Calling all seafood lovers. How about trying a fairly new eatery - The Blue Oyster Seafood and Wings Buffet? The restaurant is located in the former Pizza Hut building on Mercer University Drive across the street from Ken's Audio.
I noticed a "Grand Opening" sign on the Oyster's very blue building in late April. Since I love seafood, I knew that I would be eating there.
So, my friend Russell and I stopped there for a meal in early July. We were greeted by Cynthia Bell, a very friendly cashier, who also was the waitress that day. She seated us and quickly returned with menus.
The restaurant was very clean and the decor involved several shades of blue that highlighted the walls, carpet, booths and tables and chairs. There was a big screen television in each corner of the restaurant. The two in the back corners displayed newscasts while the two in the front showed movies or Xbox games could be played on them. The atmosphere was very serene - maybe it was the shades of blue that had a calming effect on me.
When Cynthia brought beverages to our table, I flooded her with questions about the facility. I especially wanted to know why there was no buffet that day. She said that business had been extremely slow following the Mother's Day tornado and that some of the delivery trucks had been unable to bring supplies to the restaurant.
However, a friend had eaten there a couple of months earlier. She said there was a buffet with clams, oysters and fish and salad fixings. Later, a co-worker dined there, and she said there was only a limited salad bar offered.
The menu offered shrimp, scallops, clams, oysters, and a variety of fish, including salmon, trout, catfish, tilapia, whiting, flounder, Alaskan whitefish and perch. Two side dishes - cole slaw, garden salad, okra or French fries - are served with meals.
If you're not in a full-meal mood, the menu offers chicken combos - wings, tenders, livers or gizzards served with fries and a regular drink.
The children's menu offers chicken tenders, hot dog, hamburger or mini shrimp dinners with fries and a beverage.
Desserts include red velvet cake, key lime pie, German chocolate cake and cheesecake pie.
Russell and I each ordered the Big Blue Platter which allowed us to sample a variety of seafood including scallops, clams, oysters and shrimp. My platter had tilapia, while Russell chose whiting. French fries and cole slaw also came with our meals. The food was well seasoned and fried golden brown. Russell said that he loved the seafood because it was fried just the way he likes it - crunchy but not overcooked. I enjoyed my meal, however, the cole slaw was a bit bland.
The portions were very generous, and I took more than half of my meal home.
As we were leaving the restaurant, the chef came out and we complimented her. Willean Jefferson, who is better known as "Miss Will," said that she grew up on a farm, where she prepared many meals for her family, and in her early adult life she was a cook at the University of Miami. Since then, she has served as chef at numerous restaurants because she loves to prepare meals.
When The Blue Oyster is operating at full capacity - offering the buffet - I look forward to eating there again. I plan to try the salmon steak dinner served with sauteed spinach, crisp bacon and a boiled egg. Let's eat!
The Blue Oyster Seafood and Wings Buffet
3694 Mercer University Drive
Two and a half stars
Phone: (478) 474-9495
Hours: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 1-9 p.m. Sunday
Price range: $6.99 (all-you-can-eat salad bar) to $15.99 (Big Blue Platter)
Payment: Cash, credit card
Kids menu: Yes
Noise level: Low to moderate
Latest health rating: 90A
Wheelchair accessible: Yes
To contact designer/copy editor Ella M. Haynes-Hooks, call 744-4417.