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October 5, 2010

Top 10 fried oyster destinations

I couldn't very well leave off Faidley's (so the list isn't limited to just restaurants), and a few places doglend several of swell things with their fried oysters (so this isn't strictly a list of "items").

Your suggestions helped, and thank you for them.

I'm feeling a little funny about leaving out Cross Street Market --  but it's been too long since I've had fried oysters there. So convince me (or I will myself) -- I've left a tenth slot open for it, or anything else I've forgotten about or will soon discover.

Here they are, alphabetically:

Catonsville Gourmet -- Chef Rob Rehmert flash-fries them with bacon and asparagus and serves them on toast points, finished with horseradish hollandaise in an entree called Oysters Muir.

Charleston -- Cindy Wolf serves her cornmeal dusted oysters with lemon-cayenne mayonnaise. I love the suggested pairing -- Pol Roger "white foil" brut Champagne -- and on the lunch menu, as well. Made me think of Patsy and Edina.

Clementine -- D@L poster Stagger Lee raved so persuasively about a new menu item at Clementine -- "braised pork cheeks, oysters, and greens with apple cider jus over gouda mashed potatoes" -- it had a few of us headed up to Hamilton. <i> the oysters here are not fried <i/>

Faidley Seafood -- The photo above (which I love love love), dated September 1, 1998, shows William Donald Schaefer and Parris N. Glendening not eating fried oysters at Faidley's. I seriously doubt a politician running for office has ever been photographed at Faidley's eating anything but a crab cake.

Gertrude's at the BMA -- John Shields prepares serves his Cincoteague-style "single-fry" oysters with a remoulade sauce, available as either an appetizer or stuffed into a poorboy. Or you can have them added to a salad

Henninger's Tavern-- As they ever were -- pan-fried and served on sauteed spinach with fennel and pernod cream. Right about now, the fried oyster poorboy tend to show up on the bar menu

Mama's on the Half Shell -- Fried and served served with tartar sauce, as an appetizer or in a poorboy. But also in a stew, grilled, the subject of shooters, wrapped in bacon, and, of course on the half shell.

Ryleigh's Oyster -- Many permutations here, too -- panko-fried, served with an adobo aioli, in a fine stew, and formed into a loaf and put on a sandwich with bacon and tartar sauce. It does come up a lot, so I'll say here that a lot of people are pulling for Ryleigh's to commit to great, and consistent, service.

Sterling's Seafood -- Poster RoCK reminded us of the over-sized and overstuffed, but not overpriced, fried seafood sub at this Remington institution.    

One for the Hunt -- I think we need to spend the rest of October, or at least the rest of the week, in search of the deserving tenth fried-oyster preparation.

Baltimore Sun Staff/Elizabeth Malby
Posted by Richard Gorelick at 6:04 AM | | Comments (25)
Categories: Top Ten Tuesdays


Richard--"poorboy"--is that a Po'Boy when it's putting on airs?

I love love love that photo, too.

Bonus points for the Patsy/Eddie ref.

Um -- Gertrude's should come before Henninger's, alphabetically speaking.

I love oysters in any form, and good fried oysters are absolutely delicious. That said, I had probably the worst fried oyster sandwich of my life at Nick's in Cross Street Market. Two slices of white toast with three small oysters on it for $10. I was able to tear off nearly two inches of bread from around the edges before I got to a place where I was eating a sandwich with actual oyster in it. The flavor was ok, but the value was horrible.

Never again.

Best flavored fried oysters are at Ethel & Ramone's in Mt Washington!

Since it is one of your favorite restaurants, give the oysters a try!

Oh, Mama's caesar salad with fried oysters just melts me.

When you're done with your saffron mayo, and your dusted this and that.....come to Jerry D's on Harford Rd. in Parkville. The oysters are the star...plump, juicy, and without all the pretense.

thanks, just the kind of tip we were all hoping for

They don't always have them and when they do they are often just part of the pre-fixe menu: DONNA'S in Columbia (Snowden River Pkwy) has amazing fried oysters.

Ethel and Ramone's is an obvious oversight.

It is, I agree. But because I had already declared E&R's a personal favorite, it felt weird to single (or tenthle?) them out again so soon. The same could be said about the inclusion of Henninger's, but theirs were the oysters that made me first love love fried oysters.

Hate to agree with Jon because I love the atmosphere at Cross St Market. But he is right. I've also noticed that Nick's uses oysters from a jar for their sandwiches, which boggles my mind given that there is a plethora of fresh options 10 feet away on the other side of the building. They should also ditch the boring white bread for a French roll and serve a legit Po' Boy.

Edgewater Restaurant in Edgewater, MD they are THE BOMB! Enough for 2 people to share

thanks, I am going to go check them out!

#10 should be Friendy Farms ... the best I've ever had. But they don;t start serving them until early November (usually).

The Chameleon Cafe has had a great fried oyster appetizer that I hope will return when their summer "Maryland Menu" is phased out.

I'll throw in a vote for Clarence's in Edgewood. Clarence uses a really delicate breading and makes his own cajun remoulade.

He also makes a legit New Orleans fried oyster po-boy.

To clarify, the fried oysters in my other post were the homemade ones!

Clementine's oysters are not fried, but really, with that dish, it was so good it did not matter.

And to piggyback on pgp's post, the Chameleon's fried oyster app, skewered on a rosemary sprig, was the dish that made me fall in love with oysters.

thanks for that clarification. I agree, the dish remains in the top ten

Fred and Margie's in Curtis Bay/Brooklyn. At least a dozen on the sandwich done to perfection.

The Wine Market in south Baltimore does a fantastic fried oyster dish. So delicious!

Try Harris, just across the CB Bridge/Kent Island area. You'll remember them forever - and go back and go back and go back for more!!

All you can eat on oyster night at Harris Crab house @ Kent Narrows is the way to go. Eat them any way you like!

Best I've ever eaten were at the Lutherville VFD annual oyster roast, over 30 years ago. Second to that, last fall at a private event on Smith Island. I don't think fried oysters done commercially can ever surpass "homemade," that category to include roadside stands on the eastern shore.

BTW: that's a crab cake on Glendening's plate. Look carefully.

I've got to get to Jerry D's. It is one of those classic Baltimore places that I know I'll regret if I don't make the time to go while I still can.

What bryanintowson said -- and what I said earlier -- you gotta try Clarence's in Edgewood (which is different than Edgewater ... though, now that I think about it, not by much! Edgewood hasn't been by woods since well before 1804, and Edgewater's deepest port silted over about the same time.)

Note- the Muir in Catonsville Gourmet's oyster dish is Mr Muir who owned the hardware store which occupied that building for 67 years! Nice way to honor him.

That boy is not poor, he's po' :)

#10 - the Oyster Po'boy at Miss Shirley's is amazing. Great oysters that spend a little time in a nice ciabatta roll with some tomatoes, mixed baby greens, and amazing bacon with Old Bay remoulade. How could you not want one?

The Wine Market's oysters are solid too.

Stan M, Richard pretty much said that was a crab cake on Glendening's plate, if you look carefully at what he posted.

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About this blog

You are reading the archives. For updated blog posts about the Maryland food scene, see Richard Gorelick's new Baltimore Diner blog.
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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