The Mink family
started selling cooked fish to Philadelphia three
generations ago with Kelly's on Mole Street. Urban
renewal sent them off Mole Street and later onto Sansom
Street as the Sansom Street Oyster House. Control
was relinquished for a few unfortunate years. Now
they are back as the Oyster House with Sam Mink running
things. Behind the scenes, Chef Greg Ling, mucking
a bit with the snapper soup but putting out what may be
Philadelphia's best seafood.
An old friend is
back. Classic Trenton OTC oyster crackers with a
jar of horseradish. Can't think of a better way to
pass time until the food begins to arrive.
The raw bar is the
place to start - maybe with a half dozen Royal Miyagis,
shown above. Another time I tried eastern Canadian
European Flat's No.1 - As large across as a dollar bill
and a flavor punch that would knock out Charlie the
Tuna. On weekdays, during cocktail hour, there is
a "buck a shuck" special.
Actually, the place
to start is the bar. Katie Loeb does a killer
Oyster House punch, her take on Philadelphia Fish House
punch. Packs a wallop. Definitely not for
the designated driver. Their Blonde Caesar, like a
Bloody Mary but made with yellow heirloom tomato juice
and clam juice, is a gentler cocktail option.
Where's the oyster
stew? Had it my first day there. Haven't
seen it since. Made with double cream and sautéed
fennel. Best I've ever had.
Plenty of other
good choices. Fried whole belly clams from
Ipswich. Another Philadelphia classic - fried
oysters and chicken salad.
Their lobster roll
has good potential, but I refuse to order it until Chef
Ling comes up with New England style hot dog buns.
Maybe I'll BYO.