How you doin’? I was feeling a little nostalgic today… thinking about the good old days in NorCal. Perspectives offices were in San Francisco at California and Sansome Streets right across the street from Tadich’s Grill. The food at Tadich’s was so damn good my partners and I wound up there almost 3 times a week for lunch and nightly for drinks.
The original Tadich’s opened in 1849 as a coffee stand on Clay Street in San Francisco. It is the oldest restaurant in California and the third oldest in the United States. Can you imagine the history with this restaurant, from the Gold Rush to the current pandemic?
In 1928 the Buich family purchased the restaurant from John Tadich; they continue to own the restaurant today. In 1967 the restaurant moved to its present location at 240 California Street; this was after Wells Fargo bought the Clay Street location for redevelopment. They have been open for business at that location ever since.
On a sad note, they had to close their doors in mid-March by order of Mayor London Breed, but on a happier note, they’ve recently re-opened with curbside pickup and delivery. We all hope they will be able to reopen the dining room soon.
I had three everyday menu favorites… Petrale Sole, Sand Dabs and The Crab Louie. The Cioppino and Lobster Thermidor are also spectacular, but not for every day. Louies are a great spring and summer salad.
The Shrimp Louie was invented in San Francisco in the early 1900’s. It’s made with large chilled shrimp, lettuce, hard cooked egg, sliced avocado and tomato wedges. The Louie dressing is similar to Thousand Island dressing and is made with mayonnaise, ketchup, chili sauce, Worcestershire sauce, onion, salt and pepper. A variation on the salad is cracked local Dungeness crab and is known as Crab Louie—my favorite.
You should only use the freshest local Dungeness crab possible. Crab season usually begins in mid-November and, technically, runs to June or July, depending on the location. It takes a little time to put this salad together, but for an elegant meal it’s a showstopper!
Prep time: 40 minutes
Yield: Serves 4 people
For the dressing
1 cup mayonnaise
3 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon chili sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
1 teaspoon Tabasco
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
For the salad
12 asparagus spears, trimmed
Two 6-ounce romaine hearts, torn crosswise 1/2 inch thick
1 6-ounce seedless cucumber, cut into spears
4 large red radishes, shredded
4 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
4 hard-cooked eggs, cut into wedges
1 avocado, quartered and sliced
1-pound crabmeat, preferably Dungeness (1/4-pound per plate)
How to assemble the Crab Louie
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