shelton’s 30th annual oyster fest
from a young age, i have always been a seafood fan. my one hangup has usually been that it has to be cooked (although i am gradually working on that!). for a birthday a few years ago, my parents took myself and a friend out to jeff ruby’s steakhouse in downtown cincinnati. i honestly can’t remember why i thought i liked oysters, but we ordered some as an appetizer and i was in for a BIG surprise! my biggest mistake was that i started to chew the raw oyster instead of simply slurping it down… let me repeat – BIG mistake!
needless to say, from that day forth i made sure to stay away from oysters on the half shell. since that time i have grown to love roasted oysters, grilled oysters, fried oysters, basically any kind of oyster that is cooked, but i still won’t go near a raw oyster and to be honest, i probably never will. tomas on the other hand is an oyster fanatic! when we got engaged, his two requests for the wedding were an oyster bar of some sort and good scotch. since moving to seattle, he has scoured the city trying to find delicious oysters… it has not been hard to do!
pike place market alone has several vendors as well as restaurants featuring local varieties, such as elliot’s oyster house, and pike place fish where they are famous for shouting out everyone’s orders and throwing fish at innocent by-standing tourists. at melrose market, which has several different very cool shops located within it and is where we got all our goodies for our cookout last weekend, there is a store where mostly oysters are sold from taylor shellfish farms.
atop of all these fantastic shops and eateries stands one of our favorite restaurants in seattle, and is where the inspiration for the oyster bar at our wedding came from. the walrus and the carpenter is a tiny little restaurant located behind a bike shop and cafe in ballard. there is always a variety of oysters to choose from, the staff is incredibly knowledgeable and friendly, and the food is incredible. our favorite dish is the grilled sardines – they are plate licking good, i’m telling you!
so with all this obvious love of oysters, when tomas learned of an oyster fest a few months back, he marked it on his calendar then and there! luckily, his mom has been staying with us and is also an oyster fanatic so we picked up and drove down to shelton, washington this afternoon to take part in the shelton SKOOKUM rotary club’s 30th annual oyster fest! we were genuinely shocked by the size of the festival and the amount of vendors serving a plethora of yummy dishes. we dabbled in a little bit of everything, including the impressively large and crowded beer garden! the things on our menu included coconut fried shrimp, fried garlic, panko fried oysters, roasted oysters, clam chowder, shrimp gumbo, egg rolls, linguini with clam sauce, grilled salmon with fried bread with honey, mushrooms stuffed with crab & cheese, and of course oysters on the half shell!
i think tomas’s only disappointment was that there weren’t more local oysters to try… i know his fantasy was to gorge himself on oysters all afternoon 😉 despite all of that, i am definitely looking forward to heading back down to shelton next year for their 31st annual oyster fest and gorging myself full of all their delicious goodies again!