PPQ Dungeness Island
Directly following my trip to Peru, I left on a research trip to the West Coast for two weeks. What was I researching? Glad you asked: a book on Stadium Eats! Um, yeah, without a deal in sight currently (hint, hint, anyone reading this who is interested!), I went to preemptively scout out the 6 West Coast stadiums and eat my way up and down the West Coast at the same time, starting in San Francisco, working my way down to Los Angeles, then San Diego, back up to San Francisco and then to Seattle! Phew! Tune in at 4:15 EST (or 1:15 PST, lunchtime on the West Coast) for the next 6 weeks to see what I ate and where I ate it… and how I gained 10 lbs in two weeks!
I made my way back up to San Francisco to return the rental car and catch my flight to Seattle. On my last night there, I really wanted Dungeness crab, which I felt had been in short supply on my trip. Okay, it really hadn’t been, but I wanted to hit up Crab House at Pier 39 since it’s been 3 years since my last time, and I really enjoy eating a whole Dungeness crab… all by myself… but this time around, I decided that I should try another place, and make it one that everyone has mentioned in the past. Plus it seemed like my trip had a definite Vietnamese slant on it, so why not? I went with PPQ Dungeness Island because it was open late when I needed it to be – I just arrived in San Francisco, dropped my stuff off at the hotel and headed out - and because I’d heard the name many times in the past.
I had to start off with the summer rolls as usual - notice the dish of sauce has a streak of red in it. Sriracha sauce not fully blended in, so I knew to avoid that area and dip lightly. Another interestingly way-too-long roll cut into 3 pieces, so the middle pieces had stuff exploding out of the roll. I liked the roll, though, and found it tasty.
But the main event! that’s what’s important here. A whole Dungeness crab.
The body was already broken into pieces and I got to work quickly, taking the meat out deftly without using the hammers (shudder! hate those hammers; they ruin the crab) and dipping it into the butter that had accumulated on the bottom of the dish. NOM. Really fresh and very, very tasty.
I also ordered garlic noodles because, um, hello? These were garlicky, delicious, though more like lo mein or egg noodles than I’d anticipated. Not a bad thing, per se, but I am partial to broad white rice noodles or ho fun, though that’s Cantonese style and perhaps not Vietnamese. These were already really good, and then I made the brilliant decision to dump the noodles into the buttery sauce on the bottom of the crab dish and let it sit there and soak in the butter for a few minutes. The taste? Awesome. The after-effects of all that butter on my system? Yeah, not so much. I just can’t eat THAT much butter in one go (I’ve tried many times). Ah well, a bit of intestinal discomfort for the glory… par for the course!
Just to balance things out, a beef dish. This actually was pretty similar to the ‘shaking beef’ dish at Slanted Door. It was tasty, but I don’t think I need to order this again – I’ll be back, and I will know to just go straight to Dungeness crab, do not stop at appetizers, do not stop at beef, just crab and noodles, an order each all for my own. Mmm, boy, yummy.
Yvo says: I didn’t need the beef dish or the summer roll dish, really, but it was nice to help get a feel for the restaurant itself and its other offerings. I definitely would go back for the Dungeness crab alone… and now I’d also like to try some of the other Vietnamese places around town that do the whole Dungeness crab this way. Mmm, nommy. Check this place out!