Desire Oyster Bar
300 Bourbon St
New Orleans, LA 70130
There are roughly a zillion oyster bars on Bourbon Street, and everyone finds themself slipping into a relationship with a favorite. For me, it is Felix's. The non-oyster related food is terrible and I cannot recall the last time I have ever sat down, but the price is right, the shuckers are convivial, and I can knock a shot of Jager and a dozen raw in relative peace and harmony. These things are important in life, these are what keep me animated and going forward.
Anyhow, I decided to give Desire a shot because I am making a concentrated effort to try as many restaurants as possibly in New Orleans, even when every particle of my being just wants to slip into a relationship with a place and stop my wild-catting around, to extend a metaphor to an uncomfortable degree. So, Desire. It is located within the Royal Sonesta Hotel and is fairly nice inside, with an old-fashioned tile decor and a display of fresh fruit and veg that probably is not actually used in anything. The place does a cracking business via an endless stream of tourists. Watch out on Saturday.
A dozen raw. Yuck. These were not good oysters, and I sort of considered not eating them: a bad oyster is not just a culinary disappointment but potentially deadly, and I didn't need that kind of cramp in my stye. These were undersized and slightly warm. Also, they make your horseradish sauce for you, with enough horseradish to actually kill a horse. As half my enjoyment of oysters stems from producing my own horseradish sauce concotion/debating with my dining companions about merits of said horseradish sauce - this was quite a depressing experience. I have to stop writing about this now or I may begin to cry. I did not get sick from these. Just FYI.
Turtle soup. Okay. Lots of sherry flavor, lots of turtle-meat pieces. Not Commanders Palace status but acceptable enough with some crackers crumbled innit. Very boozy. I would like to see an industrial turtle farm someday. Just for kicks.
We also had boiled shrimp, which I did not photograph. (To use shrimp in the singular form is ugly and I don't like it when you do it). Merely okay. I prefer these suckers with the heads on. Some of us derive a great amount of pleasure from the head, uh, butter. Admittedly this is highly antisocial behavior if one is not eating somewhere in Guangzhou but I do not let that stop me, ever. This could explain my love life. I would, to summarize, eat the shrimp again but only if I had nothing else available. Such as something cooked in Guangzhou.
The Desire Oyster bar warrants a large "bleh," especially because an oyster bar serving mediocre and lukewarm oysters is simply inexcusable. If one does not have a truly superior oyster hookup, one should revise one's business plan. Extensively. Their menu of various other New Orleans specialities may be acceptable, but I doubt I will bother to return anytime soon.