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Shrimp & Grits and more

Our extended weekend at Sullivan's Island, SC was great, with plenty of food and drink to be had. If you're in the Charleston area, check out The Mustard Seed, a great local restaurant serving vegetarian, Tex-Mex, Thai, Lowcountry and just about every other kind of food. Prices are reasonable ($10-15 for well-portioned entrees).

Of course, going to the beach is also about cooking and eating lots of homemade food, at least in my family tradition. This includes Shrimp & Grits. My dad's taught me a pretty simple, yet tasty roux one can make sauteeing onions and celery (finely minced) in a mixture of butter (for flavor) and oil (so that butter doesn't burn). Once the veggies are getting good and cooked down, water, flour, Tabasco sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic power and salt and pepper finish things off. The main tricker with a good roux is to not add too much flour at a time, as it will turn into a clumpy mess in a hurry if you're not constantly stirring and adding in water dribble by dribble.

My friends all seemed most appreciative of this dish when I made it for Sunday brunch, including a friend that until fairly recently was a vegetarian. Tony, you're right. Now that you live on the coast (Boston), it's simply criminal to NOT eat seafood, especially if you're conscientious of what you're eating.

Fancier brunches aside, there's also nothing as pleasurable as grilling out hot dogs/hamburgers after a day on the beach. Our friend Beth made some great burgers by adding the usual suspects of garlic, salt and pepper, and a great new twist ... red chili powder! A flavorful kick that went great with her potato salad which had innovative use of dill.

As for drinks, I introduced friends to Yazoo, a great Nashville brewery. The Pale Ale's got a special place in my heart, as its Amarillo hop-base makes its flavor quite unique. Although I brought three 6-packs, they were no match for Tony, Steve, Shaloot, Jeff and the ladies sneaking a few. Yuengling was the "Official Beer of 2114 Pettigrew St." this past weekend, and a graveyard of green bottles filling the recycling bins attested to that. Oh, a few cans of PBR made the trip down from Boston with Tony, which combined with orange juice made a few Brass Monkeys, something akin to a poor-man's Mimosa or a bastardized version of a Shandy.

Good food, drink and friends, mixed with some bocce and sandcastle-building on the beach, makes for a great weekend.


  1. Yes!!! Can my husband write a blog post or what!!
    I have to second the Mustard Seed. Hands down, one of my favorite restaurants. Their shrimp & scallops risotto kicks soooooo much ass.


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