Sunday, March 22, 2009


Here in South Carolina, people eat seafood all day long. Oysters and shrimp, fried, boiled, and roasted, thems the name of the game. I had done my due diligence before flying out and located a few places identified by Charleston locals as "authentic," places I felt obligated to hit up during my short stay. So, after an afternoon cruising the Charleston Battery, home to some of the most princely homes I've ever seen, I made a pit stop at Jestine's Kitchen.

Just my luck: shrimp and grits were the blue plate special of the day. Sauteed spicy jumbo shrimp came floating in grits with peppers and brown gravy. I ordered a side of fried okra, crispy and perfect. My friends ordered macaroni and cheese and fried green tomatoes and corn bread with butter and honey.

We drank teas, sweet and otherwise.

For dessert, we ceded all control to the sugar monsters of the south and ordered more than we should have, courting diabetes with decadent coconut cream pie, banana pudding topped with fresh meringue, and a Coca-Cola cake topped with the sweetest frosting I have ever tasted in my entire life.

It was the quintessential southern experience and the perfect diet-crasher. Good thing tomorrow's run will burn off anything left behind.

Jestine's Kitchen
251 Meeting Street
Charleston, SC 29401

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