I would get this question pretty much every time I would talk to my fellow coworker, eye-talian and lover of smoked meats, Guido. I honestly told him that it wasn’t like I was avoiding this joint. It seemed like anytime that I was in Grand Central with some time to kill, waiting for a Metro North train the damned thing would be closed. Back tracking a bit – a couple of weeks ago Mary Louise was returning from a work trip and found herself in Grand Central so she had lunch there. She gave it glowing reviews and said it wasn’t as touristy as one would imagine.
Last Friday Mary Louise was, once again, out of town I found myself in Grand Central around 4:30. I was feeling somewhat peckish so I went looking for food before my long commute home (New Yorkers are you reading this?) So here I was, coming down the ramp, and saw that Oyster Bar was open. I knew that the dog was fine having been taken out by the dog walker so I decided to hang out at Grand Central for the Late Afternoon!
First of all, this place is frigging huge! I had no idea how big it was because it looks very small from the outside. I found a spot at the bar and God Bless Carlos, the server, he was as busy as a one legged man in an ass kicking contest. I found a home at the “shucking bar” since the majority of the oysters are broken here. I was sitting between a mix of Midtown attorneys finishing up a weeks work and tourists who were pissed that it was taking so slow. I knew I was in the right spot because Carlos ran by me 3 times with various requests/specials and he liked that I was quick with my response.
I started with a half dozen and I told Carlos to pick the best of the bunch. *Disclaimer – I don’t know much about Northeastern oysters so I always trust the experts.* After enjoying the 6 best oysters I have had in a while, I watched one of the chefs make a soup from scratch about a dozen times. I really didn’t need any soup but I always appreciate someone who loves what they do. I asked Carlos what soup I wanted and he suggested the Oyster Pan Roast. This is pretty much a clam based soup with cream and tomatoes. Frigging Tomato Soup with oysters? I am in!
Guido – You are right, I have been remiss on visiting the Oyster Bar. I am now a fan but still have an issue being only open during weird working hours!