Places to Eat

Black Pearl Oyster Bar: Galveston’s Delicious Seafood

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Galveston’s Black Pearl Oyster Bar has some of the best seafood on the island. Their oysters and other seafood are extremely fresh. Plus the friendly folks who wait on customers in the small restaurant/bar always bring out heaping platters of whatever you order from the menu.

My favorite dish is the seafood gumbo, available either by cup (($8.95) or bowl ($12.95). My husband and I first tried the Black Pearl at lunchtime eleven years ago. After a BOTI (born on the island) friend told us Black Pearl’s gumbo was his favorite, I couldn’t wait to try it. But when I ordered a bowl of gumbo, our waitress tried to warn me. She said it’s really a big bowl, maybe you’d rather try a cup instead? I told her if I couldn’t eat all of it, we’d take it back to our apartment. Or maybe my husband could help me with it.

Big Bowl of Gumbo!

Black Pearl Oyster Bar: Galveston's Delicious Seafood

Photo: Jo Ann Holt

When our diminutive waitress staggered back to the table with a huge bowl of gumbo, I saw what she meant. People all around were pointing and laughing (even my husband). A few were taking bets on whether I could finish that big bowl of gumbo.

I took their challenge. And to everyone’s surprise—including mine—I ate the whole thing. Or almost the whole thing. Black Pearl’s Cajun-style seafood gumbo has a rich roux, and brims over with crab meat, oysters, shrimp, and sausage. I gave my husband some of the sausage and my garlic toast, but nothing else. Although he kept hinting for more.

Black Pearl Oyster Bar: Galveston's Delicious Seafood
Photo: Jo Ann Holt

We journey down to Galveston four times a year, since one of our first purchases as a couple was a timeshare on the West beach. Galveston is our favorite get-away spot. There we unplug and do nothing but walk on the beach, read a lot, and eat at our favorite restaurants.

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