We stopped by our favorite haunt in Old Town Alexandria yesterday to have a quick drink and say hello to our favorite bartenders. It’s been awhile since we’ve been to Union Street Public House; we’ve been so busy lately we just haven’t made it to the waterfront.
We bellied up to the bar and ordered drinks from Johnny. The other regular bartender, Bruce, was bartending a wedding and off for the night. After the first couple of sips, we figured we had better order an appetizer, too. For the most part, the bar food menu is never the same. This time, scallops with bacon and broiled watermelon looked tantalizing. Then a classic Union Street staple caught our eye – The Wally – an item that is a perennial favorite at Union Street. We ordered both.
When the Wallys were delivered and we took our first bite, I knew the Wally is worth its very own blog.
You’re wondering, “What on Earth is a Wally? Well, it’s a fresh oyster, topped with a little butter and bites of bacon that is run under the broiler to give it a quick crispy finish.
I had never had an oyster the first time we went to Union Street. I tried one … they’re OK. I agree with all the things you hear: they are a little slimy, a little salty, interesting. I can’t say I’m a big fan, but they’re fine for an occasional treat. Then, Bruce suggested the Wally. In fact, that first time, Bruce comped us an order of Wallys. That proved to be a brilliant move on his part. We haven’t been in Union Street since without ordering Wallys. When we had our wedding celebration there earlier this year, we had Wallys. We have even ordered Wallys for complete strangers! (That’s part of the fun about going to a place where “everybody knows your name.”)
The broiling technique gives the oyster a slightly crunchy finish, almost entirely eliminates the sliminess and adds a punch of bacon to that saltiness. They are, to use a classic summer phrase, “Slap Yo Mama Good!”
The scallops, bacon and watermelon were also delicious, but, OH, the Wallys! I know a blog about a specific menu item is a little unusual. I don’t know if Wallys are made anywhere else. I just took a bite of the first Wally and knew I needed to share.
Come to Alexandria. Take King Street to the waterfront, make a right on Union Street and about a block up on the right, go into Union Street Public House. Do yourself a favor and enjoy the ambiance of the Taproom (kids are welcome at the booths), say hello to Bruce and Johnny, and order some Wallys. Tell ‘em Judy and Greg sent you!