Driving from Savannah to Charleston...
My wife and I will be driving from Savannah to Charleston. We are NYC foodies and would love to eat some real fried chicken (not something done very well in NYC). We're open to any town and any type of establishment from hole in the wall to upscale restaurant. Thanks in advance for your help!
This is actually an interesting question because the culinary tradition along that stretch of real estate is based more on the sea than the land. In other words, I've had some of the best fried shrimp, oysters, scallops, grouper, flounder, triggerfish anywhere in this country, not to mention she-crab soup and crabcakes, but I've never actually eaten fried chicken down that way. The one exception is the Wilkes Boarding House (but that's in Savannah, GA itself), but their fried chicken is as good as anyone's.
However, Sgt. White's Diner in Beaufort, SC is a very good candidate for giving you a satisfying fried chicken. It's a bbq place first and foremost and has some of the best BBQ I've tasted in South Carolina. They also make available an excellent variety of farm-fresh country cooking veggie sides. I know they offer both baked and fried chicken as well, and given the quality of everything else, you likely can't go wrong with them. 1908 Boundary St., Beaufort, SC - (843) 522-2029
Another promising place that I haven't been to myself but one that offers up a reliable spread of tons of Southern meats and sides is Po Pigs on Edisto Island. 2410 SR-174, Edisto Island, SC - (843) 869-9003
An interesting aspect about this stretch of coast is the Gullah tradition of African American culture. The history and traditions of their food and language are way too extensive and interesting to go into here, but a quick Google search will reveal lots. A wonderful place to get a sample of the food and culture is Gullah Grub on Saint Helena Island (a few miles southeast of Beaufort). This place has ATMOSPHERE and I guarantee you'll have amazing conversation with the chef/owner. Excellent food too. 877 Sea Island Parkway (Route. 21) St. Helena Island 29920. 843-838-3841
Thank you so much. While I have your attention, do you have any thoughts on Local 11 Ten? In addition to stopping along the way, we are interested in doing a more upscale meal that hopefully involves some local or at least regional ingredients.
Do you have favorite places for some of the seafood dishes you described?
...and for Charleston, if you want somewhat upscale farm-to-table awesomeness, your best bets are probably FIG and Husk. That said, most of the good-to-great Charleston restaurants use a lot of local/regional ingredients, just because that's the general way things roll down there.