i LOVE FRIED OYSTERS. i LOVE RAW OYSTERS (BUT DON'T EAT THEM ANY MORE).
BUT, WHY DON'T MORE RESTAURANTS SERVED BAKED OYSTERS--I.E., SUCH AS THE GRILLED OYSTERS AND ROCKFELLER ONES AT THE OREGON GRILL. (IN FACT, THEY OFFERED A BAKED OYSTER WITH CRABMEAT THAT WAS OUT OF THIS WORLD. IT DOESN'T APPEAR ON THEIR CURRENT MENU).
ABOUT A MONTH AGO THE ELKRIDGE FURNACE INN OFFERED OYSTERS ROCKEFELLER--EXCELLENT APPETIZER.
THE PRIME RIB HAS OYSTERS ROCKEFELLER AND OYSTERS MERRIT. BOTH WONDERFUL SELECTIONS.
IS THERE A REASON THAT I'M NOT AWARE OF WHEREIN RESTAURANTS VERY INFREQUENTLY SERVE OYSTERS THAT ARE BAKED OR ROASTED INSTEAD OF BREADED AND FRIED? IS THIS JUST SOMETHING I HAVE A YEN FOR? FoiGras
Don't forget oyster po'boys--Ryleigh's has excellent ones as do several other places around town.
One reason there aren't so many cooked oyster items is that real oyster lovers like me (and my 91-yr old mother) much prefer them on the half-shell or just run under the broiler as per the excellent ones at Oregon Grille.
FoiGras is perhaps unusual in liking baked but not raw. The poularity of fried oysters to restos,, as Drewpbalzac points out, is because they are very forgiving,. Diners buy them because they are usually so loaded with grease and bread that the oyster taste is masked; hence the appeal to non-oyster lovers.
And remember Mencken's admonition: "There's only one way to cook an oyster; don't."
Foi, no need to shout. There are so many places in and around Baltimore to find oysters that are not breaded or fried. Here are a few suggestions to get out started. Please report back!:
Ryleigh's Oyster House - char-grilled oysters, oyster stew, steamed oysters
Thames Street Oyster House - oyster stew and Oysters Rockefeller
Wit & Wisdom - Oysters Rockefeller
Alchemy - Oyster and Crab au Gratin
Dogwood - baked crab-stuffed oysters
Bertha's - Oysters William
Hunan Taste - steamed oysters in black bean sauce
Jimmy's Famous Seafood - Oysters Rockefeller and oyster stew
Mo's Fisherman's Wharf - Oysters Rockefeller and Oysters Christopher
Nick's Fish House - Hanover Grilled Oysters
tons of places have baked oyster dishes like Crackers said, add to that
B&O: Baked Warshore Oysters
jalapeno-lime butter / chorizo / bread crumbs
The Ocean Pride:
Char Broiled Oysters
Half dozen; topped with parmesan & Romano cheeses served with garlic bread
Baked, topped with bacon and seasoned butter
The problem with Oysters Rockefeller is that most places make the mistake of smothering them in spinach and other glop. I've had the original at Antoine's and it tastes nothing like the spinach-smothered glop because there's no spinach in real Oysters Rockefeller. The recipe is a closely guarded secret, but it contains greens like carrot tops and watercress, but no spinach. Combined with a thin sauce laced with Pernod and piped onto the oysters, all the flavors combine into something rich and delicious, not oysters that have been drowned in cream of spinach. So, yeah, unless you're in New Orleans or the chef knows WTF he/she is doing, skip Oyster's Rockefeller and go raw or broiled.
"IS THERE A REASON THAT I'M NOT AWARE OF WHEREIN RESTAURANTS VERY INFREQUENTLY SERVE OYSTERS THAT ARE BAKED OR ROASTED INSTEAD OF BREADED AND FRIED? IS THIS JUST SOMETHING I HAVE A YEN FOR?"
There is a very sound reason although it may not be specific to every restaurant . . . .
The reason that fried oysters are more prevalent has more to do with product purchasing, handling and waste that anything else.
Bulk, pre-shucked, oysters are relatively easy to purchase, store, and handle. On the other hand, most baked oyster applications require that a restaurant purchase live oysters with the shell overwhelmingly becoming a part of the preparation and presentation. The purchase, storage, handling and preparation of live oysters is a lot of work and many restaurants just do not have the space, equipment, or manpower to pull it off.
Deep frying is also a very forgiving preparation, so it is easy to teach and execute.
In DC, Pearl Dive does great ones. I loved the ones we ordered (#2 and #4).
Oyster Plates $9
Cornmeal Crusted Chesapeake Oysters
Andouille Sausage- Sweet Potato Hash
Oyster Confit, Blue Crab, Tasso, Roasted Corn
Angels on Horseback
Grilled-Bacon Wrapped Oysters, Vin Blanc, Vinegar Reduction
Wood Grilled East Coast Oysters
Garlic, Red Chile Butter, Gremolata
Broiled Oysters, Spinach, Bacon, Aioli
I agree with you and I am always wondering about the lack of oyster dishes in our area. I am reminded about the terrific oyster stew I had at Mendocino Grill (now closed) in Georgetown. One of the best things I've ever put in my mouth, yet I never saw it on the menu again despite numerous visits.
Hon--thanks--yes, I do somehow now recall that Mamma's has several baked oyster offerings. I'm on my way.
If you want to hear my story, about 3 years ago on a hot Friday night my hubby and headed down to Canton to eat at Mamma's. We were engrossed in a conversation--there was a crowd of people on the street. We thought we were headed into Mama's on the Half Shell, but went to the other restaurant (next door) --can't recall the name. I was wondering while ordering why there weren't oysters on the menu. The group of people on the street guided us to the mexican-oriented restaurant instead of Mama's. But, we enjoyed a dinner out and really look forward to going to Mama's on the Half Shell--we rely on hon to guide us, and know that my desire for oysters that are baked or grilled--wow, need to get there asap. FoiGras