Pearl's is a tiny spot that sits right in the middle of Mill Valley, hometown of Mash's B.J. Honeycutt. B.J. may be fiction, but Pearl's is not. The burgers are swell. This location is tiny with just four laminate tables and a counter. Everything is done in fifties style down to the light blue Naugahyde chairs.
I took my family and my sister's family. Stepping up to the counter to order, there are lots of special burgers posted on the wall. The grill behind the order taker resembles a Mash triage unit, buzzing with activity. The place smells greasy and great. A straight-ahead Phat Burger is just $4.90, but I went for the special Prized Pearl with bacon, sautéed onions, blue cheese and mayo for $6.95. Each burger has one half pound of fresh ground beef, unless you wimp out and order the quarter pound mini. I also ordered onion rings ($2.95), fries ($2) and a chocolate milk shake ($3.35).
The prized Pearl was excellent - juicy, fresh and a great mixture of flavors. The bacon was salty and crispy, the blue cheese tangy and creamy. I rated it a 4.5 spatulas out of 5. My brother-in-law, Jason had the Bula Burger. It is an Hawaiian influenced concoction with bacon, pineapple, cheese and teriyaki sauce. He loved it and dubbed it "spicy, juicy and drippy". Everyone else had cheeseburgers they liked.
The prize of the outing just might be the onion rings. Peppery, thin-cut and crispy, these crunchy beauties were the best I have had to date. (5 spatulas). At first I thought the fries were not that special, but they grew on me. Phat-cut with just the right amount of salt, they were "crisp on the outside and soft inside" as described by my sister Amy. They ended up rated a 3.5.
The shake was cold and thick. Quite good, but the best thing was an extra phat straw that allowed you to suck in the thick shake without waiting for it to melt first. This got me a quicker brain freeze and got the shake a 4.
I was stuffed when we were done. I needed one of those ambulance helicopters with the side litters to lift me out. Choppers!
Burger 4.5 spatulas (out of 5)
Fries 3.5 spatulas
Onion Rings 5 spatulas
Shake 4 spatulas
Pearl's Phat Burgers
8 E. Blithedale Avenue
Mill Valley, CA 94941
Also a new location at 708 Post in San Francsisco. (Not yet reviewed.)