Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Fat-Guy World Tour '02 is shaping up


Fat Guy
 Share

Recommended Posts

The departure date has been set. On April 3, 2002, I (Fat-Guy) will be heading off on a cross-continent mega-road-trip with Mrs. Fat-Guy (a/k/a Ellen Shapiro) and Fat-Dog (a/k/a Momo).

The plan is developing as such: We will start by driving to Charleston, SC, where we'll stay for a couple of days.

Our next focal point will be the "Redneck Riviera," specifically the Seagrove Beach, FL, area.

We will do a brief exploration of the Alabama-Mississippi-Louisiana Gulf Coast on our way to Austin, TX.

We will continue driving the extreme Southerly route through Tucson and on to San Diego.

Then we'll drive all the way up the West Coast, stopping in most of the key areas (LA, SF, Portland, Seattle, various wine regions), until we reach Vancouver, BC.

The current plan, subject to placing some articles I'm trying to sell, is to drive the whole way back across Canada, visiting all the major cities and visitable areas near (and, on occasion, not-so-near) the border, perhaps going all the way out past Quebec and into the Eastern provinces.

Finally, down the East Coast through Maine and back to New York City.

So . . .

Can we start with the Charleston and Gulf Coast portions of the trip? This is where we are most imminently in need of inside information. I'm quite unfamiliar with South Carolina barbecue, for example. Am I going to find any in or around Charleston and if so where? Anybody have great dining (or just general travel) suggestions for the Gulf Coast? Tell all.

I'm going to keep this and other road-trip topics on the Adventures in Eating board for now, even though this topic will probably have a lot of regional components. We can always do internal links where appropriate.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Somewhat off-topic, but I am very interested in the fact that you are travelling with your dog.  I am also a dog owner and hate leaving her behind when I take vacations.

I would appreciate it if you would include in your travelogue some mention of how you handled having Momo with you, such as what type of accomodations allowed pets, what restrictions were in place, and where you left him while dining out, etc.

Thanks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I haven't been to Charleston since I was 12 or so, but Bon Appetit did a feature on dining in Charleston in the April 2002 issue. It may be online at epicurious.com; worth a look.

I doubt you will find authentic South Carolina BBQ in Charleston proper. Charleston has always had visions of itself as a highly cultured city, as a little cosmopolitan oasis between the ocran and the red-clay wastelands. You're much more likely to find highbrow versions of shrimp and grits or some kind of gourmet version of bbq with chipotle. But you may luck out on the road to or from Charleston, since the best BBQ is often found in those little roadside shacks. You may wish to consider detouring through Lexington, NC on your way South for some renowned North Carolina BBQ, or if you're taking I-85 through Greensboro, NC stop by Stamey's (and don't forget the peach cobbler).

I'm very interested in what people have to say about the Gulf Coast. Erin (my partner) and I are considering taking a trip to NOLA and driving along to Florida in June, but we haven't made up our minds what we're doing yet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Malawry: We need to get to Charleston in a single day's drive and be there in time for dinner, so there will be no stopping except for elimination purposes. We were in Lexington last month, though, and did pretty well on the barbecue front.

Ron: I will discuss Momo's participation in the trip at length, and it's a subject I'd like to write about professionally but the assignments have been hard to come by. Also, if you e-mail me privately, I'll send you some notes on how traveling with him has worked out in the past.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sticky Fingers is a definite for lunch, though my understanding is that it's not actually a South Carolina barbecue place but, rather, a Memphis-style place. (The thing I really like about it is that the Web site's URL is www.stickyfingers.net but if you intuitively type www.stickyfingers.com you get a porn site; I also like the slogan "Too much pork for just one fork," which is the restaurant's slogan not the porn site's in case you were curious.) We're also at Charleston Grill and Peninsula Grill for dinners. Sorry I didn't provide the outlines of my plans in my previous post. I know it's annoying for someone to ask, "What should I do in city X" and then when you answer say, "Well, sure, I already planned that!" I get follow-up e-mail like that all the time, after I've taken the time to answer reader questions, and it always makes me cringe.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You're in Charleston for two nights and not hitting Bowen's Island? ??

I urge you, doubly urge you, to pass over one of those fancy schmancy restaurants you've listed and do dinner in the Oyster Room at Bowen's Island.  Wear old clothes, bring along some iodine for the nicks from the oyster shells, and don't eat too much lunch.

Did I steer you wrong with Carman's?  Get thee to Bowen's Island!!!

Bowens-Shovel.jpg

Oysters, gathered that afternoon, are roasted by the burlap bag-full

and delivered to your table by the steaming shovel-full.

Bowen's Island at HollyEats.Com

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

Twitter

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Steve-

"Too much pork for just one fork?"  That's the title of a 1991 album from a local (Chapel Hill, NC) band, Southern Culture on the Skids.  They have a lot of food-related songs on their albums.  I just want to make sure that someone finds the original reference to this line!

Dean McCord

VarmintBites

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for that excellent bit of sloganeering sleuthsmanship, you ole varmint, you.

Holly, the oyster joint sounds great. The visits to the other two places are work-related and therefore irrevocable, but maybe we can accommodate Bowen's on the way out of town in the late afternoon. It's really just oysters?

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In the oyster room it is oysters, along with cocktail sauce and crackers.  You can order beer and such.  Plus I think you can order off the rest of Bowen's menu, mostly fried fish, that is served in the other rooms, as long as everyone at the table also orders oysters.  The late Mrs Bowen was famous for once kicking out the mayor of Charleston because he wouldn't order oysters.

I rate Bowen's as one of the most unique restaurants in America.  It would be a shame to miss it when you're in Charleston.  Not sure when they open in the late afternoon / evening.  Give them a call.

Now as to lunch, I've got a spot for you there, too.  Carman found it.  Backman's Seafood.  It's a fish market, which owns their own fleet of shrimp boats.  They moor out back.  Only customer seating is a picnic table outside, next to the fish market.  Mr Backman has a stove, a kettle and a frying pan in the market.  He'll boil up a mound of white shrimp (a Charleston area specialty and as fresh as you'll find em), keep them coming, and then cook up anything else he's got on hand.

Backman's Seafood at HollyEats.Com

Both Backman's Seafood and Bowen's Island are on James Island south of Charleston.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

Twitter

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Holly you are a treasure trove of information. I only hope we'll be able to work one or both of those places in.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am very interested in the fact that you are travelling with your dog. I am also a dog owner and hate leaving her behind when I take vacations.

I guess, it depends on the temperament of your dog.

I had an airedale-terrier, and she was just impossible to travel with; never calmed down, always full of energy. Since i couldn't trust her to any kennel, my husband and i always took vacations separately...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are a lot of disadvantages to having a bulldog: They're expensive to obtain on account of their rareness and expensive to maintain on account of all their health problems. They don't live all that long. They're very vulnerable to heat and all sorts of other stuff. Most of them sink when you put them in water. They're extraordinarly strong and stubborn and therefore not all that easy to train -- and you have to train them because adult male bulldogs are easily capable of killing just about anything up to and including bulls.

But one big advantage is that they're mellow and quiet, and the other big advantage is that everybody loves them. You can take a bulldog anywhere and he'll pretty much just sleep and be cool. They don't bark -- they snore. Ours is kind of young so he still has a little bit of manic puppy energy, but 20 minutes of fetch drains it out of him and he'll just sleep for 3-4 hours -- plenty of time to go get a meal or do whatever. He'll sleep in a strange place, in the van, or even in the middle of East 93rd Street. And wherever you go, when you get out of the van with the bulldog, crowds gather.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You can take a bulldog anywhere and he'll pretty much just sleep and be cool.

Hmm.  Different from sixteen year old babies, then.  Wish I'd known.

Sounds like you're fully booked for Charleston already.  We were there summer before last and liked Anson, which was doing, I suppose, a modern bistro version of low country cooking.  Does that make sense?  Two downsides to Charleston: everywhere seemed to be closed by eleven o'clock, and they have some seriously zany liquor law which prevents bars and restaurants pouring from a full-sized bottle.  All hard liquor is served in little plastic miniatures, which the shelves in bars look stupid, and gives you the sense of being in an airplane all the time.

We liked Savannah better.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

BPC: Is that where you're at? We plan to pass through the Mississippi Gulf Coast area but have nothing whatsoever scheduled there. We'd appreciate advice on dining, lodging, and attractions. We could probably spend a day or two in that area before moving on to Louisiana.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, no, I'm in Jackson, but have spent much time in the Gulfport/Biloxi are.

Possible place to visit:

http://www.msshipisland.com/

http://www.nps.gov/guis/

http://www.beauvoir.org/

Various Casinos, if you are interested in such.

As far as lodging goes, I usually stay with friends, or the military bases, but...

http://www.bbonline.com/ms/fatherryan/

The Father Ryan House Bed & Breakfast Inn

Biloxi, Mississippi

would be nice. :D

As far as food, look up these in the phone book when you get there:

Blow Fly Inn-Don't let the name fool you.  The best ribs I ever had, came from there.

Lil Ray's Seafood-Po-Boys are their specialty.  Try the speckled trout if they have it.

Robby's is the same as Lil Ray's

Try this:

http://www.gulfcoast.org/mcrba/

Click on On-line Dining Directory, next on Seafood & Local Fare

Link to comment
Share on other sites

directly south of Tallahassee along the undeveloped coastal areas west of the st marks' wildlife refuge you can find some very interesting local bars that serve smoked mullet and all other types of fried local catches & oysters on the halfshell, ect, all served up alongside an icecold longneck.  i have been to posey's and ouzt's [OO-zez] a number of times.  lots of, er, local color.

further west in a very small town is a restaurant called carrabelle's, [i don't remember the name of the town--does anyone?]  --  they serve very good fried fresh seafood platters and homemade pies...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Smoked mullett sounds great  :p

I tried smoking a mullet once, but the pricipal caught me and almost expelled me...

I wonder if our friend col klink, who always seems to be talking about smoking meats in the PacNorthWest forum knows about smoking mullet.

Jon Lurie, aka "jhlurie"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ellen, Steven, I know, you hitting Maine is far off, but on the way "down east" here is one in Canada: "Collingwood Eatery" among world's 10 best , close to Creemore, a 20-minute drive from Collingwood on the shore of Georgian Bay. ( About 90 Miles NNW of Toronto). Here is a write-up about the place:

http://www.nationalpost.com/search....%20food

Also, Korby Kummer writes about "Fore Street" Rest. in Portland Maine, in the last issue of "Atlantic"

Furthermore I recommend "Moody's Diner" in Wiscassett ME. When Maine gets closer to you, email me and we might be able to meet, I live outside of Augusta

Peter
Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...