Home > Delmarva Drives Blog > Author Blog > Harrison's Chesapeake House Oyster Orgy
Harrison's Chesapeake House Oyster Orgy PDF Print E-mail
Written by Fran Severn   
Tuesday, 11 January 2011 18:53

 

Oyster lovers rejoice! Yea, verily, the Friday night oyster orgy is back at Harrison’s Chesapeake House on Tilghman Island.

 

I’m told the oyster population is low and that the possibility of oysters vanishing altogether is not unthinkable, but you wouldn’t know it to see the feast spread out every weekend in months that are graced with the letter “R.”

 

Weathered bushel baskets heavy with bivalves that were happily sucking up the waters of the Chesapeake Bay that morning are dragged to a bench where a large man with a sharp blade and nimble fingers shucks them as fast as the waiting line plucks them from the ice-covered raw bar. It is a pleasure to watch an artist at work, especially when you can so thoroughly enjoy the results of his labors.

 

But wait – there’s more! The waitress brings steaming oyster stew from the kitchen. If you want a second or third bowl, she’ll bring that, too, but most people don’t. It would look too gluttonous. And this is not an episode of Man vs. Food, but a celebration of Crassostrea Virginica.

 

Besides, there’s this long buffet table covered with everything else. “Everything” in this case means: oyster pot pie, fried oysters, steamed oysters, oyster fritters, oysters Rockefeller, and oysters Chesapeake. There are probably more ways to prepare oysters, but there’s just no more space to put anything else on the table. For variety, there’s also fried chicken and baked ham. And since you are supposed to eat your vegetables, there’s cole slaw, stewed tomatoes, lima beans, fresh biscuits kept warm in a basket covered with linen napkins, and some very fine mac and cheese with a toasty crust and gooey interior. Dessert (as though there’s any room left) is a tray of homemade bread pudding. If there are non-oyster lovers or someone who’s just not that hungry at your table, Harrison’s extensive regular menu is available. It’s a treat in itself, but to quote Alton Brown, “That’s another show.”

 

Harrison’s is about as down-home and unpretentious as they come. The staff all lives locally. And so do most of the customers – half of them are cousins, in-laws, school buddies, or co-workers to the other half – so there’s a lot of bantering between the tables as local news is updated and local gossip passed on. It’s more like a family picnic than a restaurant meal. Show up twice and you’ve become a ‘regular’ and included in the conversations.

 

It’s a long, dark ride from Rt. 50 down Rt. 33 through Easton and St. Michaels to Tilghman Island, but with the first oyster being shucked at 4 p.m. you can indulge yourself to satiation and still be home by bedtime.

 

The oyster buffet is every Friday night from 4-9:30 p.m. $31.99 per person. Reservations aren’t necessary, but are a good idea. 410-886-2121.

 

Sponsored Links

 
Bookmark and Share