This is one of the first things you see when you arrive at the Hominy Grill in Charleston, South Carolina. Painted on the side of the building, this waitress seems to assure you that inside you will soon be eating some great home-cooked food just like your Grandma used to make. Nationally acclaimed and locally beloved, the Hominy Grill is a Charleston institution serving classic Southern specialties. No cans are opened at the Hominy Grill. All of the food is prepared from scratch with fresh, locally raised ingredients. Chef/proprietor Robert Stehling first learned to cook at Crook’s Corner in Chapel Hill, NC. He then worked for several years in New York before moving to Charleston where he opened the Hominy Grill. He received the prestigious James Beard Best Chef Southeast award in 2008.
When we first arrived, we knew we would have a little wait given the number of people who were outside on the patio already waiting for a table. Given the gorgeous weather that Charleston is known for, waiting outside for our table was nice. Although there wasn’t a bar to stand at, the Hominy Grill does have a window where you can go up to and order whatever it is you would like to drink during your wait.
After about thirty minutes, it was our turn to eat. The six of us sat down at a table inside a nice bright room with what appears to be an old-fashioned stamped tin ceiling.
Next up, it was time to read the regular menu and review the daily board of specials. Almost of the dishes offered were Southern classics made with fresh ingredients. Right off, we knew that we would hit all three courses in our eating adventure–appetizers, main course and dessert.
We started off with fried green tomatoes with ranch dressing for the entire table. Is there anything more Southern than that? Did you know that there is not a special variety of green tomato that you grow to use when you make your fried green tomatoes? You just need to gather unripened, green tomatoes off the vine and batter and fry them.
After polishing off the fried green tomatoes in record time, it was time to move on to the main course. Take a look at this delicious dish of shrimp and grits, another Southern classic. The shrimp was sautéed with mushrooms, scallions and bacon and then served over cheese grits. In this dish, the bacon actually gave the dish a nice smoky and salty flavor when up against the smoothness of the grits and the tender shrimp.
What would the South be without something fried and then served with gravy and a biscuit? The Hominy Grill did not disappoint and several of us ate the Big Nasty Biscuit with a fried chicken breast smothered in cheddar and sausage gravy. When we saw this, all we could do is trick ourselves into thinking it only had 200 calories in it and then dig in. Talk about some good eating!
BBQ was also on order at the Hominy Grill. Southern barbeque is more vinegar based than other barbeques that you may have eaten. I like the bite that this type of barbeque offers. Here is the BBQ chicken sandwich with slaw. Vinegar BBQ heaven!
Are you ready for dessert? We were. We kept it simple and delicious as you can see. Nothing light about butterscotch pie and a chocolate brownie with vanilla ice cream, huh? The butterscotch pie was creamy and delicious. It has been quite a while since I had eaten butterscotch pie and this was a light and flavorful treat.
Now onto the chocolate brownie with homemade vanilla ice cream. Here’s the question–have you ever met a brownie a la mode that you didn’t like? I haven’t and the Hominy Grill’s selection was as good as it looks in this picture.
What a great brunch! At this point in a meal and after all of this food, all you can do is either go back to home base and take a long nap or walk it off. We thought it best to do some walking which is probably the right choice after you just finished devouring something called the Big Nasty Biscuit.
When we go on vacation, we do some sight-seeing, but for the most part our favorite part of a vacation trip is getting to know the locals through eating. The Hominy Grill in Charleston really got us acquainted with the food of South Carolina’s low country. Given that they try to utilize fresh and local ingredients, the food was really delicious. We hope you enjoyed our little eating frenzy at the Hominy Grill….we sure did. Do you enjoy dining out a lot when you are on vacation?