Von’s Steak House and Oyster Bar offers a buck-a-shuck during certain times of the day. We decided to give it a try since you can’t really get oysters that cheap anywhere else in Edmonton. We went on a Sunday early evening. It was right at the beginning of the buck-a-shuck so it wasn’t very busy. We probably didn’t need to make a reservation at 4:30 but if you went a bit later, it would start to fill up. The waitress showed us our seats and explained the buck a shuck to us. $1 an oyster was obviously too good to be true. The catch was that each person had to order a drink (an alcoholic beverage, a soft drink, or a tea). Also, each type of oyster has to be ordered in the half dozen or the full dozen so you can’t just order 2 of each. In addition, mostly the west coast oysters were $1, the rest were $2. Finally, there is an extra cost of a few dollars for special sauces (which includes a mignonette, a dill vinaigrette, and another sauce which I can’t remember). We get our beverages but pass on the sauce since cocktail sauce, lemon, and horseradish was included and good enough for us.
We were very happy to see the Royal Miyagi since we had them in San Francisco and enjoyed them very much. We decided to stick with the West Coast oysters since they would be the freshest anyways. We ordered the Royal Miyagi, Komoguay, Chef’s Creek, Deep Bay.
All of the oysters were very fresh. The first, Royal Miyagi, were very good. They are a medium sized oyster with a mild brine taste and a slightly sweet finish. They are very rich tasting and one of our favourites. The Komoguay were very good as well. They had a lighter brininess than the Royal Miyagi but had a very strong cucumber taste that lingers on. Although they were are on the smaller side, it was a very refreshing oyster. The third was the Chef’s Creek. This was my personal favourite. They are very large oysters with a very creamy texture. Not a hint of fishiness and a very sweet finish. These were very fresh oysters that I would definitely order again. The final and our least favourite were the Deep Bay. These are a small-medium sized oyster which are pretty bland with a hint of watermelon finish. We weren’t a big fan of the watermelon taste. The lemons that were provided were a bit dry and was tough to get the juice out of them. The horseradish was very poor. It was dry and lost its pungency. Either the horseradish had gone bad or they froze the horseradish for too long resulting in dryness and tastelessness.
The Buck-a-shuck is available Monday to Friday in the Oyster Bar and on our patio from 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm and all night Sundays. The oysters were very fresh and were shucked in a reasonable time frame. However, the catches to the buck-a-shuck make the bill a bit more expensive than you originally thought. It is a bit of a scam, but still ends up being a decent deal overall. They definitely need to step it up and provide fresh lemons and horseradish. Those condiments are very important compliments to the oysters and needs to be fresh or else it diminishes the quality of the oysters overall. Otherwise, with a group of friends, this can be a very good oyster experience where everyone can try a large variety of oysters at a very reasonable price.