The Boston Phoenix
July 23 - 30, 1998

[Food Reviews]

| by restaurant | by cuisine | by location | hot links | food home |
| dining out archive | on the cheap archive | noshing & sipping archive | uncorked archive |

Pearl Street Restaurant

A restaurant that knows its station

On the Cheap by Frank Habit

In a move that will please lovers of old architecture and good plain food, Malden's venerable Pearl Street Restaurant has recently taken up residence in the town's defunct Boston & Maine Railroad Station, a handsome 1891 Romanesque-revival pile with a soaring brick fireplace. The cavernous interior is a far cry from the restaurant's former tiny storefront, but the unpretentious menu, with its shockingly low prices, remains unchanged. Crowds gather here nightly for large helpings of basics like succulent country-style ribs ($7.45), barbecued sausage ($5.65), and shrimp scampi with linguini ($8.75), served with rolls and a side of salad, fries, or rice. The creamy fish chowder ($2.75), served on Fridays, is a local institution. Nouvelle cuisine hasn't yet arrived at the Pearl Street kitchen; this must be one of the last restaurants in the Boston area still serving iceberg lettuce without apology, and the rice tastes suspiciously like something Uncle Ben might have put together. Such unadventurous food might not seem to justify the trip (about 20 minutes on the Orange Line from Downtown Crossing), but an unusual setting and generous portions make Pearl Street Station a happy alternative to downtown restaurants that serve similar entrées at considerably higher prices.

Pearl Street Restaurant, located at 53 Summer Street, in Malden (adjacent to the Malden Center T stop), is open Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. Call (781) 322-6410.

The On the Cheap archive