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Jan 22, 2009 12:34 PM

[DAL] S & D Oyster Company

If you're looking for honest to goodness, fresh gulf coast seafood, S&D Oyster Co. on McKinney is the place. Yes, they're in "uptown", but they were in existence first - long before "uptown" was even a concept. Since the 70's, they're styled in the sense of a New Orleans oyster bar and reside in a building dating back to the 1800's - tile floors, brick walls.

Each table is stocked with a full basket of crackers, ketchup, worchestershire, tabasco, a crock of horseradish and a bowl of lemon wedges for making/personalizing your red sauce. If you're unsure about the prep, your waiter will be happy to accommodate you. File is also there for those who wish to add it to the wonderfully rich, dark brown gumbo - expect to find a fair amount of shrimp.

I was just there last Sat, and can say the oysters on the half shell are flavorful and plump as always, though not colossal in size as they sometimes are.

When you talk about any of the fried selections, the phrase "less is more" could not be more applicable than here. The surrounding coating (too little of it to be called breading) is so very minimal it allows the seafood to be really enjoyed and savored as it should.

The bony fishies - snapper, flounder, etc - can be prepared as fried or broiled. But honestly, don't think broiled = heart healthy as it's prepared with ample butter. I would imagine that your waiter would pass along any special dietary need if you asked. These dishes are more pricy inching up around $20 as I remember. Nonetheless, worth it if you are so inclined.

Desserts of lemon pie (which I grew up calling lemon ice box pie - made with Eagle brand milk) and bread pudding will put you over the edge if you have room to indulge.

I've been enjoying the food at S&D for most of the years that they've been open. They currently receive the seafood fresh from a distributor out of Houma, LA., and you can watch from your table as the oysters are shucked. In all my many, many visits, I had one unhappy oyster experience where they were mushy and flavorless. But over the years, they’ve continually maintained an exceptionally consistent quality.

The online menu doesn’t list prices, but to give an estimate, a cup of gumbo is 5.25, 1/2 dozen oyster/half shell is 7.00, dinners of 5 fried oysters or shrimp 12.00 (maybe) and the bony fish (snapper, flounder, etc) is upwards of $20. Sidenote: if you order the broiled flounder, your waiter will filet and reassemble it tableside. If you haven’t seen this done, it’s trivial entertainment.

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  1. And surprisingly, even when it is crowded, it really doesn't take long to get a table. The food comes out fast and it's not the kind of place where people will linger for a long time after they finish eating.

    1. I've been wanting to try this place for a while, do they do any crawfish stuff in season?

      8 Replies
      1. re: luniz

        They might but I don't think so.

        I've tried crawfish in a lot of Dallas restos and the best ones by far are served at Nate's. It's the ONLY thing I eat there as I don't like anything else they serve.

        1. re: Scagnetti

          Have you had Nate's gumbo? Silky smooth. Obviously they know how to do a good roux. I can't say the same for highly touted Alligator Cafe.

          1. re: adkim

            No, I haven't tried the gumbo.

            I thought Alligator Cafe was the nuts when it came to Cajun food?

            1. re: Scagnetti

              The nuts? Not familiar with that term, but assuming you mean they are the benchmark in cajun cuisine for the area. For me, Alligator Cafe has their strengths, blackened/fried catfish, dirty rice, great specials like a cajun ribeye for $13. Some of the items I am not impressed with are the gumbo, jambalaya, the cajun pasta (recommended to me by an employee when they first opened up), the corn fritters, and sadly, my favorite dish, creole. I have had the creole once or twice where I was satisfied with what they served, but more often than not I am slightly dissapointed.

              1. re: Scagnetti

                I wouldn't call S&D cajun, per se. It's really more traditional Gulf Coast style sea food. Even the gumbo is more New Orleans style.

              2. re: adkim

                Only been there once, but I thought the whole fried catfish at Alligator Cafe was music and a fun atmosphere too!

            2. re: luniz

              No crawfish. In fact, I've never known them to offer any type of special. I don't even think their menu has changed - ever - except for the prices .......

              1. re: CocoaNut

                I ate there Saturday night with a party of 8. Service is very good, realy old school. Interesting building and Michelob on tap. Menu is very limited We had 3 dozen oysters and they were perfect. Skip the boiled shrimp very mediocre. Entree's were Shrimp and Oysters and a small selection of Fresh? fish. I had the absolute worst Flounder I 've ever tasted. Looks like New Orleans style BBQ shrimp is their specialty but I chose the flounder. Strange no mention of crab anywhere on the menu. The gumbo to me was forgetable

                IF you want some good raw oysters and some fried shrimp this is the place to go. If you want anything else I'd try elsewhere

                In con

            3. I had dinner at S & D with my husband last night. Not sure if its the time we went (around 6:45pm) but we were the youngest people in there by decades, very surprising for uptown!

              There was a short 5 minute wait before we were seated at a small two top. We started off the meal with cold beers and half a dozen oysters on the half shell. The oysters were excellent, on the table in no time and very fresh tasting. They also brought out coleslaw and a side salad with oil and vinegar that I had substituted for the slaw. These were both pretty disappointing, my salad consisted of shredded iceberg and one piece of mealy tomato.

              For entrees we had the 10 count New Orleans Style shrimp and the fried oyster/shrimp basket with fries and hushpuppies. The fried seafood was fantastic, a crisp cornmeal crust coated the piping hot oysters and the shrimp had a light, crispy breadcrumb crust. They were perfect dipped in the Matagorda sauce, which is a delicious cream cheese and chili pepper blend. Fries were kinda soggy but the hushpuppies were sublime. The New Orleans shrimp were not to our liking, we found them greasy and there was something gritty in the sauce.

              Service was ok, prompt and polite, but felt a little rushed. He asked us about dessert halfway through our entrees. Felt it was a little overpriced for what we got. I would go back, but only for oyster appetizers and mainly because it's a 5 minute walk from home.

              4 Replies
              1. re: tiramasue

                tiramasue, thanks for your report. i've never understood the appeal of this place. i see from other comments here that oysters and fried shrimp are liked, but i have always thought the food was just gross

                1. re: teegee

                  Gross? Well, that's a profoundly educated description.

                  1. re: teegee

                    I've never had a bad meal there. What did you order that was "gross".

                    1. re: BluffViewChound

                      BluffViewChound i had a piece of fish that was mushy and mealy, and a whole lot of deep-fried items that made me feel queasy after i ate there. guess i'm not much for a bunch of grease. also not a fan of pie made with sweetened condensed milk.... seems so low-rent. just the overall experience for me was ... gross.

                      CocoaNut, i agree that i is not too educated about descriptions and such. i gotta remember to start using words like "fishies". glad to hear you like the place and are keeping it in business.

                2. I think they are just OK. I can't believe they quote a review from The Dallas Times Herald.That newspaper has been gone for many years!