I’ve always been a proponent for confidently traveling alone and sitting at a table for one. There’s something so satisfying about eating what you want, taking the necessary time to contemplate each bite, talking to others (or not) and focusing on the meal. You don’t get that kind of solitude with an entourage.
Recently, I took a solo trip to Bodega Bay, bound for the headlands and a soul-cleansing trip to the ocean. Alone. I was craving a crab sandwich and some oysters, and Fishetarian Fish Market (599 Highway 1, Bodega Bay, 707-875-9092, fishetarianfishmarket.com) fit the bill.
I’ve long been a fan of the sandos at Spud Point Crab Co., Fisherman’s Cove and Ginochio’s Kitchen (all on Westshore Road), which all have slightly different variations on the same themes.
But huge props to Fishetarian for its large, plump raw oysters and mignonette served on a bed of ice. A plate of six is $19.99, and when eaten alone, a moment unto itself. Suck ’em down, pour the sour mignonette on top, slurp as loudly as you want and savor the experience without anyone ruining it by pointing out the dribble of lemon running down your chin.
The crab sandwich wasn’t as impressive. June is the bitter end of Dungeness crab season in Northern California, so it’s not always the ripest time to get huge sweet chunks of crab stuffed between slices of bread. But my $21.99 crab sandwich at Fishetarian had too much bread, cheese and veggies and not enough crab to really satisfy my craving. Maybe it’s my fault for eating Dungeness in late June.
The Boston chowder, local rock cod fish and chips or grilled fish tacos are better choices. There are also great kid-friendly options (grilled cheese or PB&J) and fun souvenirs, T-shirts and other goodies to bring home from your trip.
I’m a fan of the locally owned Fishetarian Fish Market overall, and my solo dining experience fueled my hike up the headland bluffs and back. I’m still dreaming of eating those fat oysters on a sunny picnic table for one.