Saturday, February 26, 2011

Philadelphia ! The Oyster House !

Greeshma and I grabbed a late lunch at Oyster House on Saturday.  I had originally discovered the restaurant in the context of Philadelphia's Restaurant Week, as it was noted for having a keen RW menu, and found out it was ranked as one of the top 50 best restaurants in Philadelphia.  Supposedly they also have a mean Happy Hour nightly with $1 oysters that is not to be missed!

It was a cold, miserable day, so the warm, bright interior was a welcome refuge.  The floors are worn hardwoods, and the walls are white and decorated with a colorful collection of oyster plates (plates designed to hold oysters).  

The restaurant seems an ideal date spot as our table was flanked by the strangest couples with the worst rapport.  Take a look at the guy in the bottom right.  He can't even bear to look at his date.  Do only unhappy couples go out to eat?  So. Strange.

Greeshma is so cute!  As are the giant glass goblets filled with gourmet oyster crackers.

A closeup of the huge golden knuckles of oyster cracker goodness.  These would taste superb in a chowdery soup!
We nibbled on the pretty loaf of crusty bread with butter while waiting for our meal of shared dishes.  I've discovered lately that I especially like the combination of an inch of butter on the crusts of bread.  Brings a whole new meaning to buttercrunch!
The waitress saw Greeshma and my iPhones and informed us that if we checked in via Foursquare, we would receive complimentary oysters!  Uhm.  Favorite words in the whole world.  Greeshma and I promptly downloaded Foursquare and checked ourselves in.  Unfortunately, the oysters did not taste particularly fresh or delightfully briny as other oysters we have had.  I would pass on this altogether, complimentary or not.
Southern fried oysters.  These oysters were an improvement over the raw ones, plump on the inside, crispy on the outside.  The only downside is the quantity that we received.  The plate cost $10, making each fried oyster $2 each!  I could eat a few dozen of these easy. Sometimes I think about dieting, but then I look at fried oysters and say, "More please!"
Mussels with sweet garlic cream, kale and linguiça sausage.  Linguica sausage is a Portuguese pork-cured sausage typically used in soups or bases like this one!  This was Greeshma's favorite dish, although she has been craving mussels like a madwoman!  Regardless, the mussels were nice and plump.  The cooked kale was still bright and green with plenty of bite, and the sausage brought a nice earthiness to round out the otherwise light dish.  I let Greeshma eat all the kale since I am nice like that!
We split the lobster roll, which the kitchen completed for us, to prevent us fighting over any juicy lobster chunks.  The homemade chips and pickles were also plated on each of our plates.  Perfect!

The lobster roll was solid.  A smudge heavier on the mayo than Luke's Lobster, but still fresh and naturally flavorful.  I have to say it, I still prefer Luke's to this (the toasted, buttered roll from Luke's is tough to beat!), and Greeshma said she preferred Red Hook Lobster Pound over this version, but at the end of the day, it's still a delicious lobster roll, and we will eat what we can get in dear ol' Philly.  The homemade chips were very good too (even Greesh ate some!).  Thin, crispy and not too greasy!

I would love to come here sometime for happy hour and just gorge on dozens of $1 oysters (if they are not the same as the Foursquare bunch!) but until I make my next visit, maybe I can enlist ol' Greeshie to check it out for me ! :)

1516 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102-2811
(215) 567-7683


  1. Mmm lobster. And mussels. There's not much about this meal that doesn't look tasty.

  2. i want gourmet oyster crackers!! they and greesh are totally cute :)