Thursday, October 15, 2015

The Joy of Oysters: Joysters!

Recently returned from a 2,600 mile driving vacation throughout the southeast of the United States: Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.  Long drive, visited several old friends we hadn't seen in years, and ate as much local seafood as we could.  We were particularly anxious to try oysters as frequently as possible, as good oysters cannot be found in our home state.  And where do you suppose the best oysters of the week were to be found?  In a nice local restaurant in teeny, tiny Darien, Georgia.

Darien is a little 2-mile strip of land just north of Jacksonville, Florida, maybe an hour south of Savannah.  It's 2 miles off I-95 and we decided to make the 2 mile drive into town because Wendy's  or Burger King would just not satisfy!
Image result for DARIEn, Georgia

As my darlingest filled the gas tank, I quickly searched for local eateries.  Skipper's Fish Camp came up, had decent reviews, and their menu boasted two of my southern food favorites:  oysters (fresh) and Brunswick Stew.  We decided to drive into town to try it out. 

One of our criteria when finding restaurants out of our home locale is number of cars in the parking lot.  We drove by one dumpy little restaurant that had a completely filled up parking lot.  We resisted the temptation to stop, but agreed if Skipper's was a bust, we would come back to that one.

We got to Skipper's, drove by it actually and had to turn around.  It was situated right on the Altamaha River, with an old fishing boat that appeared to be permanently anchored a few feet from the end of their deck.

We settled in our seats and ordered:  sweet tea, oysters, Brunswick Stew and salad with fresh-caught blackened Snapper.  Looking around at the other guests, this place was clearly for the locals.  Filled with business people on their lunch break, a couple of cable guys, a large group of friends, and one elderly woman who seemed to know everyone in the place.  Not really sure she was there to eat, she just socialized the entire time we were there.  We had definitely come to the right place!

The anticipation of Georgia oysters, well, I really didn't know what to expect.  We had oysters the night before in Jacksonville, Florida, and were sorely disappointed.  Tiny little nubs of flesh, barely able to fill a teaspoon, they were not what we had come to expect from Florida oysters.  We had less enthusiasm for Georgia, but we were here, and they were on the menu.  Had to try them.

The waitress brought them quickly.  Six beautiful fresh oysters and the accompanying hot sauce, no horseradish here.  Apparently in Darien, fresh, chilled oysters are served with saltine crackers and hot sauce.  That first oyster was so sweet, so fresh, so briny and so big.  It was easily three times the size of the Florida oysters, and much more satisfying.  Oyster, cracker with hot sauce, sip of ice cold sweet tea.  Oysters as big as your palm, and each one equally delicious.  We consciously slowed our speed of eating....
Only one more thing to add.  The salad.
Bon appetit!


  1. My oh my, it looks delicious. I don't know that I dislike any food that comes from the water.