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Shucking n Grooving At The Capitol Oyster Bar – Montgomery Alabama

Tasty Tuesday – While I am on a quest to try each dish on the Alabama Tourism 100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die, I like to explore the outstanding food of Alabama in fun places.

Capitol Oyster Bar a.k.a. COB is one of my very favorite places to be on Sunday evenings and is my MEGapick for a fun place to eat Alabama Seafood.

Having discovered The Oyster Bar in Montgomery Alabama shortly after I relocated to Alabama, it is a place where I always bring my company for a guaranteed great time.

On those Sunday afternoons, I fill my car with family and friends,  I pass the landlocked boat and turn to the right,

Capitol Oyster Bar Ship

See this landlocked boat, and it’s time to turn onto Shady Lane

I head down Shady Lane to 617 Shady Lane. Every fun story should have a shady Lane, right?

Perched on a hill with a view of The Alabama River and downtown Montgomery, COB boasts the “best view in Montgomery.” Imagine this great view, a sunny day in April and world-class musicians.

cobriver

The view from The Capitol Oyster riverboat as The Harriott II rolls down the Alabama River

Sunday afternoon is when The Oyster Bar brings in high-caliber blues musicians from afar and sometimes near. Customers begin to arrive a few hours early to get a seat in the small dining area of the bar.

Capitol Oyster Bar Music

The Capitol Oyster Bar hosts musicians indoors during cool weather

Or,

during the warmer months, the bands set up on a stage that is perched high above the banks of the Alabama River.   This past Sunday, I had the good fortune of listening to a band that had just returned from Germany.  They played blues, jazz, and soul.   Vanessa was nominated for a 2017 Blues Award. Here is one of her reviews. [1]

cob band

Just a few of my favorite things; Alabama sunshine in April, Oysters, Music, a view, friends.

“A young woman named Vanessa Collier has issued her first album called HEART SOUL AND SAXOPHONE. She wrote all but two of the songs, sings ‘em, and plays some magnificent sax as well. Coming out of the famous Berklee School of Music in Boston, Vanessa spent some time on the road with bluesman Joe Louis Walker, among others, and is now poised to unleash herself on the world. Old school blues, jump and jive, and some sunny new school R&B”

— The BluesMobile (Elwood’s Blues Breaker – House of Blues Radio)

It couldn’t get much better than this. But wait! It does.

The Oyster Bar offers some darn good seafood.

Generally, most patrons order food from the menu that includes appetizers, specials of the day, seafood, and even burgers and steak.  The seafood seems to be most popular, I see lots of crab legs on plates.

Of course, there are the shrimp and oysters brought fresh from the nearby Gulf coast.  It is really fun to go with a group of people because there are so many scrumptious types of seafood to share.  My company always seem to love the fried jalapeno poppers.

I always order the boiled, peel and eat, Royal Red Shrimp. They always make it special for me without salt and seasoning but I do go rogue on the healthy part by dipping it in drawn butter.    This past week, they ran out of The Royal Reds, so I ate the in-season Argentina Shrimp.   I sat with a couple who had moved to Alabama from Kansas and we had a short debate over these two types of shrimp. Their preference was for Argentina Shrimp describing it as sweeter.  Both of these species are large shrimp with a lobster-like taste.   Although the photo depicts seasoned shrimp, I MUCH prefer the without seasoning.

This past week, they ran out of The Royal Reds, so I ate the in-season Argentina Shrimp and they were fantastic!  I sat with a couple who had moved to Alabama from Kansas and we had a short debate over these two types of shrimp. Their preference was for Argentina Shrimp describing it as sweeter.  Both of these species are large shrimp with a lobster-like taste.   Although the photo depicts seasoned shrimp, I MUCH prefer the without seasoning.

Capitol Oyster Bar shrimp

The Capitol Oyster Bar serves fantastic fresh shrimp. And, yep liquor on a Sunday!

And yes, although it’s Alabama, and yes, liquor is served, on a Sunday.  When served indoors, the food arrives on a regular plate.  Outdoors, your oysters will arrive on a plate.

There is a man who has shucked the oysters for the years that I have been visiting. He sits on a stool and skillfully takes oysters from the iced tub and using the special knife, shucks them to order.  He has retired from that job and I have seen him around for a few times. I miss watching him.

Capitol Oyster Bar My kind of place

The Capitol Oyster Bar shucks some mighty fine oysters. Oh, and being from Wisconsin, I love seeing people ON the bar!

Nowadays, I have seen the owner Lewis,  expertly shucking those oysters while grooving on the tunes.

Capitol Oyster Bar My kind of place

The Capitol Oyster Bar shucks some mighty fine oysters. Oh, and being from Wisconsin, I love seeing people ON the bar!

Nowadays, I have seen the owner Lewis,  expertly shucking those oysters while grooving on the tunes.  Lewis is the co-owner with his wife Karen.  They are so friendly, relaxed, and accommodating.

cob

A past photo that shows Lewis in the forefront- shucking those oysters.

You can have your oysters raw by the half-shell or whole shell, steamed, (My personal fave.)

cobraw

The Capitol Oyster Bar Raw Oysters are served with crackers, lemons, and horseradish!

or, baked Oyster Rockefeller.

cobbaked

The Capitol Oyster Bar Baked Oyster Rockefeller

Once my nephew visited and liked the fried alligator tail.

coballigator

The Capitol Oyster Bar fried alligator tail.

 

This place is truly my favorite casual seafood place in Alabama.  I love the world class music and enjoy Alabama seafood.  Thanks to Lewis and Karen for bringing in those musicians on Sunday afternoons.   Like life, “The blues is a mighty long road. Or it could be a river, one that twists and turns and flows into a sea of limitless musical potential.” -Billy Gibbons

When I evaluate how many stars to give a dish for my Tasty Tuesday “100 Dishes To Eat In Alabama Before You Die,” blog, one barometer that I use on my checklist to help me decide if a dish is truly a 5 star, is to ask this basic question; Will my company love it?  Well, they LOVE Capitol Oyster Bar.

MEGastars – 5 *****

MEGatips:

  1. The establishment has a great website which is important since bands do not play every Sunday due to holidays, vacation, schedules. Always check the music schedule before you visit. The Capitol Oyster Bar  To note, they are closed Monday and Tuesday.  Located at 617 Shady Lane 334-239-8958
  2. Montgomery has a band called King Bee. King Bee recently won the honor of being in the top eight blues bands in the world. It’s a huge deal. I have seen this band which features; Jeff Cummings on vocals and harmonica, Dan Cunningham on guitar and vocals, Emery Kidd on bass, and AJ Maestro Bryant on percussion.   They will be playing at COB on Thursday, April 27, 2017- If you are a blues fan Do NOT miss them.  Alabamians, Please support this local band!
  3. Can’t make this performance?  Check them out on You Tube King Bee at The International Blues Competition 2017
  4. The shrimp and seafood will be the market price. Don’t forget to check the daily specials board.
  5. Not really a vegetable place. However, they do serve cole slaw and a small garden side salad. If I am hungry, I always get a baked potato with my shrimp.

 

 

 

 

 

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