Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Shuck me some oysters


serpentine
 Share

Recommended Posts

Coquette does indeed still seem to be open, despite rumors to the contrary I'd heard from one of my wine purveyors earlier in the week. It looked like there were a few tables of diners in there tonight as I passed by on my way home (early) from work.

Eh. Coquette not managing to keep regular hours and the constant rumors of its closing doesn't inspire much confidence in me. Particularly with something like raw oysters.

When we first walked into Snockey's, I thought we might get that perfunctory-at-best "you're not from 'round here" service. The guy behind the bar isn't the warm fuzzy type. But I had a nice chat w/the waitress when we walked back to look at the chalkboard of current oyster offerings, and she told us to go talk to the shucker if we had more questions. And the guy behind the bar warmed up to me once we started talking oysters.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Snockey's totally ROCKS.

Used to slip over there after editorial meetings at STYLE magazine, whose offices are a few doors away, for some fried oysters and chowder. Simply old school fish house, like Kelly's of Mole St and Walt's. And worth a visit.

Rich Pawlak

 

Reporter, The Trentonian

Feature Writer, INSIDE Magazine
Food Writer At Large

MY BLOG: THE OMNIVORE

"In Cerveza et Pizza Veritas"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
I went back to Snockeys and it was really good this time. Good oyster stew and the raw bar had great stuff too.

Doing a little research? Way to keep some great news about SSOH under your hat! Congrats!

I'll second that! Can't wait until it opens back up.

Thank You. I am excited to get the job, it was one of the first places i started going to when I started getting into the business.

Back to the thread, check out Snockey's happy hour.

It Rocks.

Edited by Greg Ling (log)

"..French Vanilla, Butter Pecan, Chocolate Deluxe, even Caramel sundaes is getting touched.." Ice Cream

Link to comment
Share on other sites

First of all, congratulations, Greg. I look forward to re-visiting the re-newed Oyster House.

When I first moved to Philadelphia in 1979, I frequented Kelly's of Mole Street (which by the time I arrived in town had moved to Ranstead Street, or was it Ludlow?) which was the original establishment of the Mink family. A very fine fish house, indeed, whose tradition continued when the construction of One Liberty Place forced a relocation, and a new name, the SSOH.

I'm also glad to hear the Minks intend to continue to display that fabulous collection of oyster plates!

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Worked at 17th and Market when I moved to Philadelphia in 1977. Dewey's on the corner, Onasis in the middle of block (S. 17th Street), same block a sandwich place where all you saw were the hands making the sandwich - the rest of the counter was a wall and, at least once a week, Kelly's of Mole Street, though as I recall it wasn't really on Mole Street.

Toss in the Commissary at 17th and Sansom for breakfast - life was good and calorie filled.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

Twitter

Link to comment
Share on other sites

First of all, congratulations, Greg. I look forward to re-visiting the re-newed Oyster House.

When I first moved to Philadelphia in 1979, I frequented Kelly's of Mole Street (which by the time I arrived in town had moved to Ranstead Street, or was it Ludlow?) which was the original establishment of the Mink family. A very fine fish house, indeed, whose tradition continued when the construction of One Liberty Place forced a relocation, and a new name, the SSOH.

I'm also glad to hear the Minks intend to continue to display that fabulous collection of oyster plates!

When I was a apprentice at the Bellevue, The SSOH was one of the first places I started going to regularly ("The Office" was the other employee place). I was going there for about 10 years before I ever sat at one of the tables in the back and only then because my family was over from H.K. and we could not all sit at the bar.

"..French Vanilla, Butter Pecan, Chocolate Deluxe, even Caramel sundaes is getting touched.." Ice Cream

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Worked at 17th and Market when I moved to Philadelphia in 1977.  Dewey's on the corner, Onasis in the middle of block (S. 17th Street), same block a sandwich place where all you saw were the hands making the sandwich - the rest of the counter was a wall and, at least once a week, Kelly's of Mole Street, though as I recall it wasn't really on Mole Street.

Toss in the Commissary at 17th and Sansom for breakfast - life was good and calorie filled.

The sandwich place was probably Steak City (at least, that was what it was called when I arrived in town in 1979, also working at 17th & Market). For breakfast regulars, you'd go to the end of the long line, they'd see you and start your order (mine was bacon and cheese on bagel), and you'd have it by the time you'd reach the cash register. The owner, George, bought the building just a few months before Rouse announced the One Liberty Place project; he retired to a second career in real estate when he wasn't enjoying the beaches back home in Greece. One of Steak City's alumni (Gus) runs the food cart (no grill, but breakfast breads, pastries and cold sandwiches, hot dogs) on the southwest corner of 20th & Market.

I don't remember Onasis, but there was a Greek restaurant on Chestnut right near 17th. First place where I tried grilled octopus. The owner went on to run a restaurant at 2nd and South, and took over the New City Tavern on 20th for a few years, where he was denied a permit to put some tables on the sidewalk.

Dewey's, of course, was a wonderful place for alcoholics, which I think was its sole reason for being. In addition to the Commissary, I also frequented Salad Alley, which also had decent soups.

All these places added up to a whole lot more than the food court at One Liberty.

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Another vote for Snockeys Oyster & Crab House.

I've gone by it for years but never stopped . . . until yesterday, prompted by this thread.

I've been craving oysters, so after running a few lunchtime errands I found a parking space nearby. Upon entering everything felt right: the tubs of iced oysters, the bottles of Genny Cream in the refrigerator case, the bowls of OTCs with horseradish on the side, the chalkboard selection of bivalves.

Yesterday the prices ranged from $7.50 a half dozen for the New Jersey Bennies (from the restored Bennies Sand oyster bed in Delaware Bay) to $13.75 for Lons Island Salts. I counted 10 varieties from Maritime Canada, Massachusetts, Long Island, New Jersey, Virginia, Washington and British Columbia. Since I've got a predilection for cold water oysters it didn't take me long to split my half dozen between two New Brunswick oysters: Peacock Cove and Little Shemogue, both $10.75. Both were briny fresh and deeply-flavored, not too metallic and medium-sized. The Shemogue might have been just a wee saltier, but otherwise they had similar tastes, though iirc the Peacock Coves may have been slightly plumper. I skipped the house sauce and didn't even add lemon to these beauties.

It's only the past year that I've tried to shuck oysters, using the oyster knife to pry open the hinge and then release the meat. Not at Snockey's. Instead, they use an oyster cracker and a stone: the oyster is placed on the stone vertically (hinge at bottom), than the cracker is tapped on the lip, forcing it apart. A knife then finishes the work of taking off the top shell and releasing the meat. In skilled hands it works beautifully: the oysters came to my plate full of their liquor and without any stray pieces of shell chips. It's a much faster and safer technique than prying open the hinge with an oyster knife.

Lunchtime sandwiches come with slaw, pickle and either French fries or soup. The snapper soup (they also offer a Manhattan chowder and a crab soup) was spicy and beefy-rich, and avoided being cornstarch-thick. Not much in the way of snapper meat, but it had the flavor. The fish on my fried flounder sandwich ($7.95, served on hoagie roll) was fresh. The breading was a good example of the cornmeal variety, though on a thin fish like flounder I thought the bread-flesh ratio was a little high; probably wouldn't be a problem with a thicker filet like a haddock, though it's not on the menu. The slaw was slightly creamy with hardly any liquid to drip: a perfect counterpoint to the fried fish.

I'm going to have to make Snockey's a regular habit this winter.

Bob Libkind aka "rlibkind"

Robert's Market Report

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm going to have to make Snockey's a regular habit this winter.

Seconded! I followed your lead and after a morning's errands in South Philly, hit up Snockey's for lunch. The knowledgeable and enthusiastic oyster guy put together a plate of a half dozen oysters: two each of Fanny Bay, BC (sweet, almost cucumbery), Peacock Coves (briny, mineral-y), and Bennies (a little sweet, very mild).

I followed the oysters up with a cup of the Maryland crab soup (not very crabby, alas) and a shrimp po-boy. I don't know how well the po-boy worked as a sandwich-- a hoagie roll isn't the right bread-- but it had the best fried shrimp I've had in years: plump, juicy, great crunchy coating.

It's a shame it took me so long to get to Snockey's; it's one of those old-school places that I'm glad are around.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Based on the above we tried XiX and it was terrible. The seafood platter did not taste right (except for some nice scallops). The oysters and clams were extremely metallic, the crab meat mixture lousy. We got the feeling we were not at all important in the context of the Restaurant Week crush. I enjoyed my wife's company but that was it. We compensated with some pastries at the Naked Chocolate Café afterwards. The evening was not particularly expensive ($65/person with parking and dessert). But still not worth it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wouldn't go anywhere near a restaurant involved in Restaurant Week during Restaurant Week. I've worked a few of them.

Of course, I also try my best to never be at a restaurant on a Friday or Saturday. And I never sit down between 7 and 8. I just like better service and dislike crowds and crowded restaurants.

I haven't had anything else to eat at XIX besides oysters and I've been fortunate enough to always have good experiences. It's too bad that yours was not. Perhaps the rest of the experience affected how you felt about the food. I've had that happen to me before.

--

matt o'hara

finding philly

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

After a really long wait, I hear the OHP kitchen goes in next week and I am this much closer to free oysters!

"..French Vanilla, Butter Pecan, Chocolate Deluxe, even Caramel sundaes is getting touched.." Ice Cream

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

I had some oysters at XIX last night at an Absolut sponsored event. The quality of the oysters was fine, but I was surprised by how poorly served they were. The ends of the shells were stuck into the pile of crushed ice which allowed the ice to tumble into the oysters, melt and wash away all of the oyster liquor. WTH is up with that?? You'd think they'd know better at a place of that caliber. :unsure:

Looking forward to OH reopening. I know Greg will make sure the oysters get served properly. :wink:

Katie M. Loeb
Booze Muse, Spiritual Advisor

Author: Shake, Stir, Pour:Fresh Homegrown Cocktails

Cheers!
Bartendrix,Intoxicologist, Beverage Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
Captain Liberty of the Good Varietals, Aphrodite of Alcohol

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...