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no choice but 82 Queen

  • Tee Nov 7, 2008 08:11 AM
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I am a long time CHer, from the beginning. I read ALL South posts. I am up on the Charleston scene.
Preamble over, my problem is this: next weekend is my 25th Citadel reunion. Saturday night one of my classmates has organized a dinner for about 12 of us, complete with a private room where we can have a powerpoint photo slideshow, AT 82 FREAKIN' QUEEN.
Aside from having "just a salad please" what are my options? Look, I thought this place was rotten 25 years ago, and it has survived on gullible tourists. It consistantly gets slammed here.
Any suggestions are appreciated. Uptown Jimmy, I would love to hear your story....

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  1. In all honesty, they do crab cakes and shrimp and grits pretty well especially if they are still using LO's recipes.

    Also, order whatever the fish special is because it is probably local.

    4 Replies
    1. re: BlueHerons

      Yeah. I'm so sympathetic with Tee's plight: we were given a gift certificate from lovely, well-meaning friends with horribly pedestrian taste in food. I knew what we were getting into because of various posts on Chowhound. I should have given the gift certificate to a passerby and lied about it to the friends.

      Honestly. The salads are dressed with what tastes like Sysco canned dressings. The crab cakes weren't awful, but the sauces which accompanied were sickly sweet.

      The shrimp and grits were awful. The she crab soup was awful. The biscuits were awful. The service was surreal it was so awful. The martinis were awful. I blocked things from my memory about that place, I think, because they were so awful.

      Seriously, just buck up, little trooper. Get drunk if that's your thing, ride through it. But order bottles of wine, not liquor, if you drink. I'm a restaurant lifer, and I'm fairly certain they "down pour", that is, they take an order for, say, a Tanqueray martini and pour a rot-gut well martini.

      Maybe that fish special is the way to go. I wouldn't know what else to say. But you're getting together with dear old friends for an evening, and that's gotta trump the food. Just eat before you go and have a good time with your friends.

      I would recount our experience in detail, thought I already did, but suffice it to saythat it was dreadful and insulting and not worth dwelling on. I did get some comic relief from the older couple seated near us. They got pretty worked up pretty fast, and with good cause. They were not the types to suffer foolishness gladly, and were used to finer stuff, I think, from the looks of them. The husband in the couple got red-faced and agitated. I tried not laugh out loud, but he was funny. He looked like I felt.

      But I am SHOCKED that place has been around for 25 years. Flummoxed, even.

      Anyway, we always run down by the water and through the Citadel when we're in town. All that crenellation in the architecture is funny-looking! Our family's condo is a few blocks away, right there at the bridges. It's a Navy school, right? Did you serve? I guess you had to. Anyway, thanks for the service. And I don't mean the restaurant kind! Ha!

      1. re: uptown jimmy

        Well uptown jimmy, thanks for a great laugh! I just may "buck up and get drunk and ride through it" Um, that's been my thing before.... I will order as carefully as possible!
        If you detailed the experience before no need to rehash.
        The Citadel is not a Navy school. It is a state supported military college. All 4 branches are there. You do not have to serve unless you have accepted a contract or scholarship from the Army, Navy, Air Force or The Marines. I accepted NOTHING so when my 4 years were over I was free. I had all the bugles and uniforms I wanted for a lifetime. Great experience though, all the good stuff that young men (and now women) need, God, country, honor, duty, sacrifice, ect. Go experience a parade on a Friday afternoon - 4 ish, it will blow your mind.
        However, the whole experience is sort of like hitting yourself in the head with a hammer- it feels GREAT when you stop!
        Believe it or not, 82 Queen was there when I was a cadet, 1979- 1983.
        How can great restaurants fail and an sink like 82 Q. live forever???

        1. re: Tee

          too bad uptown Jimmy is too shy to tell you what he really thinks ;-)

          Sounds like "crab cakes, hold the sauce" is the way to go to avoid "awful" ! And and excuse to drink a lot of wine. Have fun!

          1. re: danna

            Thanks Danna. If I survive the experience I will post a report, if I can remember any of it....

    2. BTW, that title for your post is hilarious. Sums it up perfectly. No choice. Sigh.

      1. I knew a few folks who worked there when i was at CofC (5 + years ago) and even they wouldn't recommend the place...

        1 Reply
        1. re: sarahyla

          Ugh! I am sorry! I have only eaten there once and it was on my first trip to Charleston and I didn't know any better. I had the shrimp and grits and they were so bad that I could not eat shrimp again for about 6 months without feeling queasy. Seriously horrible stuff. I think they are still around because people with no tastebuds are constantly recommending it to unsuspecting friends and acquaintances who don't know to check this board before they travel. There is one supposed local poster on Trip Advisor who recommends 82 Queen every time that someone is looking for a great romantic dinner...and recommends in it the same sentence as places like the Charleston Grill, the Peninsula Grill, SNOB, and Hanks. It drives me crazy!