A squat little cinderblock building by the side of the road, Lynn’s Quality Oysters is a fish market and cafe as well as oyster supplier to restaurants all along the coast. Its exterior is stark, but attitude inside the one-room eatery is jovial, humming with banter among waitresses, oysters shuckers, and some very happy customers at tables and at the short counter where you can see the shuckers work. Of course customers are happy. What’s not to be happy about when you are downing cool, fresh Apalachicola oysters that were opened just moments ago? They are top-of-the-line bivalves, as good as raw oysters get: briny enough but not the least bit brackish, sweet as a tropical breeze, buttery-fleshed, and mouthful-sized.
If you happen to like food that is cooked, have them baked. They are really more warmed than cooked – heated only long enough for their mantle of rich cheese to melt into the oyster liquor and lots (and lots!) of little bits of garlic to start to soften on top. Such a luxurious tray of food. They also are available Rockefeller (with spinach), Margarita (mozzarella and tomatoes), as Capt Jack’s (jalapeno, bacon, cheese, hot sauce), and as poppers (jalapeno and cream cheese). Or just plain steamed, with drawn butter.
Oysters star, no doubt about that, but U-peel-’em steamed shrimp are large, firm, and Florida-fresh. Smoked mahi-mahi dip is fabulous: thick and very smoky and nearly impossible to stop eating.
There is one dessert: Key lime pie that is made by a local Greek lady. It’s the sweet-tart classic amended by a crown of frothy meringue.