Lannae's Food and Travel

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August 21, 2006

Seafood Landlocked

Shaw's Oyster Bar
Shaw's Crab House

I always want good ocean seafood when I can get it, and that is what I truly miss by moving inland from Boston. Nashville, where I live, still is behind the eightball when it comes to ocean seafood. At one restaurant in Nashville, claiming they are an Oyster Bar in the name, I asked the waitress what variety of oysters were being served. She said, "we have two kinds, fried and raw." Not what you want to hear, so I opted for fries and ribs.

Anyway, I know that at one time Lake Perch was the "seafood" of choice for Chicago, but now with quick trucking and air shipping, Chicago can hold its own against any eastern seaboard city when it comes to real seafood. I did a search for seafood in Chicago, and what came up was Shaw's Crab House and Oyster Bar. The deal here is that the Oyster Bar side of the restaurant is less expensive, and it more casual, and the Crab House side is expensive and more sit-down. I am not made of money, so I went to the Oyster Bar side, and dinner was surprisingly good!
I asked the Shaw's Oyster Bar waitress what types of oysters they had, and I was told the variety and where they were harvested. Ah, that is what I want to hear. I opted for 2 Salt Aire from Prince Edward Island (top left) , Malpeque from Prince Edward Island (bottom), and Penn Cove Select from Penn Cove (upper right). Yum. Very fresh and I wish I had more.
I also tried their home-made New England Clam Chowder. Yup, it was freshly made with real cream. I could feel my arteries hardening , but I continued on eating the soup because I liked it. I have to say, that Boston's Durgin Park Chowder is always the best, but it would cost me at least $750 spur of the moment RT to fly up to Boston, and $5 in T fare, and $5 for a bowl of Durgin Park chowder. To get the best chowder is a bit cost prohibitive for me as long as I live in a place that is not Boston.
I finished my seafood odyssey by having a 1 1/4 lb lobster. To my surprise, it was boiled to just done, and NOT over done! Wow! I was not given a lobster bib, so I did get some lobster stuff on me, but it was a decent price to pay for a well prepared lobster. Usually, midwest restaurants over cook lobster to tasteless rubberiness, but Shaw's Oyster Bar did a great job just to cook the lobster for the few minutes it takes to just get done.

I went in expecting a midwest ruination of seafood, but I came out one happy HAPPY former New Englander with a happy belly of lobster, oysters and clam chowder.


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