829 Southdrive

829 Southdrive

A New Jersey state of mind

Friday, November 4, 2011

Low Country Weekend

A few hours from our destination, we stopped for a late lunch.
A plateful of the south.  Pulled pork with Carolina vinegary sauce
 (yum), fried chicken, fried livers, fried gizzards, fried okra, fried 
squash, okra and beans, broad beans, cole slaw, and sweet 
pickles and cauliflower.  I went back and got a half plateful of 
collard greens with more fried okra and pork barbecue.  I could 
eat this every day.  Just make sure I'm sitting next to the 
defibrillator machine though.  For convenience' sake.

Folly Beach, SC.  Our nest for the wedding weekend.  Not bad digs, 
and a mere crawl from the reception next door.  There's nothing like 
opening the sliding doors and getting a faceful of ocean air.  
Thanks so much, Reno and Michele.  I feel like I say that an awful lot.

Looking south toward Kiawah Island.  I love the Carolinas;
in so many ways they remind me of the New Jersey coastline.
Why are you laughing?  No, really..........

Bowen's Island Restaurant, just inland of Folly Beach.  The line went
out the door behind me and down the switchback stairway.  At first
I was skeptical about waiting, but as soon as we got drinks to nurse 
while standing in line, we were at the counter in no time.  Place your
order, find a table, and wait for the food.  It wasn't that bad a wait.

My daughters found a table, suitably right next to a large oyster 
shell garbage can.  I didn't mind.  Rather than putting my empties
on my tray, I tossed them over my shoulder.  I'm thinking of
getting one of these for our kitchen table.

They must not be tea-baggers down there, 'cause they spelled
everything correctly.  And their warning could not have been
more telling.  There was booze, shellfish, and plenty of
finger licking.  Kind of like being at home, but this time no clean-up. 

College daughter waiting for grub.  

Down in the basement where the all-you-can eaters are seated.
This way, they can watch and make sure you're not feeding the
rest of your table from your tray upstairs.  The coolest thing in my
opinion is the hole in the middle of the table where the shells go.

Spartan, yet functional accommodations.  What more do you need?

Once the oysters come out of the steaming pots, they're dumped on 
this hot flat-top until they're shoveled onto cafeteria trays.  The 
oysters spend very little time there because there's usually a line 
of hungry folks waiting just behind this camera.

My first tray.  They aren't individual oysters, but clusters of them
jutting in all directions, some open, some not yet.  It's more work
than you think.  And I guess that's how they don't go out of business
with the all-you-can-eat feature.  After a while, especially if you're 
drinking at a decent clip, you become exhausted from prying and
shucking before you start to actually get ahead of the game.

Charleston's Carolina Yacht Club, Saturday morning.  Word had it 
that a young Bahamian hotshot was to sail off the end of the dock 
early that afternoon and I went down to see if I could meet him 
before he went out. Turned out his Dad was in town and he spent 
the morning with him, as he should have.  I guess I'll just have to 
visit Charleston again.  Brent seems like a good guy and I 
look forward to being in his presence the next time around.

Charleston Community Sailing was/were holding races off the 
dock that morning.  There were/was (never quite sure) an 
awful lot of young kids out on the water. High School sailing 
is alive and well in South Carolina.

Daytime photo of Bowen's Island Restaurant.  Note aforementioned
switchback stairway.  Apparently this place is fairly recently expanded
and re-modeled.  Check out the earlier link for vintage-er photos.
On the way back from CYC, I needed to get some brighter shots of 
this place.  They serve dinner only, so the only noises I heard were 
the wind and crickets.

Sophisticate:  To make complicated or complex.
It hasn't happened here yet.

Salts of the earth.  I'm sure they don't live an
extravagant lifestyle, but when their workday 
ends, they can sleep well.  The hose guy said he's
usually asleep by 9, still likes oysters, and, well,
that's all I got out of him.  In season, those oysters
are 28-32 bucks a bushel, like those baskets in
the video.  The night before, Saturday night, the 
restaurant went through 40 bushels.  They get 5
trays from each bushel.  I had two trays from the
200 that were served.  Would I go there again?

Now I know why they call this 'Low Country'.
At times, the water is at the edge of the road.  This photo was
 taken from the mounds of shells at Bowen's.  I spotted Forrest's 
shrimper across the marsh.  Several hours later, that marsh
was a couple of feet above sea level.

Catch anything?   

Downtown Folly Beach.  I found myself becoming instantly and
scarily at home in this community.  It's not hard to imagine shifting
right into the groove of this easy-going, laid back beach town.

Ah yes, the reason why we were all here!  It was without a doubt
the most relaxing, comfortable, and natural setting for a wedding 
ceremony I've ever had the pleasure of attending.  And to think 
that folks back home were shoveling snow.

Strings attached

Our niece Loren and husband Victor.  Love them

The Goddamn cornmeal-crusted scallop was so friggin big that 
the guest had to set it down on the surfboard bar because her
arm was getting tired.  The duck nachos were a bit lighter.

The Blu Bar.  A place to which I bellied up often that night.

Has everyone signed the guestbook?

Poogan's Porch for Sunday Brunch.  College daughter
took a pass and waited painfully in the car after a long
night of beer pong and flip cup games after the reception
 'til well into the morning.  We all eventually go 
through it, and it was her turn that day. 

A bloody mary in front of the fireplace.  People that ask for
this table rarely get it.  I just wanted to sit down.

The famous biscuit with honey butter.

The omnipresent Shrimp and Grits.  The poached eggs actually
made the dish.  I thought there could have been a lot more of the
cheapest ingredient in there......Grits!  Good though.

We followed this tour carriage slowly from behind in our 
car for several minutes, craning and listening intently before
he pulled over and told us that if we were to continue sitting
in, we would need to donate some gratuities to his cup.

Gorgeous Charleston, South Carolina

The pier at Folly Beach at the end of the day.

Sunset just around to the right.  I could really get used to this.


  1. I love Charleston! Great post!

    love ya

  2. Sounds like you had a great time in Charleston! Glad to see the wedding went well and you got to see some of the sites and scenes of Chucktown.
    We definitely have to meetup the next time your in town, looking forward to meeting you and chatting about sailing for a bit.

    Take care and see you around- I'm looking forward to the future blog posts!

  3. Great pictures. Who doesn't love Charleston? We spent a few days there some years ago (on our way between two Laser regattas.) We stayed on Shem Creek, just the other side of the city from where you were.

  4. Baydog,

    Great pictures, great time and great experience. I sent you an E-mail regarding one feature of the wedding, post it if you dare. I thought that the similarity was amazing. It took me a few hours to construct the Pergola.

    Congrats! Glad to see a good time was had by all!

  5. OMG, looks so good, and evident you had a treat of a time. I used to visit Charleston for antiques when I had the Antiques store. But I never really liked Charleston, despite great food and architecture. It's the only place in my life where I felt palpably the vibes of slavery. Can't explain this, love Savannah. Nice post!

  6. omg omg omg. I love oysters. OK: now I get hungry when I hear Baydog.

  7. Did you know you can create short urls with Shortest and receive dollars for every click on your short links.