Some will say its impossible to pick the best shrimp and grits in Charleston, and we won’t disagree. There are so many great restaurants and recipes in this city, it’s hard to pick the very best. So we’ll settle for a top 5 among our favorites. Many folks arrive here having never even heard of shrimp and grits, but those of us who live here have our preferred versions of the dish, and they can be wildly different. This Lowcountry specialty obviously contains both shrimp and grits, but the rest of the recipe is left mostly up to the cook’s own interpretation, of which there are many. Nearly all of them are pretty darn delicious. Here are five local restaurants that really know what they’re doing in the shrimp and grits department:
Early Bird Diner
This super casual diner is a local hangout as well as a well-known fave among those who tune into Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. The shrimp and grits is on the breakfast, dinner, and brunch menus. It’s a favorite because of the sauces — the shrimp is fried with sweet and spicy jelly, or you can alternatively have it sauteed with tomato-bacon gravy. The grits are so good you don’t even want to know the recipe since nothing this good comes without a hefty caloric price. Oh, and they bottle and sell the sauces so you can take these delightful flavors home with you.
82 Queen serves the best grits in town, hands down, and have for many years. Their secret involves zero water, and the consistency reminds us of one of grits’ most well known nicknames: Georgia ice cream. After the grits are plated, they’re sprinkled with cheddar cheese and placed under the broiler for melting then topped with crumbled and crispy applewood-smoked bacon, diced green onions, and, the star of the show, sauteed shrimp in sweet barbecue sauce. And it’s to die for.
Husk’s shrimp and grits are next-level indulgent, and you’d expect nothing less from James Beard Award winner and nationally renowned Chef Sean Brock. Fresh shrimp is added, in a single layer, to creamy grits along with a good, warming, comforting amount of flavorful broth. Along with local Anson Mills’ stone ground grits, the dish also contains tasso ham, house wood-smoked tomatoes, mushrooms, bacon, shallots, smoked paprika, lemon juice, and minced parsley — a dream.
Slightly North of Broad
Chef Frank Lee has had this popular dish on his menu for many years. It’s a staple. His recipe actually won a GQ Magazine Golden Dish Award back in 1994. Made with both scallops and shrimp, the dish calls for all the pork: both country ham and smoked andouille sausage. He also uses fresh tomato, green onion, and creamy grits (of course you won’t find a bowl of non-creamy grits on a top-five list). Lee’s grits calls for stone-ground yellow grits and a fourth of a cup of cream. The secret? Slow-cook those grits in water for 30 to 40 minutes before adding the cream.
Nigel’s Good Food
This North Charleston gem is off the beaten track but offers some of the best soul food you’re likely to find in Charleston — and it’s also the most authentic. You’ll love their shrimp po’boy (one of the best, by Louisiana standards, too), crab and shrimp ravioli with corn and plenty of pepper, and, of course, their shrimp and grits. This dish is also spicy with its healthy helping of incredible sausage and is, with its creamy grits, overall one of the most flavorful shrimp and grits in town.
Where’s your favorite place to order this Lowcountry specialty?
It’s beach season and there is no doubt that each one of Charleston’s beaches has it’s own charm. I would say that all are worth a visit, and you can pick one that suites your mood! If you’re looking for surf and are feeling adventurous, Folly is for you. If you’re looking for a great beach to take the kids to, Isle of Palms is where you should be. Want to go kiteboarding? Head on over to Sullivan’s. Each week we will be featuring a different local beach, and this week it’s Folly Beach! Below are some guidelines, rules, and what to expect at Charleston’s most laid-back beach.
Folly Beach is known for it’s surf, college-aged eye candy, fun festivals, and eclectic lifestyle. Just 15 minutes from downtown Charleston, the locals like to call this The Edge of America. The bumper to bumper traffic (totally worth it!) is proof that Folly Beach is the only place to be on a hot summer day.
Folly Beach is probably the favorite beach among the locals. The beach is always open to the public and if you’ve got some cash, you can park at one of the beach’s access points. You can also park for free on the island streets – as long as all your tires are off the road and you don’t mind the walk. Folly is a great place to play volleyball, cornhole, and frisbee but there are some key rules to follow at this beach. There is no drinking or glass allowed on this beach. Trying to sneak it and getting caught will land you a $500 fine, so it’s best to just avoid it in my opinion. Also, starting Memorial Day, dogs are not allowed on the beach between 10AM and 6PM, and they must always be kept on their leash at all times and of course pick up their waste. Littering will get you a hefty $1000 fine and bonfires, fireworks, playing on the sand dunes, disturbing turtle nests, and possessing glass bottles will cost you close to that. For an official guideline of the rules, click here. Just be respectful and have fun!
It’s not just the sun, sand, and surf that brings people to Folly. It’s strip of locally owned shops and restaurants matches the laid back life style of this island town. Head over to Center Street for the best margarita at the original Taco Boy, a local favorite. You could pop in to Lost Dog Cafe for a massive breakfast made island style or get a sandwich, salad, or even sushi delivered beach-side by Drop In Deli.
Check out the Post and Courier to see what fun events are happening at Folly, whether it be Taste of Folly, Folly Beach Pub-crawl, Flip Flop Drop, the sand sculpture contest, or Follypalooza. There is always something happening at Folly and there is plenty of things to do for any kind of person. Explore a maritime forest, drink at the Morris Island Lighthouse, build a giant sand castle, ride bikes, fish off the pier, parasail, watch the sunset, dine out, dine in, and of course, surf! Weddings are also very popular on Folly, with an event permit costing only $25, even though you would have to go inland for your reception.
So grab a surfboard, paddleboard, or even a kiteboard, and head to the Washout. McKevlin’s offers boards for sale on consignment and 1-hour surf lessons for $40. If surfing isn’t your thing, bring your fishing rod and cast on the Folly Pier, where you can fish for $3 – $10 from 6AM to 11 PM. Either way, pack that cooler and get ready to spend one of the most relaxing afternoons you’ve ever spent on a beach.
It’s no secret that Charleston has become a world-class culinary destination over the past decade. And now, we have a world-class culinary publication to celebrate and highlight the ever-changing, always interesting food culture of our beloved hometown.
Look for The Premiere issue of The Local Palate today! It’s free (for now) and it’s the talk of the town…
SUBSCRIBE NOW!!! I just did.
Since the weather was rainy and kept me from my outdoor plans (our quarterly Adopt a Highway at the Isle of Palms) my better half and I decided to eat our way through downtown Charleston.
There were two places we particularly wanted to try- one new and one not so new.
Our first stop was The Macaroon Boutique at 45 John St. If you are not hip to one of the latest dessert crazes and still think of a macaroon as a baked glob of shredded coconut, you are missing something quite delightful. A French Macaroon is a creamy, airy, sweet cookie of a treat. It’s as delicous as it is cute.
We also treated ourselves to a freshly baked, authentic baguette and a dark chocolate raspberry spongecake for dessert later that evening. I will be going back to the Macaroon Boutique to satisfy my next sweet tooth or if I need a hostess gift. The macaroons lend themselves to a lovely, colorful display in cellophane bags. They would be a welcome gift at any party.
While walking the calories off in a slight drizzle we saw the sign for this new place we’d read about and were anxious to try. The Patat Spot at 41 George St. Who doesn’t love a good order of fries? This place could rival the legendary Pomme Frites in New York City. They also serve falafel and hummus and I hear they have a crazy insane salad bar that is fresh and awesome. But let’s be honest, I was just there for fried potato goodness. We split a regular order of frites with the tangy peanut sauce. There are so many sauces that are tempting we just went with the staff’s recommendation. It did not disappoint. We had a window seat at the bar and watched the dog walkers and college students pass by. This place would make a quick afternoon date memorable and worthwhile- and they are open late Thursday-Saturday until 3am!
So keep these two wonderful places in mind if you ever get a hankering for something sweet or fried. Bon appetit!
This annual event benefits Habitat for Humanity and features barbecue, bluegrass, and beer. Tickets are $25/adults and include barbecue and three drink tickets. Under 21 are $12 and 12 and under are free. Bowens Island is off Folly Road before you get to Folly Beach. Sunday June 28, 2009 3-8pm.
This restaurant (formerly the Seashell) for sale at 41 Center St, Folly Beach, SC has just been reduced from $2,599,000. The owner is motivated to sell. So what do you get for $1,699,000? (Call Keith McCann of Dunes Properties at 843.442.6675 or 843.513.1400)
- A Turn-key property. You can have a restaurant up and running in one week. It includes everything down to the forks and knives.
- Restaurant seats 130 at 2,912 sq ft
- Parking lot for 32 cars
- Large outdoor patio at 851 sq ft fronting Center St (the main shopping/dining area on Folly Beach)
- 1BR Cottage in the back that rents for $1000/month.
- Purchased for approximately $1.1M in 2001, added an additional $1M in renovations. All new electrical plumbing, roof, walls (cinder block, rebar and concrete), kitchen and fixtures. Thermopane windows.
- Custom furniture, fixtures and lighting
- Largest Back of House on Folly Beach
Architect: Dan Sweeney
Interior Designer: Amelia Handegan
Hardscape/Landscape Designer: Sheila Wertimer, one of Charleston most famous landscape architects.
Kitchen Designer: Al Berger, also designed Peninsula Grill, Tristan and Hanks in Downtown Charleston
The property is represented by Dunes Properties Real Estate.
|Restaurant for Sale at 41 Center St Folly Beach SC – $1,699,000|
About Folly Beach and the restaurant scene
Folly Beach is one of three barrier islands located 15 minutes from Downtown Charleston. Called “The Edge of America”, the Folly community is reminiscent of a 1950s beach town with all the modern amenities. While most of the island has homes for permanent residents or vacation rentals, its primary hotel, the Holiday Inn, just completed major renovations in 2009 (and they are stunning). Added to that is a new chic beachside restaurant and bar, Blu. Other recent restaurant/bar openings include Center Street Kitchen, The Drop-In, Rita’s Grill, the Folly Beach Brewing Company, and Tokyo Crepe.
The Greater Charleston Restaurant Association
proudly presents the 28th Annual
” Taste of Charleston”
The Taste of Charleston is a three day celebration beginning Friday, October 10, at the Culinary Institute of Charleston Iron Chef Competition – (Palmer Campus Downtown). The competition will introduce the Culinary Institute’s new, $10 million Palmer Campus with a competition that pits some of Charleston’s finest, nationally renowned chefs in a head-to-head culinary battle. 6:00-9:00 PM – $10 – for tickets call 843-577-4030.
On Saturday, October 11, Taste of the Arts on Gallery Row – Broad Street – Downtown Charleston Art Galleries - This art walk combines Lowcountry art with the culinary arts. Participating galleries in downtown Charleston will showcase the talents of local artists while offering festival guests a sampling of appetizers and desserts from Charleston’s finest restaurants. 6:00-8:00 PM – $10 – for tickets call 843-853-5002.
On Sunday, October 12, the grounds at beautiful Boone Hall Plantation will be transformed into a sea of culinary delights featuring 40 of Charleston and the Lowcountry’s finest restaurants
In addition to the wonderful culinary delights the “Taste” will feature the famous “Waiters Wine Race” sponsored by Electronic Merchant Systems, beer and wine tasting, our special Children’s Corner (with petting zoo), the “Best of the Taste,” East Coast Party Band (main stage) and Cooking Demonstrations by some of Charleston’s finest chefs including Enzo Steffenelli from Sea Island Grill at Wild Dunes, Craig Diehl from Cypress and others.
Gates open at 10:30 AM. Advance tickets for the “Taste of Charleston” at Boone Hall Plantaton will be available at all Charleston area Applebee’s Restaurants, through the Association Office as well as online. Food tickets will be sold in $1 increments at the event. Souvenir “Taste” t-shirts will also be available for purchase. Rain or shine. No pets or coolers, please.
As in years past, proceeds from the “Taste” will benefit Ronald McDonald House, Hollings Cancer Center and Charleston County Science Materials Resource Center.
What a great event this was to welcome Brownie Harris to Charleston! Fun was had by all 70 guests. Randy welcomed the group and introduced them to The Real Estate Studio and the Studio’s featured artist Brownie Harris.
Just look at how beautifully the Studio was transformed into a dining mecca.
(See more pictures from the evening.)
Jimihatt, McCrady’s cook, started Charleston’s first underground supper club, Guerrilla Cuisine, about a year ago and it has become all the rage. Ours sold out before it was announced!
The guest chef, Kelly Franz of Magnolia’s, prepared a delicious menu featuring fresh fish and locally grown vegetables while Graham Worley and Kris Woodrum entertained us with their dueling guitar play.
The menu: watermelon Gazpacho with a smoked salmon cake; chopped cauliflower salad; pink snapper with eggplant au gratin and vegetables; triggerfish tempura with scalloped sweet potatoes; elegantly finished with “uptown” marguerite cheesecake for dessert.
Visit www.guerrillacuisine.com for next month’s event information.
Brownie Harris’ Grand Opening Reception is Fri., Oct. 3, from 6 – 9 p.m. For more information please contact email@example.com