You Say Erster, I Say Oyster-Tomales Bay, CA

Call ’em what you want…..I love them. They’re slimy and scary looking but I don’t know how anyone can pass them up. A little lemon juice, a little hot sauce, and voila.

Located just north of San Francisco (just over an hour’s drive) is California’s longest running shellfish farm. Tomales Bay Oyster Company is just off of Highway 1, and offers a perfect setting to run away for a day trip or weekend stay. It’s hard to imagine that you can have such a great afternoon on an oyster farm but it’s actually a great setting for a perfect day out with the family, friends, or your honey. Mine luckily is a master shucker, shucking two dozen oysters for the two of us without any bloodshed. I on the other hand would have ended up in the ER so I just sliced up some sourdough bread while the master did his thing. Add some quality cheese and salami, hot sauce for the oysters and a bottle of champagne and you’ve got the fixings for a perfect picnic.

If you would like to stay overnight, there are plenty of accommodations in the area. However, we chose to stay about 15-20 minutes away at the Sheraton in Petaluma. This is a great hotel to stay at if you need a central location while wandering around Sonoma County for wine tasting, a day of kayaking, oyster shucking, or just enjoying everything that Sonoma County has to offer. The hotel itself is a beautiful, waterfront property which has been renovated and named one of the top 10 getaways near a major city by Travel and Leisure magazine. After a day of driving around the beautiful countryside around Sonoma County, you can relax by the pool (if it’s warm enough!) or just get cozy by the lobby fireplace or your own room with the fluffy down comforter on your bed. Whatever you decide, it’s a beautiful hotel to enjoy. They have great specials to look out for so keep an eye on this one for a weekend getaway. We only paid $99 for a Saturday night stay which isn’t bad for a lovely property such as this.

If you’re not a fan of the shelled creatures, too bad for you. It’s o.k., I don’t like escargot and I know I’m missing out but to each is own. However, for those who are like me, a little less Andrew Zimmerman, a little more Anthony Bourdain, Tomales Bay is a must. It’s fun just to observe how everyone chooses to indulge in their mollusks. Some people throw theirs on the grill and wait for them to simply pop open. They may even throw some corn on the cob next to them and grill up an entire meal. Maybe next time. We’re shooter people. We like the old-fashioned way of squeezing lime juice, adding a hint of hot sauce and……SLURP!! That’s some good eatin’!!!


6 thoughts on “You Say Erster, I Say Oyster-Tomales Bay, CA

  1. Oh, wow, my husband would LOVE this place. I am an oyster fan by marriage. On one of our first dates, I proved my love for him by downing an oyster shooter. This looks much more enjoyable – especially the sides and the champagne. Pleading stupidity here, what are the limes for?

    My niece just moved out to San Francisco, so I’m sending her this post!

    • Wow-that’s proving your love all right! We usually squeeze a little lemon or lime on top of the oysters as well as the hot sauce. It seems like in California and Texas, we put hot sauce and limes on everything, including our drinks. Weird, I know. I hope your niece makes out there!

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