Hog Island Oyster Company
Reservations for picnic tables required – $10/person.
Grubgirl was happy to get invited to partake (along Tomales Bay) in a self-proclaimed Oysterpalooza in June 2005. If you love oysters and have friends that do, too, book a day and head on over. At less than a 90-minute drive, it’s the perfect amount of time to get away from San Francisco but be back by dinner.
Staff were friendly, trappings were clean and spartan, and the weather calls for the typical layers. Be prepared to use (clean) porta-potties there, and bring your Purell.
Here are some helpful tips to pass along – after collectively eating over 200 of these, we think we learned a few things:
* Yahoo Maps, Google Maps, and Mapquest all have odd interpretations on how to get here, so make sure you look at a real map and have a general idea of where you’re going. Some of the directions are off the beaten path, and if you get impatient, you’ll want to make sure you know how to get back on the tried & true road.
* Try the samplers, but unless someone really is the oyster-tasting expert, go with 50% small ones, and 50% big ones if you’re planning to grill ’em.
* The staff advised us to just cook the larger oysters by tossing them (closed) onto the grill. The oysters would open up once they were ready to eat. We found that this wait time resulted in overcooking, or caused some of the oysters to explode open. Instead, use the shucking knife to loosen the shell and toss the thing, still relatively closed, onto the grill. OR….
* Cook the large oysters open-faced, with a variety of bastings. We tried the following:
— Hog Island’s own Hog Wash, which someone made…I think the Hog Wash would make anything taste delicious.
–Lemon juice, some lemon rind, white wine, white onion, and tabasco
–Beer with lemon rind (didn’t really do it for us)
Looking forward to the next invitiation…. :-9
For a more detailed view of the surroundings & setup, check out more pictures here.