Whole Crabs and Oysters Rockefeller At One of Philly’s Oldest Seafood Markets – Dining on a Dime

Whole Crabs and Oysters Rockefeller At One of Philly’s Oldest  Seafood Markets – Dining on a Dime


– Hey, everybody! We are at the South 9th
Street Italian Market, in South Philly,
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, very close to Pat’s and Geno’s. We’re sort of in the Passyunk,
Bella Vista neighborhood. The place we’re going to right now, Anastasi Seafood, is a
standalone restaurant, but traditionally, dating back decades, was a fish market on the
9th Street curb market here in South Philly. Now, that area began to be populated by Italian immigrants in the late 1800s. And 9th Street developed as a market to serve that community. We’re heading to Anastasi, where Janet, 4th generation owner, and her mom, Mama Janet, or M.J., as she’s known, rule the seafood kingdom on their corner. They’re very famous for their shellfish, their oysters, and their crabs. We’re gonna go over there,
check out what some people are saying is the best
seafood in the entire city. Let’s go. (lively upbeat music) The restaurant wasn’t always here, but in the beginning,
it was a fish market. Is that right? – It was. It was, this
location was a fish market and takeout. And then after we were
here for a couple years, we decided to do a restaurant. – Why seafood? Do you
know why that there was– – Well, I know that when my
great-grandfather came here, he was only 13, came by himself. – And where’d he come from? – Sicily. – [Lucas] Okay. – And he moved in with his
cousins, the Lucchesis, and they were fish people. And that’s how it started. – Do you find that a lot of people from the neighborhood still
are around and say hi, and that kind of thing? – Oh, yeah. I know generations of people, because I started as a kid, so I got to know them. And then I met their kids, and then their kids’ kids. So, I’m here over 40 years, so I know a lot of people. I grew up on 9th and Montrose, which is about two blocks from here. And when I was a kid, I’d
walk two blocks to school. And as I walked up 9th Street, I would see my grandparents,
my great-grandparents, all my aunts and uncles. And that’s how I grew up. My grandmother, she would call our homes to wake us up. She would make breakfast for us. I remember getting up,
seeing my grandmother and grandfather every day, having coffee with them every morning. Seeing them throughout the
day, all my aunts and uncles. It was our own like, little world. You know, just, it was all my cousins. I have 41 first cousins. So just imagine that. – Wow. – That’s a lot. – That’s so nice to think that you have such, like a strong sense of community. Like, people that you grew up with. – I do. And I know what I’m doing every day. – Walk down the street. – I already know. – [Lucas] You’re comin’
to work and you’re– – I already know. I
already know the routine. – You’re doin’ the, you’re
dealin’ with the seafood. Super neat. I love it. I love the story. It’s so great. – There’s not many,
with my son being here, and my niece– – Yeah, your son’s here now, too. – So that’s the fifth generation. – So how, that’s 5 generations now. – That’s pretty big. – Unbelievable. That’s really special. – I’m really pleased about that. – Yeah. Well, I’m really excited about the food. I think I’ll probably, I
gotta get some of the crabs. Right? – Absolutely, absolutely. I recommend you getting them cleaned. – [Lucas] Okay, getting them cleaned. – And the work sauce is
that sauce I like the best. – And then, maybe a couple of oysters, anything else? I mean, it all looks really good. – Oh, it’s good, it’s good. – All right, maybe I’ll just have to get a little bit of a variety. – You just might. (lively Zydeco music) – Now here at Anastasi,
have you been here before? – I have been here many times. Love, love, love this place. – Can you tell me why? – Fresh seafood. You can get it anyway you want it. If you want a dirty, female lobster, dry, – Excuse me. – Dirty, you can get it here. – You just said, “If you
want a dirty female.” – Dirty female, with
everything like, still intact, you can come here. The seafood is out of this world, and they all know you, and they all have, it’s like coming back to family. (lively Zydeco music) – I and my cats are eager for a seafood feast. I wanna get, you recommended
the Oysters Rockefeller. – Yeah. – So let’s get that. Let’s also get a few raw oysters. I think we’re gonna do some blue crabs. – You want them cleaned or dirty? – Janet recommended gettin’ them cleaned, so we’ll do clean. Let’s also do a little pasta situation. Can I just get linguini with mussels? Linguini mussels with the Cape Cods. – No problem. – You said the soup is good? – The Shrimp and Blue Crab Chowder, yeah. – Let’s get that. – Yay! – I think that’ll be fine. – Okay. All right, thank you. – Thanks so much. (lively dance music) – Oh my God. Looks super delicious, this all is, this is an embarrassment of riches. But we’re gonna start with the oysters. We’ll go raw. Bottoms up. It’s just like, it’s
like eating the ocean. you get all that feeling of childhood, swimmin’ in the sea, get a big mouthful of saltwater, but somehow, it’s good. Like, it’s pleasant, as it goes up your nose. You just get that huge saline rush. These were the delicious raw oysters. Now, these are the cooked oysters. Oysters Rockefeller. They’re baked and then they’re broiled. In addition to the oyster,
it looks like it’s sort of cooked in a cream, like
a cream garlic sauce, some cheese, and some spinach. Here we go. Creamy, rich, very decadent. It definitely like, completely masks the oyster, but it’s hard to argue with buttered, cheese, cream, spinach, bread crumb action in anything. So, of course, it tastes super good. It was named after the Rockefeller family, the richest family in the country at that time, because it was such a rich, absurdly luxurious way to eat oysters. But these are Oysters Rockefeller. Great! Let’s have some soup. Shrimp and Blue Crab Chowder. It’s gonna have shrimp, crab, and it’s probably have
a bunch of different kind of vegetables in it like carrots, like celery. I don’t know, because I have, this is the first time I’m trying this. Mmmm. That’s nice. I think there might be
some chunks of potato in there as well. And then you’ve got that
nice chowder flavor, nice kind of peppery black pepper, maybe even a little bit
of nutmeg in that chowder. Tastes like maybe a bay leaf was thrown in for good measure. This is a very nice bowl of chowder. All right, Shrimp and Seafood Chowder. Nice! Let’s get serious, though, shall we? Blue crab. This is what
we were talkin’ about. Okay. Crack this little sucker, up and down. And then, ah, I think we got a good one! (sings) ♫ Na-na-na-na-now That is a nice little
piece of crab right there. I’m gonna just dip it in this sauce. Here we go. Oh, yeah. Super good. Now, you do have to do a fair amount of work to get at it. Let’s not kid ourselves. But, I’m gonna say, the reward is ample. Blue crab, light, sweet, flaky. Super, super tasty. Our last contestant, are the mussels. These are the Cape Cod Mussels. That’s nice. So you get that nice liquid in there, too. So you can drink that up. And that’s nice, garlicky, brackish. Delicious. And then, this mussel. It’s firmer than an oyster, not something that you just, sort of like, drink down, but it’s more meaty. Really get into it. I think pasta goes really
well with fresh seafood. This is very simply prepared: garlic, oil, butter, parsley. Super good. Closing thoughts: This 9th Street Market supposedly was started by a guy, you know, in 1885, thereabouts, to cater to the increasing
Italian immigrant population, and it just grew from there. People opening cheese shops, pasta shops, bakery, selling produce,
and then it sort of, just became this whole cottage industry, to serve the expanding
Italian American community, in the area and in South Philly. Now, transition to today, where you know, you’re as likely to hear Spanish spoken as you are Italian. I mean, there’s carne asada, and pad thai, and anything you could
imagine here on 9th Street. So it’s nice that it’s become so diverse, and yet, there are these
places like Anastasi, that have been here forever. And people like Janet, 4th generation, and Janet’s son, Sal, 5th generation. Places like this are still super important to the Italian American community, but that it’s also grown
to welcome in immigrants from other areas as well. So that’s really cool to see, and it’s really fun to be here. It’s a chill vibe. There’s live music going on. People are just having a really great time on one of the most historic
streets in South Philly. And I love it! I really hope you enjoyed this episode of Dining on a Dime from Anastasi, on 9th Street in South Philly. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. If you’d like to watch more, please click here.

100 thoughts on “Whole Crabs and Oysters Rockefeller At One of Philly’s Oldest Seafood Markets – Dining on a Dime

  1. I hope you went across the street and got some tacos or a torta from prima taqueria. it's some of the best mexican food in philly.

  2. thanks for making a show about cheap eats, fianlly a new place that i can eat crab, muscles, lobster, and scallops on a budget..

  3. For those wondering, the area is not always that crowded. This was probably shot during one of our Night Markets where the streets are blocked off and vendors setup stands to sell food, drinks, etc.

  4. Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this video and the rest of the video is also really good related to Philadelphia.

  5. Now do they let him drink on these shows? I love this show but I'm like positive he's rocking a good business drunk in most of the episodes.

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