Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Olympia Oyster House

      We have eaten here several times before, but not since the fire and rebuild.  I have trying to find a place to dine out with Mom due to the heat wave and seafood provides a decent alternative, plus it provides her with her meal of choice:  Crab Cakes.  Olympia Oyster House has been in existence since the turn of last century.  The restaurant is the oldest seafood restaurant in the State of Washington.  It is the old original culling house of the original Olympia Oyster Company, which was formed prior to 1900.  Here for many years the Olympia Oysters were culled after being barged in the basin immediately to the north of this building.  As far back as 1859, Olympia Oysters were sent to San Francisco where gourmets would pay $20.00 per plate for them.
Olympia Oysters
      Their menu is extensive, of course specializing in locally grown Olympia Oysters, but also providing an excellent fare of local clams, mussels, crab, and other FRESH seafood as well.  You won't survive here if your seafood isn't fresh.  It is a local landmark.
      We chose our midweek experience mostly due to the uncharacteristically warm temperatures invading the Pacific Northwest and lack of traffic.  Much of the menu will depend on 'Market Price' which is always determined by local catch rates and freshness.  The cuisine can vary from simple entrees to loaded seafood baskets, to full entrée style dinner. 
Battered Halibut
Blackened Salmon
It is only by coincidence that we all LOVE seafood and mom's recent heart procedure dictates a recipe that coincides within reason, but who the hell is complaining?  We always try to get a table near the window so we can leisurely gaze out upon the sound.
      We were seated immediately by the windows and once our large, cold drinks (to combat the hot day) were ordered as we attacked the menu.  Barb is not much of an adventurer and once she finds something she likes, she stays with it, ordering her usual 'Basket of Clam Strips'. 
      Mom has been here several times and LOVES their 'Crab Cakes'.  Not usually on her AHA diet, this was a special occasion and I let her order them as long as she got steamed veggies with them and no taters or fries.  
      I wanted something a bit different.  I have destroyed my fair share of most all kinds of seafood the past 3 1/2 months so I decided on the 'Scallops'.  The waiter did have to ask the kitchen if these were Bay or Sea Scallops, which does make a big difference.  Sea Scallops are MUCH LARGER, NEARLY MINI STEAKS.  Once they arrived I realized these were Bay Scallops and only 7, but in a wine, oil, and butter sauté they were delicious nonetheless.  My meal also came with a delicious assortment of steamed veggies.  

      The service here is very good and the food is excellent, but I do have to comment on the prices.  The seafood is fresh, but the costs are a bit higher than I thought fair.  My scallops alone were $30 and the total bill amounted to $91.  You must be paying for ambience by the water or the fact that this is peak tourist season.  Both Mom and Barb got 'to go' boxes so they will have some snacks later on or lunch tomorrow.  In the end we were treating Mom to a night out in air conditioned comfort with some of her favorite (allowed) food.  It's all worth it.  
      We depart in a few weeks and from here we head east towards our home.  We'll take several weeks getting there as we have several favorite stops enroute for prospecting, boondocking in the Rockies, friends, and fairs.  I'm not sure how the 'furbabies' will take to being OTR again. 

"We travel, some of us forever, to seek other places, other lives, other souls"
                                                                                Anais Nin 
WiFi courtesy of Verizon MiFi

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