Weekend in the Low Country

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buffetbuster
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2008/06/25 13:35:20 (permalink)

Weekend in the Low Country

Friday June 20, 2009 

My first stop after I landed late Friday night in Charleston, SC, was Diana's.

At least it used to be called Diana's. As is noted in the updated review by Michael Stern, it is now called Tropical Toast at Diana's.

What an unwieldy name! The theme here is tropical and the interior is kind of Jimmy Buffett-ish. This sign made me think I was at Hodad's in San Diego.


I started off with an appetizer of the Tropical Toast. If they think this dish is so wonderful that they decided to incorporate it into the name, I think that is a "must try".

Sorry for the lousy photo. This is basically cut up pieces of french toast along with some whipped cream on a plate. The dish itself was just fine, but maybe I was expecting more. One nice thing is that if you buy a dinner, the Tropical Toast is free.

For my entree, I went for the coconut shrimp.

As you can see, there is just some shredded pieces of coconut laying on top of the shrimp. It is also supposed to come with a pineapple glaze, which wasn't applied to the shrimp. I asked my waitress, so she went back to ask. The chef had forgot about the pineapple glaze, so she brought some pineapple sauce for me to dip the shrimp in. Not the same, but no big deal.

Lots of interesting side choices here and I settled on the red rice, which was just okay and the macaroni and cheese.

This was easily the best item I had here. This was some supremely soulful mac & cheese!

I was sitting next to the impressive looking dessert case,

so I carefully studied my options. Since it was getting very late, I got a piece of the buttercream chocolate to take back to my hotel.

I'm afraid it didn't taste any better than it looked. Another disappointment. I really have to give this place a very mixed review. They did seem to be having a bad night, but the mac & cheese was wonderful. I wouldn't mind checking out some of the other sides on a return visit.

I may be a little kinder to this place because of the service. My waitress, a UVA student from Franklin, TN, was a real sweetheart. When she told me how much she loved Pancake Pantry in Nashville, well, I was smitten! I love when a woman talks pancakes!

http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Writeup.aspx?ReviewID=1414&RefID=1414

I checked into my hotel just across the bridge in Mt. Pleasant.

Much more to come.....
post edited by buffetbuster - 2009/02/27 13:31:36
#1

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    HotDogHead
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    RE: Weekend in the Low Country 2008/06/25 14:14:46 (permalink)
    Looking forward to more. That mac and cheese sure looks yummy.
    #2
    buffetbuster
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    RE: Weekend in the Low Country 2008/06/25 14:58:41 (permalink)
    Saturday June 21, 2009 

    My breakfast spot didn't open until 8:00AM, so I had some time to kill. Since I was already in Mt. Pleasant, I decided to go check out a place I enjoyed very much in the past, but won't have time to visit on this trip, The Wreck. Formally known as The Wreck of the Richard and Charlene, I was glad to see it was still its old dilapidated self.

    Famous (or is that infamous) for not having a sign, I was surprised to see this over the path to the left of the building.

    Is that new or has it always been there and I didn't notice? I had also read in the forums lately someone saying that it wasn't as good as it used to be. I hope that isn't true.

    I arrived at my breakfast spot, The Bookstore Cafe in Mt. Pleasant, just as they opened at 8:00AM. But, it is now known as Charleston's Cafe.

    The strip mall location doesn't exactly inspire you, but I think I remember ayersian raving about this place, so that is good enough for me.

    The specials on Saturday.


    There were a lot of wonderful sounding options for breakfast. I started with the corned beef hash.

    Big, spicy chunks of meat, I was very happy with this dish.

    I would have really liked to have tried the tasso ham that Michael Stern mentioned in the review, but it wasn't available on this day. Knowing I wanted then to try one of the Island Potato Casseroles, I thought it would be fitting if I chose the Edisto, since that was where I was headed next. This is shrimp and kielbasa in a spicy red cream sauce, with eggs, potato chippers, onions, peppers and mushrooms.

    Here it is with the top down.

    Wow, this was a keeper! Even though it was a big portion size, I had no trouble finishing it. The one disappointment was that I didn't care for the sweet potato biscuit, which was a surprise to me.


    At one point, I had a man who didn't identify himself come over to my table to chat. He had heard I asked about the tasso ham. He told me that if I know I am coming in on a certain day, send them an email request and they will make it for me. He then pointed out that the Loco-Noko on the specials board was because of a similar request. I thought this was a very good idea!

    http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Writeup.aspx?ReviewID=1880&RefID=1820

    After the very satisfying breakfast, I headed back to my hotel. At the intersection, I saw a guy sitting in the back of a pick-up truck in a lounge chair. This is despite the fact that there was plenty of room for him up front. I just had to snap a photo.


    Truly, a "Toto, I don't think we are in Kansas, anymore" moment!

    Much more to come.....
    post edited by buffetbuster - 2009/02/27 13:32:03
    #3
    HotDogHead
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    RE: Weekend in the Low Country 2008/06/25 16:32:40 (permalink)
    You are killing me with the shrimp and kielbasa dish.

    Classic picture of the guy in the truck. I'm surprised that wasn't a beer in his hand.
    #4
    Ahi Mpls.
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    RE: Weekend in the Low Country 2008/06/25 17:18:58 (permalink)
    Oh my gosh YUM! did you eat all the potatoes from the cb hash 1st or did they only give you the one?
    #5
    Nancypalooza
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    RE: Weekend in the Low Country 2008/06/25 17:22:54 (permalink)
    I'm just relieved he wasn't swinging a confederate flag from his lawn chair. :) I bet he has boiled peanuts at his feet.

    I know what's coming next Cliff, but I think you stayed right next to Melvin's and I'm curious to see if you squoze it in.
    #6
    buffetbuster
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    RE: Weekend in the Low Country 2008/06/25 17:23:37 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by HotDogHead

    Classic picture of the guy in the truck. I'm surprised that wasn't a beer in his hand.
    That makes two of us. No doubt, it would have been an even better picture that way!

    Nancypalooza-
    I did see Melvin's, but I didn't eat there. There are so many places to eat in this area, it would take me at least a week to hit them all.
    #7
    CajunKing
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    RE: Weekend in the Low Country 2008/06/25 17:28:24 (permalink)
    I am looking forward to your report from here, This is in the top 5 areas in the country for me. I LOVE the LOW COUNTRY.

    #8
    buffetbuster
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    RE: Weekend in the Low Country 2008/06/25 17:31:44 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by AHI MPLS

    Oh my gosh YUM! did you eat all the potatoes from the cb hash 1st or did they only give you the one?
    Good eye! No, it only came with one potato, which I thought was a bit odd. But the corned beef was so good, there was nothing to complain about. Thanks for bringing that up.

    CK-
    I agree.....this is one of my favorite regions of the country, too. And I have no idea why I hadn't been here in four years. I won't make that mistake again!

    Hopefully, I won't let you down with the report.
    #9
    ChiTownDiner
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    RE: Weekend in the Low Country 2008/06/25 17:35:00 (permalink)
    My waitress, a UVA student from Franklin, TN, was a real sweetheart. When she told me how much she loved Pancake Pantry in Nashville, well, I was smitten! I love when a woman talks pancakes!


    BB - She probably knew you hung with WJ anf TTM!
    #10
    MetroplexJim
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    RE: Weekend in the Low Country 2008/06/25 17:43:53 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by ChiTownDiner

    My waitress, a UVA student from Franklin, TN, was a real sweetheart. When she told me how much she loved Pancake Pantry in Nashville, well, I was smitten! I love when a woman talks pancakes!


    BB - She probably knew you hung with WJ anf TTM!


    UVA coed! We didn't have those back in my Cavalier days, but I'm guessing that she can talk bourbon as well as pancakes!
    #11
    buffetbuster
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    RE: Weekend in the Low Country 2008/06/25 17:51:52 (permalink)
    MetroplexJim-
    Hmmmm.....she did tell me she was a religious studies major. I will let you decide from there. The last thing I said as I was walking out the door, "Go Wahoos!"

    CTD-
    Everything I know about chatting up the pretty waitresses, I learned from wanderingjew and Travelin Man!
    #12
    nitb4tempest
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    RE: Weekend in the Low Country 2008/06/25 19:10:58 (permalink)
    I really enjoy reading your trip reports Buffetbuster. I've never left a comment though, and now I'm obliged to do so... Now that you've brought up UVA!
    Go Wahoos, don't forget to get our orange and blue Cavalier shirt if you are ever in town.

    #13
    MiamiDon
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    RE: Weekend in the Low Country 2008/06/26 07:58:01 (permalink)
    That Island Potato Casserole sure looks good! Great photos and commentary; I'm looking forward to the next installment.
    #14
    leethebard
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    RE: Weekend in the Low Country 2008/06/26 08:00:18 (permalink)
    Oh that shrimp with Kielbasa looks like something I've got to try someday!!!!!
    #15
    buffetbuster
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    RE: Weekend in the Low Country 2008/06/26 08:12:55 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by nitb4tempest

    I really enjoy reading your trip reports Buffetbuster. I've never left a comment though, and now I'm obliged to do so... Now that you've brought up UVA!
    Go Wahoos, don't forget to get our orange and blue Cavalier shirt if you are ever in town.
    Thank you for reading my trip reports and I'm really glad that you decided to comment. Even though I didn't got to UVA, it is a school I hold in high regard. That might have something to do with two of my favorite Steelers (James Farrior and Heath Miller) being graduates. But.....

    I am a Clemson guy. You won't hold that against me, will you?
    #16
    buffetbuster
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    RE: Weekend in the Low Country 2008/06/26 11:50:21 (permalink)
    Saturday June 21, 2009 cont.

    Now the comes the depressing part of the trip.....

    I made the short drive over to Edisto Island. I had called earlier in the week to Old Post Office restaurant, but the number was disconnected. So, I was expecting to find bad news. I pulled up at the address to find this.

    There is an art gallery/store next door and I went in and inquired about the Old Post Office. The woman there told me they were no longer in business and a new place was opening in September. Too bad, from reading the review, I was really looking forward to eating here.

    My next stop was George & Pink vegetable stand. It was fairly easy to find, as this sign

    directs you down this dirt road.


    I had only driven a short distance when I spotted something unusual in the middle of the road. It was some kind of pig. By the time I got closer and got my camera out, it was already heading into the brush. I was able to get this photo, though.

    I was told by my dining companions later in the day that they are fairly common around here.

    George & Pink

    had a lot of wonderful looking fruit and vegetables for sale. Unfortunately, I was rather limited in what I could buy, since I was flying home the next day. I did purchase a couple peaches and a bag of boiled peanuts. Since I did not eat them until later that night, I will post that photo then.

    Unfortunately, I didn't get to see Duke, the dog mentioned in the review.

    http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Writeup.aspx?ReviewID=1601&RefID=1552

    I headed to Edisto Beach to find Ruby Seahorse Grill. I had called this place last week also to find the number disconnected. That is because the building is now McConkey's Jungle Shack.

    Not looking good for the home team at this point.

    So, for lunch I settled on Pavilion, a restaurant that extends out over the water.


    Since I was a few minutes early, I had some time to kill. No problem, with a beach like this to walk on.

    Saturday afternoon in the middle of June and the beach is that empty? That struck me as rather odd.

    Pavilion opened at 11:00 and I ended up at the table with this view.


    Ready to eat after the disappointments, I ordered the she-crab soup

    and the fried flounder sandwich.

    Everything was good, but I especially enjoyed the shoe string sweet potato fries.

    http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Writeup.aspx?ReviewID=1589&RefID=1537

    There was one more place in Edisto Beach listed on Roadfood, so I decided to find it. Well, I couldn't. So, I went into the visitor's center and they told me that the Edisto Beach Cafe had also gone out of business.

    I drove around the island and checked out the natural beauty of the place.



    I really did like this small cemetary outside of a church.


    Before I left Edisto Island, I had one more stop to make.

    More to come.....


    post edited by buffetbuster - 2009/02/27 13:32:43
    #17
    kland01s
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    RE: Weekend in the Low Country 2008/06/26 11:54:51 (permalink)
    So many places closed, that's sad.
    #18
    buffetbuster
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    RE: Weekend in the Low Country 2008/06/26 11:56:43 (permalink)
    klands01-
    Agreed. I would much rather post food pictures than ones of empty buildings.
    #19
    mar52
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    RE: Weekend in the Low Country 2008/06/26 12:30:56 (permalink)
    Oh My! She Crab Soup is one of my favorite things.

    I just love that picture of the dirt road. (I also like the others)

    I was visiting a friend in Moncks Corner, SC when a funny thing happened.

    My friend got a call about a wild pig that got hit by a car. She immediately called another friend.

    Seems they really do eat Road Kill!
    #20
    Nancypalooza
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    RE: Weekend in the Low Country 2008/06/26 12:48:12 (permalink)
    Cliff! Omigod that's awesome! I've been going to the Congaree Swamp for ten years or more and I've never seen a feral pig. I know they're common but they are really hard to physically see and even tougher to photograph because they pretty much stay out of people's way. I've heard them but never seen them. Congratulations!

    You know, Edisto is tough to keep a restaurant in, I would imagine, because it is pretty remote to the heavier traveled touristy areas. You have to mean to get there. And although a lot of units get rented as weeklys, it's probably a heavier-residential community. It's not nearly as busy as, for example, Tybee in Georgia. Of course I think that's why a lot of people like Edisto. Beautiful pictures Cliff.
    #21
    buffetbuster
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    RE: Weekend in the Low Country 2008/06/26 13:05:30 (permalink)
    Saturday June 21, 2009 cont.

    Po Pigs Bo-B-Q

    was easy to find, since it was right on the main road, next to a convenience store. Cool sign!

    You got to love the curly tail coming out of the Q.

    For a place called Po Pigs, this piggy sure does look sophisticated.


    You can order off of the menu

    or just hit the buffet.


    Since I wanted to try as many things as possible, I decided to bust the buffet. Here is my first plate:

    Starting from the left, that is baked beans, green beans, pork, macaroni & cheese, red rice and a piece of chicken. I sure do wish I could give you a better report, but the food was not very good at all. The green beans and mac & cheese were practically tasteless and the red rice tasted hard and old.

    The one item I did like was the pork.

    And it was greatly enhanced by having four different bbq sauces on the table to try.

    I liked them all, but my personal favorite was the Orangeburg Sweet.

    My next plate was to check out the hash.

    The yellowy one in the back is the regular hash, while I was told the one next to it was the liver hash. Ort, where are you when I really need you? I tried both and liked them just fine.

    The people at Po Pigs were friendly enough and it does have real nice Southern 'q atmosphere, but they need to have better sides.

    http://www.roadfood.com/Reviews/Writeup.aspx?ReviewID=1604&RefID=1554

    Since I now had mustard bbq sauce on my shorts, I headed back to my hotel to change.

    More to come.....
    post edited by buffetbuster - 2009/02/27 13:33:31
    #22
    buffetbuster
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    RE: Weekend in the Low Country 2008/06/26 13:18:11 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Nancypalooza

    Cliff! Omigod that's awesome! I've been going to the Congaree Swamp for ten years or more and I've never seen a feral pig. I know they're common but they are really hard to physically see and even tougher to photograph because they pretty much stay out of people's way. I've heard them but never seen them. Congratulations!
    Nancy, did you just call me a feral pig?

    I had no idea that getting a photo of one was something special. Honestly, I was much more excited about getting the photo of the guy in the lounge chair in the back of the pick up!
    #23
    Nancypalooza
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    RE: Weekend in the Low Country 2008/06/26 13:40:12 (permalink)
    LOLOL. No sir, I would never do such a thing. Although I think it might be a major program at your alma mater. (rim shot!) ;)

    It may just be that I am a lame-o at having seen them, but I know a lot more folks who have heard and not seen one than folks who've seen one. Usually by the time you've spotted one it's started moving away from you at a pretty good clip. It's as fast as pork can get.

    #24
    divefl
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    RE: Weekend in the Low Country 2008/06/26 13:47:34 (permalink)
    Wild pig is good eatin'. What a great trip. Thank you
    #25
    signman
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    RE: Weekend in the Low Country 2008/06/26 13:58:58 (permalink)
    Just for the record, another old Wahoo checking in.
    #26
    cecif
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    RE: Weekend in the Low Country 2008/06/26 14:38:43 (permalink)
    Okay, what on earth are you thinking?! "Sorry for the lousy photo." HUH?! That first food photo was excellent. (Really BB, dear, what ARE you thinking?! Or did you change the photo?!)

    Funny how you said there was only coconut on top of the shrimp, looks to me like they were battered with coconut too?! Or am I mistaken??

    All looks great. That cemetery was so pretty I turned around and went back for pics. I'll throw a couple in for fun...


    That's the same cemetery & the church next to it (which was great, you must've liked it BB!).

    Nearby, you likely drove right past the sign for the "Ernest F. Hollings ACE Basin National Wildlife Refuge", so you didn't know its HQ is an old plantation! Very cool! For a photo of it, see the old trip report from last fall:
    http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=23070&whichpage=1

    Great stuff, as always, BB!

    #27
    cecif
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    RE: Weekend in the Low Country 2008/06/26 14:50:35 (permalink)
    p.s. I forgot to say... still no pie?! I think you have slyly switched from pie to cake, considering what I saw on the baseball thread. Hmmmm.
    #28
    joerogo
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    RE: Weekend in the Low Country 2008/06/26 15:08:52 (permalink)
    Livin HIGH in LOW country.

    Hopefully new Roadfood opportunities will open in the closed restaurants.

    Great trip, thanks for sharing.

    Joe
    #29
    buffetbuster
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    RE: Weekend in the Low Country 2008/06/26 15:42:46 (permalink)
    cecif-
    Thanks for posting the beautiful photos and the link to your trip report. Oh, how I wish I had more time to really do Edisto Island justice, but I had people to meet for dinner.

    I must have taken at least 20 photos of that Tropical Toast and I wasn't happy with any of them. Although that isn't a horrible photo, it sure isn't my best.

    No pie on this trip, either. I know what is going on? Will you settle for lots of puddin'?
    #30
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