Would you believe it if I told you that less than an hour after our afternoon “snack” at Two Boroughs Larder, The Astronomer and I headed to Hominy Grill for dinner? We roll recklessly on vacation!
Hominy Grill is a local institution opened in 1996 by Chef Robert Stehling with his wife Nunally Kersh. Named Best Chef Southeast by the James Beard Foundation in 2008, Chef Stehling “lets the Lowcountry’s unique cultural history and flavors guide his cooking,” according to the restaurant’s website.
Located in a charming Charleston building from the 1800’s that operated as a barbershop before becoming a restaurant, Hominy Grill is one of the toughest seats to snag in town, especially at breakfast and brunch when reservations aren’t available. The Astronomer’s dad managed to land a table for six at 5 PM, hence our gut-busting back-to-back feasts.
Every meal begins with complimentary boiled peanuts. Soggy nuts, perfectly salted, should not be underestimated.
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Chef Sean Brock‘s Husk is an absolute must-do for all food lovers traveling to or through Charleston, South Carolina. A celebration of southern ingredients, Husk prides itself on using only flora and fauna indigenous to the surrounding areas. “If it doesn’t come from the South, it’s not coming through the door,” says Brock.
The restaurant, which is set in a grand ol’ building dating back to the late 19th century (image of the incredible facade below), was positively bustling when we came in. The Astronomer and I, along with the entire Chaplin clan from Birmingham, settled in for a very fine post-Christmas feast.
According to the restaurant’s website, “Seed-saving, heirloom husbandry, and in-house pickling and charcuterie efforts by the culinary team are the basis of the cuisine at Husk.”
The food served here, which is “modern in style and interpretation,” changes daily depending on what local purveyors are supplying the kitchen at any given moment.
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Martha Lou Gadsden’s pretty pink shack stands out in both form and function on this quiet, industrial stretch of Charleston. Opened in 1983, Martha Lou’s Kitchen has a garnered a reputation for stellar Lowcountry cooking; her fried chicken is especially admired.
This unassuming restaurant made such an impression on my brother when he dined here a few years back that he insisted that I make my way here during my trip to South Carolina last December. The Astronomer and I came in for lunch just as soon as we could.
The menu of meats and sides changes daily, but thankfully, fried chicken is always available.
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My first-ever visit to Birmingham was during the summer of 2004. On that inaugural trip down South, The Astronomer introduced me to pulled pork with all the fixings at Jim N’ Nicks and the best ribs in town at Dreamland.
We’ve explored much of Birmingham’s barbecue scene since then, but one place has always eluded us due to its out-of-the-way location: Bob Sykes Bar-B-Q. The Astronomer and I, along with the entire Chaplin clan, made the long drive to Bessemer on a cold and cloudy December day for lunch. Barbecue warms the soul and spirit.
Opened in 1957 by Bob and Maxine Sykes, Bob Sykes Bar-B-Q is considered by many to be one of the best barbecue establishments in town. These days, the restaurant is run by the couple’s son Van, who is one of the founding members of the Southern Foodways Alliance.
We caught a glimpse of piggy parts being cooked slow and low as we walked up to the ordering counter. Mmm…
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