If Sen. Mary L. Landrieu has to pay up in the football bet she's made with Washington state's senators, she's got her choice of providers for the charbroiled oysters she's wagered, but there is one restaurant that stands above all comers, according to New Orleans food oracle Tom Fitzmorris. "Drago's is it," he said.
Speaking with Roll Call After Dark on "The Food Show," his daily show on 3WL 1350 AM on Thursday afternoon, Fitzmorris said that Drago's Seafood Restaurant in New Orleans was the "gold standard" for the Louisiana dish. "They invented the dish," he said, adding that many have emulated it since. "There's a minimum of 200 restaurants that serve that dish, and the strange thing about it is, darn near all of them are pretty good," he added.
The Louisiana Democrat and Washington Democratic Sens. Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell have bet oysters and beer (be still my heart) over the outcome of Saturday's NFC divisional playoff game between the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks in Seattle. Murray and Cantwell put up Pike Place Pale Ale and oysters from Taylor Shellfish Farms. Landrieu bet charbroiled oysters and Abita Amber beer.
Landrieu's office wasn't specific about where the charbroiled oysters would come from, so, of course, After Dark investigated. And while the Louisianan's office hasn't gotten back to us yet, we figure few know more about Crescent City food than Fitzmorris, who's been covering the culinary scene there for the better part of four decades. In addition to his radio show, he also has a great website, nomenu.com, which chronicles the city's restaurant scene in quite a comprehensive way.
If Drago's, which even sells a kit for charbroiled oysters, isn't available for whatever reason, Fitzmorris suggests Acme Oyster House or Felix's, both in the French Quarter and right across the street from one another.
And while he's obviously rooting for a Saints victory on Saturday and its consequent paying up of Puget Sound fare, Fitzmorris couldn't help put in the plug for Gulf seafood: "The oysters will be better here. There's no doubt about that."