Just returned to NYC from a 10 day vacation to Charleston and Myrtle Beach and wanted to give my review of some restaurants as there are often questions about what's good in the area.
We stayed in NC Smithfield one night so I will review the restaurant in Smithfield as well.
Holt Lake BBQ in Smithfield - This place is a fried food paradise, the fried fish and shrimp were really good and the fried chicken was good too. Pulled Pork had good chili and vinager but I wished it was woodfired BBQ (missed that charcoal taste)...also very very inexpensive. Stay away from the Brunswick stew IMHO too sweet.
In Charleston we went to the following places
Blossom - Lunch - very good especially the Shrimp and Grits
High Cotton - overall good food in a great fancy pants ambiance everything was well executed and we would return...service was good too.
The Macintosh - this was a GREAT find...stick with the small plates and order lots of them, so interesting and really a must if you go to Charleston.
Bar Hopping on Monday is great for the specials- Pearlz Oyster, great fresh oysters,
McCrady's has possibly the best bar food I've ever had...EVER, skip the dinner do the bar, and the drinks are farm fresh and innovative too. I'd visit this bar again and again we ate every bar snack on the menu.
Cypress - $5 monday burger and chili dog night, chili dog was delish, bahn mi was to die for, burger was good but beware they won't promise to cook it anything less than medium...I had to beg the waitress to get it out medium rare and she refused to promise me I would get it that way...luckily I did so burger was a major score! Fried mac and cheese and flat bread were forgettable.
Fig- This is farm fresh at its best a MUST if in Charleston just great food
Martha Lous - Soul Food like I remember it as a kid, seriously possibly the best soul food I've had in a long time...and worth all the hype from Andrew Zimmer on Bizarre Foods.
Husk - So glad that chef Brock went back to his roots and left the WD 50 type molecular gastronomy behind! Husk was AMAZING...I know it gets mixed reviews but if you stick with the southern based stuff it's a huge hit...can we say pig ears and fried green tomatoes? (we had pork belly and shoulder with butter beans and potliker need I say more? But the BF had steak and though it was good it wasn't anything special).
Gullah Cuisine - disappointing, better 2 years ago...vegetables were still great but dry chicken and not good mac and cheese at all...fish soup was too tomato based and thick too...I would skip this next trip.
Try to get in a class or demo at Charleston Cooks Maverick Kitchens we did and it was great and fun and informative.
In Myrtle Beach we went to Tommy Bahamas, King Street Grille, Nacho Hippo and Gordon Bierch for happy hour and snacks in the Market Commons...all disappointing except that the beer spot had really good wine by the glass...typical chain restaurants with chain food not good.
Chive Blossom - this is a must if in Myrtle Beach, it's the best restaurant I've ever been to in the area and I would go back again and again! The atmosphere is great and live music with outdoor dining is a huge draw. Seafood is perfectly prepared and the menu is really innovative. It was wonderful from start to finish.
Aspen Grille - good steakhouse, nothing special or exciting but good and fresh food...a little pricey for the portions but meat was sourced properly and farm fresh produce was a definite plus! Service was also great, though things were a bit chaotic on a Saturday night (to be expected).
All in all a great foodie trip!