Growing up here in the lowcounty, seafood was a staple food source around the Pickett household. Summertime meals often consisted of fresh corn on the cob, and popcorn creek shrimp or spotail bass, fall was potatoes and fresh blue crabs or stuffed flounder, winter was oysters and sheepshead gumbo or fried trout and grits, spring was sweet potatoes and dolphin on the grill. Man I am getting hungry just thinking about mom and dads scrumptious fresh seafood meals.
Truth be told, with the exception of oysters, my parents never purchased seafood and we rarely ate in seafood restaurants growing up. Pretty much everything we ate, we caught and most of the time what we ate we had caught within the last 24-hours. Nothing beats our fresh local seafood and many folks travel long distances to enjoy a meal in one of our great seafood restaurants.
Not too long ago we had some friends come in town from Atlanta. It was a good size group that came to sight see and eat some seafood! My wife and I talked about preparing dinner at the house, but due to the number of visitors we decided it would be easier to eat out. With so many restaurants in Charleston picking a good seafood restaurant can be tough even for the locals. With out a little bit of knowledge picking what to eat off the menu can be even tougher.
Here are 5-simple guidelines I follow for a good seafood meal out on the town:
If you want good seafood pick a true “seafood restaurant.” Many restaurants fall into the “jack of all trades master of none.” In my opinion you cannot be a great seafood chef and a great game chef and a great beef chef. Seafood takes special preparation. A true seafood restaurant will be skilled in this preparation and will have a wide variety.
Local input. Ask locals where they prefer to eat and why. You may be surprised. Most locals do no eat at the overcrowded tourist traps; they have found good food off the beaten path. The “and why” is critical as well. If they say we like to eat at such and such because they alway