Restaurant Guide 2013: The Parish

231 NW 11th Ave., 227-2421,

[PEARL OYSTERS] Tobias Hogan and Ethan Powell deserve a lot of credit for abstaining from all the available puns when they opened an oyster bar in the Pearl District. The Parish offers an almost identical menu to its North Portland relative, EaT: an Oyster Bar, though Pearl-ified. Here, po' boys are replaced by the lagniappe board and a salad menu. Start with the warm octopus salad: rabbit sausage, octopus tentacle, potatoes and other assorted ingredients are a savory reprieve from the delicate raw oysters. Oysters are served in every way imaginable. Most are very good, though the fried oysters are undone by an overly thick, McNugget-like batter. "It was a brave man who first ate an oyster," Jonathan Swift said. It was an even braver person who decided to add them to shots. And we are better for it. The Cajun oyster shooter, one of five options, is how oysters were intended to be eaten: raw, sliding down the back of your throat accompanied by chili sauce and chili vodka. The Cajun fare filling out the menu is all serviceable, perfect for the friend/family member you brought who doesn't like oysters. They can dine on hearty duck gumbo while you toss back a few more oyster shooters.

Ideal Meal: Fried green tomatoes ($7), warm octopus salad ($12), Cajun oyster shooter ($3.50), half-dozen raw oysters ($15) and a Sazerac ($8).

Best deal: A half-dozen raw oysters is about half-price during happy hour ($8).

Pro tip: At $3.50 a pop, the oyster shooters are not a bad deal to combine your dinner and drink.

11:30 am-10 pm Monday-Thursday, 11:30 am-11 pm Friday-Saturday, 10 am-10 pm Sunday, brunch 10 am-3 pm Sunday. $$.


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