Duff McDaniel loves oysters. After an initial repulsion when I was younger, I’d had a take-it-or-leave-it attitude. In recent years I have developed a liking for them, though, so when Duff suggested that we take part in the Oyster Party at Slough Food in Edison, it sounded like a great idea.
It was cold and cloudy this past Sunday on the day of the event. For most places this wouldn’t be a problem, but most of Slough Food’s seating is outside next to the Edison Slough, a narrow waterway leading from Samish Bay. Fortunately the rains seemed to be holding off for the time being.
Neither Laura nor Linda care for oysters, so Duff and I were on our own. Since I had another event at 2:00 that afternoon we headed over a bit after 11:00. Laura and I often make jokes when in Greenville about having to “beat the Baptists” to the local restaurants for Sunday lunch. That doesn’t seem to be an issue in this neck of the woods, so we figured there would be a crowd any time we arrived.
Turns out that we did beat the Baptists, or, at least, most of the folks interested in the party. We walked through the small cafe and on out to the back where John, the owner, was shucking raw oysters and setting them on ice. His assistant had the grill fired up and was making several variations on grilled oysters.
The patio area had a couple of long picnic tables and several side tables. We took our place close to the prep table, next to another couple. Duff said (and John confirmed) that these things are often informal affairs and the customers just come up and slurp oysters from the ice. Duff grabbed one in just such a fashion.
The one waitress, however, wanted to bring a bit of order to the proceedings and asked that we place our orders so she could keep track of things. I was OK with either approach. I wasn’t sure what I wanted, so despite it being before noon I ordered an IPA while I consulted the menu board. Oysters and beer go hand in hand.
I ordered six raw oysters to start – three of the Kushi variety and three of the Shigoku variety. I had no idea which was which, but I did one set with Tobasco sauce and one with a vinegar sauce that John had concocted. These were excellent.
I followed up with some of the grilled oysters. They were making three varieties. One was a simple garlic and butter, another had Siracha butter and black sesame seeds, and the third had kale and salami bits. I ordered two of each.
I couldn’t decide between the Siracha and kale as my favorites. The garlic butter oysters were great, too. I could have kept eating these, but at $24 a dozen this was a pricey endeavor.
As much as I loved the oysters, the party atmosphere and setting was just as appealing. We chatted with a couple that driven up from Everett for the event. They loved the town of Edison and all of the quaint cafes. As more people arrived we squeezed in tight and made room. It was fun.
Duff had invited me to one of these things last month, but we had a scheduling conflict. I was glad I was able to go to this one. He said that John holds these events once a month, but wasn’t sure if they continued through the winter months. All I know is that I’ll be watching for the next one. Good eats, indeed.