Sunday, June 18, 2006

Father's Day at Ivar's

"We're going to Ivar's for brunch," I told the boy.
"Why aren't we going to Elliot's?" the boy asked.
"Because Ivar's has an all-you-can-eat seafood bar, and we've never been there. It's a Seattle institution."
The boy is perfectly happy to sit at the oyster bar at Elliot's and suck down one or two dozen oysters shucked by David Leck, who could be the best oyster shucker in the country. Dad is maybe slightly less happy to pay for it, but Elliot's does have pretty good food, especially for a waterfront restaurant that gets a large tourist business. The boy looked displeased. "They have freshly shucked all-you-can-eat oysters," I said. The boy looked happy.
Ivar's has been there since 1938. I suppose you can't tell the real character of a place by Sunday Brunch, or maybe you can tell the character of a restaurant all too well by what they're willing to put out on Sunday morning.
During brunch, the boy said, "that oyster shucker sucks." In fact, all of it pretty much sucked. The oysters were decent, though kind of ugly after the shucker was through with them. The peel-n-eat shrimp would have been better if someone hadn't sliced them up the back to expose the contents of the vein without bothering to rinse it out. The "traditional breakfast fare" was barely warm. The salads were mostly starch and dressing.
"Why didn't we go to Elliot's?" I asked afterwards.