Thursday, January 15, 2009


Abbeville Ahoy
Adventures in Oyster Eating
I needed to be out of my house for repair work being done inside on a Saturday. So to kill as much time as possible I took the scenic route (Hwy 14) to Abbeville to eat oysters. I hit the three best-known oyster houses. During that day I ate 3 dozen raw and 3 1/2 dozen cooked. That was a good day.

319 Pere Megret
Abbeville LA
Monday - Sunday 11:00 AM - 10:00 PM
They reside in a two story brick building with murals on one exterior wall. The interior is just as picturesque and historical as the exterior. The raw oysters here were a bit bland and because they use cube ice not as icy as I like. However they offer a lot of cooked oyster dishes more than the other two venues. After the raws I went to Char Grilled. They were good but contained too much granulated Parmesan, which made them too salty. I think shredded cheese would have been better. However the juices contained great buttery flavor and they had French bread to soak it up with. Next up came Baked Oysters. On a base of an oyster shell they started with an oyster then stack up cheddar cheese, breadcrumbs, butter, pickled Jalapenos, crumbled bacon and parsley. These were good also but I think the jalapeno taste overpowered them. After taking them off they were much more enjoyable with just a hit of heat and tang. The fried oysters I ate next proved perfect. Crisp cornmeal crust and juicy inside. That finished the mission here on to the next venue.

108 South Main St
Abbeville LA
Tuesday - Saturday 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM $5-$20
5:00 PM - 9:00PM

Established in 1869 and operating in its original location, this is certainly the oldest of the three. On fact it is just across the street from Black's. The building is low-key but cozy. The oysters here were a bit small but plump and briny served over crushed ice. All the accoutrements for putting on top were there but I found a few drop of lemon juice perfect. I like the taste and texture of oysters so I do not normally bury them under ketchup, horseradish, hot sauce and crackers. Here I opted for Pan Broiled Oysters. Cooked in a garlic butter sauce they contained great flavor although some of the smaller ones were overcooled. The sad thing here was no bread to sop the excellent pan juices. I use crushed crackers as I not one to let such a superb thing go to waste. While they have fewer prepared oyster dishes they make up for it by having superior oysters. The rest of the menu is heavily seafood oriented. On to the last venue
701 West Port St
Abbeville LA
Monday - Saturday 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM $5-$20
This new construction is across the Vermillion River and the youngest of the three. The exterior fashioned to resemble an old oyster house; it contains a light and airy interior with plenty of windows. Again I started off with a dozen raw. These were cold, plump, and briny also. They put the condiments on a lazy susan in middle of the table. Besides the expected ones, it also contained Steen’s Cane Syrup Vinegar and a proprietary Oyster Hot Sauce. I tried both and liked the vinegar (not as strong as most vinegars and with an underlying sweetness) best although the hot sauce was not too bad. Next came one of the winners of this trip, oyster stew. Plump oysters just curling from the heat in milk based broth that probably had oyster liquor in it. It possessed excellent flavor with a spicy kick to it. Finally came the clunker of the trip, Stuffed Oysters. A nice concept of oyster surrounded by an oyster dressing then fried. However when I cracked open one to cool, I got a big nose of oyster gone bad. Further examination proved it was the oyster itself and not the dressing. My conclusion is that they use leftover oysters for this dish. Basically you can not win them all. Over all I was quite satisfied with my oyster expedition.

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