Just off 101, past piles of oyster shells and out a spit of pier into the water, Pacific Oyster is an oyster processing plant where the local mollusks are shelled, canned, and sent into the grocery food chain. The Fish Peddler, one small part of this operation, is a seafood market and sit-down deli/oyster bar where you can eat like a king at common man’s prices.
It’s as casual as can be: bare tables, menus listed on the wall, a waitstaff who will treat you like an old friend whether you like it or not. We love the range of available dishes, which include all kinds of raw oysters – mediums, petites, or the alluring little Kumomotos – freshly opened and served on the half shell or in shooter glasses for easy gulping. And of course, there are oyster stew, fried oysters, and even an oyster burger (four fried ones on a bun). Beyond oysters, you can get crab cakes, steamers by the pound, fish and chips, a cheesy crab melt sandwich on a croissant, shrimp or crab Louis, and fillets of salmon or halibut.
We are fans of salmon sticks, which are, as the name suggests, skinny two-foot long staffs of salmon smoked to salty-sweet deliciousness. They come in ordinary smoky flavor as well as mesquite, Cajun, and teriyaki. You gnaw on them like a tender shaft of beef jerky.
Just to try another regional specialty, we ordered a grilled cheese sandwich, made with locally-produced Tillamook cheddar. Fabulous! Creamy, authoritative cheese melting out of generously buttered bread just slightly flattened and well-crisped from its tenure on the grill.
Note: The Fish Peddler is open for three meals a day but is closed Saturday.