Yogi Berra famously said, “No one goes to that restaurant anymore, it’s too crowded.” While traveling through Albany seeking out a unique place to eat lunch, I went with my gut to Pearly’s. With a name like Pearly’s Famous Country Cooking and a parking lot bulging at all four corners, I knew I was in for a treat.
Regrettably, today was going to be a rush-job; sitting down inside the dining room just was not an option. I jockeyed for position in the drive-thru line and was immediately greeted with one of the most expansive menus I have ever seen. Pearly’s serves breakfast and lunch items from 6 a.m. until 2 p.m. Monday thru Friday. Since I had my heart set on lunch, I ordered their Bacon Cheeseburger with lettuce, 2 tomato slices, melted cheese and several strips of thickly cut bacon. This entrée comes with fries or another one of their long list of side items. I added on a Dr. Pepper of course.
Pearly’s serves their buns toasted, with a crispy burn around the edge of the top and bottom. For a moment I couldn’t see the hamburger patty for all of the bacon dangling around the outside of the aforementioned buns; which is a very good thing. This bacon was cut like miniature slabs of fatback; not skinny and crinkly, which made them almost a side unto themselves. To say the cheese was melted onto the patty might not sound like a big deal. However, how many times has a cheeseburger just ended up a hamburger with a cold slice of American cheese slapped on it?
This cheeseburger was a proper blend of cheese, hamburger, and bacon. The hamburger patty was larger than your standard chain restaurant offering and was well done but juicy. The abundant amount of fries were seasoned with a salt/pepper/paprika dust that complimented the rest of the meal. The size of Pearly’s regular drink was larger than a regular drink from other places, so you don’t have to worry about finishing your Dr. Pepper before finishing your meal.
The biggest takeaway I have from my Pearly’s experience is that I have to go back. Menu items ranging from sausage biscuits and pancakes to fried chicken and cream corn, it’s almost too much. Just like the friendly voice on the other end of the drive-thru speaker says, “Come on around when you can.”
Pearly’s is located at 814 North Slappey Drive in Albany. Their number is 229-432-0141.