Words by Norm Quarrington
Photos by Clarissa Villondo
Best if: you like your snacks to be seafood based and the idea of eating mac and cheese on a burger gets you sexually aroused
The Grilled Oyster Company has a bar menu that’s absolutely worth your time. If you’ve been to the sophisticated seafood establishment’s Cathedral Commons location for lunch or dinner, you probably think you know what to expect, especially from a place that has the word “oyster” in its name. But this exciting new menu flies in the face of expectation. Don’t panic! Most of your old favorites and traditional oyster-bar fare is still there, but there’s plenty of delicious new arrivals too.
Let’s start with the old faithfuls: Unsurprisingly, Grilled Oyster Co. has a bunch of oysters to choose from–most of which are $1 if you come on Buck-A-Shuck Tuesday. They come raw from the oyster bar, or there’s a variety of grilled options from which to choose. Can’t decide? Then try the Grilled Oyster Trio, which features three different flavored oysters. There’s the Rockefeller, which is smothered in spinach, parmesan, bacon, and pernod-cream. There’s the Rick’s, which is doused in BBQ sauce and topped with cucumber relish. And then there’s our favorite, the Drunken, which tastes just like whiskey only chewier, obviously.–the Trio is the perfect option for those have trouble making a decision, and like pretty much everything on the menu, it works as a starter, or as a delightful snack for grazers.
Other options from the snacky section of the bar menu include the crab hush puppies, which are perfectly cooked (the accompanying maple butter is terribly addictive), or the the calamari, which is the perfect balance of crispy and tender. The muscles are–for my money–some of the best DC has to offer (don’t be a dummy, use the fries to soak up the rich and creamy garlic-butter sauce), and the braised pork cheek tostada is a satisfying meaty detour on this fishy journey.
There’s also a wide selection of hefty sandwiches to choose from. The ‘Hey Steve’ immediately caught our eye, and Chef Steve was more than happy to rustle one up. This burger is not for the small-stomached foodie. In fact, it’d be a struggle for anyone to finish this alone. For the sake of your health and well-being, please share this burger with a friend (or two. Or three!) Despite its gargantuan proportion, the ‘Hey Steve’ is a tasty treat. It consists of a huge patty, bacon, and a chunk of fried mac & cheese which compliments the giant mound of beef underneath it way more than I anticipated.
Their Happy Hour features $6 house cocktails and takes place between 3pm and 7pm on weekdays (excluding Mondays, when it’s all-day Happy Hour!), and from 9.30pm to close every night of the week.