Last week when Cullen and Taylor were visiting, we all decided to try out a new lunch spot downtown. Cullen & Harry were craving oysters, so we thought we might give Leon’s a shot, since it had gotten pretty good reviews so far. When we got there, I ordered a diet coke, and knew right away it was going to be a great lunch when they served it to me in an old-timey glass bottle.
We started with raw oysters (cocktail sauce, mignonette, saltines, Market price), which we split between the 4 of us. I’m a little iffy about oysters (ew, slimy!) but these were outstanding. They tasted great and were surprisingly un-slimy. We topped them with a spritz of fresh lemon juice, cocktail sauce, and mignonette sauce, which was delicious. I’d absolutely order these again.
We also decided to try the char-grilled oysters (half dozen, lemon, parsley, butter, parmesan, $10). To be honest, I thought these were going to taste like grilled oysters, but instead they tasted exactly like oysters Rockefeller (which is also on the menu), and although they weren’t exactly what I was expecting, they were still out of this world, so none of us were disappointed. I loved the cheesiness of the parmesan and how the butter and parsley perfect complemented it. I also loved the bread they served it with. Extra buttery and toasted perfectly. Mmmm.
For an entrée, Cullen and I both decided to get the fish sandwich (fried or grilled, lettuce, tomato, duke’s mayo, $13). The catch of the day was Mahi, so we both decided to try it fried. They serve it on these big fresh buns from Browns Court Bakery, which are delicious all on their own, and the sandwich came together like something from a symphony.
Harry apparently had not yet eaten enough oysters, so he decided to try the fried oyster sandwich (lettuce, tomato, avocado, comeback sauce, $13). I’m not sure what comeback sauce is, but this sandwich was on point. Harry ate it in like 2.5 seconds, but I snuck a bite in when he wasn’t looking. Like I said, I’m not crazy about oysters, but this sandwich was awesome. The oysters were fried perfectly, the breading was nice and crisp, and you can tell they served it as soon as they cooked it because it was still nice and hot, and the breading hadn’t yet had an opportunity to get soggy.
Taylor opted for the shrimp sandwich (fried or grilled; lettuce, tomato, avocado, comeback sauce, $13). Because we had all decided to clog our arteries together, she also opted to get it fried, and though I tend to prefer grilled shrimp, this sandwich was delicious. Idk if I would’ve though to put avocado on a shrimp sandwich, but it really, really worked.
There’s so much more on the menu that I want to try—from the fried chicken, to the fried clam wraps, to the shrimp toast—so you can bet that I’ll be back…and soon!
Leon’s Oyster Shop
698 King St
Charleston, SC 29403