If there was ever a food that could entice me to enter an eating contest, oysters would be it. In fact, Im pretty sure I could win the eleventh annual competition at Jax with the right teammates. Every year, Jax Fish House throws an oyster-week celebration that comes with great food and drink specials and culminates in an Oyster Eating Contest.
Teams of four are presented with a tray of beautiful pre-shucked oysters and then begin pouring the slippery suckers dressed with as much lemon juice, tartar and hot sauce as they like down their throats. The record to beat, from two years ago, is 116 per team, or 29 per person. As a girl of normal height and weight who can easily down a dozen oysters in a sitting, I find that number rather unimpressive, so Im pondering testing my own speed-eating skills.
You should do the same, or at least head over to watch the mayhem at 2 p.m. and partake in the final day of 11 oysters for $11 or the Oyster Prix Fixe Menu, a three-course meal of Penn Cover Oyster Three Ways, Togarashi Seared Striped Marlin and Mother of Pearl Dusted Chocolate Truffle for $35. The contest costs $400 per team, but the winners get a trip to Las Vegas, and everything benefits the Gathering Place, a daytime shelter for homeless women and their children.
Go to www.oysterweeks.com to register, or stop by 1539 17th Street to sign up and practice on a plate of 11 or 22. Anyone who orders oysters this week can also enter to win A Dozen Dozens: a dozen free oysters every month for a year.
Sun., March 22, 2009