Hey y'all. It's getting cooler and I've got a hankerin' for some raw oysters. What are your favorite places in town to put down a couple of dozen? I'm not talking about Beau Soliels and champagne. I'm talking cheap, big, salty Apalachicolas and Terarpin Rye. Are there any hole-in-the-wall oyster bars in the area?
Would love to know this too. My typical place is the Fish Market downtown, sitting at the bar watching them be shucked to order. They usually have 4-5 different varieties and the apalachicolas are not much more than $12-14/dozen. Not cheap per se, but not too expensive. They don't have the greatest beer selection.
I used to like to hit McCormick and Schmick's in other towns during their happy hour for $1 oysters but it now seems they are $1.95 each in Bham which is totally not worth it considering the corporate/chain/meat market atmosphere.
Fish Market's "house" oysters and Apalachicolas are $11 a dozen right now. I agree that Fish Market has pretty good raw oysters. I get them there pretty often, at the bar, like Dax mentioned. I actually had a plate of fried oysters there this past week and they really sucked, though. Very small, and uniformly overcooked. It's hard NOT to overcook small oysters. Furthermore, I complained and got an "oh sorry"... no offer to take them back or get me something else. I was not happy, and I am a frequent customer. Not in a hurry to go back.
I think the take home message really is, if you like fried oysters, ask ahead of time what size they will be cooking up for you. If they are going to come out about the size of a wad of chewed bubble gum, they will undoubtedly have the same consistency, and taste no better.
We went Friday and the raw Apalachicolas were good/fine as usual. We sat in the full service bar area with minimal wait at 8:30 PM on a Friday.
I typically get a "kabob" (not actually skewered so not a real kabob in my mind) as it's a large portion with the onions, peppers and tomatoes plus it's served over a bed of rice so I can just get the greek salad with it as my side. They were out of my first option (cannot recall what it was) and rarely do mahi kabobs any more so I went with tuna. They actually cooked it medium rare as requested, which unfortunately meant the onions and green peppers were barely cooked and thus not-so-great. Still, it was fine if nothing special.
Girlfriend ordered the mussels in a tomato-based sauce. They were overdone and the sauce tasted like plain tomato paste and both were cold. We *very* rarely ever send anything back but the dish was just a super fail so we told the server and she took it back, no questions asked. Rhode Island scallops were better if over-salted.
The prices on the menu on birmingham menus are very dated although I still find them reasonable. Service was good on a reasonably busy night.
We won't be in a hurry to return either way with so many new places around town.