hunt’s oyster bar in panama city.

As mentioned in my last post, I joined Chris on his business trip to Panama City last weekend!  The plan was to go from Thursday night to Saturday night, but because of Hurricane Irene, our flights home kept getting canceled… so we ended up being stuck until early Monday morning!  Not a bad situation.  :)  We were truly so thankful for the extended getaway, and really enjoyed ourselves!

We looked at restaurant reviews going into the trip, and one place stood out FAR above the rest: Hunt’s Oyster Bar & Seafood Restaurant.  Check out Yelp and TripAdvisor, and you’ll see… we almost felt like we’d regret it if we didn’t try it out!

I wish I had taken a picture of the place when we walked up to it, around 8pm on Friday night.  There were probably 20 people waiting outside for their names to be called.  Most of them had a beer in hand, and there was a loud college football team argument going on among strangers.  In fact, it was hard to tell who was in what friend group!  Everyone seemed to be having the time of their life, even as they were waiting to go in.  It was a ROWDY scene.

Chris and I got called in after about a half hour, and sat at the bar.  It was so much fun!  We only ate oysters… 3 dozen of them between us, to be exact!  (Actually, the exact number might have even been a few more, since they threw in some extra!)  The oysters were SO fresh and amazing.  We ordered raw oysters, steamed oysters, cajun-baked oysters, and three cheese jalapeño oysters.  We could not stop eating the oysters!

Here are some pictures of the progression:

Oysters #1

Oysters #2

Oysters #3

Oysters #4 (The Aftermath)

Not only were the oysters incredible, but the wait staff was great… very attentive and fast.  The spirit of the restaurant was so lively!  Everyone was having a fun night.  This place was simply a laid-back and no nonsense gem of a restaurant.  We’ll definitely be back next time we’re in Panama City!

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the livingsocial best of washington party!

Thank you, Washingtonian Magazine and LivingSocial, for putting on an incredible party last night!  What could be better than trying out numerous food and beverage samples from the top spots in the area, while looking glam in the National Building Museum?  Such FUN!  I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves…

Best of Washington Party at The National Building Museum

Salmon Sashimi w/ Tomato Salad & Basil - J&G Steakhouse

The "Best Of" Magazines

Foie Gras Panna Cotta w/Macerated Summer Berries, Micro Basil, & Candied Pistachios - Bastille

Assorted Cupcakes - Georgetown Cupcake

Smoked-Duck Lettuce Wraps - Jackie's

Lemongrass Sangria - Ping Pong Dim Sum

One of the bars.

Decorations, the fountain, and the bidding area.

Chris & I’s Favorites:  1789’s fried peach pies, BGR The Burger Joint’s Greek sliders, Bistro Bis’ Vidalia-onion vichyssoise, Cava Mezze/Cava Grill’s mini pitas, Citronelle’s tomato tartare, J&G Steakhouse’s salmon sashimi, Jackie’s Restaurant’s smoked-duck lettuce wraps, Kushi Izakaya’s drunken chicken, Perrys’ scallop sashimi, Ping Pong Dim Sum’s lemongrass sangria, Rappahannock River Oysters’ raw oysters, Red Hook Lobster Pound’s lobster rolls.

Regular ticket-holders could enter the party at 7:00pm, and “gold” tickets got in an hour earlier.  Chris and I started getting full around 8:30/8:45 or so, and felt affirmed in buying the standard tickets.  However, it was too bad that a lot of stations ran out very early… so maybe that could be a draw to buy the more expensive tickets next year.  We were especially sad to miss PassionFish’s Kamikaze Roll (so good!).  Another small complaint –  which was also affirmed by others on Twitter – was the incredible amount of desserts.  We wondered if it would have worked better if the dessert stations were all grouped in one section of the room.  A rearrangement of stations doesn’t solve the main issue though: most people weren’t expecting a dessert to be the only selection from some of DC’s top all-around restaurants.  In any case, the foods – both the savory and sweet ones – were very yummy! :)

All in all, we had a BLAST.  The party was so glam, we felt like we were in foodie paradise, and we were inspired to try out many new restaurants!  Next year, I plan to wear a looser dress, and I also plan to spread the word beforehand about how much fun this party is!

I missed the restaurants of Chef José Andrés at the event, but it actually turned out okay for us in the end… Chef José tweeted that it was his birthday, and that he was giving away free glasses of Cava after 9pm at all of his restaurants!  Chris and I took a short walk to Jaleo after the party, and enjoyed some Cava in celebration.  Happy birthday, Chef José Andrés!

Cava at Jaleo

Now I find myself very sad that the Living Social Best of Washington Party is over, but it will live on in photos and in fond memories of the taste sensations!  To find out more about the event, go here, here, and here.  By the way, one of my tweets is featured on their Tweets page!  :)