As I have said before, no one should actually eat all-you-can-eat, but that did not stop me at my very first Crab Feed at a brewery in Northern California. I finally had to wave the white flag, or rather paper napkin. Twice.
A local theater in my hometown of Petaluma in Northern California put on a weekday Crab Feed benefit. And the live theater house, Cinnabar, scored the uber-cool taproom location at Lagunitas Brewing Company.
We punctually arrived at the feed and immediately bought raffle tickets for the prize packages. Pretty simple, drop your tickets in the jars of the prizes you would like to win. I systematically spread mine evenly throughout all the jars, adding a few extra to the Tomales getaway and even popping one in the dining package that included a gift card for my restaurant.
Only because I thought it would be just my luck, or unluck, to win the gift card that we donated.
After purging our tickets, Peter and I grabbed a couple of the last seats available at a community table. Our random table mates were already indulging on the tubs of crab, coleslaw, salad and French bread.
There was no lull in between crab courses, they just kept coming. Even when I thought it was time to quit, someone else at the table nodded the server on.
Whilst stuffing my face with obscene amounts of crab, I learned a few things about Crab Feeds:
1. There are Crab Feed groupies. I am not one of them. Yet. But, these people try to attend every crab feed within a 50 mile radius knowing they can load up on their favorite shellfish, while hoping to win a fabulous prize.
2. Eating at a Crab Feed is an adventure that requires a lot of hard work. One that would have been made easier with a crab cracker and seafood fork.
3. You must put your fashion sense aside and wear the plastic bib. Cracking crabs is messy business.
After a significant amount of time, I created my own crab eating system which included pouring a puddle of melted butter on my plate and then piling the plucked meat of an entire crab into the center of it.
Mix & indulge. Good system.
Because one can not survive on crab alone, we bought a red velvet rice krispie treat and an Oreo cookie cupcake. Both were the perfect dessert as we listened to the prize winners being announced.