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04 October 2018

Tonight's Episode: A Shuckin' Good Time




So just before the start of the summer season we took a road trip out toward Long Beach, as one does in Washington. Passing through tiny South Bend we saw a little shack looking out on the Willapa River with the magic word OYSTER. Well, of course we stopped in! Boy was that a good decision. Perfectly located near the Washington summer hotspot (or the Oregon coast if you are planning to spend a week there and write about it in an upcoming post), we popped a couple of local craft beers, took in the view, and enjoyed a lazy lunch in a town most people don't even realize they drove through.

Only open for three days at this point, Oyster Bay Seafood Restaurant has the benefit of being located in the heart of the best oyster beds in America. Owners Dan 'The Man' Lindt and Shane Moncy aim to wow with stunning views, a relaxed setting, and the freshest local ingredients.


Now if you don't know about Willapa oysters, you should realize these are hands down the best you've probably never had. They don't ship well, which is sad considering their sweet light brine flavor. Make sure you grab a dozen or so to tide you over until your sandwich arrives.


The sandwiches (or Po Boys) may not be the initial draw of this oyster shack but they are the reason you will be back. Starting with the chipotle-lime chicken ($9) and the similarly spiced shrimp ($12), you have wonderfully cooked, bright and beautiful sandwiches stuffed to almost excess. That may be the only complaint I have with the po'boys, that they might actually be TOO big. If value is your biggest concern then rest assured you get your money's with these massive sandwiches.


The heftiest two po'boys are the super stuffed Tsunami crab melt ($14) and the 3 day marinated pulled pork ($10). The crab melt is big on flavor, and big on crab meat. If this sandwich was on the menu in Portland or Seattle it would top $20 easily, and frankly I would order this to share. The pulled pork has a beautiful flavor and is topped with a crisp and bright slaw that enhances the house made bbq sauce flavor.


The large outdoor dining space overlooking the Willapa River is a communal space that encourages you to get to know your fellow dinners. This relaxed neighborly atmosphere really drives home a sense of authenticity in a seafood shack that feels like it has always been there. Amazing food, treated simply and with respect, in an amazing setting, by good people should alway be a win. Especially when your only complaint is "the sandwiches are too big." 

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