Excellent eating in San Francisco part 2: The Ferry Building

Both Tuesday and Wednesday evenings I ate at the Ferry Building.

Hog Island Oysters, Ferry Building

On Tuesday evening, my boss and I went to Hog Island Oysters. We grabbed a little table for two, ordered beer, and then got a dozen oysters, a selection of what they had fresh. I really wish I took notes and my camera. The first oyster was definitely the one with the most flavour: the taste of the belly was similar to what you get with a clam. They were all really good-sized oysters.

The oysters were served with fresh bread and butter, which worked well, and also worked with the bowls that we ordered next. My boss got a bowl full of clam chowder, which used manilla clams, and served the clams in the shells. It looked really delicious; I think it had a cream base. My oyster stew definitely was cream-based. Not too heavy, though! And I was very pleased that it wasn’t salty: I find some places seem to salt first, taste later. With seafood, that can be disastrous. Not in this case. It made for a yummy meal.

 I ate at the Ferry Building again on Wednesday evening, after walking my knees off (I walked just a hair over 10km). Funny, it’s always been my feet that have felt sore before. This time it was my left knee. I was visibly limping by the end of my walk. Guess I have to have that looked at. But after terrorizing all the shop owners and shoppers in the Ferry Building with my camera clicking, I decided I’d go into the Market Bar. They had an interesting dinner menu, and it included a charcuterie plate, which I am always willing to try.

Oops. Too early for the dinner menu! It’s about 4:30 in the afternoon. I’m presented instead with the happy-hour tapas menu, so it looks like I’ll be eating a bunch of little things, which I always enjoy. I had a glass of the De Loach Chardonnay.

Contemplating the menu at the Market Bar

First dish up: oysters 😀 I don’t know if it is possible to have oysters too often. Especially raw, especially from cool waters. I might worry about them down in New Orleans right now. But from up in the Northwest? Bring ’em on…

Fresh oysters

Switched wines. Went for the Montepulciano Vallevo.

Next up? They called it a raviolo on the menu, however, the plate arrived with two, so I’m going to call it ravioli. Delicious, not too heavy, mushroom, leek, ricotta. Umami comfort food. Came in a parsley cream sauce. I knew it was going to be rich, so I ordered some green olives to munch along with it.


Following that, I decided I needed more seafood! They had a dungeness crab cake on the menu. It came with an aioli drizzled over it. Nice, tasty, but somehow, not really special. I’ve had its equivalent here in Toronto, and was somehow expecting more. My expectations may have been overblown.

Crab cake

For the next course, I decided I wanted to compare their brandied chicken liver paté with mine (damn, forgot to get a photo of this one). It was pleasingly presented, a slice of a torchon, slightly gray around the perimeter. Tasted it. Mine’s better 😀 Really. This one (and yes, I told the server) was slightly bitter, like the liver had been overcooked just that little bit. That’s the bitchy thing about making paté — it keeps cooking after you take it off the heat. It may just have been this one batch. Maybe it’s usually perfect. I must say, the texture was exquisite: I think he must have passed it through a fine sieve before cooling it.

Time to wrap it up. Got the maple glazed pork ribs.



If you go to the Market Bar, get those ribs. They were excellent. No, they weren’t falling off the ribs (that’s a sign the meat’s overcooked). They were next-door to falling off the ribs. They were rich, succulent, slightly sweet but not overly so (I’m so tired of oversweet pulled pork and barbecue sauces!!!).  Eat those. Really.

What a great way to end the meal. I left, sated, and limped across the road to my hotel to get my bag and head to the airport.



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