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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Pearlz Oyster Bar (Charleston Oyster Tour)

Oyster Vodka Shooter
Pearlz Oyster Bar, Charleston, SC

As far as happy hours go, Pearlz Oyster Bar in downtown Charleston is hard to beat. It opens at 4p but get there a few minutes before to find a spot at the oyster bar. It fills up quickly. The Happy Hour special is a dozen Gulf oysters, raw or steamed, for just $8.95Shuckers Dent Wise and Tony Kattreh will keep you entertained at no extra charge. I'm always looking for new oysters, so I decided to splurge and chose a sampler of Komo Guays, Watch Hills, Blue Points (CT), and Wild Wellfleets. The Komo Guay is a surprise … Pearlz number one seller, Scorton Creeks (MA), weren't available. 

Shuckers Dent Wise and Tony Kattreh


Komo Guay (Baynes Sound, British Columbia)

This was the weirdest oyster I've ever tasted - but I kinda can't wait to try them again. It starts off with a huge hit of salt … and ends sweet, like really sweet …like candy sweet. It's like the oyster of salted caramel. The shell is cool too. I would put this on a short list of one-of-a-kind oysters you have to try. Not everyone will like it, but you should give a whirl.



Komo Guay
Oyster Shell
Komo Guay
Baynes Sound, BC



Watch Hill (Westerly, Rhode Island)

I'm a sucker for Rhode Island oysters, so I was eager to try Watch Hills. After all, they show up on oyster bar menus everywhere I go. Watch Hills lean toward river oysters in taste and smell. These pond-grown oysters obviously have a nutritious and plentiful food source - the meat is clean, firm and present - and low brine.




Watch Hill
Oyster Shell
Watch Hill
Westerly, RI






Blue Points (Norwalk, Connecticut)


The Blue Point (CT) is the Honda Accord of oysters. It's reliable. Has nice brininess. Good meat. There's a reason they show up on almost every oyster menu on the East Coast. But given the choice, wouldn't you rather have a Porsche than an Accord? (The boys from Long Island Sound and the CT/MD oyster growers will have to duke it out for the rights to the name. No way I'm getting in the middle.)



Blue Points
Connecticut
Blue Point (CT)
Oyster Shell













I finished up the half dozen sampler with an oyster vodka shooter - a house specialty and just $2.50 during Happy Hour. The shooter oysters are pre-shucked from an oyster house in CA, but serving 400 a day … one can forgive the nod to efficiency. I just wish they would consider shucking oysters for the shooters. They would have been better with the taste of fresh oyster liquor.




Pearlz Oyster Bar is part of Oyster Stew's Ultimate Oyster Tour of CharlestonClick here for details about the two-day tour. For more oyster tasting reviews, visit my Tasting Log at Oyster Tastes.


153 East Bay Street
Charleston, SC 29401
843.577.5755


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