Charleston Trip Report Nov. 17-24:
I have been a long time lurker on these boards, and gleaned much information. Felt it was time to try and give some back. Here we go.
MOMMA BROWN'S BBQ
Mt. Pleasant, SC
I think this place is more of a traditional southern "Meats & 3" than a BBQ joint. We had their signature pulled pork in pepper/vinegar sauce. This is alway decent, and sometimes great. Today it was decent. The sides here are a big draw for me. We had collard greens that were very good, not over cooked , which is common. The hit today were the butter beans. Perfectly cooked, with bits of ham in a tasty broth. All meals are served with hush puppies, which I enjoy. Overall, I really like this place because of their food and it's down home ambiance.
I had been looking forward to eating here since my last visit almost two years ago. I know many people in Charleston have very strong opinions about Sean Brock, so I'll just stick to the food.
We started with the potato & pork belly bisque, "Kentuckyaki" pig ear lettuce wraps. and fire roasted clams. The bisque was tasty, and not nearly as heavy as you would think. The clams were delicious, served in beer broth with some type of smokey tomato thing going on. As always, any type of shell fish dish of this nature, the broth has to be sopped up with tasty toast or bread.
The pig ear lettuce wraps were the hit of the evening. Somehow the ears are transformed into the texture of candy- like brittle, with Asian flavors. Wrapped in Bibb lettuce with a carrot slaw, red onion, and some citrus. . . . outstanding! Served five wraps to an order, it is a bargain.
For mains we had the cornmeal dusted catfish, Bibb salad with smokey fried oysters, and the heritage pork chop. The catfish was the star of this line up. Very fresh, cooked perfectly. It came with a corn & field pea succotash, covered in a tomato gravy. The salad was solid, with fresh & well fried oysters. Pork chop was what you would expect from a restaurant of this caliber serving Heritage breeds. Very juicy with great flavor, served with butter beans, which always makes me happy.
We split a carrot cake for dessert. I was not a huge fan, but I was in the minority here.
Oh yeah, almost forgot my cocktail. I think it was called "Fire in the Orchard.". An excellent small batch bourbon with apple cider, topped with pickled jalapeños. Enjoyed this very much, but for me these are the kind of drinks where I stop at one.
In summary we enjoyed our meal. The place was packed on a Monday night, although there seemed to be less electricity in the air than two years ago.
Sullivan's Island, SC
I love this place and it is a local institution. The room has a great vibe. They are known for their fish tacos, which I always get. The tacos are offered with a choice of mahi, tuna, or buffalo shrimp. All are good, I like the mahi best.
On this day I changed up and ordered their cheeseburger, upon recommendation. The burger was solid, hand packed, fresh beef. My only complaint was that I ordered it Medium, and received it Well Done. I am loathe to send food back, and even at Well Done, it was tasty. Fries and onion straws were above average for bar food.
HOME TEAM BBQ
Sullivan's Island, SC
This was my second vist to this establishment. And sometime since the first, I heard some claim this to be the best BBQ in the country?!?!?
I don't claim to be a BBQ guru, but I've had my fair share. This place is average at best. It is typical SC BBQ joint: good pulled pork, mediocre ribs and sides. I am not a fan of the SC mustard sauce, and thankfully Home Team offers a variety of good sauces. I'm not a hater of Home Team, and I'm glad to have it nearby. I just don't think it is worthy of national attention.
Another local institution that I always hit when I am in town. I am sure some locals like to hate on this place, but we don't have restaurants in Chicago like this. Not yet.
I wanted to do lunch, but my schedule forced me to the breakfast table. I had their signature Shrimp & Grits. As good as advertised. Six plump,fresh, local caught shrimp sautéed with bacon, mushrooms, and green onions. Served over perfectly cooked cheese grits.
Overall a great visit to Charleston, looking forward to next visit to try some of the newer restaurants in town.