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Oyster Lovers: I stumbled upon a winner! (Windsor, NC)

c
chrogerson Dec 9, 2010 06:23 AM

The wife and I were invited to a Christmas party by one of our suppliers last week at Hammerhead's Oyster Bar in Windsor, NC. We had never heard of it, so we figured we'd give it a try. It was amazing. Very similar to the nearyby sunny side in the setup, but a much more cozy atmosphere. The room with the oyster bar is painted like an old barn with old farm tools and signs on the walls, it has a very rustic feel. They waitning / dining room is decorated with nautical items including old maps and fishing charts etc. A very neat place.

They have a small cocktail bar with a very nice selection of alcohol and wines from the local Scuppernong vineyard.

On to the food. This was a Christmas Party and someone else was paying the tab, so we decided to sample most everything they had to offer. We started off with a cup of their homemade seafood chowder. Everyone was raving about it and I found out why. Wow! This stuff was great! A thick cream based chowder with shrimp, scallops, crab meat and some other stuff. It was loaded with seafood.

I also had a bite of the crab dip that my wife ordered. It was mostly crab meat (all real) but was made with mayo - I dont do mayo, so I wasnt impressed, but the wife really liked it.

Lots of people were ordering baskets of hoop chesse. We didnt try any but it seemed to be popular.

Just like sunny side, they have a home made cocktail sauce that is served hot. And it is good! Goes great with oysters and shrimp, or just with plain saltines.

We ordered a peck of oysters, a half lb of shrimp and a half lb of scallops. The oysters were steamed perfectly and were very tasty. We were told they were harvested in NC, not sure if its true or not, but they were very good. The shuckers were young guys, in their early 20's but were very fast and shucked very clean oysters.

Shrimp was already peeled and deveined and served in small wooden bowls with old bay sesoning. They were stemed perfectly as well and were good sized shrimp. Definitely fresh - not frozen.

The scallops were also good. Im not big on scallops but the wife loved them. She got them seasoned with garlic pepper. She said they were too good to be frozen so we assume they were fresh as well.

The staff was very friendly. The owners were there bringing out food, refilling drinks, and greeting customers. They seemed very appreciative of everyone coming out.

Apparently, this oyster bar has been here for about 10 years but it has been flooded a couple of times, so maybe not open quite that long. We live about 45 minutes away, but I will definitely make the drive to eat here a few times each oyster season.

They are seasonal like most other oyster bars but this place is only open on the weekends.

Service was great, food was great, and atmosphere was great. What more can I say? Give it a try! Especially if you love this type of restaurant like I do. I have been a fan of sunny side for years as well as Cliff's and Wimpie's. No doubt, this type of place is a dying breed, but Hammerhead's seems to be here to stay!

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Hammerheads Oyster Bar
117 N King St, Windsor, NC 27983

  1. Naco Dec 9, 2010 07:09 AM

    Thanks for the report. And indeed, Wimpie's and Cliff's have both recently closed.

    1. v
      veganhater Dec 10, 2010 05:17 AM

      Sounds pretty good. There's a chance the shrimp were fresh, not frozen, and if they're going to that length to procure local seafood I need to check them out. I'm tired of going to these types of oyster bars for gulf oysters, shrimp from Bangladesh, crab from China, etc. The scallops, however, I would bet my life were frozen and not from around here. Unless they're getting scallops in shell and cleaning them (if so they would be well over $20 a pound), they have been frozen at some time.

      Cliff's and Wimpies are both closed? Is Wimpies in Winterville. If so, that's shocking and sad news. It's a bit far for me to drive to regularly, but I've had a couple decent meals there and would have been a regular if it was closer.

      2 Replies
      1. re: veganhater
        Naco Dec 10, 2010 07:08 AM

        Yeah, Wimpie's is the one in Winterville. There was a bit about it in the Reflector; I think the owners retired.

        1. re: veganhater
          JayL Dec 10, 2010 02:07 PM

          Fresh (local) shrimp in December?

          Also, there is no scallop season unless they reopened it...to which I have no idea.

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