ACME Oyster House, New Orleans, LA

Visited NOLA awhile back and one of the people in our group said we were required to visit ACME Oyster House.


Despite being the middle of the afternoon, the wait was quite long. This place obviously lives up to its reputation.
Once at our table a couple of us just felt like having Bloody Mary’s.  Can never go wrong!


Then orders varied around the table.  Raw oysters had to be ordered by some.  Apparently their (traditional) roasted oysters are phenomenal — some great butter and parm on there.



I asked if I could get something different done to mine because of my whole lactose intolerance issue.  The waitress took some notes and said she couldn’t guarantee anything and I would still have to pay if anything came out wrong.  Gulp!  They were perfectly roasted and I just added some lemon juice.  I don’t love oysters but I just had to order them because of where I was.


Some crawfish also came to the table.  Was hilarious watching different people eat them.  Everybody had their own way of dealing with them.


By the time the meal was done we were just sort of rolling out of there.  The meal was definitely worth the wait.

Earn What You Eat, Cooya Beach, AUS

We traveled just north of Port Douglas, AUS to visit Cooya Beach (Kuyu Kuyu). This is a traditional fishing ground of the Kuku Yalanji people.  We were taken out by the Kubirri Warra brothers for a walk on their beach, mudflat and mangroves and introduced to traditional fishing and gathering techniques, and we got to find our own tucker (aka food).

So, we walked out in the water (pants up to knees and barefoot from their house — no shoes allowed) with sticks in hand and started working for crabs.  The past few years in MD crabs have been expensive.  Yes, frustrating.  But our guides were telling that around that area the prices is around at least $200/bushel.  Ok, at the end of our half hour ‘fishing’ trip, I see why.  You walk around with a sharp edged stick in hand and look for crabs and stab them.  That’s about it.  Talk about labor hours! I was lucky enough to get one.  And getting that one (key number)…once I saw it and it didn’t scurry away, it probably took me about 5 minutes to stab it.  Dang!

crab

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After we were done ‘crabbing’ we continued, but it was through a bit different areas.  This is where oysters and escargots live.  We found many of them.  I don’t like raw oysters but when it Rome… These were pretty good.  Because of the salt water they are in, it seeps into them.  They were very (good &) salty.  And the salt crystals on them were darn good, too.  We also found many of the escargots.

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When we returned to the starting point, our guides cooked all of this up for us and we had a small feast.  Great local findings.

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U5?

Finally made it to the DC Fish Market on Maine Avenue last month.  I have only lived here how long (next year will be 15 years) and have been meaning to get there.  It’s full of great fish vendors and tons of stuff to check out.

IMG_1157 IMG_1158 IMG_1159So much amazing seafood!

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My friends and I decided we’d each grab something to contribute for dinner that night.  After surveying, I decided on shrimp, and I couldn’t just grab everyday shrimp, that would be too easy for a fish market.  I saw these big guys that I could not turn down — U5s.  If you’re not completely sure what than means, it’s that there are 5 or less shrimp per pound!  When you see ‘normal’ shrimp selection in the grocery store, there/they are 21-25, 31-40, in most cases.  But really, U5?  The pictures do them no justice.

IMG_1169 IMG_1176 When we got to the kitchen, I could pretty much cozily fit the three of them that I purchased for the three of us in one pan.  Just seared them with some olive oil and garlic.

IMG_1194 IMG_1200We also picked up some oysters and a red snapper.  Great dinner!

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Oh My Oyster

I kept hearing about grilled oysters in New Orleans. I might have grilled oysters once a year at Christmas when half my family eats raw oysters and then my brother is kind enough to threw a few on the BBQ for the rest of us who aren’t quite that intrigued by those raw guys. I normally put some lemon juice and Tabasco on my grilled one and it’s great. So, being in NOLA, with all this hype, I had to give them a try. I received several restaurant recommendations and ended up at a super local place – Felix’s in the French Quarter.

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The guy behind the bar/counter, Magic, was awesome because I asked how they grilled them and I also asked if there was butter (mentioned I was lactose intolerant). In the funniest way, he said ‘these are the biggest waste of your time, you are not going to get the taste you need, it will be like water!’ They put parmesan cheese, sometimes butter and all sorts of other stuff on them. It was HILARIOUS what he was telling me. They pretty much refused to serve me any oyster (unless I was to go raw) because of my lactose issue. Props to them. They had fun, debating for several minutes, what I could eat at their super local place. They came up with some phenomenal grilled shrimp and their ‘amazing’ sweet potato fries.

While I was waiting for this to come out, I was intrigued watching the guys shuck the oysters. I even got an (oyster) pearl. Is this my good luck charm from NOLA? (Yes, this pic almost looks like a macadamia nut).

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Then my dinner came out. WOW! I still vividly remember it. The shrimp were so juicy and I don’t really like fries that much and these things were to die for. I would totally recommend this diner-like place, beyond local, over the big names. Go Felix’s. Thanks for a great dinner!

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