By now, you probably know a lot about Pearl Dive Oyster Palace. Itâ€™s got some of the freshest oysters around (Hankâ€™s, we still love you too), it dishes damn-near authentic southern creole food, and it houses one of the coolest bars to drink at in the 14th Street area (its sister bar, Blackjack).
So, I wonâ€™t try to convince you to go to Pearl Dive by telling you the food is delicious. I wonâ€™t try to convince you that the single best hangover dish in DC is a C.E.B.L.T poâ€™boy (Fried catfish, a runny fried egg, crispy Bentonâ€™s bacon, lettuce, and tomato, all on toasted bread).
Instead, I present my two tailored meal plans at Pearl Dive: one for those with a sensitive stomach, who may not be able to handle a bowl of gumbo and fried oysters without spending the rest of the night on the bathroom floor, and one for the diner on a budget (Iâ€™m talking to you, hill staffers).
Meal A: The Non Gut-Busting, Non Fart-Inducing, Weak Stomach Meal
- Drink:Â Fleur 75.Â Light, fruity, spritzy, and overall a delightful start to a meal. Unlike beer, this wonâ€™t leave you bloated and gassy (your significant other will thank you).
- Appetizer: Local butter lettuce salad. The theme here is non-fried and light fare. Apples, blue cheese, and pecans are a perfect pairing.
- EntrĂ©e: Wood grilled bass. The Blacks (owners of Pearl Dive, Blackâ€™s, Addieâ€™s, Black Market, and Black Salt) know how to do seafood right. You canâ€™t go wrong with a grilled piece of fish from any of their restaurants.
- Dessert: Florida key lime pie. This is a must-have. You will go home satisfied (and feeling fine).
Meal B: The Broke as a Joke, But Still Trying to Eat Out All the Time Meal
Note: Pearl Dive isnâ€™t actually all that expensive. In fact, itâ€™s quite affordable. But letâ€™s just say you got too drunk at the bar, spent $100 on a girl who promptly left with her girlfriends, and then did some retail therapy. Iâ€™d go with the following.
- Drink:Â Microbew. I suggest Abita Amber Ale for an authentic New Orleans experience. It also pairs really well with greasy, fried foods.
- Appetizer: Cornmeal-crusted Chesapeake oysters. Only $9 for five oysters full of Andouille sausage and sweet potato hash. Food coma set to commence in t-minus.
- EntrĂ©e: Oyster poâ€™boy. Where yâ€™at? This is the best dish on the menu (IMHO) and the cheapest entrĂ©e (only $13). Those two things rarely combine at most restaurants.
- Dessert: Are you kidding? If you happen to have room for dessert after all of that, get the Brazos River Bottom pecan pie for two. A La Mode, of course.
Â Insider Tip: Pearl Dive doesnâ€™t officially accept reservations. However, if you identify yourself as a â€śLogan Circle residentâ€ť exceptions are known to be made.
Pearl Dive Oyster Palace: The Details
Where Am I Going: 1612 14th Street NW (Between Q and Corcoran)
When Am I Going: Dinner: Monday to Sunday, 5 to 11 pm; Brunch: Sunday, 11 am to 3 pm. Lunch: Friday and Saturday only, noon to 3 pm. Happy Hour drink and food specials offered Monday to Friday, 4 to 7 pm.
Paycheck Pain: Appetizers around $8 to $11. Sandwiches priced at about $13. Main entrees cost $19 to $25.
Say What?: The restaurant is small and tables are fairly close together. Expect a wait and very loud atmosphere. Outdoor bar or upstairs at Blackjack are good spots to wait for your table (they will text you when your table is ready).
What Youâ€™ll Be Eating: Seafood-centric southern creole food (think New Orleans).