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Seafood in Seattle??

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Foodman53 Apr 25, 2007 10:32 AM

My wife and I are planning a summer trip to the Pacific Northwest(Seattle/Portland/Victoria/Vancouver) during the middle two weeks of July...and can't wait!! Being from Florida(Jacksonville area), I'm curious about one thing. The price of such seafood as oysters, crab, and shrimp seem to be astronomical in your area, as compared to what we expect here. From reading travel posts and online menus, "oyster bar" oysters are, at minimum $2 to $3 each up there.....where down here, anything over a buck each would be considered armed robbery!!. Being "oyster afficiandos"(sic) that we are, we know that you grow some of the world's best.....but, our Apalachicolas, Florida Keys, and Chesapeake bay O's aren't shabby, either!!

During our visit, we'll "pay the frieght" a time or two...but, I'm not sure that I can really enjoy myself, thinking that I 'm being overcharged! With that in mind, are there some oyster/crab bars in that area, that the "locals" go to..and, not take such a dent in the wallet!!

Thanks a bunch!!

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  1. c
    christy319 Apr 25, 2007 10:59 AM

    The best oyster deal is to go to Elliot's, on the waterfront, at 3 pm when their oyster happy hour starts. I think they charge 50 cents at first then the prices go up each half hour. Of course, you could always bring your shucking knife and do it yourself for the very best prices...Funny you ask where the locals go, I think most of us just eat oysters and crab at home. You can buy good seafood at almost any grocery for a lot less than restaurants charge. I would highly recommend crab at an Asian place, however, like the Szechuan or Ginger crab at Seven Stars Pepper-it's inexpensive ($8.99/lb), delicious and something I would think not found in Jacksonville. I would probably skip eating shrimp here unless it's the tiny Oregon Bay Shrimp or Alaskan spot prawns-most other shrimp comes from the Gulf Coast frozen, and so it is going to be more expensive here.

    Also, don't miss having mussels, particularly Penn Cove mussels. They are a fantastic local product AND quite cheap (unless you are in an expensive restaurant). Try them at happy hour for half price at Maximilien in the Pike Place Market.

    Perhaps someone in the fishing industry could say more about this but I wouldn't think you are being "overcharged" for seafood here. Prices are the same or higher along the rest of the West Coast, in my experience, and I'm not sure it's fair to compare, say, Dungeness Crab prices with whatever kind of crab you have in Florida. I imagine there are differences in catch methods, quotas, restrictions, etc etc that affect prices.

    1. h
      howard 1st Apr 25, 2007 11:08 AM

      several points to cover - first, shrimp are not native to the northwest - all of ours are shipped in - and only those who live very near the gulf of mexico are blessed by the availability of unfrozen beauties. the oysters of apalachicola - big and meaty - are, possibly, the world's best and zillions of are routinely shipped to the waters of chesapeake bay and immersed there just long enough to be called 'chesapeake' oysters. our local oysters - tiny and succulent - have been overfished for years and are now mostly farmed which adds considerably to their cost. our local dungeness crab compares favorably in flavor and cost to the blues of the chesapeake and the stones of the caribbean when eaten locally. to save money, try the progressive happy hour at elliot's (on the waterfront) which start at 3 pm and 50 cents each, going up 50 cents each 1/2 hour - not as much fun as posey's at the mouth of the st. mark's river but much closer to home...

      also, when in rome...enjoy our other local seafood in the form of mussels, clams, goeducks, black cod, halibut and, of course, wild salmon

      1. sweetwankle Apr 25, 2007 04:03 PM

        I would have to mention that the Brooklyn restaurant downtown on 2nd and University is my favorite for oysters. at about $2 a piece the price is indeed a little steep but seriously delicious and they have such a variety to choose from.

        1 Reply
        1. re: sweetwankle
          j
          jennypenne Apr 25, 2007 04:27 PM

          If I remember correctly, I think the Brooklyn includes oysters on their happy hour menu - a half dozen for $5.00. Although it's a popular happy hour spot so seats fill up quickly.

        2. s
          staffstuff Apr 25, 2007 04:09 PM

          Good Point, Howard 1. We do have local shrimp..those caught on Hood Canal...yet they do have a short season (but it's coming up in May!). Also, fresh 'Pink-shelled Singing Scallops' are a yummy local specialty here.I forget what their 'season' is.
          The Dungeness crab here, I've found, is less expensive than your Stone Crab (so heavenly...and I'd gladly spend my money on fresh Florida Stone Crab...whatever it costs!).Pacific wild Salmon is a great choice for an east coaster.You can shop price for the WILD Salmon on most restaurants' menus around here on their websites!

          1 Reply
          1. re: staffstuff
            j
            Janer Apr 26, 2007 05:06 AM

            Yes, Shiro's (sushi bar) is now serving fresh Hood Canal spot shrimp - had them last week and they were mighty sweet and tasty!

          2. landguy Apr 26, 2007 01:17 PM

            Seriously, there's no comparison between the oysters you get in Florida and what you get out here. You pay more because our oysters are incredibly fresh, clean, complex and delicious. Oysters are serious business here we even make fancy mignonette sauces to eat them with here! You rarely hear about anyone getting sick from eating seafood out here whereas I remember growing up on the East coast that was always a concern, especially with shellfish. In general Florida is also incredibly cheap compared to Seattle, you can buy 2 houses in Jacksonville for the price of one in Seattle. Crazy maybe but that's the way it is here.

            Now that I got that off my chest you should definitely check out Jack’s Fish Spot in Pike Place Market. It's just a simple fish stall that sells 1/2 dozen delicious oysters for $6. You wont' be disappointed and you will get to soak up the real Seattle as it passes you by.

            1 Reply
            1. re: landguy
              barleywino Apr 26, 2007 02:56 PM

              not an oyster expert but for $8 you can get 1/2 dozen Totten Virginica oysters at the bar at Union, I can usually depend on these to be uniformly large, plump and tasty (maybe they toss the bad ones and don't serve them?)

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