All Oyster Crackers Are Not Created Equal

A few weekends ago I found myself ordering clam chowder and two beers at 10pm. I was pretty hungry, having not eaten lunch, so I tore into the packet of oyster crackers and ate one as my chowder cooled. I turned to my friend and asked, “are these supposed to taste like this?”

She replied, “chalk? Yeah. That”s normal.”

I didn”t give it much thought past that. I used to eat oyster crackers for a snack as a kid and I loved them. I think it was just because my dad would bring them home as leftovers from lunch and tell me he “brought me a present.” Many years later, it seemed my friend was right: oyster crackers all taste like chalk.

Guess what? They don”t. I was really surprised when I visited Route 6, a New England style fish house, and one of  Stephen Starr”s newest Philly ventures. All casino online of the oyster crackers are made in-house by chef Anthony DiRienzo. I was apprehensive when our server brought a jar over to the table filled with these abnormally large crackers covered in sea salt. Were these an appetizer? Was I supposed to eat them with my meal?

The answer is both, and we couldn”t stop shoving them in our faces. The folks at Route 6 put a lot of time and love into these bad boys, and it really shows. The oyster crackers crunchy and flaky, with a lot of air in the middle so you avoid that “did I just eat chalk?” feeling. They”re a little larger than a quarter, so they”re big enough (and soft enough) to be savored in two bites, or eaten off of your spoon in one. I think I ate more oyster crackers that night than I”ve ever had in my life. And when we actually put them in our chowder…holy shit, phenomenal.

Maybe I”ve I just been blind for the past 24.5 years, and never really visited a great New England fish house. But who knew it”d be Stephen Starr who”d make me see the light?

Route 6
600 North Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19130

 

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2 comments

  • Nicky February 12, 2012  

    Homemade oyster crackers are spectacular. Buttery and salty, much more like a cracker and less like chalk than the packaged varieties you see out and about. Keller has an amazing recipe for them in Ad Hoc. I make them frequently. Here’s the link http://www.deglazing.com/deglazing/2011/08/oyster-crackers-nothing-better-in-chowder.html , if you feel like making them at home.

  • lost in fla. February 13, 2012  

    I also as a child ate these round teeth aching beauties at a resturant that my father loved near Seaside Heights New Jersey called
    “This Is It” where we ate ipswich clams which were served in raspy steel weaved buckets with drawn butter and a cup of clam broth to clean out the sand with. The best part was eating the oyster crackers which were on the table soaking up the natural salt air covered with fresh hot horseradish on top and trying eat as much as you could without drinking water, it was a contest to see who could go the longest as the horseradish was very strong!! What a memory in “Good Eats” !!!!!

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