With the world deciding it’s best to live with the pandemic, many annual events have resumed and of the various foodie experiences in my region, I decided to make the Crabfest in Port Angeles my return to form. This event takes traditionally takes place on the first weekend of October.
I’m sorry Victoria, but what I’ve seen and done here is still the same ol’ same ol’, and I craved something new. Not even the recently announced Maritime Museum’s Crabtober in November, a one day show, can match this Stateside experience. The key difference is that it’s a limited seating event than taking place at a public space (it sold out on the day it was announced) and people can’t wander around to look at arts and crafts vendors. There’s no mention of food trucks, thus making it seem like a closed event than something truly public like Esquimalt’s Ribfest.
In what I saw in my hop and skip across the strait is a true small town experience of local shopping and seafood wonder. Unlike what my home city represents, this place has everything focussed around the Port Angeles City Pier. And what I discovered while wandering the three-block radius has me convinced I’ll have to return.
At this event, many Alaskan Crabs have been boiled and steamed to absolute tasty perfection. They’re not the prime choices (I’m betting the fishermen pulled those bigger ones out for restaurants to bid upon) and what we get are the runts of the litter. That is, they are the crustaceans that just meet the minimum legal size requirements for pulling out of the sea, and when considering there are a lot of tummies to fill, this operation better not run out!
Even on a quieter Sunday, the main tent was jam-packed and people were cracking shells for a decent portion. The prices are $45 for a full crab and $25 USD for half. I doubt there’s fixing for those who pre-bought the Black Ball Ferry Package, since they come from the same vat. As my eyes gazed around me, all the tables had a similarly sized Decapoda.
As I sat digging through my dish, I knew I could’ve ordered another, but I had my meals decided upon the night before. I thought of buying something from a food truck, and the added stops were fairly good. In the main tent, I saw scallop and oyster add-ons (have to buy separately). But for those folks wanting to have larger meals, two restaurants were nearby. Throughout the block was a wonderful tribute band playing 80s tunes, which included The Talking Heads “Burning down the House,” I had other tunes running in my head too, like Weezer’s “Keep Fishin.”
I could’ve stayed in this main tent longer, but that wouldn’t be fair to the lineup that never showed signs of extending down the street. It’s great the turnaround is fast on a Sunday, and honestly, I could’ve done three dishes had I been feeling rich. According to reports, Saturday’s wait time took an hour or two.
Part of this event’s proceeds go into environmentalism education for watersheds, and I’m very happy to help.
As for what else is there to do, it was simply wandering the neighbourhood and taking snaps of other restaurants I must try when Donald is back (I invited him to come along, but he had to be in Ottawa). What I did during my time in the remaining hours was shop, play Pokémon GO, and eat ice-cream. A New Zealand style operation opened last year, and it is very popular. I can see why and will detail that in a separate upcoming review.
In the meantime, I offer this slideshow gallery of my experience that is the Port Angeles Crab Fest.