An Oyster Trail

Oysters.

You either love ’em or you hate ’em.

I like mine fried on a PoBoy with some tartar sauce or in on a heaping seafood platter sprinkled with fresh lemon juice and a dash of cocktail sauce. Earlier this year, I learned how to enjoy them raw when I attended a tasting at Lulu’s in Gulf Shores. The folks at Auburn University Shell Lab were holding a scientific study to find out what locally farmed oysters were the favorite among many people. Fun and yum!

Oysters can be a way of life. I’ve heard that my ancestors from the Eastern Shore of Maryland were oystermen. My husband and I have taken the kids on trips to Apalachicola to tour the oyster processing plants (little buildings on the shore). After learning all about farming, collecting and shucking we’ve headed to lunch for a tasty oyster meal. My children and I are oyster gardeners through the Mobile Bay Oyster Gardening Project (Auburn University/Alabama Cooperative Extension program). We gathered some other families to help keep our cages and oysters clean and take weekly spat measurements. Spat is the term for baby oysters that we’re growing. There are oyster reefs and oyster farms around the Gulf and around the world.

This summer we met with someone from the Auburn Shell Lab who told us about an Oyster Trail Project they were starting up. I got some details on it recently that I’d like to share with you. It’s a real trail you can walk and will start off in Mobile.   Trail maps will be provided to guide visitors and explain the oyster’s role. Oyster sculptures will mark the trail and will be painted by local artists. 

Sponsorships of each oyster is available for $1,800.  I would love for Gulf Coast Foodways to sponsor an oyster sculpture but we need to do some fund raising.  If you’d like to donate to the GCF sponsorship fund (your name will be posted somehow as a member of GCF) please contact us at gulfcoastfoodways@yahoo.com.  Meanwhile, check out our membership info page on our blog.

Oysters make a good meal and since some people will drive hours for a good meal, we’ve made our own oyster trail.  It’s a  list of great oyster bars along the northern Gulf Coast for you to visit.  Listed by each Oyster Bar is the source of the oyster.  If there is no source listed, it simply means that we were told they came from various areas, depending on what was available. 

If you drive it east to west you can add an hour to your day of oyster enjoyment.  Most of these we’ve personally tested; others came highly recommended.  Since compiling this list, two have gone out of business so remember: always call ahead.  I don’t want to be blamed for wasting your time.  The trail is, of course, in a beautiful part of the country mostly on scenic drives so sit back and enjoy yourself. 

Starting in Apalachicola, FL note that all the oysters in town are from Apalachicola Bay.

Papa Joe’s: 301 Market Street, 850-653-1189

Boss Oysters: 123 Water Street, 850-653-9364

Hole in the Wall: 23 Avenue D, 850-653-3222

Eddy Teach’s Raw Bar (on St Georges Island): 37 East Pine Street, 850-927-5050

That Place Off 98: 17 Avenue E, 850-653-9898

Owl Cafe (mostly deep fried): 15 Avenue D, 850-653-9888

In Panama City, FL:

Billy’s Oyster Bar: 3000 Thomas Drive, 850-235-2349

Dusty’s Oyster Bar, Home of 2-time Oyster Shucking Competition Winner: 16459 Front Beach Road, 850-233-0035

Hunt’s Oyster Bar (Apalachicola Bay): 1150 Beck Avenue, 850-763-9645

In Grayton Beach, FL:

Hurricane Oyster Bar: 37 Logan Lane, Santa Rosa Beach, 850-231-0787

In Destin, FL:

The Boat House (Apalachicola Bay): 288 Harbor Blvd., 850-837-3645

In Ft. Walton Beach, FL:

High Tide Restaurant & Oyster Bar: 1203 Miracle Strip Pkwy, 850-244-2624

In Milton/Pensacola, FL:

Pete’s Oysters (East Bay and Escambia Bay): 2784 Avalon Blvd. , Milton, 805-626-9994

Marina Oyster Barn:  505 Bayou Blvd., 850-433-0511

Pegleg Pete’s: 1010 Ft Pickens Road, 805-932-4139

Oyster Bar on Perdido Key: 13700 River Road, Perdido Key, 805-492-5600

Crab Trap Seafood & Oyster Bar: 455 West Main Street, 805-912-8775

In Orange Beach/Gulf Shores/Bon Secour, AL:

Flora Bama: 17401 Perdido Key Blvd., Orange Beach, 251-980-5118

Gulf Shores Steamer & Grill: 27267 Perdido Beach Blvd., Gulf Shores 251-948-6344

King Neptunes: 1137 Gulf Shores Pkwy., 251-968-5464

Shrimp Basket: 301 Gulf Shores Pkwy., 251-947-7687

Doc’s Seafood Shack and Oyster Bar: 26029 Canal Road, Orange Beach, 251-981-6999 and 1140 Gulf Shores Pkwy., 251-967-4800

Mikees: 205 East 2nd Avenue, Gulf Shores 251-948-6452

Sea N Suds: 405 East Beach Blvd, Gulf Shores, 251-948-7984

The Steamer & Baked Oyster Bar: 124 West 1st Avenue, Gulf Shores251-948-4042

Tin Top (Bon Secour Bay): 6232 Bonsecour Hwy., Bon Secour 251-949-5086

In Mobile, AL:

Original Oyster House: several locations on the Eastern Shore.  The one in Mobile is located at 3733 Battleship Parkway, 251-626-2188

Wentzel’s: several locations on the Eastern Shore.  The one in Mobile is located at 605 Dauphin Street, 251-432-4605

Topless Oyster Raw Bar: 14570 Dauphin Island Parkway, Codin, 251-873-5555

River Shack: 6120 Marina Drive South, 251-433-7318

In Gulfport/Biloxi, MS:

Half Shell Oyster House: 2500 13th Street, Gulfport, 228-867-7001

In New Orleans, LA:

Red Fish Grill: 115 Bourbon Street, 504-598-1200

Bourbon House: 144 Bourbon Street, 504-522-0111

Drago’s Seafood Restaurant & Oyster Bar: 2 Poydras Street (inside the Hilton Hotel), 504-584-3911

Felix’s Restaurant and Oyster Bar: 739 Iberville Street, 504-522-4440

Acme Oyster: 724 Iberville Street, 504-522-5973

Deanies: 841 Iberville Street, 504-581-1316

Corner Oyster Bar: 500 St. Peter Street, 504-522-2999

Cooter Brown’s: 509 South Carrollton Avenue, 504-866-9104

Casamentos Louisiana Oysters: (they close for the summer) 4330 Magazine Street, 504-895-9761

Last stop, Abbeville, LA:

Dupuy’s Oyster Shop: 108 South Main Street, 337-893-2336

Happy Trails……

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3 Comments»

  H Clapp wrote @

I’m interested in recreational oyster farming in Perdido Bay. .. can you contact me to discuss??

  Gulf Coast Foodways wrote @

You can contact Bill Walton at the Auburn University Shellfish Lab on Dauphin Island. Here’s their facebook page which I think he also manages. He’s the oyster guy in this area. https://www.facebook.com/bwalton#!/AUShellfishLab

  H Clapp wrote @

You made mention about oyster farming. . I would like to talk to someone who is doing this in S AL. Please contact me at clapp_h@bellsouth.net. . thanks


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