Saturday, March 27, 2010

Dungeness Crab Dining with Alcatraz and Ferry Boat Views at Franciscan at Pier 39

One of my weaknesses is dining at restaurants with a water view. I also enjoy long walks on the beach and watching sunsets (what's the html code for < crickets >?) Before getting off tangent, who doesn't like dining by a wide and tall window, a gateway view to natural beauty? Franciscan's is one of our frequent spots when Oz and I don't feel like talking and staring at each other all the time. I know,

I AM a sight for sore eyes and gloriously awesome

but people need a break sometimes. The other benefits at Franciscan's - free parking validation (parking meters are 5 minutes/quarter at 7 days a week), reasonably priced ($1-2 more than the crab stands across the street), away from the hustle and bustle of the tourist crowd, and I like the food.

Franciscan's view, San Francisco

[View from my seat]

Franciscan's, San FranciscoAs we ascend the stairs to the dining room the walkway is densly cluttered with black and white pictures of old Hollywood celebrities, Elizabeth Taylor is my favorite. We like to sit on the left side of the restaurant with a clear view of Alcatraz and the ferry boats shuttling people like cattles. I haven't been back to Alcatraz since elementary school where we made a few voyugues a year and for some reason always in bad weather.

We usually begin with the $12.95 Dungeness Crab, Smoked Salmon Crostini served with burrata cheese. The crab meat is mounded on top of the smoked salmon. The burrata feels like a special treat in addition to the seafood decadent combination of fish and shellfish. Beside avoiding conversation and romantically gazing into each other's eyes, Oz and I never share the crab and salmon appetizer.

Franciscan in San Francisco Smoked salmon and Crab Crostini served with fresh mozzarella

Franciscan in San Francisco Oysters $2.25 eachFrancsican carries Hog's Island Oysters which are always fresh and delicious with a squirt of lemon, dab of horseradish and a thrust of tabasco.

Franciscan in San Francisco cup of clam chowder $5.95

The $5.95 cup of clam chowder is really thick with a heavy hand on the flour. The flavor is inconsistent - sometimes too salty or bland. Boudin's clam chowder located in the same lot is tastier and chunky filled.

One time the server misunderstood my order of the crab and smoked salmon crostini for the $9.75 Smoked Salmon Carpaccio. The dish is smoked salmon with avocado, onions and capers served with burrata, essentially the same appetizer as above without the Dungeness crab.

Franciscan's, San Francisco - Smoked Salmon & burrataFranciscan's, San Francisco - Smoked Salmon & burrata

Franciscan's Dungeness crab is tossed in their "secret garlic sauce" which does not overpower the natural sweetness of the meat. The $34.95 whole Dungeness crab is guarantee to be at least 2 pounds, practically the same price as the sidewalk crab stand. There are days when I'm in the mood for steamed crabs from the sidewalk stands, crouching by the curb and spitting the shells onto newspapers- and days I feel like dining on a table.

Franciscan in San Francisco - Whole Garlic Crab

Oz likes to dine at a Seafood restaurant and order...steak. He is a sure-win to order some sort of beef while I get the seafood. Franciscan has choices galore including sandwiches, pasta, seafood and meats. The $34.95 filet mignon, flash fried broccolini and mashed potatoes; the meat is super tender, almost in the same league as Harris' Steakhouse. The broccolini is bright green and crispy from the deep fryer but it would be nice if the vegetable was blotted before plating.

Franciscan in San Francisco Filet Migon

Below is the comparasion of the petite filet mignon at $24.95 also served with the same side dishes. The regular filet mignon is more tender and flavorful, I don't know if it has anything to do with the bone-in filet.

Franciscan's, San Francisco - Petite Filet Mignon

Another meat dish ordered by Oz is the $14.95 Grilled onion and Short Rib Cheese Sandwich, served with french fries and broccolini. The portion is generous, filled with a large amount of beef gripped together with cheese.

Franciscan's, San Francisco - Short Rib Sandwich

The servers are dressed in white jackets, older with a professional demeanor - typical style of the servers in the Wharf area. The bussers are more efficient and always around to fulfill any request quickly. There is no doubt we will return soon to Franciscan since the weather is getting warmer.

The 3 hour free parking validation enable us to have a grand ole time at the Musée Mécanique (located next door), the laughing fat lady still lifts up my spirits. The Musée Mécanique use to be located at the Cliff House when I was a child, I use to steal change from my parents and spend a few hours pinching pennies into the old time amusement machines.

Franciscan Crab Restaurant
Pier 43 1/2
Fisherman's Wharf
San Francisco, CA 94133
(415) 362-7733
Franciscan Crab on Urbanspoon


foodhoe said...

I haven't been to the Franciscan in years but remember having a good experience there soon after their remodel. The seafood dishes look very tempting. I feel like I haven't had enough crab yet this year and your photos are making me drool...

Punctuation Mark said...

Never been there but the food sounds delicious! have a nice weekend!

Pete said...

Wow, nice view and good food! Cool!

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