Our restaurant choices this month… August brings the dog days of summer here in the Lowcountry and the area is all a bustle with fresh local fare. You can celebrate a local summer at most any local restaurant. Stay cool and indulge in intoxicating local shrimp & grits; enjoy some Maine lobster that’s just as fresh as if you were sitting in Portland; try a steak like you’ve never experienced before; create the perfect signature burger; find comfort in pimento cheese; and please your palate with some of the best fried pickles this side of the nearest Heinz factory.
There’s lots of fabulous choices in the area. Here are our picks for August…
Shrimp and grits is one of those iconic Southern dishes that stirs something deep inside. To a Southerner, eating grits is practically a religion. To a Beaufortonian, eating shrimp is more or less a God-given right. Add a little spice and put the two together on a table sitting in the open atmosphere over at downtown’s Panini’s on the Waterfront and you’ve got a great dish. Using fresh local shrimp prepared perfectly with pancetta polenta, onions, olives, tomatoes and more, Panini’s own spin on this classic southern dish is something special. Panini’s on the Waterfront, 926 Bay Street, Downtown Beaufort.
Create your own burger or pick from a menu full of signature creations over at Fat Patties in Port Royal. Nobody does burgers like FP and you can pair it perfectly with some in-house brew from Fat Patties’ own Salt Marsh Brewing Company. Our pick is the ‘Who’s Your Pattie’ – starting with a 100% locally sourced grass-fed beef burger and piling on the pulled pork, smoked cheddar, pickles, bacon and homemade slaw. Add a touch of avocado or whatever you want. Fat Patties, 831 Parris Island Gateway, Port Royal
Off of the beaten Bay Street path, on Downtown Beaufort’s Port Republic Street, Emily’s Restaurant has been serving some of Beaufort’s finest dinners for a very long time. We’re quite partial to the Steak au Poirve because it’s just a few steps from heaven (and it’s the restaurant’s best selling entree). Emily’s chefs take a simple 8 or 12 ounce tender beef filet, sear it in butter, broil it to your specific order and then serve it with green peppercorn, cream, and an amazing cognac reduction. When served with a sauté of fresh seasonal (local) vegetables and Greek-style potatoes, it’s one of the most palate-pleasing dishes we’ve found in all of our years of enjoying Beaufort’s variety of cuisine. (wash it down with a glass of single malt Scotch.) Try it. You can’t lose. Emily’s Restaurant & Tapas Bar, 906 Port Republic Street, Downtown Beaufort
Mochas, lattes and specialty chais are pouring from Common Ground Coffeehouse along with fresh homemade cheesecakes, pies, scones, muffins and more. Putting fruit into, under or on top of fresh pastries is a treat and you’re sure to fall in love with the local strawberries that adorn the cheesecakes, fruit tarts and our favorite… the Mini Berry Crumble. A must-try is the house made tiramisu. This layered creamy dessert literally means ‘pick me up’ in Italian and the pastry chefs at Common Ground really do it well. Common Ground Coffeehouse, 102 West Street Ext, Downtown Beaufort at Waterfront Park.
If you’re looking for a taste of the Lowcountry, look no further than Lowcountry Produce Market & Cafe. With a menu full of southern favorites including a great pimento cheese burger, shrimp burger and crabcake sandwiches we always find ourselves ordering our go-to…the Oooey Gooey. It’s amazing. The Oooey Gooey not only has the coolest name, but the most amazing flavors packed into a small sandwich. Pimento cheese, and bacon create the bulk with an added taste of housemade garlic-pepper jelly melting together creating a truly “Oooey Gooey” treat. Lunch is always a joy at LPMC.Nobody in the Beaufort area does these tangy little treats like Moondoggie’s in Port Royal.
Fried pickles are a delicious appetizer and the perfect alternative to fried chicken, onion rings, or fried fish and chips, and we’re darn glad someone in the mid-1960′s at a drive-in somewhere in Arkansas decided to bread a pickle and throw it into a fryer. A tasty accompaniment to most any meal, nobody in the Beaufort area does the tangy little treats like Moondoggie’s in Port Royal. We enjoy an order of them on Burger Night (Thursdays) at the local spot…because pickles go perfect with a good burger. Moondoggies Cafe & Grill, 925 10th Street in Port Royal.
Enjoy Beaufort’s area restaurants in August. Fall will be here before we know it and our summertime palates will turn to everything pumpkin spice.