Restaurants · Seafood

Gibsons – Smitty’s Oyster House

In August, my friend N rented a house in Gibsons. We arrived on a sunny Friday to acres of private waterfront property, a six-bedroom house with spacious entertainment areas and a hot tub looking out into the ocean.

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N and her entourage brought groceries with the intent of cooking, but everyone was too preoccupied with partying to actually prepare any meals. When I stepped in, I was micro-managed by RHWONJ. RHWONJ forgot to tell me her cooking instructions and then later complained to me that I was didn’t do something she never told me to do. By Sunday morning, L and I wanted to get out and explore the town. For this post, let’s listen to Charles Barkley – Crazy.

N drove L and I into the waterfront shopping district. The three of us
walked into Beachcomber Coffee Company and enjoyed expertly made americanos. N and I stocked up at Sunshine Coast Olive Oil while L stood patiently outside. We strolled around the main shopping streets and enjoyed a live music performance. I peeked inside The Healing Hut because I wanted to see what a cannabis dispensary looked like inside. I know these places are common in Vancouver, but they are not in Calgary (pre- October 17, 2018). The store is bare bones. There’s a display by the till and other foreign objects.

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By noon, we decided to have lunch at Smitty’s Oyster House. The restaurant doesn’t fill up the tables inside the restaurant. Instead, most customers wait in line to sit in a large communal table on the pier.

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We ordered fresh oysters on the half shell ($3 each), salmon cakes
($12), Smitty’s salad ($9), Pan Fried Oysters ($18) and Fish Fritters Cod ($16). The food and wine was reasonably priced. Most glasses of wine ranged from $8-$13.

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The highlight of the meal were the raw oysters from New Zealand. Creamy, bright and sweet, I couldn’t believe these oysters were flown in from somewhere so far away. If I had known the oysters would be that good, I would have skipped my entrée and just consumed oysters. L agreed. I’ve never enjoyed an oyster more than I did here.

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The fish fritters were tender and the batter was puffy and light. I personally prefer a harder, more brittle batter.  The malt balsamic drizzled on top of the fritters was too strong for my liking. The portion was too big for L to eat on his own.

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The fried oysters had a hard, thin batter. There was a layer of wet batter against the fried exterior. The oyster itself was smallish and cooked so the meat was still tender.

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N had to leave to go back to her other guests. L and I lingered and ordered more drinks. L even chatted up the older couple sitting next to us, a social rarity.

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We walked around some more and L suggested we eat again, this time at Smoke on the Water BBQ Shack. I wasn’t hungry but I was eager to kill more time. We shared the Smoked Port Back Ribs ($19) – a half rack of ribs, with slaw, beans and fries. The ribs were hard, perhaps because they weren’t that warm. I thought the BBQ sauce was a tad simple. Maybe I’m just spoiled with the great BBQ I get back in Alberta. In any case, if you happen to make a stop off in Gibsons, I’d recommend Smitty’s for their oysters and island eats.

Smitty's Oyster House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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