The Marshall Store, Marshall, CA, for the freshest oysters

by Stevie on June 21, 2011

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We’ve been blessed with a visit from Hegui’s niece, Juliana, this week. She lives far from us, in Northern Virginia quite near Washington, D. C. so can’t come that often. What a treat. Her husband is traveling to the northern most parts of Canada with his father and a friend for their annual fishing trip. She wasn’t feeling it, so she came to San Francisco instead.

a view of Tomales Bay

a view of Tomales Bay

welcome to The Marshall Store, and no, that pay phone doesn't work

welcome to The Marshall Store, and no, that pay phone doesn't work

But we all miss Wes, though I’m sure he’s having fun. This, of course, is why we thought of oysters near Tomales Bay in Marin County.

The four of us all love these glistening briny things. Wes is famous for shucking them at home himself, though we’ve yet to experience that pleasure. My long-time friend, David, suggested The Marshall Store, a hole-in-the-wall kind of place boasting the freshest and most thrilling oysters along the bay.

It was a gorgeous day: full sun for a change, even in San Francisco. The temperature rose to a degree that even someone from the East Coast might consider it to feel like late Spring or early Summer.

a friendly yet formidable totem guarding the Marshall Store

The Marshall Store isn’t much to look at, though perched as it is right on the bay itself, the location couldn’t be more perfect. It is cash only, so be prepared. We tried three kinds of oysters: raw, barbecue and smoked; plus fish tacos. We had these with a bottle of Muscadet Sèvre et Maine, the super-dry white from the Loire region of France. Now, finally, we get what Alexis Lichine and all the other wine writers are talking about: dry Loire muscadet really works with oysters!

There’s no alcohol consumption allowed in The Marshall Store, but don’t fret: they’ve set up tables along CA-1 made of huge planks of redwood where you can enjoy your oyster picnic in style.

The oysters are all farmed in Tomales Bay and are very fresh. The raw were simply splendid with a bit of lemon juice. The smoked on the small toast with a kind of mild cheese spread were super, too. The best, though, had to be the barbecue. These were larger than the rest, and had a lovely broth around the oyster meat. The entire shell must have been grilled, as they were quite hot to the touch and I almost scalded myself in my excitement to try them.

our first dozen raw oysters

our first dozen raw oysters

delish fish tacos

delish fish tacos

smoked oysters

smoked oysters

large barbecue oysters

large barbecue oysters

We were so completely thrilled, but not yet totally satisfied, that we ordered another round of all three kinds of oysters.

People do know about this place. It truly seems in the middle of no-where but it was crowded. A limousine even pulled up at one point and about a dozen guys poured out for oysters.

The Marshall Store is quite near the somewhat more well-known, Hog Island Oysters, so if you’re especially ambitious, you could try both. Only about an hour and a half from San Francisco, this is a marvelous day trip excursion.

Tomales Bay view from our table

Tomales Bay view from our table

huge redwood table

huge redwood table close up

Hegui and Juliana

Hegui and Juliana at Tomales Bay

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Faith June 21, 2011 at 8:34 am

I so wish I were in the area so I could stop in here…everything looks so good! I’ll definitely keep it in mind if I’m ever in San Fran though!

Love that last pic of Hegui and Juliana — adorable!
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Juliana June 21, 2011 at 9:22 am

I’m still not sure which one was my favorite….maybe all of them!
Thank you so much for the fun weekend guys!!

chris June 21, 2011 at 9:37 am

looks like such a lovely day in tomales bay – we should make bbq and smoked oysters sometime!

Heguiberto June 21, 2011 at 10:11 am

Chris -that’s a great idea! I’ve always found dealing with oysters, selecting, cleaning, shucking, serving them raw or cooked a mystifying thing. Perhaps its time for me to get over all of that. Will give you me hand? 😉

Ju -It was fun spending the weekend with you. I wish we lived a bit closer so we could do it more often

Faith – Thanks! That’s my cute niece and goddaughter!

Krista June 21, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Absolutely fantastic pictures!! 🙂 What a gorgeous day – perfect weather – scrumptious food – and such lovely people to enjoy it with. Wonderful. 🙂

Heavenly Housewife June 21, 2011 at 11:06 pm

Okay, so I am embarrassed to admit i’ve never had an oyster. I always see them at fancy sea food places and don’t even really know how to eat or enjoy them. I am always confused by oysters actually. I know you just kind of swallow them, so do you actually really taste them? I need oyster lessons daaaaahling.
Fish tacos look divine.
*kisses* HH
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tigerfish June 22, 2011 at 1:24 pm

I have not had so many oysters at one go. I gotta check this out soon! Thanks. 🙂

LeQuan June 23, 2011 at 12:04 pm

I’m with your niece, I’d rather travel to San Francisco than the northern most parts of Canada. I’m allowed to say that cause I’m from Canada though. Haha. It really is a beautiful country.

Love love love oysters, especially raw! All the different types you had sounds delicious. I wish I had a place this this where I live.
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Carol Ike August 2, 2012 at 10:48 am

We will be visiting your wonderful store for you delicious oysters (we have been there on many occasions before and stayed in Napa, is there a recommended motel near your store for us to stay…would you also, give me a telephone number of your store so we can call and make sure y ou are open and serving….thank you

Heguiberto August 2, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Hi Carol,
Please check their website for the phone number.
We never actually stayed overnight in that area as we live in SF. I would recomment that you did a search, I am sure there some good inns around there. Enjoy Marshall’s delicious oysters!

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