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Feb 11, 2008 01:16 PM

Food shopping in Charleston

Me and the lovely wife are planning our 1st wedding anniversary in Charleston, sometime in mid-March. I've got a pretty good idea of where we will dine when we eat out (SNOB, Basil, Pho Bac, etc.), though we always welcome any news on which great spots are emerging or which once-great spots are in decline. We'll probably hit Bowen's Island again just for those astounding sunset views. Good lord that's a beautiful spot.

But I think we will try to do a little cooking while we're there. One of the best meals I ever had was some ultra-fresh shrimp simply grilled and dunked in butter, cooked and eaten on the back porch of our rental when staying on Tybee years ago, though the shrimp off that coast are famously good and don't require much more than a little TLC. And our stay on Hatteras a while back was marked by several amazing meals I cooked using the catch of the day purchased from a little shop called Rsiky Business. Man, that mackeral was something else...

But that's sorta the point, or part of it. Any local seafood you guys are famous for that we can get in mid-March? And where would the fish markets be?

Also really good groceries, Whole Foods and that sort of thing, farmers markets, etc. I'm a prety good cook, if the ingredients are good. ; ) And we will be staying at her parent's condo somewhere in Charleston proper (a really new structure near the water is all I know), so we have access to a nice kitchen....

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  1. Been a while, but the Harris Teeter on East Bay street was always super nice years's an old train station converted. And there use to be a green market right next door. Not much to look at but had great fresh veg. During season there use to be a farmers market on Saturday at the park on the corner of Kings and Calhoun Street...might not get started till full summer though

    1 Reply
    1. re: Hapy

      That Harris Teeter is fabulous. Has its own sommelier.

    2. It depends where in Charleston the condo is located. If you are downtown, Crosby's Seafood is the place for fresh, local seafood. There are other fresh seafood places in other locales. Whole Foods is across the bridge in Mt. Pleasant, and there is an Earth Fare just over the Ashley River in the Windemere Shopping Center in West Ashley, both of which are great for organic and other high quality, fresh ingredients. The Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings on Marion Square is shut down right now -- which is too bad as it is a fabulous place to get fresh, undipped shrimp and local produce, etc. Harris Teeter downtown is a beautiful supermarket which does just fine for staples.

      4 Replies
      1. re: DavidA

        David, what is an "undipped" shrimp?

        1. re: Suzy Q

          Most shrimp sold is dipped in a chemical to keep the moisture in (I think) and them looking "fresh." True fresh caught shrimp or organic shrimp are not "dipped" -- they are as they would be right out of the water.

          1. re: DavidA

            Local shrimp will not be in season in March so your shrimp will be imported and not be as fresh as local.

            1. re: BlueHerons

              Yes, the definition of local seems to expand somewhat this time of year. I know some local shrimpers go down to Florida while others go out beyond the 50-mile limit to trawl international waters. Regardless, local shrimp are hard to come by until May or therabouts, and it seems like restaurants get them all--or at least they claim theirs are local.

              Judging by a recent trip to Fish downtown, red snapper and triggerfish are in season now (both were great--Fish doesn't get nearly the buzz it should). Not sure how widely available they are in the seafood markets though. If you like oysters, it's definitely the season for those.

      2. On Daniel Island (on I-526 between Charleston and Mt. Pleasant), go to "et cetera Gourmet Food Shop." They have a wonderful variety of specialty foods with an Italian emphasis, including cheeses, cured meats, pastas and sauces, breads, pastries and much more. These products are of a high quality. We have enjoyed everything we have tried.They are at 245 Seven Farms Drive.

        1. Thanks to all. We're excited. Viva Charleston!

          1 Reply
          1. re: uptown jimmy

            Gotta chime in here for posterity's sake. We stumbled into Ted's Butcherblock on our last day. This place is for real. Gorgeous selection of meats and cheeses. Wish we had known about it sooner.