In case the endless photos of pelicans plastered in brown muck have escaped your attention, the BP oil spill hasn't been great for living things on the Gulf Coast. But now it's threatening the quality of life in Seattle too.
No, we're not talking about oil drifting into Puget Sound. We mean the cuts to the menu that could be on the horizon at Marcela's Creole Cookery.
Marcela's owner Anthony McDonald gets up at the crack of dawn every morning to meet a plane full of seafood from Louisiana. But since the spill, he said, he hasn't been able to get the items he usually flies in. Now his stocks are running low.
"My hands will be tied if I want to feature oyster," McDonald says.
When he moved to Seattle after Hurricane Katrina and opened Marcela's, McDonald tried cooking with Washington oysters. The taste was off, he says. "I find that the oysters here are too watery," he says. "Oysters from the Gulf are more meaty."
Other potential casualties of the spill include dishes made with crab claw and shrimp, including the shrimp boil Marcela's usually offers on Sundays during crawfish season.
Though McDonald has been able to get by on reserves thus far, he needs to find a new supplier this week, he said. But that might not be possible, not when Louisiana institutions like P&J Oyster Company are halting their shucking entirely.
"They've been in business over 75 years," he says in amazement.