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The elusive fried oyster

I'll give 'ya 50 bucks if you can point me in the direction of excellent fried oysters in the Philly suburbs. My experience in ordering them has resulted in oysters no larger than a quarter, half of which has been breading. Must I buy and cook my own to get something worthwhile? Sparn's in Manayunk (25 years ago) served huge, scrumptious oysters that were lightly battered and not at all greasy. I've spent almost three decades trying to replicate that experience.

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  1. Good question. I remember Kelly's on Mole Street as a kid in the 60's when the family would go down for dinner and I'd get fried oysters and chicken salad platter. They are my standard. As for current place, I don't know.
    For homemade, I found that using an egg batter with panko crumbs and a quick minute on each side gets the crispy outside and moist inside I like. I also use grapeseed oil (as it has the highest flashpoint of any cooking oil) and high heat to flash fry them.

    1. After three decades, I would imagine you already have your answer! I have yet to find a fried oyster in the Philadelphia area that compares to what I grew up eating. (in Maine) I make them myself. That said, there will most likely be one or two Hounds who know of a destination worth trying.

      1. Have you tried the new Sansom St. Oyster House? I know they offer them with their chicken salad and on their burgers. I can't seem to locate an online menu to see if they're a separate menu item or not.

        Edit: whoops, missed the suburban part. Still, if you get into the city, it's worth a shot.

        1. They sometimes have fried oysters at the R and S Keystone diner in Sellersville. They used to offer oyster stew as well once in awhile. I've never ordered them there. though I enjoy their fried shrimp and fried flounder. Next time they have them I'll give them a try and report back. Not sure if Sellersville counts as a Philly 'burb.

          1. Also not in the suburbs but Del Frisco's has them as an appetizer. I've had them in the Dallas location and they were excellent.

            3 Replies
            1. re: mddletown

              Saville's Diner (Boyertown on 73 near 100) has surprisingly good fried oysters on Fridays & sometimes Saturdays. Call ahead to see if they are on the menu.

              1. re: gakski

                Its a chain, but Legal Seafood does a decent but not great fried oyster. A variant that is fantastic are the Oyster PoBoys at Cajun Kate's in Berwyn.

                The Oyster House, which replaced Sansom Street Oyster House in Philadelphia does have fried oysters on the menu occasionally. I had dinner there last Tuesday and they were on the menu. They appear to rotate having either fried oysters or fried clams.

                1. re: cwdonald

                  Cajun Kate's is in Boothwyn, not Berwyn. I do love that place but I'm not crazy about their oyster dishes, the oysters come out of a plastic bucket, pre-shucked.