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Jestine's Kitchen

251 Meeting St., Charleston, SC - (843) 722-7224
Posted By Ellen Bradford on 2/11/2008 11:07:00 AM
I went to Charleston the week after Christmas, 2007. Charmed by all, we were downtown shopping and ventured into Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville shop. As I was checking out of the shop, I asked the lovely young lady who was checking me out where to eat "locally" that was good. She recommended Jestine's Kitchen. She said Jimmy eats there whenever he's in town. Rightfully so. There was a wait, but it was worth it. The service is top notch, the food excellent. Dana Berlin, the owner, greeted all with warmth and enthusiasm. Go if you are in Charleston; you will not regret it.

The fried chicken livers are perfect: crispy outside, tender inside. They are served on a bed of rice. I had sides of fried okra and hoppin' John. The cucumber pickles we started with are very good. The sweetened tea could not be better. My fellow diners had blackened chicken and pecan fried chicken breast. We split a pineapple bread pudding and a piece of coconut cream pie. All delicious.

I only wish I had been staying for several more days to try many of the other menu items. Delicious, welcoming, beautifully presented and artfully and politely served.

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Scorecard

4 - Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Rate this place
What a good combination: honey-glazed ham atop a field of creamy grits.
"What a good combination: honey-glazed ham atop a field of creamy grits."
Michael Stern





Amazing!  The best fried chicken I have ever had.  Can't say any more than that.
"Amazing! The best fried chicken I have ever had. Can't say any more than that."
Mukur Hazari


When you order a basket of warm cornbread, you also get some pats of butter drizzled with honey. The cornbread arrives hot, so the butter and honey melt right into it.
"When you order a basket of warm cornbread, you also get some pats of butter drizzled with honey. The cornbread arrives hot, so the butter and honey melt right into it."
Michael Stern


Jestine's is a friendly urban cafe that serves a daily blue-plate special AND a green-plate special.Our favorite day is Sunday, when shrimp and grits is the star of the show.
"Jestine's is a friendly urban cafe that serves a daily blue-plate special AND a green-plate special.Our favorite day is Sunday, when shrimp and grits is the star of the show. "
Michael Stern


To start the meal, every table gets a dish of cucumber pickles. On the right is the silverware, wrapped in a washcloth that serves as a napkin.
"To start the meal, every table gets a dish of cucumber pickles. On the right is the silverware, wrapped in a washcloth that serves as a napkin."
Michael Stern


Barbecue-sauced pork tenderloin is an immense hunk of sweet meat. It comes with porter-stewed collard greens; and I chose fried okra (excellent) as another companion vegetable.
"Barbecue-sauced pork tenderloin is an immense hunk of sweet meat. It comes with porter-stewed collard greens; and I chose fried okra (excellent) as another companion vegetable."
Michael Stern


A close view of the porter-stewed collard greens. Note how liberally laced with meat they are.
"A close view of the porter-stewed collard greens. Note how liberally laced with meat they are."
Michael Stern


I never can resist ordering banana pudding when I see it on the dessert menu. While Jestine's is perfectly fine, I much prefer the restaurant's chocolate cakes.
"I never can resist ordering banana pudding when I see it on the dessert menu. While Jestine's is perfectly fine, I much prefer the restaurant's chocolate cakes."
Michael Stern


Jestine's offers two kinds of fried chicken -- regular, as shown here, and a pecan fried chicken breast. The latter looked mighty good, but our table went with the classic variety and we were not at all disappointed. Mac 'n' cheese and collard greens are in the background.
"Jestine's offers two kinds of fried chicken -- regular, as shown here, and a pecan fried chicken breast. The latter looked mighty good, but our table went with the classic variety and we were not at all disappointed. Mac 'n' cheese and collard greens are in the background."
Michael Stern


There was much debate at the table over which was better -- the Coca Cola cake, pictured here, or the Midnight magic cake. I found the Coke cake to be more super-chocolaty and goopy, almost (but not quite) too rich to finish.
"There was much debate at the table over which was better -- the Coca Cola cake, pictured here, or the Midnight magic cake. I found the Coke cake to be more super-chocolaty and goopy, almost (but not quite) too rich to finish."
Michael Stern


Dark and devilish, midnight magic cake is intense but somewhat more sophisticated than the alternative chocolate dessert, Coca-Cola cake.
"Dark and devilish, midnight magic cake is intense but somewhat more sophisticated than the alternative chocolate dessert, Coca-Cola cake."
Michael Stern


Always in good taste, coconut pie at Jestine's is a pleasant little wedge of cool, smooth comfort. I wouldn't rank it among the best, but neither did I leave a crumb of it on the plate.
"Always in good taste, coconut pie at Jestine's is a pleasant little wedge of cool, smooth comfort. I wouldn't rank it among the best, but neither did I leave a crumb of it on the plate."
Michael Stern


Two sizes of meat loaf are available: 4 and 8 ounces. This is the bigger; and after corn fritter and fried green tomato appetizers, it proved too large for the normal eater who ordered it. By the way, those are excellent mashed potatoes at the upper left of the plate.
"Two sizes of meat loaf are available: 4 and 8 ounces. This is the bigger; and after corn fritter and fried green tomato appetizers, it proved too large for the normal eater who ordered it. By the way, those are excellent mashed potatoes at the upper left of the plate."
Michael Stern


To get taste buds at attention, Jestine's offers each table a bowl of crunch pickles to start the meal.
"To get taste buds at attention, Jestine's offers each table a bowl of crunch pickles to start the meal."
Michael Stern


Every Wednesday's blue-plate special: Shrimp creole. It is a festive bowl of firm shrimp and vegetables atop a bed of white rice.
"Every Wednesday's blue-plate special: Shrimp creole. It is a festive bowl of firm shrimp and vegetables atop a bed of white rice."
Michael Stern


Smothered cabbage is not listed on the regular menu, but was a special the night we dined at Jestine's. It is supremely tender and hardly spiced at all.
"Smothered cabbage is not listed on the regular menu, but was a special the night we dined at Jestine's. It is supremely tender and hardly spiced at all."
Michael Stern



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