Day two consisted of more flawless weather, more shopping (Charleston has fabulous boutiques on King Street), more eating, and more martinis. What more could a girl want?
I’m a creature of habit, I’ll admit it. I have eaten at Poogan’s Porch before, but this time, another lovely in our party suggested this gem on Queen Street, and I seconded. I love the restaurant’s story so much, I have to share it here:
Built as a spacious and grand Victorian home in 1888, the structure and its neighborhood had, by 1976, changed suitably to allow for the conversion of the house into a restaurant. The owners sold their home and moved away. A little, down-home Southern dog named Poogan stayed behind.
As far as he was concerned, our porch was his. After all, he’d been a neighborhood fixture for years, wandering from porch to porch, in search of back scratches and table scraps, endearing himself to all. From his proud porch perch, he served as official greeter. It seemed only right to the name the restaurant after him. Poogan died a natural death in 1979. We still miss him. His porch and restaurant live on in his honor.
So yeah, Poogan’s Porch is named after a dog (dog people of the world rejoice), and it also gets some ghost action, according to one hostess I spoke to, but that’s another story. We rocked up to the restaurant without a reservation, on a Monday, and still had a 30-minute wait. That was OK…we whiled away the time sipping cold beverages, while a stellar breeze blew through the always-open front door, off that now-famous front porch.
Last time I dined at PP, I stuck close to my paleo diet and had a decent (though un-remarkable) salad with salmon. This time, I thought, paleo, schmaleo. You only live once, and when in Charleston, it’s practically criminal if you don’t partake of a traditional, delectable Southern staple: shrimp and grits. And at Poogan’s Porch, the Fried Green Tomatoes and Shrimp & Grits (and warm biscuits and sweet butter) are SMACK YOUR MAMA GOOD. (Of course, I didn’t smack my mama…you can see she’s all good in the photo below.) 😉
But OH MY GAHHHHH, the shrimp and grits. The biscuits. To. Die. For. And to top it all off, we had a sweet waiter named Christian, who my auntie (a priest’s wife) cajoled into holding hands with us, seance-style, for a prayer before lunch. Yep, that’s how we roll down South.
After Poogan’s Porch, you’d think my day couldn’t get better, but it did. I reserved a table at my faaaaaaaaaaaavorite Charleston restaurant, Hall’s Chophouse, weeks before our arrival. I knew our birthday girl would love celebrating her milestone 50th birthday there, and I was so right.
Before heading into the restaurant, we took some photos outside. Here I am with Mom; this is a pretty good shot of my 2014 reddish hair makeover. What do you think? I am loving it.
When you venture out to Hall’s, you will most likely be greeted at the door by the sounds of live jazz music, and a smiling Mr. Bill Hall himself. A true Southern gentleman and consummate host, he will make you feel like you’re the reason he exists, no matter how busy the first floor bar/dining room may be, and it was packed the night we were there. I love Hall’s because downstairs, you get a lively atmosphere and the very best cuisine. There are a lot of stuffy steakhouses in the U.S.; Hall’s is not one of them.
Naturally, I ordered a dirty martini,
again always with bleu cheese-stuffed olives, because Hall’s does them so very well. Hugh, who has worked at Hall’s for four years, took great care of us at the bar. No one else in our party had ever experienced Hall’s, but they were already duly impressed.
If you pass through Charleston, Hall’s Chophouse is simply a must. Order a Filet Mignon with a side of Black Truffle Butter, and spread it generously on your warm steak; it’s worth the extra workout time! Finish dinner with Whiskey Bread Pudding and a flute of champagne or a Tawny Port. This is truly the stuff food dreams are made of. My foods dreams, anyway.
Aside from the incredible food, Mr. Bill Hall takes Southern hospitality to a new level, and I am not kidding about that. He not only made my cousin’s 50th an amazing, unforgettable experience with top-notch service, he called me the next day to personally thank us for choosing Hall’s for the occasion. It’s no wonder why his restaurant was absolutely chock full on a Monday night. Now you now why I never set foot in Charleston without setting foot in Hall’s Chophouse.
GO. Trust, lovelies!