Goodbye, Oysters

13 Aug
2012
Posted in: California, Food
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After we turn in towards Sonoma, it’s all east from there on out. We’ll say goodbye to the Pacific … and its oysters. Sad day.

Of course, it’s going to be tough to be more awesome than Indian Pass in Florida or Willapa Bay in Washington. Those places were amazing. And cheap. But as we headed south, we were leaving ‘cheap’ far behind.

Here are your options for oysters in the Point Reyes area:

Get oysters straight from the farm

Most of the oyster producers in the area have a picnic area. Some have more rules than others (picnic tables shouldn’t have rules … or reservations IMO). Some lend you a knife and a cutting board, while others sell them instead. This seems like it would be the cheap option, but this is an expensive route (oysters are still $1-$2 per, unshucked). And you’re doing all the labor yourself. Reading the price lists made me miss East Point Market, where six shucked oysters go for $3.50, and Indian Pass Raw Bar, where seven are $4.50.

Go to a local restaurant

Not a cheap option either, but at least you’re getting something for it – shucked oysters and fresh sauce. Our friend Mark recommended the Marshall Store where you can toss your empties back into the bay. We ended up at the Cafe Reyes, where we could get oysters AND pizza. The oysters were fresh and delicious, the red-pepper mignonette was delicious, and the pizza was fantastic (especially the crust). Oysters here were $11 for six.

Go to Hooters!

Yep, we ended up here again. When we rolled into the Sonoma area, we booked a room at the inexpensive, slightly-sketchy Rodeway Inn. We were in need of a shower and an internet fix. After that, neither of us wanted to drive, so it was off to the Hooters across the street for dinner. Who knew they had oysters AND chicken wings? I ordered six oysters. They were fresh and good and one was beastly big, but they weren’t sliced away from the bottom of the shell, so I had to finish the shucking job with my fork. No biggie. Was still a fun dinner.

Oysters at Hooters. Side of cleavage, please.

Oysters at Hooters. Side of cleavage, please.

Now what?

I’m a little depressed about the oyster situation. Yes, you can get them airplaned into nearly every city, but it’s not the same. I love seeing the piles of shells, the flat bays, and the fishing boats. There’s more to the freshness than freshness.