More than three years after picking up where HJ's Prime Cut left off, the Black Pearl restaurant continues to stick to its plan to offer diners quality meals at wallet-friendly prices.
The menu still boasts a number of steak and seafood options, along with pasta and chicken dishes and a lunch menu.
There were only a few diners in the place when we stopped by for lunch on a Friday afternoon. Our waitress was fun and attentive and she explained the menu to us and gave us time to explore our options. We decided on the Philly cheese wrap ($8.99) and shrimp dinner ($9.99).
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We thoroughly enjoyed the thinly shaved strips of prime rib, covered with cheese, green peppers, and onions, and rolled in a warm flat bread. The sandwich was overflowing with meat and the portion was large enough to serve two people.
The deep-fried shrimp tasted fresh and were just as good. The breading covered the shrimp just right and didn't overwhelm it.
The restaurant was packed on a recent Saturday night. Guests were told there would be a 30-minute wait, but we were seated much sooner. The crowd didn't disrupt service at all, as our meals didn't take any longer than we expected. However, our waitress seemed a bit scattered. Getting her attention was like playing a game of cat and mouse. When we did finally get her to our table, she was very pleasant and personable.
We ordered broiled pork chops ($15.99) with wild rice and the New York Strip Steak ($22.99) with a baked potato. The center cut pork chops were tender and juicy, but lacked flavor. The steak was beautifully cut and melt in your mouth tender, but was just as bland as the pork chops. The natural flavors weren't enough to carry these dishes. We found solace in steak sauce.
Not even the fries that came with the kids' meals were salted. The only seasoning that made it to our table that night, was that in the salt and pepper shakers and the chicken tenders. Part of the kids' meals, the tenders were strips of juicy white meat chicken, breaded, and deep fried to a golden brown crisp. The breading was light and salty and didn't overwhelm the fresh-tasting meat. The chicken bites appetizer ($7.99) is served the exact same way, but in smaller pieces. Sauces are available for tossing or dipping.
Black Pearl carries a variety of cakes and pies for dessert. We tried the red velvet cake, a double layer slice, with a thin coating of cream cheese icing and topped with chocolate chips, but the cake was too dry to enjoy. We weren't impressed.
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Star ratings are based on comparisons of similar restaurants. The Blade pays for critics' meals.