If you are an oyster lover like me, then Hank’s Oyster Bar is the place to go if you live, or if you are just visiting the Northern Virginia area. I came across this place after a spa appointment while I was exploring the local neighborhood. This restaurant favorite is nestled in the heart of the historic neighborhood of Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. It is surrounded by tons of cute shops that range from selling furniture, paintings, antiques, or clothing. Once you walk in to Hank’s Oyster Bar there is always someone to greet you at the door. Don’t be surprise that on a Friday or Saturday night it can get pretty busy. Usually if there is a wait, then you can grab a drink at the bar. They have a wide range of drink selections, and the drinks are reasonably priced.
While walking to your seat you will notice the different chalkboards displayed on the walls, which list the oysters that are on the menu for the day. The oysters are brought in fresh daily. Once you are seated, the waiter will bring you a small bowl of goldfish crackers for you to munch on while you decide on your dish. I think the goldfish crackers are such a nice touch, because it brings me back to my childhood days of having this as a snack. Beyond the nice selection of oysters, they offer a variety of other dishes if you are not an oyster lover, or you want to add to your meal. One of my favorite dishes is the lobster roll with old bay seasoned fries!
Ordering oysters is not intuitive for everyone! If you are beginner at eating oysters, then no worries the waiters are very knowledgeable, and will walk you through each selection. I have definitely been to some restaurants where the waiter has no clue, and is not very helpful…this is not the case at Hank’s. Before ordering the waiter will walk you through each option, and give you a good descriptor of each choice. For example, “Sweet” — When the oyster is somewhat mild and sweet instead of too salty versus “Copper” — When oysters have a very strong, acidic or rusty flavor. No worries if you can’t decide what to go with, then you can order a mixed platter to sample each one. I usually order a mix, and once I figure out my favorites, then I will go back and order more.
Once they bring out your oyster platter, it will come with lemons, horseradish, malt vinegar, and cocktail sauce. If you want to add a little extra kick, then ask for the tabasco sauce! I love to make a mix out of all the ingredients, and sprinkle a touch on top of the oyster. You want to avoid putting too much ingredients on the oyster, because it will overpower the actual flavor of the oyster. In my opinion, the sauces are there to give a little extra boost!
Check please! I love that once they bring the check they also bring you sweet treats. The waiter will bring out a bowl of dark rich chocolate. Beyond dark chocolate being good for both your heart and stress levels it is definitely a nice touch to end your meal at Hank’s Oysters Bar! To check out more about this restaurant visit Hank’s Oyster Bar.