6 Restaurant Meals in Charleston South Carolina for $137

My wife wanted to stay at the Ansonborough Inn in Charleston, South Carolina for her 60th birthday. I granted her wish, though we made reservations too late to make it in time for her actual birthday. Our vacation was a couple weeks later. We researched restaurants in Charleston to prevent getting suckered into an establishment with what I call are kiss-my-ass prices. I feel insulted, if a restaurant charges $38 for a plate of shrimp and grits–a popular dish in the area. Wholesale cost for a bowl of shrimp and grits is about $4. I looked for soul food restaurants, knowing that they wouldn’t charge extravagant prices for good food, and I found Hanibal’s.

My daughter ate ribs, collard greens, and rice. Yum.
My wife ate grilled shrimp, braised cabbage, and candied yams.
I had crab rice. This is a Gullah dish.

The food at Hanibal’s was very delicious and reasonably priced compared to most restaurants in Charleston. I was interested in trying crab rice, a dish of Gullah cuisine. It was good and kind of tasted like a Chinese stir-fry. My daughter couldn’t finish her collard greens, so I helped myself to about half of hers. I love collard greens, especially the pot liquor. My wife’s shrimp were tasty and fresh, and the braised cabbage was sweet. Other interesting dishes at Hanibal’s include the lima bean plate and okra soup. At the Harris Teeter, they sell local specialties, but the okra soup they sell in a jar is not the same as that at Hanibal’s. The Harris Teeter okra soup is more like a tomato soup with okra. Hanibal’s lists smoked turkey neck bones and pig tails as ingredients in their okra soup. I may have to try making that at home. Most of their clientele seems to be regulars who pick up takeout orders, but Hillary Clinton and Danny Glover have enjoyed eating here.

Photos of celebrities who have enjoyed eating at Hanibal’s adorn the walls.

For lunch the following day we ate at Fleet Land Seafood Restaurant and Bar. This restaurant is very popular, and we had to wait awhile to be seated. My wife had a bacon cheeseburger…there is really not much she can eat in restaurants because she can’t eat spicy or smoked food, and rice makes her choke. My daughter had the fried flounder plate. I had a blackened grouper sandwich. My sandwich was good, but I don’t understand why they put cheese on it. On the way home the following day, we stopped at a Hardees in Allendale, South Carolina (mostly because I had to pee really bad, and there was nothing else), and I wanted either a plain hamburger or a plain hot dog. Every burger on the menu had cheese, and the hot dog had chili on it. I got so irritated; I didn’t order anything for myself. I didn’t want to have to ask for a special order for just a plain burger or dog. Jeez. I waited until we got home an hour later and made myself a peanut butter sandwich, saving $9 anyway. Fast food combo meals are $10, and I just can’t get motivated to spend that kind of money on nothing special.

My daughter’s fried flounder plate.
My wife’s bacon cheeseburger.
My grouper sandwich. My side dish was red rice, a famous side dish served in the region. My home-made red rice is much better. I serve it as a main dish with hamburger meat, lots of bacon, and plenty of onion, bell pepper, celery, and hot sauce.
A yacht sailing in the bay behind the Fleet Land Restaurant and Bar.

The Harris Teeter grocery store was right next to the Inn where we stayed–a great convenience. They have an end cap with local specialties including stone ground grits, Carolina gold rice, bags of benne wafers, local honey, Charleston Chew candy, various barbeque sauces, and sunchoke relish. Benne wafers are thin sesame crackers. I couldn’t bring myself to spend $9 on a small bag of crackers. I have made them from scratch at home, and mine are probably better.

We spent most of the morning and afternoon walking alongside the bay at the White Point public park and through their huge flea market that takes up several blocks of downtown. Women love Charleston because there are lots of shops where they can waste money on shit they don’t need. I saw 1 woman shopping who had a lunatic-like grin on her face as if she was in ecstasy. She kind of scared me a little.

That night, we didn’t feel like eating much after our large lunch, so I went walking to pick up a few slices of pizza for supper. Charleston is usually a pretty good town for girl-watching, and while walking down a narrow dark alley, I saw a tall, beautiful woman. When I got close to her, I realized it was a dude dressed like a lady. She/he seemed a little afraid of me, even though she/he was 12 inches taller than me. Maybe, he/she feared transphobic violence. White Point Park reportedly has tried to restrict gay pride marches. When I learned about this, I joked with my wife that it would be funny, if a wore nothing but a jock strap, pretended to be gay, and marched in a gay pride parade. Don’t get the wrong impression. I’m into making love to old fat ladies because that is what I am used to, and I have no desire to step outside my comfort zone.

I prefer nature-oriented vacations, so I didn’t particularly enjoy this one…I was doing it for my wife. Pushing her wheelchair around Charleston for hours was not fun for me. I had to be careful and roll her slowly along the sidewalk and pier because hitting a bump too abruptly could cause her to fall out of her wheelchair. I got to know every fucking crack on every sidewalk in Charleston. Areas of the sidewalks around trees were troublesome. The roots push up the sidewalk, and it was quite an adventure every time I had to navigate one. I did see some nature, however. While driving, I saw a bald eagle for only the 5th time in my life. This was near the Burke County/Screven County line in Georgia. I was hoping to see dolphins in the bay. I didn’t but I did see common loons fishing in Charleston Bay. This was a first for me. Common loons spend summers up north but do migrate to the coast during winter. I’m not usually near the ocean this time of year. I tried to photograph them, but they dove below water level to fish as soon as my camera had one in focus. They spend an amazingly long time fishing underwater without coming up for air, and they don’t spend much time above water when they do take a breath. I also saw a pair of belted kingfishers. I’ve seen them near fresh water, but I didn’t know they spent time near saltwater. And, of course, ring-billed gulls were common. Road killed animals seen while driving from Augusta to Charleston included 8 deer, 3 skunks, 3 opossums, 2 armadillos, 1 raccoon, 1 coyote, 1 bobcat, and 1 vulture. A turkey vulture was scavenging a deer carcass, and a black vulture fed upon the dead raccoon.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: