Fishy dishies

Miss D. and I went up to Oklahoma City this morning. It’s a drive of a couple of hours, not too far for an occasional day out.  We wanted to buy new dinner plates and accessories, and there’s a Corelle factory outlet store there.  We spent an hour walking through it, buying dinner and side plates in the design we’d selected, and then browsing for bowls and other bits and pieces.  Their prices were rather better than other shops or online vendors we’d tried, so it was worth the trip.

By then it was lunchtime, and I suggested seafood.  Miss D. did her usual wizardry with what Lawdog calls the Portable Magic Elf Box (a.k.a. smartphone), and after perusing a list of local establishments, we decided that Pearl’s Crabtown, housed in a converted warehouse, sounded interesting.  We headed that way.  My, oh my, oh my . . . it turned out to be an inspired choice!  (Click the pictures for a larger view.)

The decor and atmosphere are very warehouse-like, very pub-like, and comfortable.  We had to smile at the giant green crab over the fireplace.  I think the picture below must have been taken from right next to the table where we sat.

The service was extremely good, so much so that our waitress got a better than 20% tip for her hard work.  As for the food, we decided we’d try a combination of several starters and nibble on them together, rather than order a single main course each.  We picked (from their menu – link is to an Adobe Acrobat file in .PDF format):

  • Chowder Fries – “Crabtown fries smothered with creamy clam chowder, cheddar cheese, crispy bacon and scallions”;
  • Fried Calamari – the regular rather than the spicy version;
  • Louisiana Crab Cakes with remoulade sauce;  and –
  • A cup of Boston Clam Chowder.

I can only describe the food as superb.  It’s easily the best seafood we’ve tasted since we visited the Gulf Coast a few years ago (where, as you may recall, my wife was mean to me – and yes, I still tease her about that!).  Everything was very tasty, but the crab cakes and clam chowder were particularly delicious.  We were too full for dessert (even though these were nominally starter-sized portions, they were very generous), but we ordered a slice of key lime pie to take home with us.  Miss D. always says that the further a restaurant is from the sea, the more she mistrusts its seafood;  but after today’s lunch, she says she’ll gladly make an exception to that rule for Crabtown.

I washed down my meal with a very interesting beer:  Marshall Old Pavilion Pilsener.  It was a delicious and original variation on traditional German pilsener, rather ‘heavier’ than usual.  I enjoyed every drop.  It doesn’t appear to be available outside Oklahoma, so that’s a good excuse to make more trips there to stock up on it now and again!

If you happen to find yourself in Oklahoma City for any reason, and you like seafood, Miss D. and I highly recommend Pearl’s Crabtown.  We’ll be going back there, even if it takes an almost five-hour round trip to get there and home again.  It’s worth it.  (No, they aren’t sponsoring this review or giving me any kickbacks.  I just like to tell my readers when I discover something worthwhile.)



  1. Yeah, the distance from the sea is no longer a valid rule of thumb. I've heard visitors from the west coast say they've had better sushi at some of the places in Wichita than at home.

  2. As an OKC resident, I can also highly recommend Pearl's "Original" for a bit more upscale fare, as well as Charleston's. easily a couple of favorite restaurants for the wife and I. There are quite a few good restaurants up here worth checking out.


  3. Did you ever see the John Candy movie, "Summer Rental" (I think!) set in seaside Florida vacation city? There's a scene in the restaurant kitchen in which the waiter calls out various elegant sounding dishes and the cook responds to all of them by taking some frozen fish sticks out of the same generic box.

    More than a few Florida seafood restaurants within a couple of miles of the ocean are really like that. They thrive on tourists and don't develop a local clientele, but all they have to do is lure customers in once if enough tourists are passing through. Thanks to the Portable Magic Elf Boxes, it's marginally easier to find a good seafood place that the locals prefer and avoid those other places.

  4. If you're ever in Chicago head up to the Wheeling(Not the upscale PLlainfeild/Naperville one) Bob Chinn's Crabhouse. One of the best seafood restaurants in the midwest. Or you could just eat the garlic rolls and wash them down with Mai Tais. That works too.

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