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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Swan Oyster Depot Is A True Landmark On Polk Street

I finally made it to Swan Oyster Depot this week.  I have been dying to try this place for years.  My buddy Aaron and I were always trying to get away at lunch.  It is only a 20 seat restaurant, so one must prepare to wait.  And how could you not?  The staff is super friendly from the moment you walk in.  You can tell that it is a family owned and operated establishment.  The 2 key people are the brothers that run the counter offering up tastes of the smoked salmon and pouring you an Anchor Steam.  The history of Swan goes all the way back to 1912. The business was taken over in 1946 by by Sal Sancimino and his three cousins, Frank, Al and Pat LaRocca.  Their children took it over in the 1970's. 

This place is all about the experience. So, I asked for advice when I ordered lunch for Drew and I the other day. We each got a cup of their legendary Boston Clam Chowder.  Looking back, I wish I had gotten a bowl.  I have read a lot of reviews on this particular chowder.  My experience with it was awesome.  I like the thin texture to it and the focus on the "bobbing bites of tender bivalve." It was all about the clams.

From chowder, we went to Oysters on the half shell.  All of which blew our minds.  The Cortes Island Miyagis were so yummy.  The Tomales Bay and Drakes Bay represented how great oysters are from California.  We had some Blue Points and Kumamotos as well. It all tasted like the ocean and I craving more. 

Drew and I shared the combination salad with Shrimp, Prawn and Crab.  It certainly had a "munificent helping of sweet, meaty crab atop a crisp bed of shredded iceberg, slathered in a heart-stopping puddle of Thousand Island-esque Louie dressing."  There was definitely  some mighty amounts of Shrimp and Prawn as well. That accompanied with local Sourdough bread for a munchin'.  It was all so fresh and satisfying.

Sipping on my 2nd Anchor Steam, I knew I was going to come back for the Smoked Salmon on a Saturday.  It would go well with bagels on Sunday, a tradition we used to do when I was growing up. Man, I can taste it now on top of my freshly boiled onion bagel with chive cream cheese.  Yum! Just one of the many excuses that we bring me back to Swan Oyster Depot real soon.


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