This weekend we took a trip up to Point Reyes for some hiking, some eating, and some general out-of-the-city time. It was awesome. The weather was mostly beautiful (save the extreme wind conditions on half our Saturday hike), and some of the food was spectacular. I’ll do another post for our experience at Sir and Star, but wanted to quickly recap the fun stop we made at Hog Island Oyster Co. on our way out.
Having been to the Hog Island in the Ferry Building in SF a number of times (omg, try the clam chowder; it’s out of this world), I was keen to see what their home base was like. Directly bordering the east side of Tomales bay on Highway 1 is a tiny town called Marshall which houses a number of oyster farms and retailers. Oysters are the “thing” on this stretch of land, as they are harvested right there in the shallow waters of Tomales Bay. And while I’ve never been an oyster person, I wanted to see what it was about.
The Marshall location of Hog Island Oysters has a few things for patrons: 1) a stand where you can order oysters to-go to take them home and shuck/cook/not cook them yourself; 2) a picnic area with barbecues where you can reserve a table and make a day out of barbecuing oysters and whatever else you bring; and, 3) a small, rustic outdoor cafe open Friday through Monday which serves raw oysters, barbecue oysters, salad, cheese, bread, wine, and beer. The last option was my target on this quick stop-over.
As we had already had breakfast, this “meal” was completely superfluous, so I mostly occupied myself with taking pictures, enjoying the sunshine, and ordering the smallest amount of food possible to enable us to experience the basic offerings. Raw oysters have always scared me a bit, so we started easy with the bbq oysters. I figured if I didn’t like those, I was never going to like any version of them. We ordered four barbecue oysters (resisted adding cheese and bread) and a beer for my man friend. Fifteen minutes later, they arrived:
They smelled delicious — like barbecue spices and sauce, but I was still a bit wary. Using a tiny fork, I scraped the already loosened oyster from the shell, sopped up as much flavorful juice as I could, and ate the tiny bite of food. It was delicious. A cooked oyster is soft (maybe even a little mushy?) and salty, and the flavors they barbecued onto them made them amazing. They were SO GOOD. We had two each and were really itching for more. But between the fact that we weren’t actually terribly hungry, and that every four oysters cost $13, we refrained.
But, we definitely promised ourselves we’d come back another time with a full appetite to enjoy all that Hog Island has to offer. And maybe I’ll even try a raw one next time…