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J. Adams is the columnist responsible for the "Certified Man Hole" section on the InsideSTL website, covering health & fitness, sex & relationships and local business.
Here's what he had to say after his recent visit to BOB............
Certified: Broadway Oyster Bar
J. Adams posted on April 01, 2012 19:34
There are places you go to drink and enjoy live music that require you check their website beforehand to see who is playing. Broadway Oyster Bar is not one of them.
You just go.
You wake up one absurdly nice March morning, run a few errands with your favorite Pandora station cued up and almost suspiciously serving your favorite tracks with little ad interruption...you do a little yard work... you realize it is a perfect night for Broadway Oyster Bar. You call a close friend you have known since high school, one who after so many years of good times and laughs you know will be able to comfortably relax with you into the ambiance of the event, and you go.
You just go. Because you know the place you are heading will deliver.
Broadway Oyster Bar delivers.
Ironically, I had been there many times before I ever sampled the oysters. I'm not really into oysters. They remind me of snot. That is until you cover them with garlic and butter and parmesan cheese and grill those sons of bitches, which Broadway Oyster Bar does with precision.
Whether their oysters are an aphrodisiac, I cannot say. I have been too busy enjoying the refreshingly balanced ratio of women to men. In fact, the first time I sampled their signature dish, a girl I had met that night convinced me to give them a try and showed me how to slurp them properly.
Later that night she introduced me to a bottle of wine I also had not tasted before. At her place.
Oysters may be an aphrodisiac.
There always seems to be attractive women there. And not the insecure, uppity women that flock from Washington Avenue club to Washington Avenue club with lips puckered in contempt even tighter than their buttholes. Generally speaking, the women who frequent Broadway Oyster Bar will actually smile back at you. Appears to come from a mutual appreciation of our collective humanity or something.
Baffling, I know.
While I have never met the person or people who own the place, or even those who manage the place, what is clear is that someone there is doing something right.
Saturday night was no exception. My friend and I arrived a little after 10 o'clock, about the same time the band Big Brother Thunder & the Master Blasters took the patio stage. Theirs was a high-energy act with a Prohibition, speakeasy type flare... funky, soulful brass instrumentals with sexy, playful lead vocals in a delicate red dress.
Flawlessly tangled between their sets were the talents of one DJ Mahf. If you have not bared witness to the stylings of Dan Mahfood - mix master behind local hip-hop group Earthworms - you probably don't get out much. The dude is simply a staple of the local music scene; a true artist in every sense of the word and one hell of a nice guy.
Frankly, if you find yourself at a venue with him operating the turntables and people are not bobbing their heads in accordance, leave immediately and begin stocking your pantry with batteries and potable water: the zombie apocalypse has begun.
Big Brother Thunder & the Master Blasters, on the other hand, I had not heard of them prior to Saturday, yet I enjoyed them just the same.
This is why Broadway Oyster Bar is a success. All aspects of the operation are evenly and tastefully distributed in such a way that it would be difficult to leave dissatisfied.
Everywhere you look, the place is accented in a kind of raw, artistic fashion. Oyster shells garnish the mural on the wall to your left as you enter the outside bar and are also used in the landscaping as one might use loose rock. Christmas lights add to the festive atmosphere without giving it the feel of a college dormitory. Even the cramped, mosaic-mirrored restrooms are somehow endearing.
Somewhere Jimmy Buffet eats a cheeseburger and is pleased by all of this.
Baseball season is now right around the bend and preludes the immediate and oft-unjustifiable patronage of bars and restaurants neighboring Busch Stadium. In droves we will head south to the cavernous warehouse that is Paddy O's to loiter with fellow fans and north to Shannon's Outfield where we will tolerate the awful playlists of Curt Copeland and Z107. Both will honor our patronage with outrageous drink prices and an indifferent staff.
That's not a shot; it's just the nature of the beast. There is no doubt a time and a state of mind suitable for such environments. I've had great times at both.
But just yards away in distance and miles apart in value, Broadway Oyster Bar waits coolly with fair prices and the aesthetic appeal of a place that has weathered time. It is a place you can count on to provide a vibrant and diverse scene, unpredictable but good music, and arguably the best Cajun-Creole fare in the city.
They have been around for over 30 years already. I'll never forget attempting to tell my dad about the place and discovering that he knew more about it than I did.
Oh, and the best part about Saturday night? My bar tab was $18.
Eighteen dollars, y'all.