Drake's Bay's Oysters Are As Big As Your Hand

If you're leaving from San Francisco and looking to hit the major oyster quartet off Highway 1 (Tomales Bay, Nick's Cove, Hog Island, and Drake's Bay), you're going to want to get an early start. Of these, none is more remote than Drake's — to its detriment, in fact (it's at risk of closing). Far from a slight detour, depending on the time of day, it's a twisty, fog-filled, one-car-only drive off the scenic strip.

But it's worth it.

The oyster farm is run by the fourth generation of the Lunny Family, which took over local stewardship a century ago. It's a beautiful setting, and these are some of the largest oysters you're ever going to see. They're as big as your hand. No hyperbole. Find an NBA player. Give him a Drake's Bay oyster. It will be as big as his hand. They're monsters — tough to open — and when you do get them open, they're hard to swallow without chewing. They're huge.

While likely better eaten fried, grilled, pan-roasted, or hell, as steaks, Drake's Bay oysters are still delicious raw — super briny, wet, and made even better with a splash of hot sauce while sitting on one of the nearby picnic baskets by the water. And for these reasons this dish made my list of most memorable meals of 2011.

Click for more of the Most Memorable Meals of 2011.