Saturday, November 10, 2012

Swan Oyster Depot - San Francisco, CA

HEEEELLLLLOOOOO San Francisco!  Congratulations on winning the World Series!  We heard that the victory parade was happening today so Mr and I were super excited to be possibly catching some of it live.  After sitting on the tarmac for over 45 minutes, we were on our way over.  We landed at Oakland International Airport, quickly scurried out, took the shuttle and BART all the way to Montgomery Street Station and saw this:
Hm, just in time to see all of the garbage on the streets.  If only we didn't idle on the tarmac...  *sigh*  Oh well, Mr. and I head off to check into our hotel, sit for a few minutes and set off to find some food.
We chose Swan Oyster Depot for two reasons: 
1. Their Urbanspoon rating was quite high and we saw in several local magazines that it came highly recommended
2. Anthony Bourdain adored this place in his San Francisco episode of The Layover.  He eats here and mentions that he comes here whenever he's in SF.  That and along with all of the printed material, this place cannot possibly garner anymore accolades! We HAD to come and see what all the hubbub was about.
It is as they advertise - a counter for maybe 12 people and lots of seafood everywhere.  The menu is on the wall and you just tell one of the guys behind the counter what you want and they prepare it in front of you.  We've come at a good time because there's only 2 people ahead of us in line.  I'm so excited to sit down!
Sourdough - Free
Who doesn't like a nice crusty sourdough bread with some real butter?  If you're here in SF, go get yourself some nice sourdough bread because you won't be able to have bread quite like this anywhere else.  And this stuff is killer when you eat it with...

Clam Chowder - $5 (bowl)
A few weeks ago, Mr. Piglet decided he really wanted clam chowder so he went out and bought himself a can of the stuff.  It tasted weird so when I saw this on the wall, I had to order it.  Full of clams and potatoes - it was a super hearty but not too creamy soup.  Now Mr. Piglet understands what a REAL clam chowder is supposed to taste like.  He has vowed never to buy the canned stuff again.  Thank you Swan Oyster Depot!!

Prawn Cocktail - $12
Look at it.  Best.  Prawn.  Cocktail.  Ever.  Enough said.  Eat this.

Smoked Salmon - $19.50
I know it's pricey.  I know we come from the land of smoked salmon so why would we order this?  People, I know this!  Mr. knows this too so when I ordered this, he was apprehensive but then he watched the guy slice it right in front of us, lay it atop some rye bread and give us some capers and onions on the side.  One bite...  there is nothing quite like freshly smoked and cut smoked salmon my friends.  It was moist, just enough oil and with some that bread, capers and red onion....  oh man, the perfect bite.  It came with a shrimp salad but who cares???  It's all about this smoked salmon people!  Mr. Piglet absolutely LOVED this dish and I have to agree - best smoked salmon I've ever had.
Some of the best seafood we've ever had in all it's glory and unadulterated form.  Sometimes the sweetest things in life don't need to be messed around with and the guys here renewed our appreciation in the simpler things.  No need to dress it up, garnish it with bacon jelly or top it with a flavoured foam - just seafood and that's something Mr. and I hadn't had in a very long time.  The Swan Oyster Depot is a San Francisco institution, always and forever.  We will miss you.  If you get the chance, definitely come by and have yourself some raw oysters and a prawn cocktail or two because everyone in their life should be able to taste food like this.  Bon appetite!
  • Great seafood dishes
  • Friendly and fast service
  • Great atmosphere
  • On the pricey side
  • Cash only
  • Not a lot of seats - come early if you want to eat!
  • Dingy but authentic - don't expect fine dining here my piggies

Swan Oyster Depot on Urbanspoon

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