Charleston, South Carolina is renowned for its culinary scene and I was excited to sample as much as I possibly could during First2Board’s recent Charleston Sessions. I was doubly-excited, because we happened to be in town during Charleston Restaurant Week, which meant lots of discounted dinner options to choose from! Very Good Points booked a group of us a late dinner at 82 Queen, and that’s where our culinary adventure began.
The Restaurant Week menu offers 3 courses for $30, with a wide range of tantalizing entree options. I was truly torn, but fortunately Point Princess and I had our eyes on the same two entrees – the Sweet Tea Grilled Pork Chop and the Beef Short Rib – so we decided to share. To start, our entire table ordered the She Crab Soup, a famous local dish that we were all eager to try.
The soup has a nice crab flavor to it, but it’s too rich and thick for my tastes. I enjoyed it, but I didn’t think it was especially memorable or special – it needed something fresh or light to cut through the creaminess and introduce some textural variety. Point Summary had a different take though, so be sure to check out his review as well.
Fortunately, the entrees have much more depth of flavor, and I’m happy I got to try two of them.
82 Queen serves their sizeable pork chop on the bone; it’s full-flavored, but I found it to be just a tad on the dry side. It’s served with Southern Baked Beans, Crispy Mac & Cheese, Smoked Cheddar Ale Sauce, and a Plum Jam. Of those, the Mac & Cheese is the true star, with a great crispy crust and a gooey, velvety, cheesy center.
Unlike the pork chop, their Beef Short Rib is really, really tender. No knives necessary: I could’ve sworn that it started to fall apart just at the sight of my fork :). It has a rich, beefy taste and is exactly the kind of dish that satisfies the kind of beef cravings I’m prone to get from time to time! It’s served with Buttermilk Whipped Potatoes, Collard Greens, and Cheerwine Barbeque Sauce. You know you’re in the Lowcountry when you taste these greens, and my perfect plate would’ve been the short rib, the greens, and the crispy mac & cheese.
The restaurant week dessert rotates, and so we got to try the key lime pie. It was a great way to cap the meal, but unfortunately my phone died right before it was served, so I have no photos for you
I liked 82 Queen as a first introduction to Charleston cuisine. On the whole, the food was very good, and the atmosphere was quite charming. Many of the tables are in a outdoor courtyard, and it’s exactly the type of place I could see myself going to for date night if I lived in the area. If you find yourself in Charleston for a few days, it’s worth checking out.
Have you been to 82 Queen in Charleston? What was your experience like?
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