Reading TexasRedTops's New Orleans post got me to start one here. The small oysters you talked about in Texas may actually be Louisiana oysters, which as you not are tiny this year. Red tide has had most if not all bays closed, and I'm not sure if they are open yet. I sent an email to Jeri's Seafood on Smith Point to find out about the status. I found an August Boston article blaming Texas drought and Louisiana flooding and the oil spill causing the poor harvest.
Red and others, what are some of your favorite oyster dishes and places? I'll post later some of mine, but gotta run right now.
There is one place I love the best for oysters. No one else can come close to this dish. It's the charbroiled oysters at Drago's in Metairie. I had them Monday but the oysters were so tiny you could barely taste them. Most of them were the size of my little fingernail. None were as big as a quarter. They gave me 15 on the dozen order but it was still disappointing. Drago's has their own oyster beds and they harvest them themselves. Most places in New Orleans buy theirs from P and J Oyster Co. I cancelled my dinner at Casamento's knowing that their oysters would also be small and didn't order any other oysters while I was there. I usually go to NO twice a year. Once in the summer for the soft shell crabs and once in the winter for the oysters. This year's winter trip was a bust for the oysters.
There are lots of other good oyster dishes too, just none to compare to Drago's charbroiled. My Nanny would make oyster dressing instead of cornbread dressing every year at Christmas. I love fried oysters but they have to be a decent size.
The biggest oysters I've ever had were in Tofino, British Columbia. There was a purple food truck in the botanical gardens there several years back, owned and operated by a girl from Texas (Austin I think). We stopped in to try her food out one day and I ordered the oyster appetizer and fish tacos. I figured 3 oysters weren't going to be enough to sustain me. Boy was I wrong. They were very close to the size of my fist. Probably double the size of the biggest one I'd seen previously. I've seen plenty of oysters as my grandfather was a shrimper and we had all kinds of fresh seafood every time he came in from shrimping. When the shrimping wasn't going well, he'd go dig oysters.
James, are you asking about NOLA only, or Houston? In Houston, my favorite oyster places are Danton's and Denis'. Both have happy hour 1/2 prices and both have the freshest oysters. Merry Christmas to all you Chowhounds!