We’re in New Orleans for a family gathering, and last night we hit the Acme Oyster House — a Big Easy institution. Astonishingly, our group of seven was seated immediately, and we promptly ordered some pitchers of Abita beer, two dozen raw oysters, and the house specialty: char-grilled oysters.
It’s not easy to describe how good the char-grilled oysters were, and how spectacularly they kick-started our weekend. They’re topped with Parmesan cheese and are melts and crusty, all at the same time. They were so good we ate four dozen of them, and probably could have polished off 100 more.
For dinner, Richard and I split the seafood platter, which was a mound of crunchy fish, crab, shrimp, French fries, and hush puppies. It was the perfect food to consume before heading out for a little live music crawl. Thus fortified, and with the lip-smacking goodness of the char-grilled oysters still freshly in mind, our hardy band ventured forth into the New Orleans night.
We’re in Seattle, where we are having dinner tonight with some friends we haven’t seen in years. To get ready for the festivities, we took a walk along Seattle’s beautiful waterfront on a bright, sunny day. The weather gods were with us.
For lunch we stopped at a place called the Place Pigalle in the sprawling Public Market Center a few blocks from the waterfront. The food gods were with us, too, because the Place Pigalle was excellent. When you’re on the coast, you need to seriously consider seafood, and I’m a sucker for shellfish. When I saw oysters on the half shell and oyster stew on the menu, I decided to double up.
The oysters on the half shell were excellent — fresh, succulent, and served with a tart, vinegar-based dip. They were the perfect complement to a tasty unfiltered wheat ale. And the oyster stew was fabulously rich and creamy, with four huge whole oysters lurking just below the surface. It was a fantastic meal and a great way to start our Seattle visit, and reminded us of what we’re missing in landlocked Columbus, Ohio.