During my time in Portland, EaT Oyster Bar was one of two1 restaurants that actually offered up an interesting mix of oysters from various regions. My preferences trended toward the Malpeques from the Prince Edward Island, but because of the large variety of offerings on the raw bar menu, it was quite fun to try out other varietals.
It was here at EaT Oyster Bar that I learned to love Shigokus, Chelsea Gems, and even Kushiis. Here's a photo of a Yaquina oyster, which has a big meaty texture to go with just a touch of brine and mineral. This one was kind of like a rock pita; the Yaquina was so plump that it couldn't slide out!
Most often, I visited EaT during lunch since its location was convenient among all my friends. Fried low country favorites rule the appetizer section, and in truth, I find that things like fried okra or fried pickles are simply vehicles for Crystal Hot Sauce.
The po' boy sandwiches at EaT Oyster Bar were among my favorites, and the crusty bread went well with either the fried catfish or shrimp or slow cooked beef. The comeback sauce rounds the flavor all out, giving a nice touch of acidity to the whole sandwich.
Brunch is also quite nice here, often accompanied by live music and never quite as busy as neighboring restaurants a few doors down. No matter, the atmosphere at EaT Oyster Bar is much more speed, with the open air garage spilling out into the cafe patio area shared with Ristretto Roaster. Again, southern classics are on the menu, but it's evident in the presentation that EaT Oyster Bar is using that extra step, that extra bit of refinement, to help separate itself from the other brunch spots around town. This is done all while staying true to the soul of cajun cuisine.
The shrimp and grits are served head and tail on, which I love, as it's like an extra helping of sauce for the grits.
The Hangtown Fry serves up fried oysters and scrambled eggs for a simple but hearty and delicious breakfast. And then that New Orleans classic, Eggs Sardou, resembles the more famous Eggs Benedict, when in fact it's the other way around: the benedict came after the sardou! Here it's served in a manner that reinforces the parallel, with artichoke halves forming a bed for the poached egg and the hollandaise sauce.
EaT Oyster Bar is one of my favorite restaurants in Portland and is a great spot to visit at any time of day.
1 The other restaurant being Andina.