A great debate had been brewing about where the best burger in town was. I had thrown my weight behind Birds Aphrodisiac Oyster Shack, partly because they had great burgers but also because it’s one of the few if only places near campus you can get raw oysters too. Coincidentally, our friend Julia (@BookishJulia) had been going on about how good the grouper sandwich was. We decided to head over on a Friday and see if, in the immortal words of former Arizona Cardinals head coach Dennis Green, they were who we thought they were.
Birds ranks with some of the finest dives I’ve been too. At the corner of Tennessee and Bronough streets, it may look like a picnic table patio bar to the uninitiated. Things don’t get much better inside, where the aroma of stale beer and industrial-strength cleaner greet you. The floors are painted concrete and a beaded curtain serves as the entrance to the restroom area. On a positive note, the place is adorned with some cool, old memorabilia.
What Birds lacks in looks it makes up for with food. It’s more than a notch above typical bar fare. First off, did I mention they serve raw oysters? That’s no small undertaking for a place largely staffed with twenty-somethings (apologies to responsible twenty-something oyster shuckers) . We ordered a dozen straight away and made quick work of them. Due to the time of year, most oysters we had in recent weeks were a bit on the puny side; these were considerably larger.
Because the menu is not extensive, it has allowed Birds to hone their craft, which is why they get high marks for their sandwiches. It should be mentioned that birds only serves oysters and four different sandwiches (menu here). Where they get creative is with the toppings. Sara and Julia ordered grouper, both with blue cheese. I got a blackened hamburger with lettuce, tomato, onion and peanut butter.* The list of toppings and spices is substantial. Sara and I split the burger and grouper. Both were fantastic. I wouldn’t recommend blue cheese on the grouper as it is quite overpowering. The burger was really phenomenal. I still think it’s the best in Tallahassee (disclaimer: I haven’t been to Monks).
Birds Aphrodisiac Oyster Shack is and will continue to be a Tallahassee landmark in my book. If you are a lover of oysters and burgers or grouper, then you’ll be in for a treat!
*I didn’t get peanut butter on my burger, but I would if I didn’t have to share!