Cape Fear Foodie Road Trip: Charleston
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Since 1954, folks have been singing the timeless holiday classic “Home for the Holidays,” putting further emphasis on the need to make it home to spend time with family and friends.
That wasn’t in the cards for my Thanksgiving this year, but that didn’t mean I stayed put. I was able to spend time with friends in Charleston, South Carolina and with that came a bevy of great eats.
So buckle up for this Cape Fear Foodie Road Trip as we highlight some tasty spots to check out in Charleston.
Brunch: The Mustard Seed, Mt. Pleasant
A chic location with a variety of seating, The Mustard Seed is a long, thin building with an extensive menu. It boasts your Southern staples like Shrimp and Grits or Biscuits and Gravy, while also delivering Eggs Benedict with fried green tomatoes and crab cakes. The latter was my choice, and I have to say the crab, cornmeal fried tomatoes, and perfectly made poached eggs worked well together. A good way to get your Sunday going for some daytime exploring through this historic town.
BBQ: Lewis Barbecue, Charleston
One thing that’s surprised me over the last few years is the lack of truly special BBQ joints around the Cape Fear. Sure people have their favorites but I’m talking about a destination restaurant. That’s exactly what Lewis BBQ is. As soon as you walk up, the smokehouse billows those intoxicating smells into the courtyard. A bar serving local brews greets you when you walk in, then it’s all about the food. I snagged some “moist” sliced beef brisket, a “Texas Hot Guts” housemade sausage and some mac & cheese. The meat alone was worth the entire trip, expertly smoked, tender and popping with flavor. The mac & cheese is still stuck to my ribs, while other sides likes collard greens or spicy pinto beans were also memorable. If you’re in the area, you absolutely must stop here. It’s that good.
No-Frill’s Seafood: Red’s Ice House, Mt. Pleasant
A popular spot to watch live sports, Red’s even has it’s own “Football Menu” with special items to enjoy during the big game. However don’t let the honky-tonk sports vibe keep you away, Red’s also has a hefty seafood menu at reasonable prices. From fresh peel ‘n eat shrimp, She-crab soup, roasted corn and lobster dip and jalapeno hush puppies, the finger foods are every bit as impressive as the massive fried seafood platters. If you’re looking for a place to kick back and enjoy some coastal treats in flip-flops and t-shirts, this is the place.
Fancy Seafood: Oyster House Seafood Restaurant, Charleston
Situated across the street from the Charleston Market, the Oyster House stays true to its namesake. There is a nice list of oysters that span the East Coast, though the mignonette sauce could have been a bit zippier. The Garlic Mussels were top notch, with a nice bit of white-wine and garlic butter sauce to soak up with French bread. The bacon wrapped stuffed shrimp with crab stuffing took the cake here though and was one of the best things I ate all weekend. I also had a massive Wedge salad that could have fed four and a Whole Crispy Red Snapper that was perfect. The Oyster House isn’t cheap, but worth your attention in a town full of great spots to eat.
While that’s just a small sampling of the cornucopia of food options Charleston has to offer, I couldn’t complain about any of the locations. I’m sure there are plenty of better places to visit, and maybe one day I’ll get around to trying some of them, but this was enough for my Cape Fear Foodie Road Trip.
Have suggestions for a return visit? I would love to hear about them! Shoot me an email at email@example.com
Copyright 2021 WECT. All rights reserved.