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Jun 11, 2011 10:23 PM

Deckhand Oyster Bar

Found this place in the old Fazolli's location on Parker, SW of the 1325 / I-35 intersection.

The interior leaves a lot to be desired, but it had a nice vibe and a good crowd even at 3:30 on a Saturday afternoon. They have some Thai dishes throw in with seafood (owners are Thai/Laotian). It's a family-run business, our waitress, Candle, is the owners daughter.

The oysters were from Galveston and top quality. Really well done work with them, a nice bright cocktail sauce and good horseradish.

They have a cooked oyster dish similar to Pacific Star's Ranchero oysters, which were pretty good.

They had fried bacon-wrapped shrimp & jalapeno that were very heavily seasoned, but enjoyably so.

My son had the green-lipped mussels that had been broiled with sauce and cheese. Flavorful, but the sides advertised weren't served with it, though we didn't need them.

My wife's crawfish pirogue was OK, very heavy on the mushrooms and a bit salty, but she enjoyed it.

I had a crawfish po-boy, it's essentially served on garlic toast with a well executed remoulade sauce. I'd order it again but go for the fried oysters instead.

The beer is served in ice frosted mugs only 4 taps, but they also have Chang (Thai) beer, which is a favorite of mine and hard to find.

A few misses, but for a hot Saturday afternoon, cold oysters, colder beer and a decent sandwich made for a fantastic selection.

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  1. Yep, we've posted about this place before on this board. The main oyster shucker worked at Pacific Star for many years. So it's basically an adaptation of that menu with some Thai dishes thrown in. I really love their hangover seafood soup! Lots of seafood!

    1 Reply
    1. re: amykragan

      Thanks the posts reminded me of it and I just went. Very similar to Pacific Star but a big bright place. Pacific Star's bathroom is really dirty --a peeve of mine and probably a sign of kitchen carefulness too -- I'll drive the extra miles to Deckhands now. The shrimp diablo he said were baked, seemed about the same but they were on a bed of spicy onions, very nice. The fried shrimp, what I think of as Pacific Star's strength, were marginally better. Very friendly.

    2. Thanks to this thread, and Amykragan's rec, along with a host of great reviews with pics on yelp, I stopped into Deckhand for the first time today. What a freaking great place! The thai guy shucking oysters was as friendly as could be - and he and the guy next to me gave me freebies to try. They are the freshest gulf oysters I've had - they source from a few families with boats, not through quality seafood, etc. And it tastes like it. He said they usually get them here from the boat to austin that day. I tried a basket of catfish fingers - great light breading and fryer - fresh, not greasy. The green "deckhand sauce" is worth a million bucks a year if they'd bottle and sell it at HEB. And the tom yum soup tastes as good as it gets like a thai version of the ocean, and brings the heat. So does the fantastic michelada. I also tried the southwest, la frontera baked oysters - very good but I prefer the fresh shucked on ice. Some of that green deckhand sauce on a fresh oyster is one of the best bites I've had in ages - years. Service was perfect. I mean who gives you free oysters? No one prior in my decade in Austin!!

      2 Replies
      1. re: slowcoooked

        Try the Tiger cry with beef next time you are there. One of my favorite dishes there. Their Papaya seafood salad is out of this world but go light on the spice level as its nuclear level spicy.

        The moo-ping boar is also fun.

        1. re: lixlix

          thanks lixlix, i'm so excited for this place. it's just my kind - completely unpretentious, friendly, and great food. not to mention what may be the cheapest oyster bar in town.

      2. Went yesterday for dinner. It's a pretty long drive for us, bt we drive about the same to go to Polvo's, so it's doable.

        Ordered the "tall" beer (24 oz? - a lot), a dozen oysters, a crawfish po-boy to share and a cup of the tom yum soup.

        Those were the best damn oysters I've had in forever! Everything a fresh oyster should be. I'd forgotten how wonderful a simple, correctly-shucked oyster could be.

        Thanks, slowcooked, for the deckhand sauce suggestion. It really added to the po-boy, which was also perfect in its simplicity.

        I can only tell you my TASTE of the soup was excellent. I turned my attention away for an instant and my husband had gobbled up the whole cup.

        The owner/shucker never stopped once while we were there. I asked the waitress what an average day for oysters is and she looked on the computer and they'd already sold 72 dozen (it was 5:30), not including all the baked ones, and 1/2 dozens. She also said they're not getting them from Galveston right now because of the oil spill, so they're coming from NoLa. Still fantastic!

        We'll be back often. Thanks for the tip, guys!

        3 Replies
        1. re: amysuehere

          We were there for a late lunch yesterday and my oyster loving lady approved - as good or better than any in town. glad you enjoyed it Amysuehere !! and so far I have been sitting at the bar right in front of the shucker and then his daughter. delightful folks. we did the oysters and the whole fried flounder yesterday - a simple but great dish. oh and she had a popcorn shrimp basket - i'm not sure if there's a better seafood fryer around either.

          1. re: slowcoooked

            Yeah, I liked that the crawfish had a more cornmeal type batter. Gave it an extra crunch and depth of flavor.

          2. re: amysuehere

            We had the cold beer, 1/2 dozen oysters on the half shell and cup of tom yum soup also. All excellent. Spicy seafood soup and super fresh oysters... remind me of the ones we bought at the seafood market in Rockport a couple of years ago. Beer was very cold which is how I like it.

            We also had the fried oysters which were just fine... no complaints but not particularly special to me. Hubby had the grilled catfish with the etouffee topping... he loved it!

            Great find... I'm glad we went and we'll be back!

          3. had lunch here last week for the first time. i thought the tiger cry was just ok and the fried crab/jalapeno thing was pretty weak. The best things were the chang beer and the garlic shrimp w/rice.

            next time i'd probaby try the tiger cry with pork instead of beef. The wait service was really lousy. I'd probably wait for a seat at the bar next time.

            decent lunch option for the area though. Paul Qui's Thai trailer at Wonderland blows this out of the water though and is about the same price if a little cheaper.

            2 Replies
            1. re: ieathereforeiam

              Where is Wonderland and this trailer?

              1. re: rudeboy


                trailer is called ESK Thai Kun. It reminds me of Sway but it's about 1/3 the price.

            2. finally tried it today for lunch, and it was great!

              since i'm GF i tried a few things that were safe, and they were deeeelicious. the deckhand sauce is like crack. spicy, citrusy crack. mmmmmmm.

              spring rolls with shrimp
              --the shrimp were plump and fresh. also, i got peanut sauce on my blouse but it was worth it.

              tom yum
              --hands down the seafoodiest version i've ever had. mussels, big pieces of different fish, tomato and mushroom chunks. that was the cup size.

              deckhand oysters
              --fried garlic, butter, cayenne. mmmm. when i added the deckhand sauce, it was even better, and it was pretty good to begin with.

              7 Replies
              1. re: dinaofdoom

                That looks awesome Dinaofdoom. Could you give a description of the dishes? I assume the far one is raw oysters with their hot sauce.
                I've been trying to justify a trip to(and back) RR. It's not the miles. I love a good road trip. Maybe it's I35.
                Thanks for the nice pics.

                1. re: crippstom

                  i updated my post but not sure if it's showing.

                  clockwise from top: deckhand oysters, tom yum soup, and shrimp spring rolls.

                  all super fresh and tasty. and the spring rolls did not have a ton of vermicelli in them, which is a peeve of mine.

                  1. re: dinaofdoom

                    That's what I'm talkin' about. Thanks.

                    1. re: crippstom

                      if you like spice, ask for the deckhand sauce! it's super garlicky, tangy and hot.

                  2. re: crippstom

                    we are in between mopac and 35 in north central austin, and find the trip to Deckhand via mopac (local lanes after scofield exit to avoid tolls) and the 45 east bound local lanes much better than I35. I agree, it's a horrid road to be on anytime.

                  3. re: dinaofdoom

                    great pics Dinaofdoom. The photo of the soup ignites my cravings for that, my favorite version of tom yum of all time. it indeed is so seafoody !!

                    and yes, crippstom, do NOT leave without slathering deckhand sauce on nearly everything. I found it was particularly wonderful on the raw oysters. so so very good. the regulars that I'm jealous of simply due to my geography, appropriately call it "crack sauce".