Restaurant: Hominy Grill
Address: 207 Rutledge Ave, Charleston, SC 29403
Dish: Shrimp and Grits, Charleston Nasty
Thoughts: In February, I went on a gastrovacation to charming Charleston with my friend Suleen. Our first stop was at Hominy Grill, a homey eatery specializing in Lowcountry classics. Our first dish in Charleston ended up being our favorite rendition of shrimp and grits for the trip. Sweet, local shrimp on top of a simple pile of grits. Sublime. If you have the best produce, you keep it simple and let the ingredients do the talking.
We also ordered the “Charleston Nasty” based off a recommendation of my friends, Ken and Christine. Huge slab of fried chicken slathered in sausage gravy on a biscuit. Pretty delicious but our favorite was still the shrimp and grits.
Restaurant: Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams
Address: 501 King St, Charleston, SC 29403
Dish: Ice Cream in a Cone
Thoughts: It wasn’t even planned but on our way back to the hotel, just across the street, was the sign for Jeni’s and I almost cartwheeled with glee. After having it a few times in NYC, and I believe once at a retail location in chicago, I was pumped to have my favorite ice cream again. After a few agonizing minutes of indecision, I settled on Pistachio and Honey + Pralines and Cream. An excellent choice. Since it was across the street from our hotel, we ended up going again 24 hrs later.
Restaurant: The Ordinary
Address: 544 King St, Charleston, SC 29403
Dish: Fried Oyster Sliders, Squid Ink Shrimp and Grits
The Ordinary? More like The Extraordinary! -___-
As you walk in the restaurant, which used to be a bank back in the 20’s, you notice the soaring ceilings and the sheer amount of space. We were led to our table on the second floor and started off with these perfectly fried oyster sliders inside fluffy sweet Hawaiian rolls. The slaw added a an acidic tang that cut through the fried goodness. My favorite fried oysters in NYC is at Pearl’s Oyster Bar, but these come pretty close.
Another hit was their elevated rendition of juicy shrimp on a bed of squid ink grits. Compared to the simple and sweet shrimp and grits we had for brunch, Ordinary’s version was more smoky and tart from the sliced cherry tomatoes. I appreciate them experimenting but I still prefer the classic, lowcountry version.
Restaurant: Leon’s Oyster Shop
Address: 698 King St, Charleston, SC 29403
Dish: Fried Chicken, Hush Puppies
Thoughts: Not sure how, but we were somehow hungry the next morning. We walked to Leon’s Oyster Shop and snagged a seat before the lunch crowd. We were rewarded with delicious fried chicken with extra crispy skin that encased two very juicy pieces (even the breast).
Even better than the fried chicken, was the BEST HUSHPUPPIES IN THE GALAXY with a side of honey butter. I’ve had my fair share of hush puppies, and most of the time the outside isn’t crisp enough. The inside if kinda flavorless or if it does have flavor, it’s pretty one note sorta like how the concertmaster plays that long A on the violin for the orchestra to tune up.
These freaking hush puppies was like the Rach 3. So many notes of flavor going on with each bite. I think i tasted onion, bell peppers, even a hint of spice in the fluffy cake-like interior. Crispy exterior too. These were so good, that we placed another order of hush puppies.
Restaurant: Martha Lou’s Kitchen
Address: 1068 Morrison Dr, Charleston, SC 29403
Dish: Fried Chicken
Nothing notable to mention for saturday dinner (Husk) and Sunday (Magnolia’s and Minero’s) so here we are. Monday lunch. Our first stop was Bertha’s Kitchen where we got a bunch of fried things. A bit too greasy, salty, and sweet (candied yams). We decided to walk to Martha Lou’s for 2nd lunch…. 2.5 miles and 45 minutes later, we arrive and my shirt is soaked. Debra takes one look at me and starts laughing. “Oooh, honey child, you look like you need some water!”. We then proceeded to chow down on probably my favorite fried chicken ever. Loved the seasoning and the crunch of the batter.
Address: 232 Meeting St, Charleston, SC 29401
Dish: razor clams, chicken liver pate
Thoughts: By the time dinner rolled around, we were famished. We had a reservation at the recently remodeled Fig and it was the best meal of the trip. Of particular resonance was a dish of chilled razor clams with a refreshing sauce with sweet and acidic notes. Another memorable dish was the best chicken liver pate I’ve had. Smeared a generous amount onto a small piece of buttery brioche and added Dijon mustard and pickles to cut through the buttery goodness. Obviously we ran out of brioche and asked for more.