August 18, 2003
The menu is pretty basic; several types of seafood either broiled, fried, or cut up in a stew (like clam chowder, and the best, oyster stew). It is super informal but the service is quick and to the point. If you're in a hurry and want a quick taste of Philly, Pearls fills the bill.
I visited in the middle of a hectic lunch hour and marveled at the quick and efficient service of the spartan staff. But don't expect fancy--this is Philly eating at its finest and the Reading Terminal atmosphere really adds a lot to the experience. There's a bowl of old-fashioned (real) oyster crackers and horseradish at every station. Your oyster stew will need some pepper and hot sauce (provided) if you like it like mine. But it's loaded with the tastiest oysters this side of the Chesapeake! You can have your oysters raw, fried, or stewed. Platters come with the typical coleslaw, but it is freshly made and tastes great!
From journal A Summer Day in Philadelphia