167 Raw – Brings Truth to Seafood in Charleston

By Mark A. Leon
By Mark A. Leon

If you get to 167 Raw early enough or stay late enough, you will see the owners biking to and from work.? As you enter this tiny diamond in the rough across the street from Harris Teeter on East Bay Street, you will see what appears to be a fish market and raw bar with large fresh oysters, daily fish and shell fish options for home consumption.

If you are dining in, ease into one of the tables, sit across from the chefs in the kitchen or chat up the bartenders behind the bar and kick back with a good craft beer or glass of wine and enjoy a memorable seafood experience.

This heavenly seafood place will rock your world.? Charleston is the sister location to 167 Raw located on Nantucket Island.

First, we want to dive in and let you know they offer a lobster roll. Yes fresh lobster roll and wow is a word to describe this must have.? This single item will highlight your experience and linger with you long after you exit the building and enjoy the rest of your evening.? The plentiful portion is worth sharing and we encourage it.

ceviche
ceviche

The ceviche was one of the finest I have ever encountered from coast to coast.? Served with warm homemade chips that are thick and light and just the right seasoning made this the perfect combination to start your dining experience.

The Ahi Poke and Pork tacos were ridiculously good. Savory and bursting in flavor.

Whether you chose those or others among the other decadent selections, you will be overwhelmed with three aspects:

  • The healthy portion of fresh protein ingredients
  • Carefully selected toppings to compliment the taco and offer the biggest win on the palate
  • The freshness of the seafood will scream with pleasure into your mouth

This also has a true coastal Charleston feel.? Take a fresh seafood market, a bit of trendy hipster staff, a rugged bartender with a hint of a beard, employees with warm smiles that truly care about their customers and enticing seafood that will quickly make you a regular and there you have 167 Raw.

A must dining experience for Charleston.

Fresh tacos
Fresh tacos

Roadside Seafood – A Coastal Dining Gift in Charleston

By Mark A. Leon
By Mark A. Leon

Once you step foot inside this tiny twelve table restaurant situated between the Island Bar and Convenience Store on Folly Road, you are swept away by the smell of traditional Southern fried wonder.? After inhaling your first 400 calories, it is hard to step away.? Ordained with a rustic coastal decor and lobster table clothes, you will feel right at home.? We must be fair, due to the size, there is often a wait for a table depending on the time of day.

Our waitress approached in her Roadside Seafood black tee-shirt and jeans and greeted us with a smile and structured her service to our needs, starting with a drink order all the way through final receipt of bill.? She even took the time to compliment my pairings which were taken well to heart.

This evening, we looked at all the elements of the menu and selected a eclectic range of edible treats.

Southwestern egg roll
Southwestern egg roll

The Southwestern shrimp egg roll is a must.? This gently fried roll is cut in half, oozing with cheese, with a mouth watering combination of seasoned sauteed shrimp black beans, corn and onions.? It is served with sweet chili sauce and BAM sauce.? We recommend you try both and determine your favorite.? This is great appetizer to begin your evening to indulge alone or share.

The Lowcountry She-Crab Soup offers a full bodied sweet and tangy flavor on your taste buds.? This soup is filled with a healthy offering of thick lumps of crab meat and savored with a touch of sherry.? We ordered the bowl and shared and still took some home.? It is a full and complete meal as a stand alone item.? Perhaps a cup may fill your personal needs.? Just a helpful hint.

If you are a fan of tacos and seafood, the BAM Shrimp Taco or Jerk Mahi will not disappoint your cravings.

For the entree, there is an offering of small and large baskets (Difference being one or two sides).? I went with the fried catfish with homemade mac and cheese.? Let us start with the mac and cheese.? It is prepared with large thick Penne style pasta and coated in thick creamy cheese.? You can do red rice, BAM cole slaw or sweet potato fries, but the mac and cheese is so delicious that it can be hard to pass up.

She-Crab Soup
She-Crab Soup

The catfish fillet was a large single piece fried and served up in a basket that was barely big enough for the serving size.? This dish is prepared with an number of spices to offer a sharp and moderately spicy kick as it goes down your throat.

All in all, a delightful dining experience that kept us full for most of the rest of the evening.

Combining traditional Southern cuisine with fresh seafood is a winning combination for Roadside Seafood located at 807 Folly Road, James Island.

Fried catfish
Fried catfish

Charleston Harbor Fish House – Brings Fresh Seafood and History Together

 

By Mark A. Leon
By Mark A. Leon

The Charleston Harbor Fish House, located at 32 Patriots Point Road is hidden well for a very specific reason, dare we say many reasons.

  • Intimate marina ambiance with magical harbor view of the USS Yorktown, sailboats and gorgeous western sunset.
  • Open outdoor second floor bar and dining area to feel the breeze of the harbor while enjoying a refreshing cocktail
  • Exquisite menu of fresh seafood, raw, cooked and fried to meet all your needs.
  • A walk through life on the water, with decor focused on a lifestyle on the water.
  • A warm and receptive staff from the wait service to management.

Haleigh was a model of sunshine as our waitress and representative face of the restaurant.? Her demeanor, pleasantries and warmth as we enjoyed a quiet evening out was presented almost flawlessly.? We were given the best table in the restaurant, situated on the far right corner by the back window overlooking the Yorktown and the sun setting just to our left.

As you make your way through the menu, it will come as no surprise that most of the entree selections are seafood based.? If you do not take part in seafood dining, there are three incredible options including braised short ribs, Filet Mignon and Buttermilk fried chicken.

If you are with a group and love the idea of raw indulgences, the Chilled Seafood Castle and Tower will be a perfect way to start or maintain all of you.? This is priced at market but includes:? Gulf and East Coast Oysters, little neck clams, mussels, Gulf Shrimp, snow crab legs, crab claws and lobster tails.? I think this sharable list of delights speaks for itself.

Grilled and Chilled Watermelon Salad
Grilled and Chilled Watermelon Salad

I was in a mood for a refreshing salad to whet my palate and I have to say, they have one of the most creative and refreshing spring and early fall salads I have ever enjoyed.? The grilled and chilled watermelon salad was a sizable thick slice of watermelon lightly grilled and chilled with a bed of arugula, feta cheese, marinated tomatoes, mint and chili oil on top.? With a solid watermelon foundation, a bit of spice and the right mix of tomato and feta, every bite was an enhanced rainbow of flavor.? This alone, could have served as a meal for many.

The smoked Salmon flat bread and Cedar Plank Salmon were the main courses of the evening.? The flat bread was a healthy 10 inches round made with a house ricotta, dill and preserved lemon and topped with a good portion of very fresh smoked salmon.? The richness of the ricotta and tangy smoked salmon made for a very nice combination.? Initially, I was not sure how that would fair, but it was a successful play.? The dill added for a nice aftertaste.

The salmon came out on a hot cedar plank.? Presented as a dark orange-pink and topped with a Sriracha honey-glaze and sided with grilled zucchini and smashed potatoes, the appearance was just as good as the taste.? A well designed and prepared coastal entree.

Fish House also offers tuna, grouper, swordfish crab cakes and shrimp & grits so do a little research first.? If you go in cold, you may have a difficult time narrowing your selection down.

From the initial setting of the sun to the darkness and Ravenel Bridge lights reflecting on the harbor, the Charleston Harbor Fish House delivered a memorable meal and very comforting dining experience.

Smoked Salmon Flat Bread
Smoked Salmon Flat Bread