Weekend in Beaufort SC (no pics)

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Nancypalooza
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2008/08/31 23:11:17 (permalink)

Weekend in Beaufort SC (no pics)

We did such a beautiful job of packing in 15 minutes and getting out of town on Friday that we didn't notice until we were a few miles down the road that we didn't take the camera. Losers.

We stopped at Dukes' Barbecue in Walterboro for dinner Friday (exit 52, I believe, if you're ever up here again Tara, and they're open Wed to Sat, and lunch only on Sunday). I want to do a side-by-side comparison of Dukes' and Shealy's because they're very similar and one's strengths are often the other's weaknesses. I love the chopped pork at Dukes, the slaw and potato salad, collards and a very good mac and cheese. The pork is served chopped and unsauced with two choices: a mild and a hot version. I could go on for days about the sauce; it's not really a purely mustard sauce and it's not a red sauce, and it's definitely not a vinegar sauce. It's like if mustard and red had a really sweet, savory baby. Julie thinks it's a bit cloying and thick, but it gets thumbs up from me. Dukes' also does some nice fried sides--a very good raw fry/chip that didn't suffer this visit from being on the steam table, fried okra, onion rings, and excellent hush puppies. The fried chicken, however, pales in comparison to Shealy's, as do the green beans. Every table has a loaf of white bread in the bag, vinegar for your collards and a roll of paper towels.

Breakfast Saturday was at the Blackstone Cafe in Beaufort. I was very sad that the crabcake benedict was not on the menu but the shrimp & grits were, so we got that and the homemade corned beef hash, and got a sticky pecan bun for the 5th man (or 3rd lady, or something). Delicious as usual. They seem to have their breakfasts down to a fine science, and great servers.

We grabbed a Publix sub to have at the beach for lunch, so dinner was at Barbara Jean's on Lady's Island. I know it's a chain, but we hadn't tried it before. (The menu says locations in Ga, Fl and SC.) The big draw of Barbara Jean's is supposed to be that it's a really good meat-and-three type place with crabcakes and other good seafood. Plus they make a big deal out of their pumpkin bread. I got the half and half dinner with a crabcake and grilled shrimp, with the ambrosia and broccoli rice casserole on the side, Julie got a cup of she-crab soup and the crabcake with mashed potatoes and green beans. The bread basket they bring first has the aforementioned pumpkin bread, jalapeno cornbread and a yeast dinner roll, with a tub of butter. They're all good, and aficianados of each thing would be happy with them, but the pumpkin bread was the standout for Julie.

The crabcakes are very good but not excellent. They're advertised as having no filler or additives and they really don't. They also cook them just as much as they need to for a slight crust but don't overdo it. The grilled shrimp were very good. I'm always amused by the fact that sometimes the things that stand out are really pretty minor. The green beans were excellent--not boiled to glop with some sort of pork stand in, and not sauteed and still snappy, but somewhere in between. We got a small serving of the famous 'chocolate stuff' for dessert--it's supposed to be kind of a half-cooked brownie in a bowl with whipped cream, and it was again, very good but we aren't dreaming about it. It needed pecans.

The pumpkin bread was enough of a draw the next morning that it sent us back to Barbara Jean's, which is serving breakfast on weekends and holidays. But we were so lazy getting up and out it was after 11 when we got there. We had skipped the Shrimp Shack the day before in favor of more time on the beach, so I got the shrimp burger. Not good, sorry to say. There was just too much additive and not enough shrimp. I was performing a search-and-rescue-shrimp-bits autopsy on the thing before long. The fries were lame, but the coleslaw--studded with celery seed and delicious. (See? Weird little things.) Julie got more she-crab soup, which she described as good enough to get twice and full of crab, but not as smooth as the best she's had. Barbara Jean's had terrific staff, by the way.

We spent the afternoon farting around Lady's Island and totally stumbled on the food find of the trip. At a produce stand on the parkway, we noticed a separate stand set up for 'We's Island Gumbo & Tings' and this stand had been at another store the day before. We were still pretty full but got a bowl of gumbo to split, and oh momma. Chock full of fresh shrimp and sausage and chunks of veggies and seasoned just right. That's the thing we're going to miss. CajunKing, I wondered if you had ever heard of those folks? They were also selling fried whiting and shrimp and pulled pork sandwiches.

Right before we went home we grabbed some dinner at Paulie's Wood Fired Pizza in Bluffton, and I've written about it here before--chicken wings, the traditional Italian salad and the traditional Italian pie. Delicious.
#1

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    MotherNature_
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    RE: Weekend in Beaufort SC (no pics) 2008/09/01 07:10:43 (permalink)
    http://www.weislandgumbo.com/2index.html
    #2
    joerogo
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    RE: Weekend in Beaufort SC (no pics) 2008/09/01 09:11:33 (permalink)
    Your words made up for the lack of pics. Sounds like a real good time, nice report.

    I would be farting around the island also if I ate that much fried food.
    #3
    MotherNature_
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    RE: Weekend in Beaufort SC (no pics) 2008/09/01 09:30:43 (permalink)
    Too bad you didn't go to Steamer's. It was only about a block away.

    Edited to say: Only about a block away from Barbara Jean's.
    #4
    ChiTownDiner
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    RE: Weekend in Beaufort SC (no pics) 2008/09/01 10:22:38 (permalink)
    The crabcake Benedict sounded so good...looks like a great start to your beach weekend!

    That 5th man gets around...is he now dating the 3rd lady?
    #5
    Nancypalooza
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    RE: Weekend in Beaufort SC (no pics) 2008/09/01 11:08:16 (permalink)
    Thank you Mother Nature! You know, we've been to Steamer's twice now and don't like it. Also ixnay on the 11th Street Dockside. We tend to be very hard on a place that has such good seafood right there and then doesn't do right by it. One place that came recommended but we wanted to try Barbara Jean's first was the Saltus River Grill. Also Beaufort is growing a few new places on Boundary St--we counted a Thai joint, a bar/grill called (something) on Boundary, and a new cafe sharing the building with the Visitors' Center.

    I also forgot to add that I think I ordered one seriously wrong thing at Barbara Jean's--they put a single fried shrimp on top of the shrimpburger as a garnish, and I immediately wished I had more of those. They have the fried shrimp available with a buttermilk coating, and coconut-style; this was the buttermilk and I'll have to give it a shot sometime.

    Joe: you aren't kidding man. Mostly the farting around took the form of trying to find someplace to walk or take a short nature hike, getting out of the car and realizing that we were total weenies up against the hot/humid/buggy combination. And to think we had originally planned to *camp* this weekend. *Best*change*of*plans*ever*.

    CTD: I think the 5th man and the 3rd lady are unindicted co-conspirators, at least. :)

    #6
    MotherNature_
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    RE: Weekend in Beaufort SC (no pics) 2008/09/01 13:09:40 (permalink)
    Being a native of Beaufort and Hilton Head Island, Steamer's and Dockside are my two favorite restaurants north of the Broad. Saltus is overrated and overpriced. Yes, Thai, Indeed, is probably what you're referring to there and Bricks on Boundary is more than likely the other eatery to which you are referring. The Chamber just moved into a new location at Town Center near the Inn. They used to be on Bellamy Curve next door to Magnolia's. I'm not sure what you're talking about there as far as which location.
    #7
    MotherNature_
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    RE: Weekend in Beaufort SC (no pics) 2008/09/01 13:12:23 (permalink)
    Also, Barbara Jean's seafood is not local.
    #8
    rumaki
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    RE: Weekend in Beaufort SC (no pics) 2008/09/01 13:16:55 (permalink)
    My father lives on Hilton Head, and I get up to Beaufort occasionally. I'm curious about your comments about 11th Street Dockside. I checked it out a couple of years ago, and I thought it looked appealing, but it was too crowded on that particular occasion, so I didn't get to try it. The online reviews I've seen are generally very positive, so I'd like to know how it is that they "don't do right by" their seafood.

    This is a genuine question. I'm not trying to be snarky.
    #9
    Mrs.Crunch
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    RE: Weekend in Beaufort SC (no pics) 2008/09/01 13:17:26 (permalink)
    15 min to pack!! Impressive!! You don't even need pictures with your writing style
    Sounds like a ton of fun!
    #10
    mar52
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    RE: Weekend in Beaufort SC (no pics) 2008/09/01 13:25:39 (permalink)
    Good report, Nancy! The different opinions are what keeps things interesting.

    I ate all over South Carolina. My tour guide was a friend that was born and raised there.

    The culmination of our trip was a place that was praised for over a week. She built this place up so high that my expectations kept me drooling.

    What a letdown! My friend thought I'd be overwhelmed by a California inspired semi chain restaurant. The drive out to to the island was more impressive.

    I enjoy reading all of your reactions, but one isn't right or wrong... just different.

    Keep them coming!
    #11
    Nancypalooza
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    RE: Weekend in Beaufort SC (no pics) 2008/09/01 13:27:39 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by MotherNature_
    Also, Barbara Jean's seafood is not local.


    I did ask and they said yes. I know that doesn't mean much and it's not like Charleston where they're carrying the little seal on the menu.

    rumaki/MN I'm mostly talking about how a big oceanside restaurant can traffic heavily on the idea that the fish is coming right out of the boat parked out front and it may very well be, but if it's overcooked or has gotten soggy from sitting under a heat lamp or has totally lame-o sides, it really doesn't matter, and I've experienced all of those things at either Steamer's or Dockside. On top of the 20-40 minute wait for a table, and about 20 bucks a head. If I wait that long for a table and pay that much, it better be good. That's where I'm pretty unforgiving. Because you can get a shrimpburger or a fish sandwich at the Shrimp Shack, across the parkway from Gay Fish & Co, for about $8 and it's terrific. That's where we screwed up this time, not going to the Shrimp Shack (mis-taaaaaaake).

    edited to add: I totally understand that my miles may vary compared to yours. I've been to both places twice and just wasn't impressed, and I probably would have a different result if I were local and went all the time.

    Also, I wanted to point out to folks that the Yemassee (Hampton County) Shrimp Festival is Sept. 18-21, and the Beaufort Shrimp Festival is Oct 3-4. I've never been to either, but I might give one a swing this year.
    #12
    CajunKing
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    RE: Weekend in Beaufort SC (no pics) 2008/09/01 16:40:49 (permalink)
    Nancy

    Sounds like an awesome find, I had not heard about them, so thank you for mentioning them here. I have put them in my notebook (my "black book" of FOOD). I love the low country of SC. Hopefully this late fall or early next year, i can get over there to low country.

    Mothernature

    For being a junior burger you came through strong there, thanks for the website, I am looking over the site and getting ready to place an order.

    #13
    buffetbuster
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    RE: Weekend in Beaufort SC (no pics) 2008/09/02 09:59:28 (permalink)
    Nancy-
    You make me realize it has been way too long since I have eaten at Duke's Barbecue. Unlike most others on here, I absolutely love the mustard based sauce. Is Duke's still a buffet?

    Is that dessert really called "chocolate stuff"? How could you not order something with a name like that?

    What you said about the small things are sometimes the things that really stand out is 100% true. Thanks for the great report and glad you two had such a good time.
    #14
    Nancypalooza
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    RE: Weekend in Beaufort SC (no pics) 2008/09/02 10:12:10 (permalink)
    I thought about you Cliff while we were there; this is where you should have gone instead of Po' Pigs (!), but they're quite a bit apart. It's still a buffet, although they do have sandwiches and stuff to go. I think their chopped pork might be my favorite in the state, and their sauce definitely is. There are several locations and I don't think I've been to a bad one.

    It is really called 'chocolate stuff' and they explain on the menu that they started out calling it chocolate cobbler and diners told them it didn't fit. It's warm, crusty in spots and smooshy in spots, but it really needs something to break up the sweet.
    #15
    PaulBPool
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    RE: Weekend in Beaufort SC (no pics) 2008/09/02 10:34:20 (permalink)
    When my son graduated from Marine Boot Camp in 2006, we traveled to Parris Island to attend the ceremonies. As part of the trip, we were given about 6 hours with our son the day before the actual graduation. First time we'd seen him since he left for boot, over 3 months. We were responsible for the food during that time, and thanks to a chat board, we heard about Big Joe's BBQ, a local spot operated by a former Marine. I ordered plenty of food, just in case our son had buddies whose families couldn't make the trip. As I recall, I got pulled pork, bbq chicken, ribs, slaw and beans, along with sweet tea. The food was truly wonderful, the pulled pork was moist and tender, just the right smoky flavor without being overpowering; chicken was the same, smoky and moist, and the ribs were pretty good too, though not as good as my own smoked ribs. Slaw was excellent, and the bbq beans were the best I'd ever had, sweet and smoky, with bits of pulled pork in them - so good that I stopped and got an extra pot of them on the way out of town!
    #16
    harriet1954
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    RE: Weekend in Beaufort SC (no pics) 2008/09/06 19:56:06 (permalink)
    Three words: I wanna go!
    #17
    Zoomshorts
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    RE: Weekend in Beaufort SC (no pics) 2008/12/09 07:12:50 (permalink)
    After living in Thailand for 4 years back in
    the 1970's, it is nice to find decent Thai food.
    Beaufort is not known for it's international cuisine,
    but Yes Thai Indeed is a refreshing change.

    There are many oriental buffets in town, and those
    cater to the pedestrian tastes of the average,
    never-been-anywhere residents who think fried rice
    is exotic.

    Yes Thai Indeed is a place to savor the taste of a
    different culture. Sure, they use mostly local ingredients,
    but even so, their cooking is excellent. The dishes I tried
    were very close to those I had sampled in Thailand, albeit
    not quite as spicy.

    True to the Thai norm, service may be slow, the day I visited,
    I was greeted and served promptly. When compared to the prices
    I was familiar with in Thailand, the food was expensive and a
    little skimpy on the portions, but the flavor overrode those
    minor shortcommings.

    I had the Tom Yum Gai as a first course, again a small portion,
    just enough for a taste. This was followed by some dim sum with
    a Thai flair, very good but with small portions. I would suggest
    6 per person, rather than 3. The same with the spring rolls,
    3 per person rather than 2.

    The entree was Mango Shrimp, and it was delicious. Subtle smokey,
    sweet flavor with hints of tamarind and cilantro. I did suggest
    the cook remove the tail from the shrimp. I do not like eating
    with my fingers generally. With Beaufort being a costal city,
    I was hoping for more than 7 medium shrimp on a plate that cost
    $15.99, I could have gotten 3 pounds of shrimp for that price in
    most American chain supermarkets. I thought that this was
    rather stingy. I was hoping for something like 20 shrimp on the
    dish. Grrrrrr.

    All in all, for flavor, you cannot go wrong at Yes Thai Indeed.
    The service was adequate but the prices were a bit on the high
    side for Thai fare.

    Increased portions at a reduced price would make this a 4 star
    dining expierence. The decor would prohibit the place from receiving
    5 stars. The food is 5 star and world class.

    Steamers on Lady's Island has changed hands and is nowhere as good as
    it once was, it was unoccupied for several months. Barbra Jean's is
    okay, about the same quality of other chains like Outback Steakhouse ,
    Chilis, Applebees etc. They DO have great staff.

    Dockside is an institution and it is HIGHLY variable from day to day.
    If you catch them on a good day, the correct cooks and waitstaff, it
    can be really good. I visited twice and the first visit they lost our
    order! The second time the food was much better than the first visit.
    All in all, for a shrimping community, shrimp seems to be the one thing
    Beaufort cannot cook properly. BTW my father was a U.S. Marine and I spent
    a couple of years on Parris Island, so I am familiar with the area and
    cooking shrimp :) ala Bubba Gump.
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