Foodimentary is clearly the bible of bored/desperate public relations professionals across the land. Foodimentary’s list of food holidays creates daily pitches that clutter my inbox. Every day is National Something Or Other Day and today oysters get the tap on the shoulder. Woo oysters!
What was once a simple shucking contest and excuse to suck down a couple dozen oysters on a spring afternoon has, this year, become a full-bore indoor oyster carnival with this year’s Shuck Fest at Oyster House.
Scheduled for this Sunday, from noon to 4pm, Oyster House will host everything from the traditional shucking competition to oyster tutorials, oyster tastings with local growers, wine and beer pairings, shell crafts and games for the kids, photo booths and more.
It is the last weekend for Snockey’s Oyster and Crab House. The Philadelphia institution is closing after 103 years. Located at 1020 South 2nd Street for the past 40 years, the restaurant’s closing further shuts the door on the tradition of the Philadelphia oyster house.
Third generation owners, Ken and Skip Snock are both in their 60s and looking to step away from the business. The property has been for sale since late 2014.
In the 1870s, Philadelphians consumed 12 oysters a week and some 2,419 Philadelphia hotels, oyster houses, restaurants and saloons served oysters. And that’s not counting the roving peddlers and curbside stands. By the late 1950s, 95% of the Delaware Bay’s oysters had been wiped out by disease. With the dropoff in local oysters, oyster houses also faced extinction.
If you believe you are an oyster connoisseur, you can compete in Oyster House‘s sixth annual shucking contest and win a $100 gift certificate to the Sansom Street restaurant. Or you can pay five bucks and leave the shucking to the professionals, while you enjoy the fruits of their labor.
The annual shucking contest takes place Saturday, April 18 beginning at 2 pm at Oyster House (1516 Sansom Street). The $5 admission includes complimentary tastes of all the varieties of shucked oysters. Narragansett Lager and Del’s Shandy will be $3 for the 16 oz tallboy cans.
The first shucking competition will be for the professionals, competing for a $200 cash prize and the coveted oyster shell medal. Professional shuckers include Oyster House employees as well as employees from Pennsylvania 6, Juniper Commons, The Olde Bar and Ocean Prime. An amateur contest will follow and any prospective contestants can sign up the day of the event.
Oyster House [Official]
We’ve been keeping track of National Oyster Day happenings. There’s the big four-course dinner at Oyster House and of course the $100 for 100 oysters, a bottle of Champagne and hotel room in Chestnut Hill. But now that the big day is here, there are other deals around town.
A.bar (pictured) on Rittenhouse Square is offering $1.50 oysters all day.
We hope you’re hungry.
Starting Monday, July 14th, The Hattery Stove & Still is unveiling some of the best summer deals in town.
Chef Hakeem Otenigbagbe and his team will be serving up Buck-a-Shuck Oysters, $14 Endless Mussels and a Complimentary Bacon Bar.
Yes, you read that correctly, free bacon. Dreams really do come true.
Matthew Ridgway, owner of The PASS in Rosemont, NJ is hosting a new Sunday supper, simply named “Oysters and Charcuterie.” The meal is served from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. and Ridgway says, “we know our local guests will love it, and we think it will be a great light supper for weekenders and daytrippers who are shopping in Lahaska, New Hope and Lambertville, or antiquing in Bucks and Hunterdon Counties.” Ridgway, who has made his name with his PorcSalt brand of sustainable, artisanal and local charcuterie.
Philadelphia diners may recognize the guy running the front-of-the-house, it is Steve Schiavo, who won the 2011 Best of Philly award while he was working at Fond.
The PASS is open for dinner Wednesday through Saturday.
The PASS [Foobooz]
Headhouse Crab and Oyster Co. is celebrating oysters this month. In addition to daily buck-a-shuck oyster deals, chef Mike Stollenwerk is preparing oysters in different ways for the month that ends in ‘R’. Among the options, baked oyster and chorizo, fried oyster tacos and to wash it down, oyster shooters.