Friday, January 2, 2009

Oyster Riot 2008

by Erin

Last month, the BCD family attended the infamous Oyster Riot at the Old Ebbitt Grill in DC. Xani and BCD Dad had been a handful of times before, but since I just sort of started to like oysters, I hadn't had an interest until this year. We decided it would be fun for the whole family to go! You know what they say: the family that slurps oysters together...

Before we could go to the Riot, we had to of course get tickets. Tickets go on sale the Tuesday after Labor Day for this November event, and they sell out within minutes! Mom and I were separately calling and trying to get tickets online, and thankfully Mom got through and snagged us four tickets. By the time I got through on the phone, 8 minutes after the tickets went on sale, they were sold out!

We arrived in DC a few hours before the Riot and checked into a hotel - we figured it would not be wise to drive back to Baltimore (or Blackacre!) after hours of wine and oysters.

We got all gussied up and headed over to the restaurant. Actually, the event was not in the restaurant itself; instead it was held in an atrium next to the restaurant, which could hold the approximately 1,000 guests (per night). The Riot had 21 kinds of oysters, 10 kinds of wine (winners of the Old Ebbitt Grill International Wines for Oysters Competition), cheese and cracker tables, beer, and 4-5 passed hors d'oeuvres. Yum!

There were also the tables of accoutrements for the oysters: cocktail sauce, lemon, hot sauce, mignonette sauce, oyster crackers, etc., with the added bonus of ice sculptures!

It was so interesting to taste all the different oysters and be able to compare them to each other. Some were super salty, while others were milder. They varied in size and shape, but all were delicious. The wines were also wonderful - Xani and I obviously frequented the sparkling wine station the most.

It was pretty amazing watching the approximately 50 gentlemen shucking oysters ALL NIGHT. They were great sports; they even let me take a picture with them!

The passed hors d'oeuvres were very delicious and included devils on horseback (oysters wrapped in bacon), fried oysters, mini oyster po' boys, Oysters Rockefeller, and perhaps more but I've forgotten by now. I do recall that they had mini chocolate-covered ice cream bars for dessert. Aw yeah.

We mixed and mingled and hung out with the BCD parents and it was a great time. We'll be back next year for sure - if we can get tickets!

Happy oyster slurping,


ps. You can see in the picture below that the logo of the Riot includes a beautiful, pinup-y mermaid, and a walrus.

This got us thinking about that weird scene in Alice in Wonderland where the walrus makes friends with all oysters, but then eats them? We looked it up (thanks Internet!) and found it is from a Lewis Carroll poem called "The Walrus and the Carpenter." A brief exerpt:

"O Oysters, come and walk with us!"
The Walrus did beseech.
"A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the briny beach:
We cannot do with more than four,
To give a hand to each."

The eldest Oyster looked at him,
But never a word he said:
The eldest Oyster winked his eye,
And shook his heavy head--
Meaning to say he did not choose
To leave the oyster-bed.

But four young Oysters hurried up,
All eager for the treat:
Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,
Their shoes were clean and neat--
And this was odd, because, you know,
They hadn't any feet.


  1. What fun! That looked wonderful! I love the Mermaid in the logo!!!

  2. my favorite verse is:
    "The time has come," the Walrus said,
    "To talk of many things:
    Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
    Of cabbages--and kings--
    And why the sea is boiling hot--
    And whether pigs have wings."

    Looking forward to next year!

  3. Looks like fun, apart from the raw oysters. :) Just not my thing, but I love 'em cooked!

  4. Waaaa - no oysters in NM :(

    That poster is just too cool

  5. My friends go to this every year! I'm glad you got tickets!

  6. OMG what an event! I want to live on a coast...waaaahhhhhh


Blog Archive