After a ninety-minute bus tour of Charleston (available at the Visitors Bureau), I asked the very knowledgeable driver for dining recommendations. He provided a few. I sampled them, but I never had the chance to visit one- Pearlz Oyster Bar. I thought next time.
Then when talking with John over my crab cake at the Charleston Crab House, I discussed my upcoming trip to Columbia. For dinner, he mentioned Pearlz too. The restaurant had a second location in Columbia. Good news. Very good news.
Although I don’t live and die oysters I do enjoy an occasional sampling. My past travels delighted with some of the best – fresh ones right from Walvis Bay, Namibia and also others plucked right from the ocean in the Pearl of the Pacific, Mazatlan, Mexico. Both delicious. And when I learned many along the coastal waterways of South Carolina consider the the oyster tops on the seafood chain (outranking both crab and shrimp) I decided it’s an apparent must eat. I’d sample them at Pearlz.
I arrived Sunday night after a short walk down from the capitol building where I watched (and photographed) the sunset. Dining alone, I decided to belly up to the bar, order a drink and watch the oyster preparation. Even on a slower Sunday night, the “shucking” seemed non-stop. Trays of oyster after oysters created a hunger until I placed my order right at the bar.
With my first pint, I started conversation. I explained what led my to Columbia, the campus crashers college football weekend, and what led me to Pearlz. Actually, he (the shucker) even knew John as his uncle apparently stops by the Crab House often. Even stranger, I met his uncle the evening I visited. Small world.
Then my food started to arrive. I ordered two different oyster dishes, both appetizers, and one other item. I can’t remember the other item actually, but I do remember those oysters. And next time in Charleston, I might just need to stop in and make sure they are as good in Chuck Town as they were in Columbia.
Tip: It’s not all raw. Pearlz offers a few different and very tasty ways to enjoy some cooked oysters.
Stay adventurous, Craig
This is the first installment of the Culture Through Cuisine – Restaurant Week Series. And the fifth and final on Charleston.