Sunday, August 29, 2010

Black Diamond Oyster Bar & Chef Josh

This week our Friday Night Dinner Group went to dinner at Black Diamond Oyster Bar. Black Diamond is one of Corpus Christi's old-time seafood restaurants. I don't know how long they've been in business, but I know it's somewhere in excess of 35 years. It's a little bit off the beaten path for restaurants and it's not fancy in any way.

We've eaten there a couple of times a year since we got married back in 1975. As a matter of fact, when I was pregnant with our first child I craved seafood, specifically fried shrimp. Almost every Friday night we would go to Black Diamond Oyster Bar where Grams would order the seafood platter. It was a huge platter of fried oysters, shrimp and fish topped with a big pile of fried clams. Seriously it was a pile of fried seafood and potatoes about six inches high on a big platter. Grandad would order a more modest portion of fried shrimp. Usually the waitress would bring the huge platter and set it in front of Grandad and she would give me the shrimp. We would immediately swap plates and chow down. Thank God it's not on the menu any more.

If you were looking for good old-fashioned fried fresh seafood, Black Diamond has always been one of the best places to go. The food has always been good, but in recent years it was not spectacular. Recently, however, one of our son's best friends has started working there as a chef. On Friday afternoon, he posted on his Facebook page that they had fresh Texas oysters on the half shell. Knowing that my mother-in-law really loves oysters on the half shell, I suggested dinner at Black Diamond.

There were five in our party. When we arrived at about 6 o'clock, there was no waiting; we got a table right away and ordered our drinks. Black Diamond has a full service bar. We told the host who seated us that Chef Josh was a friend of ours and we would like to say hello. He came out to greet us and gave us his recommendations from the special menu. 

As expected, my mother-in-law and our neighbor, Ron, split a dozen oysters on the half shell, They reported that they were delicious and very fresh and they actually polished off 18 of them. We all had salads which came with delicious homemade salad dressings. The bleu cheese dressing was outstanding with big chunks of cheese. Grandad had ranch dressing which he said was also excellent. For our entrees, Mary Lou and I both had the spicy fried shrimp which were on Friday night's specials menu. The shrimp were really large with just the right amount of batter and very lightly spiced. Grandad had the regular fried shrimp which were also large and tasty. Ron had grilled shrimp and grilled mahi-mahi; he said both of them were really good. Mama Ruthie had fried shrimp and oysters which she really liked too. Each of us left the restaurant with a to-go box full of food. The portions were very generous. All in all, the quality of Black Diamond's food has increased a lot.

Now that I've told you about the restaurant, I want to tell you about Chef Josh. Josh grew up on the street right behind us. He and Nick were about the same age and were always in the same grade. They are lifelong friends. When they were little, any time I couldn't find Nick, I would call Josh's mom, Lisa, and she would send him home. When they were little they could definitely get into some trouble together. As teenagers, I sensed that Josh kind of wanted to be a hell-raiser and that made me very nervous. Nick could get into enough trouble on his own. For a while I tried to discourage the friendship, but to no avail. They remained fast friends all the way through high school, college and now adulthood.

After high school graduation, Josh went to college locally, first studying business and then switching to culinary school where he studied hard and became a chef. While working his way through school as a waiter, he met and married a lovely young woman named Brooke. I'm as proud of Josh as I would be if he were my own son. I consider him one of my boys and I'm proud of how he turned out. He's worked hard and he and Brooke are building a good life together.And, I have to tell you, in spite of what I thought of him as a teenager, he's turned out to be one of my favorites of all Nick's friends.

So, if you're in Corpus Christi, go by the Black Diamond Oyster Bar and let Chef Josh cook something delicious for you. He may not deserve all the credit, but the quality of their food has improved significantly. You won't be disappointed.

1 comment:

  1. Greetings from the Metroplex...
    (followed you over from yr comment on MM)
    Obviously you didn't rely on WLS to achieve your goals! (mmm, fried shrimp!)
    We had debated making one final run to the coast (my mom loves CC), but instead we're going to take my boy up to Possum Kingdom Lake (can't believe he's 12 & we haven't shown it to him yet).