I am new to this forum, but have been writing a weekly restaurant column here in Charleston for the past five years, and think that there is one point that most in this thread have missed. The southeast, particularly the South Carolina Lowcountry (pardon my bias) is simply a fantastic place to live (I would keep it a secret if I could, but it is far too late). As a result, people of all stripes choose to come here, whether it's the weather, the people, the growth or for us, the water. And luckily for all of us, some of them open restaurants. This means we now have good Thai, decent Indian, and a host of truly wonderful small independents that raise the bar for everyone here. The rest of us help those great people succeed. I have also seen (perhaps this is unique to the tourist towns) it become difficult to find good restaurants serving some of the Lowcountry's most classic foods like simple fried seafood because it's so easy to hand a mediocre example to a tourist for an outrageous price and be successful. All in all, though - the progress is quite amazing, and I love watching it all happen from a seat in the dining room, or a spot behind my own stove.