Jacksonville to Charleston: Foodie teachers need spring break sustenance!
long titles explain it all. we want to spoil ourselves after hearing pre-pubescent whiny sixth graders all year (we love 'em anyways).
looking for food that reflects the region: both upscale and dives. done research on both savannah and charleston, but variety is the spice of life, so do share! thanks in advance....
I can only reply for Charleston... A couple of my favorite places (there are many great options in this city):
Boulevard Diner (Mt. Pleasant side- on Coleman Blvd) This is a good place to hit if you're going to the beach (Isle of Palms, Sullivans Island). Great shrimp and grits, fried green tomatoes/dill pickles, various southern deliciousnesses (new word?). Downtown, there are plenty of very nice upscale places, but I'll let others get into that. My favorite lunch place (I was a student and evening waiter, so lunch was the meal) was and is Gaulart & Maliclet (known as Fast and French). They're on Broad Street about at the corner of King St.. Great for lunch or dinner, but I like lunch the best- go early or late, or it's kinda mobbed with locals. Tasty housemade soups, good french cheeses, saucisson, dependable lunch specials. I think the special is about $8 and includes a glass of wine. Coffee is very good and served in a french press to order. Get the bourbon butterscotch cake (w/ ice cream) and make them heat it up. Sorry, I'm gushing... I have good memories. Seating is at big communal counters, but not as awkward as it sounds. I always liked to hide in the back room, read my book, and drink too much coffee. They have been around for about 25 years, and they just bought the building, so hopefully many more years!
Maurice Bessinger's is in Columbia -- he is famous for his BBQ and love of the Confederate flag... and all that it stands for (which is why his sauce was pulled off supermarket shelves.) The Bessinger's you are referring to is his brother Tom. He and his other brother, Melvin, are estranged from Maurice -- making it safe to eat at either of their establishments. Melvin's is on Folly Road and in Mt. Pleasant. Either is pretty good and not, surprisingly, pretty similar. That said, we think Momma Brown's in Mt. Pleasant is the best BBQ in the Charleston area!
If you're in Jacksonville/St. Augustine area and are up for a little drive off the beaten path, definitely go to Outback Crab Shack (theoutbackcrabshack.com) for elbows-on-the-table seafood. It's one of those no shoes, no problem kinds of places, with super laid-back atmosphere, good, fresh seafood and lots of ice-cold beer. Hush puppies and peel-and-eat shrimp are not to be missed. We prefer the broiled platter over the fried, but both are great.