decadence on the half shell

Perla's oysters don't need much accompaniment, but I do love their mignonette

Oysters: everyone's got an opinion on 'em!  Some might rave about a newly discovered West Coast variety or profess their reputed aphrodisiac qualities, while others will gag at the mention of the mollusks.

Anyone who follows me on Instagram knows how many oysters I've been eating lately.  I almost began to wonder if I could tire of them.  (Apparently, that is just not possible.)  The reason I'd been sipping shells all over town was to research this Austin-American Statesman round-up -- find it in today's paper!

You might wonder which spots were my absolute favorite, but it's just so hard to choose!  However, I did run into some unexpected pearls along the way... 

skip the cocktail and go for the eponymous Deckhand sauce!

The Laotian-inspired specials at Deckhand are certainly worth the drive (as is the magical Deckhand sauce I squirted liberally on my dozen).  

big, juicy Gulf oysters at Quality Seafood

Quality Seafood's recent expansion includes an 8 foot oyster grill serving up succulent Parmesan-topped sea treasures which shoot into your mouth via a shallot white wine butter Slip-n-Slide!

...are only better when grilled in white wine shallot butter!

I'd say Captain Benny's is one of Austin's best-kept oyster secrets, but the boat-shaped place is not discreet whatsover.  It's also been around for over 25 years.  Their fresh Gulf dozens are so well-priced ($7.95), they don't even need a happy hour!

oysters heaped with fresh lemon and lime at Captain Benny's

It's hard to believe, when I arrived in Austin seven years ago, that the oyster pickin's were so slim!  Now we have plenty to choose from, and the list keeps growing-- click here to read about a dozen spots for slurping around town