Innuendo on the Half Shell

After spending a week in Vancouver with Roxy it’s hard to decide what in particular I should write about…

I could use this post to gush over how fabulous she was in her show, and what incredible talent she has (in a purely calm, impartial manner, of course).

Alternatively I could very easily take the opportunity to rant about how depressing it is to come back to brown, dreary, cold and miserable Calgary after a glorious week of green, lush spring in Vancouver.  Every street was an explosion of pink blossom and verdant gardens overflowed with a mass of fragrant, colourful blooms.

Pretty flowers which, as the wife of a landscaper I should probably be able to name, except that they don't grow in Calgary
Pretty flowers which, as the wife of a landscaper I should probably be able to name, except that they don’t grow in Calgary

Here in Calgary we’re probably due about 4 more pre-blizzard false starts before Spring actually arrives, and  then we can finally start looking forward to our two-week growing season.

Meanwhile ... back in Calgary
Meanwhile … back in Calgary

It astonishes me that Calgarians have the audacity to criticize the English weather.

But fortunately for you I’m not going to do any of that.  I’m going to write about Rodney’s Oyster House, in Yaletown, where Roxy and I spent our last evening in Vancouver.

At six o’clock on a Saturday evening it didn’t come as a great surprise that we were given a 40-minute waiting time for a table.  Not being overly hungry we happily used the time to wander down to the water with a cup of tea to sit and laugh at the joggers.  Why, we wondered,  would anyone would want to wreck their experience of this beautiful waterfront by stomping breathlessly and sweatily along it?  And they weren’t even being chased!

When we did get into the restaurant we were a little disappointed to be led, not to a table, but to the bar where we were pointed to high stools for the perching on.  It only took about 2 second before we realized we’d been given the best seats in the house.  Against the wall behind the bar there was a long table covered in ice and about 15 different types of oysters with fascinating names.   It was a hive of activity back there, with about 8 young men all joking and jostling; shucking oysters by the gazillion; pouring drinks; steaming mussels right before our eyes and generally providing a show to go with our dinner.

One of the first thing we noticed was all the flirting going on, and the shirts they were wearing, emblazoned with “Suck me Off” in very large letters and “the half shell” in very teeny letters.

One of them tried to sell me the girl’s version which says “Eat me Raw” in very big letters and “from the half shell” in very teeny letters.  Tempting as that was, I thought it might not be entirely appropriate attire for a middle aged suburban housewife.

Roxy had mussels in the butteriest white wine sauce I’ve ever tasted (even in France) and I had giant, succulent scallops in a creamy tomato sauce.  Both were sopped up with slice after slice of rich, moist sourdough bread.

Despite being full we decided that it would be rude to leave without sharing a banana brulee.  I was surprised when it turned out to be a regular creme brulee with a banana grilled on the top, but I would definitely hesitate to use the word ‘disappointed’ as it was the perfect sweet, creamy way to end the meal.

By the time we left we were a tiny bit pickled, and very satisfied with our choice of restaurant.  And at around $15-18 for an entree it was actually quite reasonably priced.  Definitely worth a visit.