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all words and snaps: Nikki Bogopolskaya

This Sunday, I engaged in a behavior I usually reserve for emergencies, family gatherings, and extended trips to Target—I drove to the suburbs.

I had never been to Rockville, Maryland, before, but except for a near-death experience in which I swerved across three lanes in my Zipcar to the “Overlook Point” on the GW Highway to observe the gorgeous fall foliage, both the drive (under 30 minutes from Dupont Circle) and the burb itself (green, clean, serene) were extremely pleasant. I arrived at Addie’s for the Oyster Roast at around 2PM on Sunday and the party was well underway.

Expert oyster grillers

The Oyster Roast at Addie’s was the last of four fundraisers for National Diabetes Month and the Children’s National Medical Center at the four restaurants in the DC/Maryland-based Black Restaurant Group. Owners Jeff and Barbara Black have, over the course of the past month, hosted a nine course dinner at the high-end Black’s Bar and Kitchen, an oyster tasting at seafood restaurant BlackSalt Market and a pig roast at the more casual Black Market and Bistro. Addie’s, which has received rave reviews for its relaxed atmosphere (the restaurant is in a converted home) and genuine American grub (roasted half chicken on the bone, pork chops, and skirt steak are some of the more popular dinner menu items),capped off the giving with a roast of oysters that promised to be roasted, fried, shucked, and barbequed, as well as a plethora of other season items such as BBQ chicken, chili, roast suckling pig, hot dogs and roasted vegetables.

Shucked oysters with hot sauce and lemon

We quickly gravitated towards the free beer and wine before stacking our plates with oysters (indeed prepared four glorious ways—I would have to say fried was my favorite), roasted butternut squash casserole, sweet potatoes and meats galore.  We enjoyed our delicious barbeque at picnic tables under the sun as we listened to the band (which kept guests happy with throaty versions of country and American classics) and attempted to avoid the large quantity of suburban children—although make-your-own candy apples and cotton candy eventually did lead us to the arts and crafts table with pipe cleaners, beads, and temporary tattoos galore.

Make your own candy apple station

The four events hoped to raise $200,000 to build a new state of the art kitchen for the Children’s National Medical Center. The kitchen is part of a $5million expansion to support patients with diabetes. In addition to the fundraisers, the Blacks donated 100% of proceeds from their signature dish, Addie’s Oysters, to the hospital. No word yet on whether goals have been met, but guests had a fantastic time eating, drinking, dancing and supporting the cause. I’m afraid to say I may even have to venture behind the wheel to sample Addie’s regular menu soon.

Onto second helpings Roast Queens Delicious One hungry blogger This guest's first (of three) plates Fried oysters galore Butternut squash casserole and green beans