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Jul 30, 2010 07:29 AM

Oysters in the Tampa Area

Unfortunately, some of my local haunts are not serving fresh oysters due to the BP oil spill. Are therea ny places in the area still serving raw oysters?

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  1. you really shouldn't eat oysters in the summer at all, especialy as hot as its been. good recipe for illness. Wait till it cools off and the oysters plump back up and are clean.

    I've slurped oysters at Rick's on the River, and Skipper's Smokehouse probably has them.

    4 Replies
    1. re: andy huse

      Yep the rule I have always gone by is only buy oysters in months with an R in them.

      1. re: andy huse

        I've wondered about the "only in months with 'r' in them rule. I've read that oysters become sort of soft and translucent (well, more than usual!) because they are mating in the summer. I've also been told that most oysters now are farmed and that the producers can adjust their life cycles so that you can have good oysters year around.

        I've read that you should make sure your oysters have been pasteurized (i.e., bathed in gamma rays) and that you should never eat any of this irradiated food because the irradiation changes the nature of the protein, making it harmful to you.

        If you go to a place like Mitchell's at West Shore Plaza, most of the oyster which you are offered come from cold places other than Florida. (Vancouver seems the most popular.) Would you be okay if you ate imported oysters from cold places in the summer months and then switched to our (ahem!) superior Florida oysters in September?

        DoubleBurger, I like the oysters at: Anna Maria Oyster Bar in Bradenton, Mitchell's Seafood Restaurant at West Shore Plaza, McDivot's in Tampa near Oldsmar at the corner of Countryway and Linebaugh, Oystercatchers (but bring lots of money) at the Hyatt on the Courtney Campbell Causeway and those at Rick's on the River in Tampa, to which Andy Huse introduced me. We haven't even discussed the St. Pete places and there must be a lot of those.

        Anna Maria Oyster Bar
        6906 14th St W, Bradenton, FL 34207

        1. re: gfr1111

          oysters plump up in the winter, they taste better, and are virtually free of disease. that's reason enough to respect their seasonality.

          1. re: andy huse

            exactly. I feel much better about eating them in the cooler months. least oysters from the gulf. It may be different for cold water oysters.

      2. I had some a couple of weeks ago at McDivots in Westchase

        2 Replies
        1. re: rhnault

          I had delicious, but expensive, oysters at Z Grille. The new fish shop off Gandy said they would order more exotic oysters on request. You would have to buy a couple dozen, but that seems reasonable. There is a nice video on oysters at:

          Z Grille
          104 2nd St S, St Petersburg, FL

          1. re: CFishman

            Good call on ZGrille. I had three different types of oysters there last night. Delicious! Pricey but totally worth it!

        2. Thanks all for the great suggestions and warnings! Appreciate it!

          1. Oysters are fine in the summer;I have been eating them at oyster bars knownj for freshness for
            more than 50 years.
            In applach at low tide take oyster knife,texas pete and 6 pack beer to oyster bar for culinary
            Girlee boys stay on the porch.

            13 Replies
                1. re: rhnault

                  ugh barf seriously? Cholula > Pete > Anything other than Tabasco > Tabasco


                  1. re: juli5122

                    You guys are killin' me with the hot sauce tussle. Whether a splash of pepper sauce, a dollop of cocktail sauce or mignonette, or (my personal fave) a healthy schmear of straight-up minced horseradish, it's all quite savory on the little bivalve bottomfeeders.

                    My theory is that hot sauce and alcohol help to kill the vibrio vulnificus bacteria that the food knottsies tell us we should avoid.

                    It's OK to eat oysters in the summer months if you know and trust the place, i.e., they get them from the controlled-environment farms that dot the land. No reputable dive would serve them from the GoM if it hasn't cooled off.
                    You can be sure that if, in July, at Mitchell's, you order some Malpeques from PEI, they WILL be safe...not to mention pricey at 8-10 bucks for 4 of them.

                    1. re: EdC

                      you may all laugh at this but I got great Oysters at Go Cray Buffet, I swear it.

                      1. re: EdC

                        It's all good. We're friends ;-)
                        I love cocktail sauce. When I eat oysters I squeeze lemon over the whole tray then tabasco over each oyster, put some horseradish on a saltine then dip the oyster in the cocktail sauce and put it on the cracker. After all this it is perfect if I have tears in my eyes! I am headed to the Panhandle next week and I am taking my cooler to bring back some of Apalachicola's finest!

                        1. re: rhnault

                          rh- my method is almost identical :) I probably wouldn't use cholula on oysters either, seems inappropriate, but a massive quantity of horseradish is definitely welcome on them!

                          1. re: askdrtodd

                            I brought home a box of Apalachicola oysters from the Panhandle today. Dinner was good!

                        2. re: EdC

                          Yeah, I'm a mignonette fan too! Was at Oystercatchers for their Sunday Brunch recently and they had very good oysters, though no mignonette! Also love their boiled (and peeled) big gulf shrimp!

                    2. re: tlg

                      Truer words have never been spoken.

                    3. Hubby and I are snowbirds and I crave raw oysters when I'm in Florida. We found a small, friendly bar on the main street near Reddington Beach (can't remember exactly where) called "NEIGHBOURS: and they serve excellent fresh oysters and the beer isn't that bad either!!! LOL