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Marina Oyster Barn

505 Bayou Blvd., Pensacola, FL - (850) 433-0511
Posted By Michael Stern on 10/6/2013 6:29:00 AM
Perched at Rooks Marina overlooking Bayou Texar, and with most tables offering a windowside view of boats' comings and goings, Marina Oyster Barn is a seafood lover's dream. It is casual as can be with laid-back fish-camp ambience and a menu of Dixie delights from gumbo and fried catfish to banana pudding.

You can have your oysters steamed and topped with cheese, Rockefeller (with spinach and mozzarella), or as Crabsters or Shrimpsters (topped with crabmeat or shrimp and cheese). Or, of course, you can have them simply steamed or raw on the half shell. The back of the menu advises that a dozen raw ones are a mere 114 calories and that "there is some evidence that certain types of seafood protect against heart disease." Ever concerned for heart health, we go for dozens of raw ones, well complemented by a shot of the kitchen's horseradish-charged cocktail sauce.

Florida's panhandle is the Deep South, so it is no surprise that a dish called Grits A-Ha-Ha is a winner: starchy grain laced with gouda cheese, shrimp, and bacon. Likewise, hushpuppies are swell, their severely crisp exterior enveloping creamy, herb-spangled insides.

The standout dish for us was jumbo grilled shrimp. A dozen of them come on a wooden skewer. They are nicely charred and modestly seasoned – firm, juicy, and fresh. The cocktail sauce is nice condiment; even better is tartar sauce, which is just-right sweet, balanced by a good pickle tang.

Key lime pie, bought elsewhere, is a no-frills classic.

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Scorecard

4 - Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Grilled Shrimp
Key Lime Pie
Crab Cake
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Grilled shrimp, served on a skewer, are plump and juicy, imbued with nice car flavor and a subtle shot of seasoning.
"Grilled shrimp, served on a skewer, are plump and juicy, imbued with nice car flavor and a subtle shot of seasoning."
Michael Stern





Key lime pie is Florida's official state dessert. The one served at the Oyster Barn is a classic.
"Key lime pie is Florida's official state dessert. The one served at the Oyster Barn is a classic."
Michael Stern


At this humble waterside place, you will find excellent Gulf Coast seafood.
"At this humble waterside place, you will find excellent Gulf Coast seafood."
Michael Stern


Crab cakes are available singly -- a fine hors d'oeuvre -- or as a main-course pair.
"Crab cakes are available singly -- a fine hors d'oeuvre -- or as a main-course pair."
Michael Stern


We have a special fondness for oyster art.
"We have a special fondness for oyster art."
Michael Stern


Seafood condiments at the Oyster Barn are especially good -- cocktail sauce bright with horseradish zing, tartar sauce not too sweet with fresh pickle crunch.
"Seafood condiments at the Oyster Barn are especially good -- cocktail sauce bright with horseradish zing, tartar sauce not too sweet with fresh pickle crunch."
Michael Stern


There are all kinds of seafood on the menu -- catfish, shrimp, mullet, grouper, tuna, scallops, and crab -- but oysters are the main attraction.
"There are all kinds of seafood on the menu -- catfish, shrimp, mullet, grouper, tuna, scallops, and crab -- but oysters are the main attraction."
Michael Stern



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