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The Wreck

106 Haddrell Point, Mount Pleasant, SC - (843) 884-0052
Posted By Michael Stern on 2/13/2003 9:07:00 AM
As the coastline beyond Charleston’s city limits has been developed, dozens of seafood restaurants have opened to serve newcomers and tourists. The docks at Shem Creek in Mount Pleasant, just north of the city, are lined with them, all quite pleasant-looking and with similar shoreline menus; but if you meander farther along the water, out Live Oak Road to Haddrell Point, you will find a Roadfood jewel in the rough. And we do mean find, for the restaurant known as The Wreck has no sign outside – it’s tucked between the Wando Seafood Company and Magwood & Sons Seafood – and we also mean in the rough, for it is located in a former bait locker, and decor is mostly piles of cardboard beer cartons.

The Wreck of the Richard and Charlene is mobbed at mealtimes with customers who come for crunchy fried shrimp, scallops, and oysters, broiled fish, she-crab soup, crunchy tubular hushpuppies and fried squares of luscious spiced grits. Depending on your appetite, you can get a meal either “Richard-sized” (copious) or “Charlene'-sized” (normal portion). Everything is presented on cardboard plates with plastic utensils; beer comes in the bottle. You enter through an open kitchen, where we once witnessed the chef advising a customer in no uncertain terms that he refused to prepare an order of fried oysters to go, because they had to be eaten immediately. In the concrete-floored dining room, you sit on plastic lawn chairs at tables clothed with fish-wrapping paper (but romantically lit by candles at night). And if the weather is cool, you are warmed by a couple of fireplaces.

Formally named for a boat hit by Hurricane Hugo, The Wreck of the Richard and Charlene is indeed disheveled; but its food is impeccable. And the view from the porch of docked shrimp trawlers couldn’t be more appetizing.

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
shrimp
scallops
she-crab soup
key lime bread pudding
oysters
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

A glorious Richard-size meal: grilled shrimp and fried oysters accompanied by cole slaw, red rice, a single hushpuppy and a block of fried creamy grits.
"A glorious Richard-size meal: grilled shrimp and fried oysters accompanied by cole slaw, red rice, a single hushpuppy and a block of fried creamy grits."
Michael Stern





Here are some of the best-tasting fried shrimp we’ve had along the southeast coast since the late, lamented Edisto Motel closed several years ago.
"Here are some of the best-tasting fried shrimp we’ve had along the southeast coast since the late, lamented Edisto Motel closed several years ago."
Michael Stern


A meal at The Wreck begins with a bowl of boiled peanuts. If all you know are ordinary peanuts, these are a revelation. The nuts inside the shell are soft enough to be a good reminder that peanuts are in fact not nuts, but legumes.
"A meal at The Wreck begins with a bowl of boiled peanuts. If all you know are ordinary peanuts, these are a revelation. The nuts inside the shell are soft enough to be a good reminder that peanuts are in fact not nuts, but legumes."
Michael Stern


You can make an entree out of the deviled crabs or buy them a la carte. We were impressed by how densely it was packed with real crab meat.
"You can make an entree out of the deviled crabs or buy them a la carte. We were impressed by how densely it was packed with real crab meat."
Cliff Strutz


The taste, aroma, and high-proof jolt of sherry are essential to traditional she-crab soup service. Here at the Wreck, you add it yourself.
"The taste, aroma, and high-proof jolt of sherry are essential to traditional she-crab soup service. Here at the Wreck, you add it yourself."
Michael Stern


There is no seat in The Wreck’s dining room that doesn’t offer a fine view of the waterway.
"There is no seat in The Wreck’s dining room that doesn’t offer a fine view of the waterway."
Michael Stern


Who can resist interior décor that consists of stacked-up beer boxes? This is what you see as you walk in the door.
"Who can resist interior décor that consists of stacked-up beer boxes? This is what you see as you walk in the door."
Michael Stern


The Wreck has never bothered to put out a sign. Everyone just knows where it is. Located in a former bait locker overlooking Shem Creek, it is in fact an immensely picturesque place to eat.
"The Wreck has never bothered to put out a sign. Everyone just knows where it is. Located in a former bait locker overlooking Shem Creek, it is in fact an immensely picturesque place to eat."
Michael Stern



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