It's Crab Feed Season in Sacramento!
By Lisa Page
In case your holiday tradition tragically does not include crab (like mine), no need to worry – It’s crab feed season in Sacramento! There’s a slew of crab feeds in the Sacramento area over the next month or so, which is your chance to eat endless amounts of fresh Dungeness crab. You shouldn’t have to look too far to find a crab feed near you. The Delta Elementary Charter School in Clarksburg is having one on January 31, and the Junior League is holding one on Feb. 20, just to name a few. The bottom of this post includes a more complete list of upcoming crab feeds in the Sacramento area.
I’m by no means a crab feed expert, but being both civic-minded and a lover of all-you-can-eat crab (most any food really), means I usually end up attending one or two every year. There are numerous crab feeds to choose from, starting in January and going well into March. If you haven’t attended one, yet, you’re in luck as I found at least one crab feed every weekend through February.
I’m not here to promote any one crab feed but instead to encourage you to check one out if you haven’t before or it’s been a few years. Did we miss one? Please let us know. I find that people have certain stereotypes about crab feeds – immediately lumping it in the category of the all-you-can-eat buffet at Sizzler. The fact is while the soup, salad and pasta may just be so-so, the crab is really good, and it’s a great way for non-profits, churches and schools to generate some much needed funds.
And yes, while it’s true that there are plenty of obnoxious crab feed regulars who take their crab eating WAY TOO seriously and could care less about the community ‘do-gooderness’ of the event, the rest of us can outnumber them. Yes, they do bring their fancy tablecloths, candlesticks and silver like they’re eating at Morton’s instead of in a community center or church hall that holds hundreds of people. They also expect five-star service (they missed the memo about it being a CRAB FEED). The good news is that they usually travel in packs and likely won’t end up at your table.
Before looking at the list below and deciding which cause you care about and crab feed you may want to attend this year, there are a few pointers I wanted to pass along for those of you who are crab feed virgins:
- You eat the crab cold, with your hands, so bring a crab cracker (a nut cracker will work too) and little crab forks or picks to make it easier and faster to dig out the meat.
- The process is a messy one and may not be the best pick for a first date. Most crab feeds provide a plastic bib (very attractive) and wet ones, but you may want to bring some extra wet ones or a towel just in case.
- Check to see if the crab feed provides melted butter. It’s much easier than bringing your own butter and having to figure out a way to melt it (with say a candle and ramekins). Also, check to see if they provide other condiments like lemon wedges and cocktail sauce or if you need to bring those with you.
- Some crab feeds include beer and wine while some have no-host bars or start you off with a complementary bottle of wine at your table. Decide which you prefer. I like the ones with beer and wine included. I know it’s for a charity, but who doesn’t love a great value?
- Bring your checkbook or your credit card so you can participate in the silent auction or desert raffle.
One final tip: Save room for the crab which is the last course. Don’t fill up on the bread, soup, salad and/or pasta that are brought out in advance. You can eat those items any time. This is about the all-you-can-eat crab…and of course, the charity.
Saturday January 31
6pm Jesuit High School Gymnasium
Saturday, February 7
6pm Citrus Heights Community Center
Friday, February 13
5:30pm Scottish Rite Temple
Friday, February 20
6 p.m., Scottish Rite Masonic Center
Saturday, February 21
6:30 p.m., Calvorhol Family Winery – 5265 Willow Ave. Clarksburg
5:30p.m., Scottish Rite Temple, Sacramento
5 p.m., Boys and Girls Club, Sacramento
5:30 p.m., 3200 Freedom Park Drive, McCellan
5 p.m., Buddhist Church of Sacramento, 2401 Riverside Blvd., Sacramento
Saturday, February 28
5 p.m., Cristo Rey High School Gymnasium, 6200 McMahon Drive, Sacramento
6pm La Sierra Community Center, 5325 Engle Road, Carmichael, CA
Saturday, March 7
5:30 p.m., Elk’s Lodge, Sacramento
5 pm Citrus Heights Community Center
Saturday, March 14
6pm Citrus Heights Community Center
Saturday, March 28
5 p.m., La Sierra Community Center, 5325 Engle Road, Carmichael