Road Trip New Orleans: Oyster Overload
Fans of Man v. Food may remember the episode where host Adam Richman visited the Big Easy and took on the Acme Oyster House Challenge. [SPOILER ALERT] Basically, young Adam beat the challenge by devouring 15 dozen oysters (that’s 180 oysters for those of you who “don’t do math”) in less than 30 minutes.
My brother and I have been to Acme numerous times, but my parents had never been. During this visit, the J. Burger clan decided to visit the Acme Oyster House in the New Orleans suburb of Metairie because we didn’t want to deal with the crowds at the French Quarter location.
We did not belly up for the eating challenge because we are not that foolish. We did, however, polish off 2 dozen raw oysters pretty easily together. While I love the variety of oysters I can get in New York, they can be a little pricey. There is usually only one variety to get in New Orleans (“Gulf oysters”) and bless them for keeping the local oysters cheap, notwithstanding the present oil spill that threatens to destroy the entire Louisiana fishing industry.
We also shared another dozen chargrilled oysters. For those of you not familiar with chargrilled oysters, they are basically oysters that have been covered with a combination of butter, garlic, herbs and Parmesan and then grilled over an open fire.
Drago’s claims to have invented the dish (which I don’t doubt and note that many people recommended Drago’s to us while we were in town — it’s on the list for the next visit), but most places in New Orleans that serve oysters have their own version. Each order comes with bread to slop up the butter/garlic/herb/Parmesan that gets mixed with the oyster liquor that remains after the actual oyster is eaten.
I finished off this particular meal with more oysters — this time in the form of a fried oyster po’ boy. My brother had a traditional roast beef po’ boy while my parents shared a catfish po’ boy and softshell crab po’ boy. Not a bad lunch if I do say so myself.