A Recent Discovery was made in a history book of the Easton & Phillipsburg area of the early 20th century. A page in the book pictured “Rice’s Oyster House”, circa 1908 on Northampton Street in Easton, PA, at the site of the current Hotel Easton. Rice’s Oyster House was sold to Bob Youell in the 1930′s and the name changed.
Many things have changed over the last 100 years, however, the annual offering of Fresh Soft Shell Crabs continues to be a tradition at Youell’s:
Though 18th century satirist Jonathan Swift once wrote, “He was a bold man that first ate an oyster,” this bivalve has been a culinary favorite for thousands of years. The hard, rough, gray shell contains a meat which can vary in color from creamy beige to pale gray, in flavor from salty to bland and in texture from tender to firm. There are both natural and cultivated oyster beds. In the United States, there are three primary species of oysters that are commercially harvested – Pacific (or Japanese), Eastern (or Atlantic) and the Olympia, of the Northwest. Each species is sold under a variety of names depending on the exact location of harvest.
The FDA has created the National Shellfish Sanitation Program Guide, which provides the minimum requirements to participate in interstate commerce of shellfish. These guidelines also establish a standard for the sale and distribution of shellfish:
- All shellfish come from approved bodies of water.
- All bodies of water are monitored for bacteria.
- Each order is tagged for traceability.
- Dealers and distributors must keep hourly temperature logs.
Youell’s Oyster House has been serving Oysters since the restaurant’s founding in the first decade of the 1900’s. We handle a many differing varieties of oysters based on size, taste and origin. Typically, our oysters come from different areas of the Chesapeake Bay region and it’s many estuaries. We have daily deliveries to ensure fresh oysters that are at their peak flavor. State and Federal management programs, along with the indigenous families that work the waters, have created a fishery that is sustainable, and able to provide a constant and varied supply of fresh oysters. Oystermen, who had once feared the end of their livelihood, due to overfishing and pollution, have realized resurgence in stocks from the now pristine waters.
We offer oysters in the following preparations:
- Raw, on the half-shell, served with homemade cocktail sauce.
- Rockefeller, baked with our spinach mixture and cheddar cheese.
- Stew, simply shucked oysters, oyster liquor, cream and a touch of butter.
- Fried, freshly shucked oysters breaded to order, deep fried and served with cocktail or tarter sauce.
- Complimentary oyster cocktail offered at our bar during Happy Hour, Monday through Thursday, between 5 and 7pm.
The official definition of a couple of our specialties that we’re proud of:
A Spanish dish of saffron-flavored rice combined with a variety of meats and shellfish (mussels, shrimp, fish, lobster, chicken and chorizo), garlic, onions, peppers, peas, and tomatoes. It’s named after the special two-handled pan – also called paella – in which it’s prepared and served. The pan is wide, shallow and 14 inches in diameter.
A celebrated seafood stew from Provence, made with an assortment of fish and shellfish (clams, mussels, shrimp, lobster, scallops and fish), onions, tomatoes, white wine, olive oil, garlic, saffron and herbs. The stew is ladled over a thick slice of French bread.
San Francisco’s Italian immigrants are credited with creating this delicious fish stew. We start by cooking the bones of the fish we filet, until a rich broth is created. to this we add plum tomatoes, onion, garlic and herbs. Upon order, we finish by stewing a variety of fish and shellfish, and serve it in a large bowl.
Ongoing promotions during the week:
Happy Hour Monday through Thursday from 5 – 7pm. Complimentary order or oysters or clams on the half shell. Served at our bar with a beverage purchase.
Early Bird Menu 4 – 5pm, Monday thru Thursday $10.95 Several chef’s selections as well as smaller portions of some our regular menu items and the chef’s daily addition, accompanied by clam chowder, potato, vegetable, cofee or tea, and dessert.
Early Dinner Menu 4 – 5pm, Monday thru Thursday Menu Price. Soup, salad and dessert come with any item on our regular menu or chef’s menu menu
Blue Plate Special 4 – 7pm, Monday thru Friday $12.00 Served at the bar. Soup and salad accompanies the chef’s daily offering of Americana comfort food.