I may have missed the tasty, trendy Charleston Wine and Food Festival that ended this past Sunday amid great fanfare marking the five-day foodie affair, but I didn’t miss savoring the secrets eats loved by Lowcountry locals when I was in the Holy City this past fall.
Personal Chef/Caterer Benjamin “BJ” Dennis (#GeecheeEats), one of those participating in this past long weekend’s CHSWFF, was kind enough to lead the hubs and me to a little-known local hide-away, The Fabulous Ellen Bright Hall, situated way, way, way up on Upper King early one October Saturday afternoon. Sprawl may be happening to downtown Charleston, but the reno of Upper King has only made it so far as of yet. Thank goodness, this is not one of those places.
This is a purely local hang, known to us, frankly, only because of Chef BJ, whom I met at last year’s Indigo Retreat. Because BJ’s intense concerns regarding sharing and educating everyone about the local part of the indigenous foods of Charleston means he really cares…and shares.
The fresh-out-of-the water seafood is point of pride for owner/chef Aaron Short. This Lowcountry seafood scrumptiousness is Saturday-only because the rest of the week, Short’s on the case as an electrician for his entrepreneurial, self-run business. I think he told me it was a 6 days a week/20 plus years situation. I could be wrong; it could be more. Anyway, Short let me visit in his tiny kitchen (it got the job done, let me tell you!) and graciously posed for a pic in between orders.
Meanwhile, back at our table, BJ dug right in and showed us the ropes, helping us crack the mess o’ blue crabs were were served in a cardboard box with a lay down of Iocal newsprint. In the mix somewhere in between was Frogmore Stew, a couple of steamed seafood platters and fried mako shark. Possibly a hushpuppy or two. Lord-oh-lordy, I can’t wait to go back!