An urge for oysters this weekend deposited me at the bars of Pacific and Sea grills in downtown Tacoma.
Both restaurants served oysters on the half shells, atop beds of ice, with cocktail and mignonette sauces.
Sea Grill oysters had grit and grip. The shucker made a mess of the mantle, leaving shards of broken shell. The shucker also forgot to slip the knife beneath the meat. Those Quilcenes and Chef Creeks clung.
At Pacific Grill, Kumamotos and all their bivalve brothers slid effortlessly -- and gritlessly -- from their shells.
And that -- as I told my slurping companion -- is why we paid $25 for 12 oysters, instead of staying home and shucking our own.
(Paying $12 for six gritty, clingy oysters? Research. Speaking of research, do you know how to shuck oysters? Can you clean a crab? Share your comments. I may net a story.)
Oh, one last thing: I loved that spicy white Gru-Vee that Pacific Grill's server recommended when my slurping companion inquired about white wines by the glass.
It was my first taste of the Austrian Gruner Veltliner grape. It started kind of dry and sweetened up on my tongue. It was perfect with oysters.
But I wish my server had added one more thing to her recommendation:
"And that's $11 per glass."
Good thing my slurping companion slurped the Gru-Vee down. I'd have done a spit-take when the tab came.
Next time I'll remember that asking the price of something isn't gauche; it's just plain common sense.
Same goes for telling customers the prices of things.