OK hounds, wife and I are taking a week-plus trip to Atlanta from DC. The plan is to go down via the I-81 corridor (Asheville, etc.) and come back up the coast (Savannah, Charleston, etc.). We are in search of memorable meals, with intent to blow the wad in Atlanta, but not hold back for worthwhile stops in between. I love Southern food and my wife is amenable, but I was raised in Memphis, so Carolina BBQ is a non-starter. But we love Thai, Chinese, Burmese, Ethiopian, Italian, German, Swedish, French, Alsatian, Spanish, Mexican, Salvadoran, Chilean, Moroccan, Lebanese, Indian, Pakistani, and West African food as well.
We'll drive WAY out of our way for excellent shrimp and grits or feijoada. Our only limiting factor is noise. We like to talk to each other and strike up a conversation with neighboring tables. I know this may rule out some of the hotter spots, but that's geezerville for you.
You may want to reconsider blowing the wad in Atlanta if you're coming back through Charleston. That city punches way above its weight food-wise. Heck, I would skip Atlanta altogether and just hole up there. Consider spending at least a night. It's a beautiful city and there are so many good places to eat, it's silly. Plus, if you're looking for shrimp and grits, that place is the epicenter for the dish. Mecca. You'll find plenty of threads on Charleston in Chowhound. But, if you're lazy like me and don't want to comb through them all, then you can't go wrong with McCradys, Penninsula Grill, Charleston Grill, SNOB, FIG, Hominy Grill, Magnolia, Lucca, Husk...just scratching the surface here. Haven't even got to the places off the Penninula.
2 Unity Alley, Charleston, SC 29401
207 Rutledge Ave, Charleston, SC 29403
224 King Street, Charleston, SC 29401
dinersaurus (love that) is right. We're not long on exotic foreign food, but we do have world class restaurants with great chefs that specialize in local stuff. Husk smells like bacon at all times. Do look through the threads and you'll find lots of reviews.