Austin is known for their festivals and it's a common joke around here that you can find a festival every weekend. When my friend Leah invited me to the Austin Oyster festival I was SO excited because 1) it's a festival I've never been to and 2) I love, love, love Oysters.
Austin isn't exactly known for their Oyster scene, but I was willing to give it a try anyway. It ended up being the perfect day at 73 degrees and the location at the French Ligation Museum was absolutely awesome.
We started the day by grabbing a Ruby Red Vodka and Topo Chico to drink and then we headed straight for the raw bar.
The raw bar had the longest line and we were smart to head there first because the line only grew as the day went on! At the raw bar we shared a dozen gulf and east coast oysters on the half shell. For toppings they had a preserved lemon mignonette, caramelized shallot mignonette, roasted serrano and lime creme fraiche.
The oysters were fantastic! My only annoyance was that we didn't really know what we were eating. They had signs with the descriptions up at the booth, but a flyer would have been nice to take with us.
After the raw bar we headed to the fry and grill station. These two stations had MUCH shorter lines so we grabbed everything at once to enjoy. We tried grilled oysters with roasted garlic anchovy butter (x2), a crispy oyster banh mi, a new orleans style oyster po boy and gruyere fritters.
The grilled garlic oysters were the best thing we ate all day, which is why we went back for seconds. The $50 tickets came with 5 coupons each and we purchased and addition 8 ($40) for a total of 18 coupons. I still found this to be a pretty good deal with one dozen raw oysters coming in at $15 or 3 coupons. In Austin Oysters can easily run $3 a piece since we aren't anywhere near the coast. We spent 8 coupons just on drinks, so if you aren't drinking you can try a ton of stuff for just the 10 coupons that would come with two tickets.
Overall I really enjoyed the festival and look forward to attending next year. A few pro tips I'll remember though: 1) Show up early 2) Bring a blanket and 3) Pack my own water.
Did you like the Austin Oyster Festival?