This week's tablehopper: so crabby.

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Thanks to Club Feast, I was stress-eating in style on Friday night with my Krispy Krunchy Chicken order, oh yes I did. (Don’t forget some TRUFF hot sauce for the mac and cheese.) Pre-order and set up your Friday night to do it right! (Just be sure to warm up the chicken a little before you dig in.) Cannabis cocktail not pictured, but also highly recommended. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Hi, friends. Happy 2021, whatever that means. (Are we there yet?) How are you? I know many of us are feeling exhausted, shocked, aghast, and angry, and others are numb and completely maxed out from the past week of news, which keeps unfolding every hour with new updates. It’s a lot. (Let me know if you need any low-dose cannabis suggestions to help unwind or sleep or just try to deal!)

I laugh when I think of my plans to take this past week off as a time to focus on a couple of my new business projects and plans. Ha! Yeah, that happened. I will try again. Who can even focus on one thing for more than a few minutes right now? (Except Bridgerton, I had no problem focusing on THAT. And all my remaining holiday treats, they have been getting a lot of attention, too.) I don’t even want to look at my screen time stats this past week—all Twitter, all the time. (Also, thanks to Twitter, I was in the New York Times Magazine this past weekend, and it had nothing to do with food!)

Just before the New Year, I was actually able to focus long enough to write an article: the annual bore, which I transformed into the more this year, with ten things I want to see more of in 2021. Thanks to all of you who wrote back with your comments and feedback.

Timing has been tricky this past month for posting the final season episode of On the Fly with Charles Chen of Basuku Cheesecakes, but between the closure of outdoor dining and holiday madness and an attempted coup, it seems like a moment finally arrived, and the episode is now live. I hope you enjoy taking a break to listen to our conversation—it’s a fascinating look into all the hustle and adjustments that go into launching a successful pop-up (SO MUCH WORK), and Charles has such an interesting background in the culinary world, one that spans Hakkasan, Tartine Manufactory, Stonemill Matcha, and Maum. Also, he’s launching a passionfruit version of the cheesecake soon—you’re going to want one.

I don’t know when we’re going to pick up the podcast again—I need to focus on paying the bills for now, so thanks for all your support for this storytelling venture (especially to producer extraordinaire Lola Yen, who I am going to miss working with!). We banged out 22 episodes! There are so many more people I’d like to speak with, and stories that need to be told, so we’ll see what happens next. In the meantime, I’m so grateful to the Mercury News and Bay Area Newsgroup for this recent inclusion in their piece, 9 best food, wine and spirits podcasts to listen to in 2021. Such a nice way to wrap up the season, awww. Oh, and seeing this 48 Hills piece honoring chef Joanna Karlinsky for all her efforts to feed the unhoused during the pandemic, this also made me so happy.

Speaking of seasons: holy crab, it’s finally CRAB SEASON! Boats are out, pots are in the water, and we should start seeing Dungeness crabs Thursday and Friday. At last, some good news. If you don’t have a regular local crab source, here are some quick ideas: I always love supporting “the girls” at Alioto-Lazio Fish Company on the Wharf; of course, you can call the guys at Swan Oyster Depot; there’s Sun Fat in the Mission; the new Billingsgate in Noe Valley (read more in today’s tablehopper); and there are online ordering options like Water2table Fish Company. Many small/quality grocery stores carry local Dungeness, too. And you can head up to William Tell House in Tomales this Saturday for a crab tailgate—it’s always a feast. Enjoy! I was lucky to get a few crabs from a friend with a recreational license back in November, here’s the annual recipe/dish I like to make. Get pickin’!

Now that the holiday feed bag has been taken off, I’m posting about some new dish discoveries on the Club Feast platform on @tablehopper on Instagram. They have kindly sponsored me to choose my Club Feast Pick of the Month, like last month’s fantastic Hummus Bodega falafel pita, so stand by for what’s gonna be this month’s feast! (The Krispy Krunchy Chicken dinner pictured above is definitely a finalist, heh heh.) Try Club Feast for your first time and get $20 off with code HOPPER20 (which also puts $20 in my pocket, so thanks in advance). You’ll find a variety of tasty lunch and dinner dishes to pre-order and have them delivered for less than $10! Thanks for checking it out, and thanks to Club Feast for their sponsorship.

Take care, friends. Keep on truckin’.
Marcia Gagliardi

View tablehopper Newsletter from Tuesday, Jan 12 2021