decision as the crab was plentiful. I love crab season.

The salad we ordered was the truffled bacon and poached egg salad which came with frisée, romaine, couscous, radishes, scallions, and truffle vinaigrette. This was a hearty and delicious salad. I watched the prep cook mix the salad really well. But I also noticed that my poached egg didn’t get an extra toss of black pepper and olive oil like the others made. No harm no foul because I asked him to fix it and he did. I think he was surprised and embarrassed. I wouldn’t have even known the topping was missing if I sat elsewhere.

I didn’t mention that before lunch the three of us walked around Lake Merritt and earned some activity points. We shared one lemon panna cotta with huckleberry comport and shortbread to share. It was a nice small treat to end our meal.

Counter seating is a really great marketing strategy for Southie. I want to come back and try the fried pork belly sandwich for sure.