Last week was a busy week. Every year, during the Vancouver Playhouse International Wine Festival week, there’s “a whole lot a” drinking, eating, schmoozing and cooking going on. Tons of fantastic events, loads of catching up with “friends in the biz” and it’s always guaranteed to be a crazy week.
On Friday afternoon, “The Godfather” joined me at the wine festival trade tasting at the Vancouver Convention Center. First off, I’m pretty glad they moved the tasting to VCC West. I really love that room as far as convention space goes and it’s so much more enjoyable, tasting wine in a room with massive windows and a beautiful view of the north shore. The trade tastings are always a ton of fun and probably my favorite events of the week. The afternoon tastings have become more about catching up with industry pals, than tasting wine and always lead into evenings of extravagant wining and dining and occasionally some serious debauchery. After 3 hours of tasting some delicious wines, “The Godfather’s” palate was completely overwhelmed, we both were feeling “a little happy” from all the “libation ingestion” and most definitely we were feeling a tad peckish, so we decided to leave a little early and grab a bite.
I’ve had a hankering for raw oysters for the longest time, so after we ditched the tasting room, we hit the public transit and ended up at Rodney’s Oyster House. [1228 Hamilton Street, Vancouver, (604) 609-0080] We bellied up to the bar, next to a couple of “ravenous cougars” and quickly ordered a pair of beers, two dozen oysters and an order of pan-fried oysters.
It just so happened it was “Low Tide,” (their version of happy hour) so oysters on the half shell were $1.50 and appies were reduced in price?!? Double score! Even though it was cold and rainy out, the beer was exceptionally refreshing and helped wash away the built up wine residue from earlier on. I don’t want to catch heat from the “craft beer contingent”, but I don’t think I’ve had a Stella in forever; it really hit the spot! Oysters on the half shell arrived soon after; briny, crisp, creamy, tasty; exactly what I was looking for and man did we “slurp ’em back.” I was so happy. After a rather stressful week, I was now catching up with “the Godfather,” planning out some MEP for the Vintners brunch and slurping oysters; how good is that?
Then if things weren’t already going great, the fried oysters arrived. It didn’t look like much. Pretty 80’s if you ask me; 4 fried oysters on an 1/2 oyster shells, lemon wedges, tartar sauce, kale and parsley sprigs? F**k me. It could have been a plate from Red Lobster, but as soon as we took a bite, we were blown away. Crispy, hot, nicely seasoned fried oysters. So perfect and so tasty. The big deal was they were exceptionally fresh oysters, nicely seasoned and they came straight from the fry pan or deep fryer to our bar stools. A little squeeze of lemon and a couple dabs of mediocre tartar sauce and Yowza! Bottom line, the fried oyster were awesome. We were so filled with joy and it wasn’t the booze talking either. To be honest, “The Godfather” is one of my favorite dining companions and we eat out a fair bit, but rarely do we have these Yowza! moments. I don’t know if we were giddy from rekindling the “bromance,” but damn, those oysters were good. We were all ready to order another couple dozen oysters and another plate of fried oysters, but we decided to hit the street, escape the stalking “coug-age” and hit a few other spots on the radar.
I’m totally inspired by my Rodney’s fried oysters experience. “So simple, so delicious.” I think I’m going to have to pick up a couple dozen oysters and make some fried oyster sandwiches this weekend. I “gar-an-tee” this is going to get uber-tasty.
Until my next Yowza! moment, peace be unto you.