The Union Oyster House was established in 1826 making it the oldest restaurant in America. I have passed it quite a few times, since it is located in a very touristy part of Boston. I had a beer there once a few years ago and loved the feel of the restaurant inside. The booths are all made out of wood and very old fashioned looking. The benches are small and simple and the hosts are pure Bostonians.
My mother and I walked in and the older hostess gave us a bored look and asked us, “Do you wanna sit at the oysteh bah or ata booth?” The oyster bar seemed a bit crowded, and we wanted a booth so we walked around the restaurant trying to find a place to sit. We passed the poor little lobsters in their water tank and made our way to a little booth.I felt that my rear could barely stay on the teeny seat benches. (I’m blaming the old fashioned, small booths of course.) We ordered a half a dozen fresh oysters, the lobster salad roll, and pan seared shrimp and scallops that the menu said is “Served with a sundried tomato cream sauce over rice”. They brought us each cornbread before our meal came and we shared one piece. The cornbread was delicious. A bit dense for my particular palate, I prefer buttery and crumbly, but it was still yummy. We then got out oysters.
Although the presentation isn’t amazing, I guess it doesn’t have to be. I would have preferred a nicer set up and more lemons with the oysters. But what does that matter? They are the oldest restaurant in America! They can do as they please. The oysters were delicious, good sized, and fresh. We seasoned them with horseradish sauce, cocktail sauce, and/or lemon juice. YUM! Oysters are such a weird thing to eat. They don’t look appetizing at all, but there is just something about them that is delicious, refreshing and different.
We then got our meals and realized that we obviously shouldn’t have ordered too much.
The lobster roll was delicious. Just enough lobster meat to make it a generous helping and the roll really filling. The meat was in delicious big chunks and wasn’t shredded, which also makes the lobster meat more juicy. Just the right texture! The sauce on the meat was more mayonnaisey than buttery. I prefer the latter. Still- it was a yummy roll, though not as good as The Clam Shack in Maine. The fries were good, nothing out of the ordinary.
The scallops and shrimp was amazing. The cream was pure fat probably, making it of course even more delectable. The sun-dried tomato flavor in the sauce was extremely mild. I enjoyed that since too much sun dried tomato can over power other flavors. Some might dislike the lack of sun-dried tomato flavor.
This plate was unfortunately not as hot as it should have been. The taste was amazing and not like anything else I’ve really tried. SO. MUCH. CREAM. If you aren’t worried about counting your calories, this is definitely the meal to order. Creamy, rich goodness on rice and the shrimps and scallops were perfectly cooked with just the right texture. YUM!
My mom and I ate every last bit of our meal other than the french fries that came with the lobster roll. Thought it was going to be too much food, but we cleaned out plates anyway. Delicious! A real experience if you are in the area. Must warn you that it isn’t the cheapest place to eat but not super expensive for seafood. Our shrimp and scallop dish was $20.95 to give you an idea. I would definitely recommend this place to those wanting to get a good bite off of the Freedom Trail in Boston.