3/10/2010

Lulu's Oceanside Grill: Ormond Beach, Florida


I could not convince my wife into returning to The Oyster Pub for a third consecutive night, but I did however talk the entire family into trying out Lulu's Oceanside Grill for a nice family dinner on our last night in Daytona Beach. If you look at the menu online, you will not find Oysters, but if you look through the thousands and thousands of printed promotional tourist books and brochures you will find that they advertise some very good raw oyster specials. It looked like a good place to take everyone as they have pretty much something for everyone. But I secretly knew they also served oysters in the raw. I did not know this, but most places in Daytona and throughout Florida only serve oysters steamed.

So we packed everyone up, piled into two cars and we were on our way down A1A to Ormond Beach. When we arrived, I wasn't sure as to why the place was called "Oceanside" grill as it was located in the center of the island and not anywhere near being Oceanside, but whatever they need to do to get people in the door I guess. This particular day was the official start to Bike Week 2010 and so happened to be a Friday night as well. So we thought it might be better to go a little early as we may have difficult getting a table for 7, but when we arrived at 5:30, the place was completely empty. We were taken to a table in the back of the restaurant that reminded me of a very long hallway, completely separate from the rest of the restaurant and away from everything (some people may like this, me personally hated it as I like to be around all the action and see other peoples food come out). I asked the hostess about the oysters and if they were any good, she responded with a statement that I was a little surprised by. She made the statement that Lulu's serves the freshest and best oysters anywhere near these parts. I was excited, but also a little worried that they would not live up to what she claimed and that would take away from the experience. I was already disappointed that the price tag on a dozen was $11.95, but if they were truly the "BEST" I had no problem as this was still cheap compared to Minnesota.

About 15 minutes after we placed our order our food arrived. Flatbread steak and bruschetta for my wife and mother, Filet and Scallops for my grandmother, Cheeseburger for my dad, mini corn dogs for my two girls and of course a dozen oysters for myself. Now, keep in mind, oysters are a very new food love of mine, so I have not tried them at very many places and before this trip, all of my oysters were consumed in Minnesota. The Oyster Pub just down the road, to date, had the best oysters I have ever tasted. That was until tonight. These oysters were described to me as being appalachian oysters. Whatever that means, I still do not know, but who cares, they were awesome. I immediately noticed that the oysters themselves were much smaller than the ones I enjoyed from the Gulf of Mexico and they were served over ice. The Oyster Pub was the only place I had ever been that the oysters were not served over a bed of ice. I actually thought about placing an order for a second dozen, but decided against it at the very last second. They were that good.

Now that I have had enjoyed the best oysters three days in a row, it was provably time to move on to something different. As I am writing this, two weeks after the fact, I find myself searching high and low looking for fresh oysters again in Minnesota to compare to my experience in Florida. Will that even be possible? Lulu's had great oysters, but nothing else to write home about. The other food was eatable and the service was nothing but standard.

Next time I find myself back in Daytona Beach, I will more than likely be bellied-up to the bar down the street rather than Lulu's again.
Lulu's Oceanside Grill on Urbanspoon

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