Saturday, May 18, 2024

A weekly notebook about dining options during the Covid-19 shutdown, with a focus on quality and ease of pickup and delivery. Remember, the people serving up the food are part of the front line; keep it in mind when tipping.

An oyster platter at Summer Shack in North Cambridge. (Photo: Tom Meek)

If you love oysters – I do – Summer Shack’s buy-one, get-one-free Tuesday may be the best deal in town in terms of quality, presentation and price. Of the three oysters on the Shack menu, the South Bay Blondes were the plumpest and juiciest; ones from Dennis were a close second, with Duxbury oysters the smallest of the lot. But they were all winners served perfectly shucked on a bed of ice with a tangy mignonette (red wine vinegar, shallots and cracked black pepper) and classic red cocktail sauce with an ample crown of horseradish. You may find places around town where you can get oysters for a dollar, but I doubt that what’s set in front of you will come close to this: I paid $18, a steal for a dozen amazingly succulent, perfectly chilled oysters that are twice the size of most of those bargain offerings. (The sangria’s pretty good also.) Next to the Alewife T stop, at the juncture of the Minuteman Bike Path and Fitchburg Cutoff Bike Path and with a spacious parking lot, Summer Shack Cambridge is wildly accessible and a fine end to a Tuesday bike ride. 

Summer Shack (149 Alewife Brook Parkway, North Cambridge near Alewife)

Tom Meek is a writer living in Cambridge. His reviews, essays, short stories and articles have appeared in the WBUR ARTery, The Boston Phoenix, The Boston Globe, The Rumpus, The Charleston City Paper and SLAB literary journal. Tom is also a member of the Boston Society of Film Critics and rides his bike everywhere.