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Tink
28-03-2010, 11:32 AM
Yesterday was the FIRST ANNUAL Halifax Oyster Festival (at Daytona Beach).

The purpose was to raise funds to preserve the oyster beds. :yes: Lofty goal, so we filled up the tank and headed out.

Fighting miserable traffic all the way, we finally found ourselves at the spot on A 1 A. :9: Parking was a free for all, but we managed to find a place. A little surprised that there were no parking fees (as we were parking on a grassy area with many, many, many (hint) other cars) nor were there any sort of signs or traffic control. :shrug:

We walked to the entrance of the festival, where the tickets were being sold. You had to purchase $5 worth to gain entry, cheap enough, eh? :yes: Plus, of course all food and drink was sold using the tickets, so we bought some extras. Not sure what we were getting into, or what to expect (it was the FIRST ANNUAL after all :D ) we bought (thank heaven) a total of $20 worth.

The festival was held on a little tiny island that is reached by walking across a foot bridge. :yes: The island was right on the intercoastal and the very best part of the day was watching the dolphins play and the pelicans flying and diving (Herself's favorite water bird). (Another hint).

We were met with a very long line as we entered and turned left... not sure what the very long line was for we continued on...

Well! It was for the steamed or raw oysters. Yep. ONE booth/tent serving steamed or raw oysters. There were without exaggeration easily one hundred or more people in line... we walked on.

There was a hot dog cart, and another little booth that was selling oyster rolls and fried oysters, along with parmesan oysters and crab dip. The line wasn't quite as long as the other, so we placed ourselves at the end. And waited, and waited, and waited, and waited, and waited. After an hour (yes, I'm not kidding) the generator went down, so the small (as in four cups of oil) fryers (whooohoooo there were three) were without power. We waited a few minutes longer and finally gave up.

We walked a bit further... here is a line that is moving...we joined it. We waited and waited and waited throughout times when it stopped moving... and began again... we finally get to the booth itself and of course they are out of oysters. We are both (seriously!) faint with hunger by now so we traded tickets for mussels and a pulled beef ( :unsure: ) sandwich.

Finding a table was as challenging. All, of course were taken, including one where there were two people (at a 10 person table) who had tipped all the chairs forward so we stood at the corner of another table that wasn't full.

There was another booth with shrimp... ummmm, no thanks we did come for oysters, and another booth with shrimp and oyster stew (but they were out) and a couple of beer booths, the draft was out, so the choice was Budweiser or Mich Ultra ( :unsure: ).

No vendors but for one who was selling strange bits of glass...

Needless to say, after a three hour investment and no oysters we left. :lol:

What did we do? Headed north to Ormond Beach as there is a very nice (fairly new) restaurant there that sells oysters. (Now, here's an insider tip. That little booth that lost power, with the toy cookers? Yep. They were from the restaurant that we were headed to).

We get to the restaurant, get seated and wait, and wait, and wait, and wait, and wait... (I finally give up and go to the restroom) when a server from another area comes along to take drink orders from Herself. Seizing the opportunity, Herself gives the server our complete order.

They are out of oysters.

We leave.

We head home. Enough is enough of this coastal fun...

Herself remembers that there is this tiny little restaurant that she passes daily on her way to work. They've hung out a "whole belly clams" sign a few weeks ago. Great! Let's try it.

It is a TINY restaurant, but cleaner than clean, and very fresh smelling (important if you expect me to eat fish in your establishment, eh?).

The server comes to the table (it's one of those chalk board places) and pointing to the board he tells us that the FRIED OYSTERS are not on the menu but they have them.

We tell him our tale of searching for oysters and he laughs with us and tells the owner/chef who joins in.

Their oysters are divine. :D :D So are their fried crab sandwich and their fish and chips (choice of fish, we chose cod).

So, all that to find the best little seafood place is in our own backyard! LOLOL.

Not so sure we'll head to the SECOND ANNUAL oyster festival, but it was surely an adventure.

foreverducky
28-03-2010, 12:32 PM
Wow! Looking back it sure is funny, but I would have been slightly frustrated (obviously due to hunger). You were being teased throughout the day for fabulous oysters and none were to be found, until the end.

I am sure they learned for the first annual, so maybe it wouldn't be so bad to give it a second go. I'm sure they underestimated how many people were going to show up. :yes:

Tink
28-03-2010, 02:17 PM
Yes, that was really evidient, the misjudging. However, it was so seriously misjudged it moved from understandible to almost irresponsible. Honest.

We won't talk about the restrooms. Needless to say, we did not use them. The parking was downright dangerous with no crowd control, and no pedestrian control.

The food lines were contstantly being jumped, mostly because they were so long people didn't know where the end was! :eek:

The small (home use only) style cookers that were in use at all but one booth, demonstrated that whomever put on this event didn't have a clue. :eek:

It was frustrating, to be honest but we did love seeing the dolphins and pelicans. :yes:

Truly? Not sure we'll go again. We'll save our Oyster Festival for Gallway. :D

Britchick
28-03-2010, 02:29 PM
funny! I love to see the dolphins - glad you got to see them

Tinkfan
28-03-2010, 02:33 PM
:mental: :ROFL1: Sounds like something that would happen to us!!!!!!:yes:

lisaw
28-03-2010, 04:20 PM
:lol: quite an adventure! Glad you got your oysters in the end and a new restaurant to go to as well :yes:

Tink
28-03-2010, 07:41 PM
:yes:

It was funny after a bit. :lol: Oysters? Who wants oysters? :lol:

The oysters at the little place near home were perfect. Fat, perfectly battered and fried without a hint of greasiness. They were actually sweet. We inhaled them! The chef stuck his head around the corner and smiled and said, "You like?" Our cheeks were stuffed with oysters so we just nodded vigorously. :laugh:

He howled with laughter. :D :D

kazzaqld
28-03-2010, 07:48 PM
Wow what a day Tink!

I looooooooooooooooove oysters - I would have been going crazy too!

That place near home sounds fabulous! :yes:

Watching the dolphins play would have been awesome too. I saw them years and years ago when we went on a cruise, following the ship.

I'm so glad you managed to get some oysters in the end!

Tink
28-03-2010, 07:56 PM
Kazza, if you love oysters you would be so happy with this little place! :yes: The only drawback is that they don't always have them. :sigh:

But they had them yesterday! :lol: That's all that mattered at that point.

We are saving our trying of raw oysters (ulp!) for Galway. :yes: I have no idea why, but we both think we can try one there... at least I do. :unsure:

We love our oysters cooked though! :9: From plain steamed, to Rockefeller, we enjoy them the sweeter and fatter the better! :yes:

Do they have nice oysters in Australia?

kazzaqld
28-03-2010, 09:41 PM
Kazza, if you love oysters you would be so happy with this little place! :yes: The only drawback is that they don't always have them. :sigh:

But they had them yesterday! :lol: That's all that mattered at that point.

We are saving our trying of raw oysters (ulp!) for Galway. :yes: I have no idea why, but we both think we can try one there... at least I do. :unsure:

We love our oysters cooked though! :9: From plain steamed, to Rockefeller, we enjoy them the sweeter and fatter the better! :yes:

Do they have nice oysters in Australia?

I much prefer my oysters natural!

There are quite a few different types of Australian oysters - my favourite are the Tasmanian ones - small but plump and tasty!

Sydney rock oysters are ok - but not as plump.

We also get New Zealand ones here - again they are nice but larger than the Tasmanian ones.

Yum! :dine:

Tink
29-03-2010, 12:40 AM
There are many varieties here too. Appalachicola oysters are the ones most often obtained in Florida. Chesapeake Bay Oysters are some of the best, as are the several varieties of Pacific Coast oysters. Northern Atlantic waters (off the coast of Mass. and Maine) have some lovely oysters too. I don't mind the Florida ones, but they are my least favorite, large (generally) and a little flabby. (Appetizing, huh? :sorry: ).

I'd like to try as many varieties as I can. I keep thinking that if I can just bring myself to try one fresh on the half shell, I'll love them... it's just getting there.

I grew up with seafood and fish, but it was always cooked. :yes: :D

kazzaqld
29-03-2010, 01:25 AM
We might be having some this weekend - if we do, I'll take a picture so you can see what they are like, ok! :yes:

Tink
29-03-2010, 01:39 AM
That would be great!! :yes:

Here there is an old saying about only eating oysters in the months with an R in their name. I pretty much stick to that (at least here in the south).

Is there anything like that in Australia?

kazzaqld
29-03-2010, 03:14 AM
That would be great!! :yes:

Here there is an old saying about only eating oysters in the months with an R in their name. I pretty much stick to that (at least here in the south).

Is there anything like that in Australia?

Not that I know of?

We tend to have them for special occasions, Christmas, birthdays, wedding anniversary. But my DH has been known to buy them just because he loves me! :hug2:

I thought Easter sounded like a good excuse to have some!

Tink
29-03-2010, 10:43 AM
I believe the R thing is connected to water temperature. Beginning with May through August the water will be warmer than any other time of year. At least that is part of it...

Easter sounds like a great time to have oysters! :D

Are they pricey there? Here it depends upon the kind of oyster, and the time of year. :yes:

uscwest
29-03-2010, 12:45 PM
I'm not a real big fan of either Fried Oysters or Oysters Rockefeller. However, I will eat both. I LOVE raw ones though.