If your idea of a seafood restaurant is Bookbinders – white tablecloths, tuxedoed staff – in other words, if you’re going for the atmosphere of “Melvilles” on Cheers – then Snockey’s Oyster and Crab House is not your cup of tea.
If you’re in search of fresh seafood served much the same way it’s been served to Philadelphians since 1912, well Snockey’s is your place.
They opened their doors when William Howard Taft was President and the biggest thing on the planet (next to Taft who weighed 310 lbs.) was the Titanic, on its maiden voyage.
At Snockey’s you’ll find Ken and Skip Snock, brothers descended from Rose Snock, who worked in the kitchen until she was in her early 90’s, and opened the restaurant that bore her name. Family members are scattered through the pleasant wait staff (Jim and Casey are particular favorites).
When you walk in the door, nestled on South 2nd Street just near the Mummers Museum things are as they should be: The first thing you see is the oyster shucker. One is always on duty and he’s usually busy.
Snockey’s usually offers about a dozen varieties of oysters. West coast (pacific), Chesapeake, Long Island, North Atlantic (New England, Canada) and the not often seen Delaware Bay Bennies. I love them and the Cape May Salts. Fatman will give you a more detailed review of the oysters, which I enjoy.
A great meal at Snockey’s starts with a half dozen or a dozen oysters.
Then you peruse the extensive menu. Nothing fancy here. No Mahi Mahi or Ahi Tuna. This is old school. Flounder, Bluefish, Tuna, Salmon and Tilapia. Fried, broiled, or occasionally prepared in a special way (for example, Tilapia Francaise has been on the menu). The fish is ok. It’s nothing that will make you do backflips down Broad Street, but it is always fresh and always good. I do wish they’d offer blackened seasoning and maybe mix it up with a ginger soy offering.
Shellfish is where it’s at when you come to Snockeys. Lobster, scallops, shrimp, crab, oysters, clams and mussels. All prepared fresh, right and delicious fried, sauteed, broiled or as part of some other recipe.
On this visit I had Fried Shrimp. The side dishes are your seafood house standards ranging from macaroni salad, cole slaw and applesauce to stewed tomatoes, a few potato options and a delicious and popular pepper hash (vinegar based cole slaw).
Fresh bread and oyster crackers and horseradish are a part of every meal, as they should be in a respectable seafood establishment. Dessert options include pies and rice and chocolate puddings.
While it’s easy to run up a big bill consuming oysters, the menu at Snockey’s is reasonably priced.
Make your way to this family establishment, dress as you would if you were eating on the dockside and enjoy the extensive bar and friendly atmosphere. Somehow it makes everything taste better.
1020 S 2nd St. Washington Avenue, Philadelphia, Pa