Shuck Daddy's oyster sampler
Here's the deal, I love oysters.
No, I don't have some kind of encyclopedic knowledge of these tasty bivalves like the esteemed Robb Walsh of the Houston Press, but dang it, I love 'em. Forgive me for not being a student of their sex lives.
Oysters are so wonderful. The perfect food. Or at least I'd like to think so. They're fresh. They're local, or at least the way I eat them. And they are a canvas for many cuisines.
Here are my favorite oyster dishes to be found in the greater Houston area. If I missed your fave, let me know. I'll go to great lengths to try the best.
- Danton's Gulf Coast Kitchen's Oysters Dan is a fresh take on the baked oyster. Topped with a lump -- that means a heaping helping -- of crab, these oysters are baked with butter and parmesan cheese. Absolutely delicious.
- Oyster nachos. Who knew? There are several different versions, but my recent favorites are Beaver's Ice House and Fish City Grill.
Oysters Marinos at Pappas Seafood
- Grilled oysters are my absolute favorite. And no restaurant does them better than the scruffy Gilhooley's in San Leon. Oysters Gilhooley may be the best example of coastal cooking ever. A dozen grilled oysters, topped with garlic and butter and not much else.
- Fave casual spot Shuck Daddy's added two hot oysters to the menu recently. The Sicilian oyster is scampi-style, topped with herbs, garlic and parmesan cheese. Daddy's Hottie is a crazy good concoction of oyster, crawfish, Monterrey Jack cheese and Cajun Chelada sauce. The latter of which can be crazy hot, depending on who is wielding the spices in the kitchen.
Like many oyster-loving restaurants, you can get a sampler plate of all of Shuck Daddy's baked oysters.
- You gotta try the Oysters Marinos at Pappas Seafood House. Perfectly fried, crunchy oysters plus fresh topping equals winner .
- Oysters Bienville, named for one of the founders of New Orleans is a staple on Lousiana-influenced menus. Many Houston-area restaurants have their takes. I'm a fan of Goode Co. Seafood's, where I've learned to love the industrial diced bread crumbs that top the oysters along with shrimp and veggies.
- Oysters Lousiane is a longtime fave appetizer at Mardi Gras Grill. I can show you a photo, but it just doesn't do this dish justice. Poached in a wine and butter sauce, the oysters are little buttons of flavor. They're served with a super-soaking French-style bread. I've made them a meal so many times.
And I haven't even mentioned everyone's favorite oyster: the fried bivalve. OMG, it's the best.
- And, as for fried oysters, try the po'boy at The Big Mamou, Calliope's Po-Boys or Ragin' Cajun.