My wife, 22-year old son, and I just returned home from a trip to South Carolina, during which we spent 4 nights/3 days in Charleston. Here is a report on the 4 breakfasts we enjoyed.
Sunday brunch at the Lost Dog Cafe in Folly Beach: Sunday, Dec. 22 was a warm and sunny day (temps eventually hit about 80 in downtown Charleston) and we drove the 15-20 minutes out to Folly Beach for brunch. Arriving shortly after 10 AM, we were surprised to have no wait to get an indoor table; the outdoor seating areas looked inviting and were full of dog-lovers with their pooches as well as a bevy of smokers. We each ordered specialty coffee drinks and started off by sharing an "awesome Cinnamon Roll" which was good but not awesome. Son had biscuits and sausage gravy (in fact, he had this as breakfast all 4 days in a row) and a side of grits, wife had a HUGE breakfast burrito (meat, eggs, beans, tomatoes, cheese, etc.) which was accompanied by grits, and I had Eggs Benedict modified with a fried green tomato between the egg and Canadian bacon. We were served very quickly despite the crowd, portions were huge, and the food quite tasty (except that he fried green tomatoes were quite acidic - more so than those I ate elsewhere in Charleston). Service was a bit rushed, as might be expected given how busy they were. Walls were decorated with many photos of dogs.
Monday breakfast at Hominy Grill: set in a residential neighborhood in an old barbershop, we again had no wait to get a table inside, whereas those seeking to sit outside on the patio had to wait. Extremely nice and personable service from our waitress, who took time to explain not only the breakfast options but also items (T shirts, coffee cups, etc.) that were available for sale. Son had B&G again, wife had sausage, eggs, grits, and toast, and I had a Hangtown Fry (eggs scrambled with oysters and bacon) with grits. As opposed to the relatively creamy grits at the Lost Dog, these were stone ground grits with a distinctive "crunch" that we all very much enjoyed. We finished up by sharing a piece of sublime buttermilk pie, which we enjoyed in a relatively leisurely way in the relaxing ambience of the restaurant.
Tuesday breakfast at the Dixie Supply Bakery and Cafe: a very small storefront about two blocks from the historic Charleston Market, patrons line up, place an order at the counter (which strongly prefers cash), and then find a table either inside the crowded room or at patio furniture just outside. The long line appeared to include both tourists and locals, Not too many fancy dishes on this menu; son again had biscuits and sausage gravy, while wife and I each had scrambled eggs, grits, and biscuits. Apparently, this place is famous for tomato pie, but it was not listed on the menu posted on the wall above the counter, otherwise I would have ordered it. Grits were like those at Hominy Grill, biscuits were better than Hominy Grill!
Christmas morning breakfast at Toast: this restaurant is attached to the Days Inn on Meeting Street about a block or so from the Historic Market, and was one of the very few places open on Xmas Day. No wait at all upon our arrival at 8:45. Son had his usual B&G, wife ate scrambled eggs, meat, and grits, while I had shrimp and grits covered by a "lobster" sauce with very small pieces of pork sausage. Grits were very creamy and a bit runny but otherwise this was a good dish. Fairly simple interior of the restaurant. All the staff, however, were attired in "Santa gear" and were amazingly cheerful and inviting given that they were working on Christmas morning!
We enjoyed all 4 breakfasts and would return to all 4 places. Son felt that the biscuits and gravy were best at Lost Dog Cafe, and my wife enjoyed her breakfast at Lost Dog the most (she might not want to return to Dixie Supply because of the tight quarters and lack of wait staff).. My favorite was Hominy Grill for the combination of food and ambience, with Lost Dog a close second.
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