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Shucking Oysters in Philly

Review of Sansom Street Oyster House

The Sansom Street Oyster House in downtown Philadelphia offers a quaint and comfortable setting to enjoy a variety of mostly seafood selections. True to its name, the specialty of this house is oysters.

The restaurant has the ambiance of a traditional fish house with dark wood paneling and walls that are adorned with a fascinating array of oyster plates, platters and memorabilia. Tables are topped with white butcher paper, rather than white tablecloths. And each table is outfitted with a supply of puffy crunchy oyster crackers.

Her First Oyster…Ever

My dinner companion had never tried oysters before, and she decided if she was ever going to take the plunge, this was probably the place to do it. The Sansom Street Oyster House offers oysters from coastal waters or rivers in Maryland, Virginia, Cape Cod, Alaska, Maine, and Canada among other locations. We tried a sampling and I found them to be a tasty meal starter.

Some folks have an aversion to the texture of raw oysters, and my friend counts herself among this group. She was able to bravely down her first oyster ever, but that may be the last one that ever crosses her lips.

We decided to split a salad, which was quite good, containing several very large shrimp among the leafy greens, tomatoes and other fresh ingredients. I also ordered the Snapper Turtle Soup which was thick, rich and delicious.

Best Crab Cakes…Ever

For our entrée we both went for the crab cakes, which were wonderful. We agreed these were the best we had ever tasted, bursting with generous chunks of fresh lump crabmeat. Served with a side of creamy mashed potatoes, this was a real treat.

Our server was helpful and knowledgeable (except when it came to the wine list) and the prices were reasonable. The owner of the restaurant, Cary Neff, is a friendly gentleman, who stopped by to make sure our dinner was up to expectations.

Overall, our experience was more than pleasant, and we’d recommend a visit to the Sansom Street Oyster House to any seafood lover planning a trip to historic Philadelphia.