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Jun 28, 2010 10:21 AM

List of things to eat/food experiences to have in South Carolina

I am trying to compile a list of dishes or places to eat at and food experiences to have in South Carolina. I want to include everything from the cheap (food truck/pastry/etc) to the $100 chef tasting. I am not just interested in restaurant meals, but I am also interested in any kind of experience that involves food in any way...underground restaurants, festivals. Starting in August and over the next year, I will start tasting and writing about these South Carolina dishes and experiences.

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  1. Wow! Tall order. You'll get lots of various opinions here.

    Dishs: shrimp and grits (try it everywhere-it's always different),
    Frogmore Stew, aka Lowcountry Boil, aka Beaufort Stew
    Country Captain,
    Hobotee (if you can find it)
    Oyster roast on Sullivans during the winter months

    There many restaurants in Charleston. You may want to look through and see what looks good to you. I recommend Bowen's, Seewee, SNOB, Carolina's, FIG, Hank's, Aluette's, any of Sal's places, Gullah Cuisine for starters. I like lots of others too but now I am hungry and have to go fix supper.

    Seewee Restaurant
    4804 N Highway 17, Awendaw, SC 29429

    10 Replies
    1. re: Sue in Mt P

      I wish I knew a restaurant that served hobotee--any recs, Sue? For that matter, where to find purloo outside of red rice and hoppin' john? It seems like most places I've visited that claim to serve purloo, like Hominy Grill and Glass Onion, are actually serving faux-purloo where all the ingredients are cooked separately from the rice and then served on top of it.

      The Low Country has an absolutely amazing collection of historic cookbooks that document the region's foodways for the last two centuries. My biggest gripe about our otherwise great restaurant scene is how few of these wonderful old recipes ever see the light of day.

      Hominy Grill
      207 Rutledge Ave, Charleston, SC 29403

      Glass Onion
      1219 Savannah Hwy, Charleston, SC 29407

      1. re: Low Country Jon

        Jon, I SO agree. Gullah Cuisine has a dish called Gullah rice that's purloo-ish and really good.

        Sorry, the only hobotee I ever had I made. I'm not sure it would appeal to the sophisticated masses. I could be wrong. They are scarfing up shrimp and grits.

        I love all those old cookbooks.

        1. re: Low Country Jon

          We've not found good purloo either. At home, we make the Caribbean version (rice dish) called pelau. In South Carolina you call it purloo, in Louisiana you call it jamablaya, in Trinidad you call it pelau. Different ingredients, but the same basic premis.

          1. re: JayL

            I have never seen the word "purloo". Is that an old time reference to perleau, pilau and perloe which is all I have seen in SC. I checked all of my local cook books (church, garden clubs etc) as well as the SC Cookbook.

              1. re: NCHS Traveling Lunch Bunch

                Yes, it's the same. Purloo is spelled how it's pronounced around here. I don't think it's the correct spelling.

                1. re: JayL

                  We call it Chicken Bog further up the SC Coast. As far as cookbooks, get a copy of Charleston Reciepts. It is the oldest Junior League cookbook in the nation.

                  1. re: BlueHerons

                    not exactly fine chow but in columbia there is the local chain"lizard's thicket that was a mainstay for many of us going to the lutheran seminary there... all kinds of good stuff there

                2. re: NCHS Traveling Lunch Bunch

                  I believe the proper spelling is prioleau...or something close to that.

                  1. re: JayL

                    No prioleau is a football players
                    Chicken Bog , Pileau, pilau, poilu, or purloo...there are plenty!
                    In the Myrtle Beach area it is Chicken the Georgetown area it is purloo.

          2. She Crab Soup, Crab Cakes, Shrimp and Grit's, Shrimp Pasta, Grilled Fresh Atlantic Fish, Crab Cake Sandwich, Fried Seafood Platters, Soft Shell Crab Fried or Sauteed, Oyster Stew, Shrimp and Crab Bisque and Shrimp Creole.

            1. Our group travels the state for lunch so we are always looking for an interesting place to visit. I am looking forward to your postings. I think our favorite, or at least the most visited is the Edgefield Grille in Edgefield. The Farmer's Shed in Lexington was last months stop and we enjoyed the food. We are always looking for suggestions of unique places to go for lunch in South Carolina. We have traveled from Agusta to Florence; Folly Beach to Spartanburg...

              4 Replies
              1. re: NCHS Traveling Lunch Bunch

                Do you have a price range you aim at? 181 Palmer is lunch restuarant at Culinary Institute of Charleston, and you get 3 course meal for $15

                181 Palmer
                66 Columbus Street (Culinary Institute of Charleston), Charleston, SC 29403

                1. re: NCHS Traveling Lunch Bunch

                  Pawley's Front Porch in Columbia is a true SC restaurant in total.

                  Pawley's Front Porch @ 827 Harden St., Columbia, SC 803 - 771 - 8001.

                  1. re: NCHS Traveling Lunch Bunch

                    I have heard that the restaurant, Stone Soup, is very, very good. I think it is in Greenville, not too far from Spartanburg.

                    1. re: theoreticalphenogroup14

                      Stone Soup is in Landrum (Spartanburg County). It's a charming little place. For such a small town, Landrum has several good places: Twigs, Stone Soup, Z's.

                  2. Thank you for the suggestions so far. Keep them coming.

                    To clarify...I am interested in any and all food as long as it is in South Carolina and something that you think is an amazing food does not just have to be traditional SC food...though I do appreciate food that is local.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Kerouac_taco

                      181 is a great deal.

                      You might enjoy Guerilla Cuisine.

                      Martha Lou's in Charleston is also a local favorite.

                      Truthfully, I avoid the festival stuff in Charleston. A few are the Blessings of the Fleets in Spring and the Lowcountry Oyster Festival during oyster season at Boone Hall. They are usually so crowded I don't have any fun. Now if you can get yourself on a shrimp boat during one of the Blessings, you'll have a great time.

                    2. Here in Charleston we're fortunate to have restaurants whose menu is supplied almost exclusively by local farmers, fishermen, shrimpers, etc., but here are the real gems: EVO , The Glass Onion and FIG Go to any of these if you want an amazing and distinctive experience of SC food. I don't know whether the topic of beer falls into the realm of your project, but there is a small, family-owned brewery here called Coast that is producing, I mean, such fantastic beers--some of the best I've ever tasted. May be worth looking into(?). Also, I don't know for sure, but I've heard there's an under-the-radar taco truck on John's Island that is producing crazy-good, authentic-style tacos and Mexican fare. I think it's still kind of a locals' secret spot. Can anyone confirm this?

                      Glass Onion
                      1219 Savannah Hwy, Charleston, SC 29407

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: franc11276

                        Not just South Carolina, but a southern dish in general, fried pickles and fried green tomatoes. Shrimp from Shem Creek outside of Charleston, fresh from the boat.