829 Southdrive

829 Southdrive

A New Jersey state of mind

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Oyster Jones

We walked down Thames Street, stopping at every establishment
and asking, 'do you have an oyster menu?'  As soon as the employee
gave us a blank stare and turned to ask a co-worker, we moved on.  
After about five places on the street, including the Waterfront 
Hotel, I spied in the distance a beacon of hope.  There, I said, 
we will stop for some ersters and hopefully a good martini.  
We were far from disappointed. 

Just by the look of the oyster menu, I knew we'd reached our 
destination.  Someone at our table, however, mistook 'Quahog'
for a reasonably priced oyster and ordered nine of them.  

Daddy had seven of them.  He graciously donated
most of the oysters he had ordered to his overwhelmed
offspring and all at the table had a few guffaws.
The Quahogs were salty, tender, and a mouthful of
Rhode Island, each and every one.  My Dad was
watching over us and loving every minute.  In the cast
iron sauce pan in front of Baywife was a great rendition
of RI clam chowder, made with Quahogs, potatoes,
onions, bacon, and a semi clear broth, with cream, 
but not too thick.  I was only allowed one taste.   

When we went inside to add our name to the wait
list, I asked the hostess to muster a pair of
reading glasses, as I had of course forgotten mine.
Upon being seated, the glasses were handed to
me with the menus.  Attention to requests is always
appreciated.  I will be booking a table for May of 
2015 for my daughter's graduation. And I'll make
sure we all know that Quahogs are big clams.  


  1. Nice to hear that the inner harbor is alive and doing well. They should expand the herring offerings to include Danish and Swedish sill...

  2. Far be it from me to question the food knowledge of a professional such as yourself, but surely there should be no cream in real Rhode Island clam chowder? Rhode Island clam chowder should be clear with at most a splash of milk and a pat of butter added. Once you add cream it becomes New England clam chowder doesn't it?

    Quite by coincidence. Tillerwoman and I were having lunch at Evelyn's yesterday. As usual I ordered the RI clam chowder which was clear. The waitress (who remembered us from previous visits and was clearly a RI native) was jokingly bemoaning the fact that this year Evelyn's had added New England chowder to their menu. She thought this was sacrilege. (Only tourists around here would order such a thing.) But she did confide that it was simply the RI chowder thickened up with cream and flour.

    1. Okay, it was probably a splash of milk. Delicious nonetheless!

    2. Excellent! It's good to know that authentic RI chowder can be found that far south. I would hate to hear that they were passing off counterfeit chowder. People around here take their chowder seriously.

  3. I surprised they had just one Maryland Oyster on the menu. I venture a guess the the Eastern Shore Waterman are none too happy about that.

  4. Martini étiquette: Once the cocktail level is that low in the glass, you may de-skewer the condiments (be they onions or olives) and let them bob in the shallow pool for the brief interregnum in which your wait-person is bringing your next one-- at which point it's bottoms up without the stick on your cheek.

    1. Mojo, I prefer having control of my garnish at all times.

    2. I hastily (and sloppily) used the word 'condiments', when I meant 'garnish', as you rightly said.

      You must let those garnishes loose to wallow in the blabbermouth soup! Maybe not when it's an infinity pool on top, but surely in the shallow end. You can still poke at them, or spear one for a nibble. More sporting!

      But I am splitting hairs here. I would not hazard to guess how many silver bullets we have collectively consumed, but that census would be scary. And they are such a perfect complement to ersters!