Sunday, May 20, 2012

Hilton Head Eats

After a week spent on Hilton Head Island (South Carolina) I can say with confidence that I want to go back. For the sun, the sand, the surf and the food. We ate so well when we were on Hilton Head. All independent restaurants with great menus, friendly service and excellent food. So here's where we ate.

Scott's Fish Market - This restaurant was just across the way from our resort. The Down Under Shrimp, crusted with coconut and served with a honey mustard dipping sauce, was so good I was a bit disappointed that I had agreed to share with David. Our mains were also delicious and the portions large enough that I enjoyed leftover salmon for lunch the next day. We finished this meal with a slice of deep dish pecan pie that was also a winner. I convinced David to try this dessert on the basis that it was really just a big ol' butter tart with pecans. He wasn't sorry. The crust on this pie was perfect - very buttery and flaky.  Next time I have my eye on the Island Key Lime Pie.

The Salty Dog Cafe - The Salty Dog is obviously an island institution. I noticed people wearing SDC t-shirts on the beach when we first arrived on the island and it was recommended to me before we even left on our trip by a colleague. It's located in the Southern part of Hilton Head, so before our (early) dinner we took a trip to Harbour Town to see the iconic lighthouse. I tried the Shrimp Fest Gumbo Bowl, which includes sausage and Cajun spices along with fresh shrimp. A small cup went a long way - the Cajun spices mean business! David had fish (flounder) and chips with coleslaw and hush puppies. I can testify to the tastiness of this dish as well, having had a bite or two. Daniel and Patrick were not as adventurous in their dinner selections but it was nice that all the restaurants we visited had a kid's menu with some old reliable favourites available. The Salty Dog had the perfect place for a fun photo-op that resulted in one of my favourite snaps from our trip!

One Hot Mama's - This restaurant literally saved our evening. We had had another great day on the beach and in the pool, then I suggested an ill-fated road trip that made us really, really late for dinner. (We didn't even get near a restaurant until 7 p.m., which is late for us.) The kids had been so good and all they wanted was McDonald's. So we gave in, despite having set a 'no McDonald's' challenge before leaving for Hilton Head. I had noticed OHM listed in a restaurant guide for the island and was keen to try it. Unfortunately so was everyone else! So we ordered takeout and was it ever worth the wait. Ribs, with a sauce so sweet and tangy I could have drank the extra cup of it they provided. Ribs that were so tender and falling off the bone I didn't even need a knife to eat them. The mac and cheese I ordered as a side was the best I've ever had in the States. Usually it's too gooey, gloppy and artificial. This was the real deal. David had a pulled pork sandwich served with coleslaw that was just as tasty. My only regret is that we tried OHM near the end of our trip.  I would definitely go back!

We drove down to HHI but our road trip to and fro yielded few culinary delights. (Save a very good and necessary chocolate milkshake from Sonic during a torrential downpour near Columbia, SC.) 

So that's it. Our most favourite eats of Hilton Head Island, 2012. 

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