Three years ago I interviewed Dave Greenberger, owner of Dave’s Gourmet Albacore in the Harvey West neighborhood, where he cans flash-frozen, line-caught fish. Recently I noticed they’ve added a large deli complete with tables, as well as numerous canned products.
Dave’s albacore has so much flavor that it can be enjoyed undressed. Each piece of prime fish is cut by hand, individually canned, and then cooked, retaining all of its flavorful and healthy juices. The Tuna Bagel Melt ($8) showcased this mildly flavored white fish with tomatoes on two bagel halves, topped with thin slices of cheese and broiled. Salty, smoky albacore was pulled from the case to fill another tender bagel with cream cheese and capers ($8).
The Crab Roll ($10) featured a cylinder of sweet, shredded, naked Dungeness crab, cradled in a soft sesame-seeded bun with romaine lettuce. It was served with sides of spicy aioli and a salad with big pieces of potato mixed with shredded carrots and herbs in a creamy dressing.
The retail shop and deli operate on fisherman’s hours, so you can stop in for coffee or chai and select a pre-prepared sandwich on the way to work. On Saturday mornings, celebrate a Little League or GALS game with lunch and a Polar Bear ice cream sandwich, or sip a mocha during the kids’ midweek practice.
From the retail shelves, choose cans of albacore with pesto or garlic, alder- or mesquite-smoked salmon, and seafood chowder. Shrink-wrapped pieces of frozen and smoked fish are also available. You may pay upwards of a dollar per ounce, (as you might for a martini), but for the flavor and the elimination of by-catch, Dave’s offers the tastiest, greenest canned fish I’ve ever popped a top off of.
Dave’s Gourmet Albacore, 310-A Coral St., Santa Cruz, 457-2250. Open Monday through Friday 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit davesalbacore.com