Whenever I can, I begin a meal with a half dozen oysters on the half shell. Where is the best place for oysters in Northwest? My standard is the Acme in New Orleans. I don't think we have anything to compare on two counts: the oysters themselves and the quality of the shucking. Gulf oysters are generaly larger, richer and sweeter in my opinion. Penn Coves are the closest I have found.
I was raised up in Whatcom County. I remember going out to Semiamoo Spit to pick up oysters. My grandpa carried a lemon and a pepper shaker in his pocket and he would shuck a few right on the beach with his jack knife. Through the lense of memory, those oysters were at least as rich and sweet as gulf oysters.
That was over forty years ago. Now, the so-called oyster houses have their lists of the varieties and exotic sauces for the foodies, but they can't seem do a straight forward job of shucking. I really have a problem with laying out ten bucks for 6 oysters at Chandlers or the Fish Cafe and then having to spit shells out of most of them. I don't believe I have ever found a shell in an oyster at the Acme.
Am I just too picky? Or do others think the PNW oyster purveyers need to sharpen up before we all move to New Orleans?