The Walrus and the Carpenter–Seattle

Oct 21, 2010

A sensational new oyster spot has arrived in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, which has that industrial-chic feel that’s usually a good sign for an oyster bar. One end of Ballard Avenue is full of young, annoyingly healthy looking Seattle types, but this end of Ballard is graced by a gigantic hardware sign and some boat merchandise shops. And to get to the oyster bar you pretty much have to walk through a bike shop, which is cool. It’s near the locks, where boats from Lake Union can drop down and out into Puget Sound.

I knew things were looking up when I walked into the Walrus and the Carpenter and recognized Anthony Pane behind the bar–one of the fastest shuckers in the country. He and the rest of the knowledgeable staff turn out perfectly shucked oysters–which, sadly, you can’t say about too many oyster bar staffs anymore. No shell or nicked oysters here! The oysters were all Puget Sound or BC oysters, and all quite fresh. Kusshis or Kumamotos are always on hand, and they seem to make a specialty of Effingham Inlets, from BC. These are some of the briniest Pacific oysters you’ll find. They also had some Skookums on hand, which were funky and rich, as only Skookums can be. Happy Hour begins at 4, with half-price oysters. A plate of tiny, smoky, grilled peppers makes a perfect foil for your bivalves.

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