ROCKPORT−Brother Shucker is a new fixture in Rockport and beyond the cheeky name, the food truck offers something no other food truck in the Midcoast has ever offered: fresh, raw oysters shucked on site.
Zak Kuras moved to Maine in 2016 and started oyster farming on the Damariscotta River, first with Glidden Point Oyster Farm in Edgecomb. After that, he managed Community Shellfish’s Oyster Farm in Bremen.
“I decided after that, I’d like to run my own business with my brother, Hudson,” he said—which removes the mystery of where the name “Brother Shucker” came from.
“Our mom named us,” he said, adding, “She named us at birth and she named the business.”
Having opened last July, the brothers have been dividing their time at various locations and breweries in the Midcoast. This spring marks the first time they’ve been in Rockport. For the last few months, they’ve been situated at the Rockport Farmer’s Market at the Guini Ridge Greenhouse. Now, going into summer, they’ve added an additional location at the Rockland Harbor.
Brother Shucker offers eight to 12 kinds of locally-farmed oysters on the menu, primarily from the Damariscotta region, which many oyster connoisseurs in Maine are familiar with, such as Johns River oysters.
“As we move up into Rockport, we’ll source from some of the northern farms, such as North Haven, said Kuras. “I like finding new, small farms. It’s like wine varietals—you can really taste the difference in each oyster.”
Customers can buy oysters by the half dozen or a dozen. Their most popular food offerings also include scallop sashimi, which they source from Maine Dayboat scallops. “They’re super high-quality scallops and we place four of them on Japanese spoons served with my own chili oil,” said Kuras.
The smoked mussel dish is also served on spoons. They get their mussels from Mook Sea Farm and Marshall Cove. “We take them home, shuck them, steam them up, and throw them in a smoker for an hour and a half.” They offer a pint of these smoked mussels for $12.
The crab cake sliders are another unique offering. “We get these from Harmon’s Seafood down in Portland,” he said. “They’ve been a real hit. We offer two sliders with either a spicy kelp bird’s eye chili sauce or a classic tartar sauce.”
For those who want comfort food, Brother Shucker also offers grilled cheese sandwiches and gourmet hot dogs with kimchi and jalapeno sour kraut from Thirty Acre Farm in Bremen. They also offer a hot dog with “curtido” South American spicy, tangy, relish.
“Or, you can just have a plain one and throw some ketchup on it; it’s up to you,” he said.
Kay Stephens can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org