If you live in Charleston, SC and you’ve never participated in Charleston Restaurant Week, you are missing out big time. During this two week period, restaurants around Charleston offer great deals where you get three courses for either $20, $30 or $40 and you get to experience restaurants you might not normally get to go to. This was our second Restaurant Week since we’ve been together and we decided to try out two restaurants we had never been to and two restaurants that are among our favorites, but had great deals during the fortnight.
After a great first experience with the fall edition of Charleston Restaurant Week dining at the new Lowcountry Bistro, Morgan and I tried out the second of the two restaurants we had never tried before- 82 Queen.
I had heard a lot of good things about 82 Queen, so it was definitely one we had to try. If you live in Charleston and have never been, 82 Queen is located at a couple doors down from the hot new spot, Husk. We walked down a short brick-laden walkway to the host. We were then escorted around a corner where we found out that 82 Queen has beautiful outdoor dining as its main option.
First things first, we ordered a bottle of wine while trying to act sophisticated like we knew what we were doing. Then, our server brought us amazing cheesy biscuits (we ended up ordering a few more and then he surprised us in the end by putting 9 more in Morgan’s to go box). Next up were the appetizers.
Morgan was so jealous of my fried green tomatoes from Lowcountry Bistro that she ordered the 82 Queen variety in hopes of matching the greatness. The tomatoes themselves were fried well, but the plain grits didn’t match up to the white cheddar grits I had at LB.
I chose to order their she crab soup because I had heard that it was award winning. It was quite tasty, but I didn’t really notice anything special. It was nice to have she crab soup again because, even though it is a Charleston staple, I feel like too much of a tourist ordering it.
After finally narrowing down our choices for entrees, Morgan settled on the Baja Fish Tostada. I think she was mostly attracted to the giant slice of pineapple that was served on the side. While everything was very fresh and certainly was a good balance of meat, toppings and crunchiness, there was no real “wow” factor. It tasted too much like it looked like it would.
After regretfully passing on white cheddar shrimp and grits at LB, I had to make a pass at it here. While the grits were not as spectacular as the ones at LB (and I truly don’t think I’ll ever have grits as tasty as I did there), the overall dish was quite yummy. A circle of BBQ shrimps topped the grits and surrounded a glob of melted cheddar cheese. Sprinkled across the top of the whole dish were crushed bacon bits. Nom. I was really satisfied with my entree and am glad I got to try it at one of the restaurants.
Finally, we finished off our experience with the two choices for dessert- key lime pie and chocolate bundt cake. Like the fish tostada, there was nothing really special about the bundt cake. It had the appearance and texture of something that came from a box. The key lime pie however was very good, partially because it wasn’t as lime-y as key lime pie usually is. This meant that it didn’t shock your taste buds as much and was easier to enjoy.
Overall, our experience at 82 Queen was up and down. We really loved how beautiful the outdoor dining was and the food was pretty good, but we were also cursed by having an extremely loud group of 8 semi-drunk people who were seated right next to our table. The group was loud and boisterous and was entertaining at first, but quickly became annoying. I don’t think you would run into a problem like this at a normal indoor restaurant, but since they were outside, I think they carried on more than usual. But if you can snag one of the secluded tables out on the patio on a nice cool evening, you’re in for a treat.