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The Wreck

106 Haddrell Point, Mount Pleasant, SC - (843) 884-0052
Posted By Michael Stern on February 13, 2003 9:07 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.
5 star rating
Overall Rating
shrimp
she-crab soup
oysters
scallops
key lime bread pudding

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Posted By Kevin Noble on January 27, 2013 1:20 PM
I go here every time I visit the great little city of Charleston. Fantastic food!
4 star rating
Overall Rating
she-crab soup
shrimp
crab
oysters

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Posted By Doug on January 27, 2013 8:14 AM
Never been there but I can't think of a place that has more appeal. My kind of place. Worth a drive south.
0 star rating
Overall Rating

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Posted By Carolyn Denny on April 30, 2012 9:37 PM
We just spent a long weekend in Charleston, and this was our favorite meal. We got a little worried when our GPS took us through a very residential area to a small parking lot with no sign, but as it turns out, that just added to the atmosphere. We walked around back to the dining room overlooking the water, where we ate she-crab soup, friend green tomatoes, seafood platter, and key lime pie. It was all delicious. The scallops and fried green tomatoes were the best I've ever had.
4 star rating
Overall Rating
scallops
she-crab soup

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Posted By A OUTLAW on May 7, 2011 11:43 PM
The Wreck of the Richard and Charlene: ever since this "local hole in the wall" was written up in Southern Living and the like, the food quality has gone down and the price has gone up. $19 for the small (Charlene-sized) plate of fried shrimp? No thanks. Used to be cheap and good. Now, not so much of either (I'm a local Charlestonian, too).
1 star rating
Overall Rating

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Posted By Margaret Ezell on September 29, 2007 9:08 PM
My favorite places to eat are the off the beaten path places, what I thought The Wreck would be from the description. As a native of South Louisiana I like my seafood! The Wreck is hard to find, even with directions. I asked a local how to get there when we were within a mile. I also asked if he liked it. I should have taken his body language and "not my favorite" and turned back to Charleston to Hymans, which we love.

The food is way overpriced for what you get on a paper plate. We had the large boiled shrimp: 1/2-pound for $19.00. They were very fresh but bland, nothing special; no Old Bay or other seasoning. The red rice was like eating something from a Rice-A-Roni box. The fried hominy was less than one inch square; bland. I did like the hush puppy! The coleslaw was fine.

They have no handicapped parking and the steps are a danger to all including my 91-year-old mother who was with me. The next day I had meetings in Charleston and asked six locals about The Wreck. All said it was way over rated; the quality has changed over the years. They do not go there anymore. People are passing on its formerly great rating.
1 star rating
Overall Rating

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Posted By Sarah Broz on July 21, 2004 9:53 PM
I sought out the Wreck on the basis of glowing reviews from sites like this. However, having eaten there, I think I must have dined on an "off night" because I think the food is over-rated.

The complimentary boiled peanuts are nothing spectacular. They were probably boiled the same day but were heated in a microwave. As for the she crab soup, it was not very flavorsome nor was there much of the crab in it. In fact, the soup may have been watered down since there was a lack of depth to the flavor plus a scarcity of crab. This was the second bowl of she crab soup I'd consumed in less than a week and the first (from another seafood eatery in Shem Creek) was far superior. Adding the sherry at the table is a novelty but that doesn't help to give body to the soup since it's added after the cooking process.

I had an entree of fried shrimp and scallops. The coating on the fried seafood was nothing memorable though it was not heavy, so I give the Wreck kitchen staff credit for that. The scallops were tastier than the shrimp and were delicate and tender, not chewy. I enjoyed the sweet tomato flavor of the red rice.

My spouse suggests that the soup lacked flavor because it was served in a disposable cardboard bowl (think picnicware). This is a fair point. All food and drink is served in plastic or cardboard disposable picnicware except the silverware. This doesn't impact on the flavor of entrees like the seafood but could be detrimental to the famed she crab soup.
3 star rating
Overall Rating

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