Posted by Lauren
PREMATURE POSTAGE, whoops!
Update: I added most of my comments but shrugged off the other pictures I was going to add. Oh well :)
Since it already went up before I could type and add all the pictures, I’ll just keep it up and fix it later!
On Saturday night, my mom + David + his son Sam + Kyle + myself went to the I.F.E.S. Society’s Crab Cioppino, held at a rental/banquet hall in Mountain View. “This Portuguese Organization has been carrying on the Portuguese traditions of the Azores and serving the local communities since 1926.”
There are two seatings. One at 4 and one at 6:30. The five of us arrived at 6:15, parked at Safeway, and walked a block to stand in line. David and my mom warned us that the wait can be anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. People come well equipped – bottles of wine, cups, and lawn chairs!
I braved the cold weather in my new-ish North Face fleece and relied heavily on Doze to keep me insulated. If Nicole was there, I probably would have forced her to either A) hug me for 80% of the time in line or B) walk through the aisles of Safeway. Consider yourself lucky, sister.
After over an hour and a half, the doors finally opened!
The black star they stamped on my forehand is still there. Nope, coworkers, I wasn’t clubbing this weekend. I was at a massive crab feed.
About 400 people signed up for crabs. They must love crabs. Crabs can be fun!
Our party filled up almost an entire table! David knew a lot of the people, because this is kinda his thang, but we definitely got to know them! The lady sitting across from David in the picture below (in red), challenged him to a crab eating contest.
The stakes were pretty high! Bragging rights for the next few weeks meant quite a bit to these two! There are only 3 crab cioppino’s a year (Feb 25 and Mar 31 are still on the calendar), so it can get pretty intense.
Kyle sported the prerequisite crab bib. Honestly, if you weren’t wearing it…. I wouldn’t want to hug you. Crab juices everywhere, know what I’m saying?
There were vases of red and white wine at each table, but I opted for the free coffee and soda. Everyone else enjoyed the vino….
First course: (standard) salad, pre-dressed in an Italian vinaigrette. Plates of (standard) garlic bread also made their way around the table.
Eventually it was time for the main course: all you can eat, large, jumbo crabs in a spicy cioppino broth.
This is the largest silver mixing bowl I’ve ever seen by the way.
Kyle and I dutifully cracked our crab and picked all the meaty pieces out. We didn’t share crabs. That’s just gross. ;) I honestly have ZERO sense of time, but I do know that Kyle stopped eating crab well before I did. Am I bragging? Ya, maybe a little. I know he’s watching his weight HAHA just kidding.
I was like Thomas the Tank Engine. I kept chugging along. Pick up some grab, split apart the legs, start at the hinge area and eat that, break legs into sections, crack the individual sections and eat, use a crab talon to scrape out the little sections. Repeat, repeat, repeat……..repeat, repeat….. repeat…. you get the idea, right?
Well, turns out I was the last one at our table to stop eating. And that is 20% because I think people were making fun of me. What can I say? Crab is delicious! Nicole and I can eat the imitation stuff like candy (well, not like candy…. that would be ridiculous).
My tips for first timers:
- Put your hair up into a bun
- Place a roll of paper towels right next to you
- Add a few sheets of paper towels to your lap
- Wear that bib!!!
- Slow and steady!
- Be careful, cracked crab can be very sharp! Kyle cut his finger…
- Don’t get competitive, just enjoy the yummy crab
Alright that’s all…. I hope you had a chance to read the updated version. My finger got a little trigger happy on my mobile earlier this morning.
Question: Crab or Lobster? Ever been to a crab feed?
My high school has a ritzy Crab and Pasta Feed fundraiser that I might attend next year….. ours is actually this upcoming weekend, but I’ll be in SLO with my roomies! (Super duper excited!)