Friday Night Out: Oakhurst Tea Room

Tucked away in the Laurel Highland is a place called Oakhurst Tea Room. It’s about an hour’s drive from Pittsburgh. And every Friday night they have a seafood buffet with all you can eat shrimp, clams, mussels, scallops, and crab legs.

While this used to be one of my favorite places, I think over the years the quality of the food as gone down some. I think it was last year or the year before that they served snow AND king crab legs. Now they only serve the snow crab legs. They also now have what I call the “crab guard” — a person whose sole job is to stand at the crab legs and serve them to you. I know it’s so you don’t take and waste them. But I know I am going to eat 6 clusters. Can’t you give me more than two at a time? In previous years, they didn’t have a “crab guard” that I knew of.  Also, you take a bit of a gamble with the quality of the crab legs not only from Friday to Friday, but even from batch to batch in the same evening. Sometimes they are sweet and juicy, other times, they taste like rubber. Tonight, they were actually pretty good and I didn’t mind paying the $28.95 for the buffet. The scallops tonight also were the best I have ever tasted there. On the other hand, the shrimp also used to be very spicy and flavorful, but it too has lost some of its appeal probably from all of the watery “sauce” it’s sitting in. Oakhurst, please go back to the previous recipe. There was a time I couldn’t stop eating their shrimp. Now, I just as much pass it over for more crab legs if they’re good.

There is also a buffet of other regular food items like beef, chicken, sausage, and pasta. But I honestly never thought it was anything special. I go there for the seafood buffet and pretty much nothing else. The salad bar has some other specialties like broccoli cheese salad and “purple eggs” that I like to sample. Tonight, the broccoli salad was more of a soup. Actually never saw it like that before. Still tasty, but not so appealing to look at.

All in all, I think it’s a great place to try if you haven’t been there before. I’ll continue to go, but not quite as often. I almost now prefer the Seafood Buffet at the Rivers Casino not only because it’s closer and costs $2 less, but there is a wider variety of food. You might also hit a jackpot on the way out.

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