Revel in good food, fun at Bird's Oyster Shack|
Tallahassee Democrat July 22, 2011
Rating: 4 out of 5 hand-claps
With a name like Bird's Aphrodisiac Oyster Shack, this funky little spot has to have a great sense of humor. We have wanted to review Bird's ever since we whisked by it one afternoon and spotted the bright pink sign featuring an adorable oyster sporting long eyelashes and a little smirk.
We weren't sure if this oyster shack was going to be a typical college hangout, with its gravel parking lot and picnic tables out front, but we were determined to brave the youngsters to find out. We were pleasantly surprised. There were no students doing upside-down shots at the bar or hanging from the rafters — on the contrary, there were what appeared to be state workers having lunch and a family with a baby walking around looking at the large collection of memorabilia on the walls. Don't get us wrong — we love a good party, but for lunch, we like to keep it a bit more low-key.
There is a stage in the corner for nightly entertainment such as Open Mic Night Monday, Live Trivia Tuesday, Comedy Night Wednesday, Karaoke Thursday and live bands every Friday and Saturday. With such great evening entertainment, we're sure Bird's is hopping every night with both students and folks like us, and we will definitely be back to find out.
Onto the matter at hand … the food! There were four of us for lunch. Two shivered at the thought of eating oysters, and two of us couldn't wait. Because of this, we decided to split a dozen oysters ($7) as an appetizer. Served on a bed of ice with lemon wedges, crackers and a nice horseradish-filled cocktail sauce, we gladly slurped up the salty, chilled oysters.
The menu is very light-hearted and filled with funny little sayings, like "You can order your food fried, except for today." Very clever.
Burgers come in two sizes — 10-ounce ($7) and 20-ounce ($10). Next to the 20-ounce, the menu says "The bigger ones are just for show, you don't want none of this!" We definitely agree, because the two oyster-haters in our group ordered the 10-ounce burgers and they were huge. You can add a second patty for $3, but trust us, you definitely don't need to.
You can select from a large list of toppings for your burgers as well, including lettuce, tomato, raw onions and garlic, which are free. The other toppings are 50 cents to $1, depending on the type; the crab meat topping is $3. Our burger-eaters ordered bacon, pickles, garlic, raw onions and lettuce on one and peanut butter (yes, peanut butter — try it, you'll love it!), lettuce and onions, both with fries (fries, onion rings or cole slaw come with the sandwiches). We noticed that they weren't asked how they preferred their burgers cooked, however when they bit into the thick patty, it was cooked to their liking. Remember that if you want yours rare or well done, you have to tell your server.
After our oysters, we decided to share the chicken sandwich ($7) with cheddar cheese, bacon, grilled onions and onion rings on the side. We cut it in half and as we ate the wonderfully flavored, moist sandwich, we realized that we shouldn't have decided to share — it was that good!
Needless to say, we ordered a second, this time with the fries, which were easily some of the best we have ever had, crisp and seasoned to perfection. Unfortunately, we were so full from helping our guests eat the remainder of their huge burgers that we were unable to eat our second chicken sandwich. However, it made a wonderful dinner later that evening.
Please go try Bird's Aphrodisiac Oyster Shack, where they'll make you laugh and feed you amazing food. We hope to see you there. We'll be the ones singing karaoke on stage, but not hanging from the rafters!