Yesterday we tried Soft Shell Crab Sandwiches at two different places at the farmers' Market, namely Hayes St. Grill and San Francisco Seafood Co. I think there might be a third one available at the seafood bar kitty corner to Hog Island Oyster Co.
The one from HSG ($9.50) was excellent. It was served on thin sliced buttered toast of the wonderful bread they serve at HSG. The toast was lightly spread with a very thin layer of a very good, subtly seasoned tartar sauce that enhanced, but did not overpower the delicate flavor of the crab. The crab was accompaniede by a slice of tomato and a bit of lettuce. The crab was very lightly coated with a fine (panko?) breading. It was an excellent sandwich.
The one from San Francisco Seafood Company ($8.16) was mediocre at best. Just about everything that went into the sandwich was designed to overpower the crab, and succeeded. It was battered with a very course, very thick batter although the batter did have a nice hint of Old Bay Seasoning. It was served on a very nice potato roll, but it was way too thick for the delicate contents. The thick layer of very relishy tartar sauce was an abomination that I ended up scraping off.
The lettuce and tomato were ok.
Bottom line is that the HSG sandwich was well worth the extra $1.34.