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Sep 4, 2012 06:16 AM

Info on Asbury Park Oyster Fest -Sept. 7-9

First let me say I hope everyone reading this had a very happy healthy and safe Labor Day weekend!!

At a friends party this weekend it was mentioned Asbury Park is doing an Oyster Fest this up coming weekend. I went to the Chamber of Commerce web site but they only have a one page general over view. Can anyone else shed some past experience on it….worth while… many vendors etc.

I’m torn on this……I don’t know if I care to put up with the crowds (anticipated) and so forth just to have to wait an hour in line to get a half a dozen so-so oysters. Or if there are really exceptional values/quality/variations to be had.

I am fairly recent to the oyster eating experience and most of my enjoyment of oysters has been the typical blue point most common it seems to this area. But at a few places such as Avenue (the raw bar about the only reason I can justify ordering food there) introduced me to a lot of varieties which I surprisingly found enjoyable. Amazing what a difference there can be in something as “simple” as an oyster.

FYI while picking up a few (cheap) lobsters at Shop Rite over the weekend I noticed they had some of the largest oysters I have ever seen. I assume they were Blue Point but didn’t think to take a look….let’s say a “normal” Blue Point is about the size of a business card these were more like the size of a playing card for poker. I picked one or two up just to inspect it and I can say I was rather intimidated. I don’t think I would enjoy that much of a mouthful of oyster!!

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  1. Went last year. Not worth it. Most vendors don't even have oysters...
    I think the best way to enjoy oyster is to get to get them from whole foods. They even shuck them for you for free.

    1. Based on the one time I went (4...? years ago), I'd say this is street fair first and foremost, oysterfest second. By the time we arrived (which was, granted, mid-afternoon) my oyster-eating friends couldn't find a mollusk without walking up Cookman Ave to the beach. GREAT band that year (Black 47) so we had fun anyway, but it just didn't appear to be more of a food-focused event than most street fairs. YMMV...

      1 Reply
      1. re: Curlz

        Bingo!!!!! and right on the money Curlz. I visited a couple of years back and it was as you describe. Another No Thank You for me.

      2. “Fresh Oysters!”
        5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 24, 2012
        Xina's Toms River, FRESH oysters [My review on Trip Advisor]
        And everything else. What a great combination, oyster and clam bar, sushi and Chinese, and BYOB. Best oysters at the shore at a reasonable price. Staff is great, place is clean and vibrant and did I say the oysters R fresh. It gets a little wild at nite so get there early or make reservations. Should be a little calmer for us locals as the bennies slowly leave as the season ends.

        2 Replies
        1. re: jetermacaw

          Where in Asbury Park is this establishment?

        2. It's possible the oysters you saw were Cape May Salts. They're a lot more of them around lately and I have seen some that were pretty large. Then again, I have seen some Virginica oysters, of which Blue Points are a variety, that were quite sizable as well.

          As others have noted, I don't think the Festival is the best place to eat oysters, though I'm sure it can be a fun party.

          6 Replies
          1. re: MGZ

            @ Jeter that's the new place at the foot of the Seaside Bridge (based on one of their pictures) it looks great and I will have to give it a try as I'm often in that area. I hope they make it that place as been an eye sore for years. They also built a place directly across the highway at a location that has been vacant for years but I don't know much about that place either. Thanks for the info!!

            @ MGZ Chalk 1 up for Chow......based on the info I have read thus far I will be staying as far away from Oyster Fest as I can. Although I'm sure the post labor day crowds won't be as bad I still have no desire to attend if there isn't going to be an array of exotic or different oysters for me to try. I have no idea what kind of oysters they were at Shop Rite but they were intimidating....I'm not sure I would enjoy that much oyster in my mouth. lol

            1. re: jrvedivici

              Another place where you can sample different types of oysters in a single sitting is the Shipwreck in Brielle.


              1. re: MGZ

                I really have to give the Shipwreck a try....and soon. Didn't you also sing it's praises for having a good/great steak? I remember someone telling me to give the place a try for their steaks.

                1. re: jrvedivici

                  Shipwreck Point (Point Pleasant) for steaks - Shipwreck Grille (Brielle) for seafood (and Happy Hour).


                  1. re: MGZ

                    Ahhhh you see.....I only half pay attention!! Are they related establishments or just namesakes with no relation?