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San Francisco Bay Area Dinner Dungeness Crab

dinner for 2 at PPQ Dungeness Island

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dinner for 2 at PPQ Dungeness Island

Windy | Nov 28, 2004 06:59 PM

Last week I devoured my first real crab of the season, dragging a willing companion along to PPQ Dungeness Island for their dinner for 2 special. Although the crab was huge and juicy and succulent, I'm not sure how good a deal the complete package is and next time I'd probably order a la carte.

Dinner for 2 runs ~$42 and includes spring rolls, chicken salad, a roasted crab, garlic noodles, and fried bananas with ice cream. I'm glad I went to the gym beforehand. The crab was far and away the highlight, broken into giant pieces and served with a generous amount of butter. PPQ offers other preparations of crab including salt and pepper and (I think) one with tamarind sauce.

The wine list is mediocre, which is a shame because we would have splurged. Instead we drank a $9 bottle of Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay for $24. No idea what corkage is, but probably worth it.

The other dishes were uninspired. We split a dozen Kumamotos, which were okay but so much better at Swan or Hog Island, plus I missed the horseradish.

The chicken salad was a refreshing break during six courses from the fryer, but I would have liked more cabbage or vinegar and less dressing. I make better garlic noodles, deconstructed from Thanh Long; these were just more butter.

After persuading my companion that he needed to finish my crab because I couldn't, I found the ice cream too rich to contemplate, like lapping cream. (It might be Lappert's coconut, which I've never been able to eat but I know has its fans.) The fried bananas were wonderful, and we left in a food coma and happily wandered around Green Apple in a daze looking at novels and obscure videos until they closed and we went in search of vodka.

Service was friendly and helpful. They tied bibs on us and brought piles of napkins. I could have used a finger bowl, or a bath, but had to settle for wetnaps. The crabs were piled in the tanks, probably too densely packed to pass the Yimster liveliness test.

Total with tip came to $105, considerably more than it's necessary to spend at PPQ (at the branch on Irving, I usually spend $7 for lunch). But for the first crab feast of the season, worth it.

PPQ Dungeness Island is on Clement near 25th Avenue. They validate parking at the lot next to the 4 Star.

I still have a lingering fondness for Thanh Long and am tempted to hit them next; really no more expensive than PPQ, much better wines and noodles, cozier setting, and the rice potions are always potent enough to knock you for a loop. Plus I'm planning on checking out the special at Parc Hong Kong after work one day.

Any other crab reports?

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