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MT. PLEASANT, SC: LOWCOUNTRY OYSTERS AND HOSPITALITY
Our love affair with Charleston is no secret. So on a recent trip to attend the Lowcountry Oyster Festival in Mt. Pleasant, we decided to base ourselves in Mt. Pleasant and find out how the other half lives. And, boy, do they live large!
After checking in to the Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina, we spent a few hours enjoying the fireplace in our beautiful room and the views of Charlestons Battery and downtown across Charleston Harbor and the USS Yorktown docked nearby. It was a perfect base for our weekend.
In keeping with our Mt. Pleasant theme, we decided to check out Chef Brett McKees (of Oak Steakhouse fame) new restaurant 17 North Roadside Kitchen right on Highway 17. With a commitment to farm-to-plate (theres a one-acre garden on-site) , an eclectic menu (think deviled eggs three ways, maple-glazed pork loin, and buttermilk fried chicken), and a comfortable and down-home vibe, Chef McKee is bringing a whole new meaning to roadside kitchen.
Saturday was all about the 27th Annual Lowcountry Oyster Festival. Hosted by the Greater Charleston Restaurant Association, the event at Boone Hall Plantation is touted as the worlds largest oyster festival. And, with over 15,000 attendees this year, wed venture to say thats accurate. In addition to buckets and buckets of the tasty bivalves (served steamed by the bucket with crackers and cocktail sauce), there was plenty of entertainment, oyster shucking and eating contests, adult beverages, and the most perfect oyster-eating weather that anyone could ask for. They live large in Mt. Pleasant.
We then headed over to Old Village Post House in downtown Mt. Pleasant. Part of Maverick Southern Kitchens (including Slightly North of Broad, High Cotton, and Charleston Cooks! in Charleston, as well as Greenvilles High Cotton, and High Hammock Maverick Seaside Kitchen up at Pawleys Island), Old Village Post House is housed in a beautifully restored 19th century wayside inn of yesteryear and features Lowcountry dining favorites like crab soup, shrimp & grits, and grilled barramundi over cheddar cheese grits. It was a perfect ending to our very pleasant Mt. Pleasant weekend.