Oysters are the worst. They’re slimy and squishy and I’m not super sure what part of them I’m actually eating. I just find them generally upsetting, so I wasn’t thrilled when a friend dragged me into Big Shucks.
Upon entering I was greeted with the typical Krusty Krab décor — lifesavers, string lights, buoys on the wall for some reason, and the promise of beer and margaritas. I’ll be totally honest, I’m not here for the whole seaside aesthetic. I don’t care about the ocean and I’m not above ordering chicken strips at a seafood restaurant, but for the purpose of a review I agreed to give it a shot. For YOU, readers. Is this what you wanted? For me to leave my comfort zone? I hope you’re happy.
Much to my displeasure, the man behind the counter was incredibly helpful. As I stood, sour-faced he offered us suggestions and a margarita of my choice, explaining that the establishment operates under the honor system. You order your food, seat yourself, eat, and then tell the cashier what you had on the way out. Despite that being really cool and awesome, I obviously couldn’t let him know that.
I sat down, readying myself for the series of audible scoffs and eye rolls I had planned, but the food came out before I had a chance to really express my lack of interest. I geared up to try again, but then I inhaled like an idiot. It smelled amazing. Never in my life had I been so conflicted.
I stand by the fact that seafood is lame and overhyped, but I ate two catfish fillets, a basket of calamari, and half a shrimp cocktail before I caught myself. I blame the margarita.
Big Shucks has a remarkably casual atmosphere and it’s not the kind of place I would meet friends for lunch, but that’s no fault of their own. In the age of Instagram, it’s easy to forget that sometimes I just need to quit pouting and eat some quality food. A whole basket of quality food. More than my share, maybe, of quality food.
We dropped about 50 bucks that night and nothing I ate was the least bit disappointing. The catfish fillets were fresh and crispy, the calamari was hot, and the mug shrimp cocktail was flavorful. At some point the manager came by to check on us, but I must have missed him while I was struggling to scrape the last baby shrimp out of the cocktail. And, while I would have sooner knocked them off the table then put one near my mouth, even the oysters were well-plated, and my friend said they were “delicious.” I mean, I guess. If you’re, like, into that sort of thing.
All joking aside, by the end of the meal (and my third margarita) I found myself staring down the family across the aisle, coveting their crawfish boil and kicking myself for being so blind to the food I should have tried. It taught me an important lesson, and now that I’ve developed a hankering for catfish, I’ll definitely be back. Probably for happy hour. Maybe even for one oyster. Definitely with a better attitude and more comfortable shoes.
Seriously, though, what even is an oyster?