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My SF Bites: Swan Oyster Depot and Food Trucks

September 10, 2011

While in San Fran, we decided to keep lunches fairly simple and low key (as we should given how much snacking we were doing throughout the day!).

We headed down California Street to Swan Oyster Depot on the first day after dropping off our luggage in the hotel.  Even though it was already 2PM, the line was still a 10-person deep for a seat at the bar of Swan.  We had to stand in the door way for a good 40 minutes, oogling at the plates of oysters and seafood salad that were being consumed.   No one seemed to want to leave this tiny little restaurant!  With only one bar of seats, the interior was quaint, as if it never changed with the passage of time – look at that old school check register!

Luckily, the food was  worth the wait.  I busied myself with a glass goblet full of various seafood.  It really seemed never ending as I dug up sweet bay shrimp, plump oysters and clams and large prawns.  JZ and VW went for Swan’s clam chowder, which I of course snuck a few spoonfuls.  The chowder was incredibly light and just chockful of clams.  I don’t know if I can have that gloppy stuff that is supposedly clam chowder any more.

Of course, we had to order a platter of oysters and clams.  Swan had 4 varieties that day as well as Cherry Stone clams.  I just love the look of oysters, nestling in a platter of ice and just begging us to take one in our palms with a splash of lemon juice.  Too bad they disappeared way too fast.

Day two’s lunch plan was to check out the food truck scene in San Francisco.  I was really excited to try Chairman Bao but just our luck, they were parked in Redwood City that Thursday.  No fear, we followed Hapa, a Filipino truck, to this little alley way in the Financial District.  This wa,s as it turned out, the lot for Food Truck SF.  This little spot hosts various food trucks from around the city, rotating the vendors each day – very good idea!

Because our tour of Alcatraz went a little late, a few of the items at Hapa were sold out.  I was pretty quick on my feet and managed to snag one of the last bowls of pork sisig over rice.  The fatty pork cubes had been marinated in soy sauce and lime for a touch of brightness and sauteed until crispy around the edges.  Served over perfeclty cooked brown rice, this was quite a filling plate of food.

JZ went for the pork tacos – made of the same delicious pork bites from my rice dish.  Nice and light – substituting the tortillas for rice.

The Lumpia Shanghai that VW ordered were crispy and filled with meat inside.

Of course, we couldn’t do without some vegetables.  The noodles were piled high but tasted a little too much like soy sauce.  Perhaps a side dish not the main.

Even though we were quite full from Hapa, on our way out, we couldn’t help but stop by the BBQ truck parked near the entrance.  Oh!  They were not sold of the slab ribs yet!  Therefore, of course we had to buy some.  Tender and sloppy, what a way to end lunch as we licked our fingers in the car.

Swan Oyster Depot | 1517 Polk Street, San Francisco, CA 94109


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