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Nov 6, 2008 12:27 PM

Jays Oyster Portland Maine

Highly recommended and not having gone there before...I stopped in with family for a late afternoon lunch.

It is a first and last restaurant...

First time there...and it will be my last.

Not even worth getting into it...

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  1. I'm with you! Lousy lousy lousy.

    1. agreed.
      just plain Gross.

      1. As the biggest defender of J's Oyster on this board, I wish the criticisms were not so vague and that you detailed the reasons for your conclusions.

        I have been there about 5 times and each time it has been way above average and a great deal for the prices charged. The oysters are good - not the best in the world but cheap and worth the price. The draft beers are cold and well poured. The fish sandwich is delicious and uses freshly caught haddock. the view of the harbor and outside seating is better than most downtown locations. The lunch atmosphere is authentic "down east" with some business types and tourists thrown in. Everyone is super friendly.

        I made my case. All you hit and run critics - time for you to get specific.

        2 Replies
        1. re: StevensAve

          Ok, flies swarming around some pre-shucked oysters is just wrong!! I don't know how far in advance they shuck them, but not nice and cold is very wrong too. That should be enough specifics - did you sit at the bar? (you'll see the flies if you do)

          1. re: StevensAve

            oyster plates stacked on top of each other causing numerous shell pieces to be deposited on/in the oysters.
            warm oysters.
            dry oysters.
            horrible bloody marys (i can't even begin to describe the off-flavors)
            dirty dining room.
            dirty bathrooms.

          2. I live in Portland and NEVER go to J's. It sucks. If you are not a regular the bartender will not even look at you. The food is gross, the place is filthy and most of all the oysters are TERRIBLE and not local. Don't ever go here.

            2 Replies
            1. re: sopo

              ok ill never go to J s again,once finding fore st,duckfat,the market on commerial st ,etc ,etc,theres really no going back to j s.but my question i guess is,where do you get the good ,fresh ,local oysters in portland,maybe a good fish sandwich,all local style?

              1. re: im hungry

                Old Port Sea Grill about 3 blocks (or less) away,

                although i've had issues with with shucking. nothing awful just a few broken oysters.

            2. I have only been to Jay's twice, both times in the winter. I live on the South Shore of Massachusetts and also on the Cape so feel qualified to comment on oysters and fish sandwiches. My husband I and I always enjoyed the oysters at Jay's, they were cold and fresh and delicious. Ditto the fish sandwich, which was also very fresh and excellent. I declined to order the lobster roll and as the waitress said the lobster was frozen but women at an adjoining table raved about them and said "best ever." I also like the atmosphere and more and more appreciate a place that is "real" rather than sleek and slick and glitzy, they are becoming few and far between.

              1 Reply
              1. re: taddybelle

                I'd never call J's a culinary must, but it's a pretty decent place if you like dives on the water in Maine. The Oysters and everything else are unspectacular, but fit the price and setting well. I'd go every so often during summer to sit by the water over some schwill beer and mediocre food and have a good time for short money.

       down the street, Dry Dock on the other hand.......blech. There is a similar concept serving total garbage for shell fish. I can do okay oysters and clams ala J's, I no can do oysters and clams that are literally pulled from the mud, not rinsed at all and served to you in all their gritty nasty glory for a 50% higher price than at J's.