19 of 50 “Tastiest” Soups in NYC – Oyster Pan Roast at Oyster Bar: A Hot Mess

MY TASTEFUL OPINION:  One of the grossest things I’ve had to eat in my life.

I went to Grand Central’s Oyster Bar for lunch with C at the end of June, and the Oyster Pan Roast that I had to try has stuck in my memory ever since…because it was that disgusting.  I generally stay away from heavy cream-based soups since I try to eat as healthy as possible, so I wasn’t looking forward to this pan roast at all.

I did some quick research just now on the recipe, and apparently, Oyster Bar has been famous for this soup since the early 1900s.  From one blog, I discovered how the recipe has changed over the years from 1949 to 1999.  The ingredients have pretty much remained the same, but the preparation instructions seem to have gotten longer.  You can check it out for yourself on the blog.

Then, I found yet another blog called Seduction Meals which featured the pan roast on September 29, 2009 and included a photo and recipe from Oyster Bar’s cookbook.  Here are the ingredients for one serving since the restaurant makes each order individually:

8 freshly opened oysters
2 Tbsp (1/4 stick) of sweet butter
1 Tbsp chili sauce
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 cup oyster liquor, also called liquid (the juice inside the oyster)
1/2 tsp paprika
dash celery salt
1 oz of clam juice
1/2 cup cream
1 slice of dry toast (I used peasant bread)

Can you feel a heart attack coming on yet?  Well, I knew if I finished the entire bowl I would’ve had a heart attack right then and there.  Luckily for me, I was so grossed out from the taste (of mostly Worcestershire sauce) and the presentation that I only had two little sips of the soup and then wasted the rest of my $10.75.  Although maybe I didn’t really waste my money since the cost of this atrocity probably came from the eight fresh oysters that died in the bowl of fat, and I did manage to eat all of the oysters.

Let’s go back to the presentation for a second.  Here’s the photo from the cookbook (or at least from the Seduction Meals blog):

Grand Central Oyster Bar's Oyster Pan Roast from Their Cookbook

Here’s what I got at the actual restaurant:

The Oyster Pan Roast I received at Grand Central's Oyster Bar

Where’s the piece of toast, you ask?  And where are all the other tiny oysters?  Oh, they’re down there somewhere…drowning in this hot mess.  Have you ever lost the words to describe how you’re feeling?   Well this image describes how I was feeling this past week – sad, disgusted and heavy-hearted that a friend of mine passed away.

Are you so depressed and turned off now that you’ll never go to Oyster Bar for some pan roast?  Well, good, that means I’ve done my job.  Now cheer up because this experience shouldn’t prevent us from trying more soups and sharing good conversation and a few laughs over a heart-warming bowl of something better.  That’s what my friend would’ve wanted – for us to keep laughing and living.  RIP Dan Cho.

Grand Central Oyster Bar
Grand Central Terminal
New York, NY 10017
(212) 490-6650


Over $10 – These soups should have a gold leaf in them.

$6 to $10 – You’re not shellin’ out the gold, but also not gettin’ super lucky.

Under $6 – It’s your lucky day!


About Tynee

My latest adventure: trying all 50 of what New York Magazine dubbed the "Tastiest" Soups in the city in 2009. Read all about it here. View all posts by Tynee

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