Oyster House Brewing Company, which opened in 2009, is one of the most established of the eateries that now line Haywood Road in West Asheville. Known for its variety of oyster creations, from the oyster stout to a variety of the freshest oysters on the half shell to an oyster burger, this is a the place to go to satisfy your craving for raw seafood.
However, Oyster House Brewing Company is much more than just a seafood house. The vibe is slightly funky and relaxed and the service is unpretentious and friendly. In an area where eateries with a good concept and good food still suffer from bad service and inattention to details, Oyster House gets it all right, seemingly without a lot of effort. There’s also a charming patio that’s dog-friendly and makes a great place to people-watch.
Some of that success can be credited to brewmaster and owner Billy Klingel, whose passion for both seafood and beer led to the creation of Oyster House. Nearly 10 years later, he’s still just as passionate and his enthusiasm is infectious.
While the menu clearly favors oysters, the menu also includes shrimp and sausage etoufee, bbq chicken sandwiches, and red beans and rice. This is probably not the menu for strict vegetarians and vegans, nor are picky junior eaters likely to find a lot on the menu to interest them.
It’s hard to find a down side to Oyster House. If I had to choose one, it would be the slightly dark atmosphere inside the restaurant. However, the staff is so sunny, you’ll barely notice that.
A few of our favorite menu items at Oyster House Brewing Company include:
New England Clam Chowder
Don’t be put off by the fact that Asheville is a long way from New England. This creamy chowder is packed full of clams and is house-made, so the base is always flavorful and just the right consistency. We always start our meals at Oyster House with a bowl of this delicious soup.
Oysters in beer? Don’t turn up your nose. It’s the brew that started the entire restaurant and has been a crowd favorite ever since. The oyster add a rich, somewhat mineral-like taste to this delicious, complex brew.
Green Apple Fennel Slaw
This is our favorite side dish at Oyster House. The combination of slightly tart green apples and anise-flavored, crunchy fennel is amazing!
Oyster Po Boy
This is the Oyster House’s signature dish and might even improve on the New Orleans original. It features loads of fried oysters on a fresh, house-made loaf, with a creamy sauce, onion, lettuce and tomato. It takes the concept of a sandwich to a whole new level.
We also enjoy the Oyster House’s twist on a traditional bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich. What do they do? They add oysters, of course. (That’s the “O”.)
-Oyster House serves brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, a little known fact.
-Every afternoon other than Friday offers excellent “happy hour” food and drink specials.