Last Friday Chris and one of his friends went to work with me so that I could drop them off at Nicasio Reservoir to try some fishing for crappie. The morning was uneventful — both for the boys and myself. The plan was that I would pick up the boys about noon and we’d head home. However, as luck would have it, on the way out to the reservoir we saw the Marin French Cheese Co. (I didn’t know it was on the road we would take) and Chris later realized that the Drakes Bay Oyster Co. (which we had seen on a Food Network show) was about 30 minutes way from Nicasio Reservoir.
It didn’t take much for me to agree to the drive out to Point Reyes National Seashore on the Marin Headlands. Trusting my GPS to get us there, we arrived at Drakes Bay Oyster Co. after winding our way through the dry hills of Marin County, the town of Inverness and the more lush landscape of Point Reyes. The modest-looking Drakes Bay Oyster Co. is nestled up against the shore of Schooner Bay in Drakes Estero and is surrounding by stacks of oyster shells. Even the unpaved road leading to the cannery is composed of crushed oyster shells.
We found the shop is quite small, dominated by whiteboard signs with prices for oysters of various sizes and quantities, in the shell and shucked. It was much more modest that we expected, and when we asked if we could get some barbecued oysters, the response was, “You can use our grill out back, I think it’s fired up.” Chris secured a dozen medium-sized oysters, which we placed on the grill with another dozen purchased by another visitor. The oysters steamed, sizzling and popping, while we enjoyed the somewhat chilly but otherwise nice day. After about 20 minutes, we pulled a few oysters off the grill, sprinkled on some lemon juice or Tabasco sauce or a chili pasta and munched away. They were awesome…probably the best oysters I’ve eaten. (Chris has already asked to make a return trip.)
With four oysters each, our stomachs were content and it was time to head back to the “mainland,” but not without a stop at the Marin French Cheese Co. Marin French Cheese will always be that “stinky cheese place” in my mind, and image created by a visit years ago. We didn’t take the tour, but if we did I am sure that the storage room would still have that musty, stinky smell. But now that smell isn’t so stinky to my more mature nose. In typical Konoske fashion, we descended upon the samples and finally settled on buying some blue cheese and triple-cream brie. While Chris and his friend walked around the nearby pond, trying to lure bluegills and carp to their hooks, I munched on some olives before we left for home. A nice day trip that I’d recommend to anyone, oyster lover or not.
P.S. The National Park Service doesn’t plan to renew Drakes Bay Oyster Co.’s lease when it expires in 2012.