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Megaschooled on Lowcountry Cuisine A Dead Dog And A Visit To Poogan’s Porch Charleston South Carolina

What’s up Meg?

Tasty Tuesday – at Poogan’s Porch in Charleston, South Carolina

I’m on a South Carolina food journey to chow down at the best restaurant in each of the 46 counties while seeking the Top 100 Food Dishes To Eat In South Carolina While Alive, Or, Before Dead, Whichever Comes First.

Why This Stop?

Charleston, South Carolina is a city that repeatedly ranks high on lists of cities to visit on this planet. As an example, in 2018, picturesque and historical Charleston was rated best city to visit in the USA for the sixth year in a row. In 2016, Charleston, South Carolina was voted the Number 1 city in the world, and the Number 1 city in the U.S. and Canada. You get the idea. [1]

But since my Tuesday blog is about food, and I am looking for good chow in South Carolina touristy or not, I wanted to check out the place for myself.  Although Poogan’s Porch is not on the list that I am following, it has received many accolades the likes of; Martha Stewart, Southern Living, The Travel Channel and so on. Apparently, since their opening in 1976, many celebrities, and politicians, worldwide globe circlers, and local people alike have come to visit and their photos line the walls like shiny awards. But it wasn’t the recommends nor the accolades that brought me there.  Specifically, I was looking for some good “low-country” cuisine.

Although I am no expert on the following subject, I would be remiss in not writing about some things that I have learned from this food stop. So, bear with me for a few paragraphs, and I will add a few links for further reading.

What I learned about Lowcountry cuisine, to me, is that it is southern food and it is not. I would liken it to the grandmother of southern food.

The “Lowcountry” is technically a place that spans from Amelia Island, Florida to Sandy Island, SC and into the sea islands of North Carolina.  These peoples and this cuisine is one of the oldest melting pots in this country. With colonists from Europe, trade with the Eastern world, and Native American inhabitants, many unique foods were combined.

However, it was these colonists who brought slaves from West Africa to work on the plantations. The Gullah-Geechee peoples descend from these peoples and some later migrated, left the area, and some went to the Sea Islands off of the South Carolina coast. Here the Gullah language is still spoken, and the history is being preserved. [5]

I love the definition of soul food from Food Historian Michael Twitty – “African American food is more than just soul food, it’s more than just down-home, home cooking, it’s actually the highest cuisine in the Western consciousness married with the great ideas of the oldest cooks in the world, the Africans. [2]

So, imagine dishes from the sea, wild game, and rice, combined with foods and cooking methods that this group of slaves brought to this shore. Some of the slaves would work in the kitchens of the plantations.

As pointed out by food historian, Michael Twitty, some of these peoples were working alongside and being trained by classic French Chefs. [6]

It is said that the popularity of many of these foods was then brought to the public from the owners of the plantations. Of course, the slaves had to make do with whatever foods they had available to them, including the now popular nose to tail use of animals.

Poogan’s is located in a high rent district, yet quaint part of Charleston in a restored Victorian home.

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Poogan’s Porch of Charleston, SC

The tight quartered first floor has dining rooms and a bar area, the second floor holds more dining tables. I found the place to scream 1980’s florals but it was cute enough.

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A dining room in Poogan’s Porch of Charleston, SC

The bar was pretty full for a weekday morning *not judging* and had a good Victorian vibe that was more timeless.

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The bar at Poogan’s Porch in Charleston, S.C.

I stopped in for a late breakfast and although at first glance, I found the breakfast menu small, it was not The Waffle House. I was able to try a good variety of foods off of the menu.

But, because this is America, and I am over 18, I went straight for the rich foods. She-Crab soup

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She-crab soup from Poogan’s Porch of Charleston, SC

 Macaroni and cheese, with country ham and aged gouda.

Charleston Poogans

Macaroni and cheese with country ham and gouda at Poogan’s Porch in Charleston.

 

I have never understood chicken and waffles and yet they were somehow right. Sweet Potato Waffles with sorghum butter. Dang!

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Fried Chicken and Waffles at Poogan’s Porch Charleston, SC

French toast with infused cream and berries. Champagne macerated raspberries, mascarpone cheese, and candied pecans.

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Not the ho-hum French Toast and bacon at Poogan’s Porch Charleston, SC

For the non-adventurous breakfast seeker, they have you covered with the “Ike’s Down Home Breakfast”

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Ike’s Down Home Breakfast at Poogan’s Porch, Charleston, S.C,

Everyone shared these famous buttermilk biscuits.  See the link below for this recipe.

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Buttermilk Biscuits from Poogan’s Porch in Charleston, SC

Even though I had said I found a small menu, I should have said small but mighty, or small but interesting, with items such as pulled pork Benedict, shrimp Etoufee omelet, and shrimp and grits with tasso ham, gravy, and peppers.

I did not spend time investigating the ownership but note that this restaurant changed hands in 2017 and that one of the owners had been a line cook in/since 1977. However, I did learn that Poogan’s Porch is on haunted Charleston tours. I also learned that Poogan was a dog who was either abandoned by the former owners who left in haste or, Poogan wandered in and was loved and immortalized forever.

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R.I.P. Poogan Poogan’s Porch Charleston, SC  

MEGastars **** The food was above average and aside from the wait, I enjoyed my visit. I love that Poogan’s support local cuisine and take things up a notch. Overall, I would recommend this place to one who was visiting the historic area. On that note….

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I am thankful to have learned about this unique history and learning more about Lowcountry cuisine. Where else in the world do we find this combination?

After listening to and reading the philosophies of Michael Twitty, I expanded my horizon about the gentrification of these foods and its history. I know he will likely never read my blog but I bet he may want to school me on this subject or maybe slap me across the head. But when I really looked, I notice that Poogan’s description says that their food is a “fresh approach to Lowcountry cuisine.” I now know better and will do better Michael Twitty. I even have bone to pick with this city and it’s history-stay tuned for that write on an upcoming weekend.

MEGatips

  1. Unless you want to be in a crowded Victorian hallway with strangers, do make reservations. You may make them via Resy. Poogan’s Porch
  2. Parking is scarce, there is a parking lot located on the opposite side of the street.
  3. Link to Poogan’s Porch Buttermilk Recipe and get this, they are made with shortening, no wonder they are tasty! Poogan’s Porch Buttermilk Biscuit Recipe
  4. [1] [2] Gullah Geechee Peoples and travel rankings
  5. Link to Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage website. Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Site
  6. Link to Michael Twitty, Food Historian on YouTube by SCETV Origins of the Lowcountry Cuisine | Between the Waters 

 

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This MEGabites and MEGastars description is found at the bottom of each South Carolina Tasty Tuesday post. If you are new to my 100 Dishes South Carolina escapade, this may be helpful information.

Follow along on “Tasty Tuesday’s” as I make my way like Miss Pacman in yet another state that I call home. A culinary trip across scenic and historical South Carolina. *I select stops based on convenience of location and they are in no particular order.

The blogs will be available under the South Carolina 46 Best tab.

I am loosely following the list of “The best restaurants in each South Carolina County for 2016.”

Maybe the food from these chosen restaurants will make it on my list, and maybe they won’t. I often refer to this list as “46BestSC”

[1] sncksofjax.com

 

Unlike my “Alabama 100 “quest where I followed a formal list from Alabama Tourism, and to my knowledge, there is not a formal South Carolina “100 list.” I am making my own list the Meg way and have some food fun while making my way like Ms. Pacman, in yet another state that I call home.

I have been visiting places that vary from the Mom and Pop diners to the white cloth James Beard recipient eateries. A quest to find tasty dishes, unusual settings, and great foods that highlight folks who are dedicated to local food with pride and a whole bunch of South Carolina style.

I use a 5 MEGastar system.  For the most part, I am traveling a distance to try these dishes and these places get one shot at how I view the food and experience.   I will not be taking an average of three visit experiences and I factor this in when I give my star rating. That said, I’m very easy to please, I can overlook quite a bit and have worked in the foodservice industry.  I am not a *schooled food critic, just Meg, a curious traveler, with an interest in trying different foods and sharing my two cents on the experience.  I try to follow my own star system so that I may be fair to the wonderful dishes on this list.

  • *meh food. Just wasn’t good. Maybe the food came from a can? or,  the place was not one that I would want to send someone to show pride in South Carolina.   This has happened to me a few times and is always a difficult write for me.
  • ** passable – the food was “ok” but the place was not “ok” or vice versa.
  • *** good but not outstanding or unique.
  • **** Very tasty dish AND meets one of the definitions set forth by Meg. Local food and/or truly highlights South Carolina Pride.
  • ***** I actually died, went to heaven and came back when I ate the dish. And/Or, something is very unique, something you cannot get anywhere else.

Paying Homage to Anthony Bourdain At A Dublin Chipper

To me, the Dublin Roma II episode is a good representation of what I had loved about him the most. His fluency in street talk could switch to haut monde as easily as flipping a switch.  He spoke my language with his witty Bourdanism's. 

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Wright On Madison-Frank Lloyd Wright’s Monona Terrace.

I thought certain elements that were just weird to me in design concept looked amazing in practice. Clearly, I am no visionary.

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Kicking It In Key West On The Cheap

Casual Key West and your fun on the cheap, quirky, colorful and bike friendly town, you had me at hello and cuban coffee.

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Meg Visits Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum – Key West Florida

I love his hard hitting truth. Some of my favorite quotes came from this contraption and here are a few.

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You Color My World New Orleans

Travel Thursday MEGastyle. I Can’t seem to stay away from this city with that camera. It’s alive, it’s heart beats 24/7 and it’s head wears so many faces; beauty, mystery, delicious, funky, weird, mysterious, artistic,spooky and historical.

Jackson Square

Jackson Square Day History and Beauty

History is everywhere. And the views don’t quit at night.

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I love how the vibe changes at night.

Color my world

Color my world

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“Keep Austin Weird” has nothing on this city. Characters are everywhere.  Such a wide variety of people, I could people watch all day and night.

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This city feels like a whole other planet sometimes.

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Wear your music

Wear else does this happen on a Sunday afternoon? My favorite  NOLA quote sums up this vibe.  “We dance even if there’s no radio. We drink at funerals. We talk too much and laugh too loud and live too large and, frankly, we’re suspicious of others who don’t.” – Chris Rose, 1 Dead in Attic, 2006

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Even the pets get in on the street scene. Check out this dog and the man holding his  HUGE ASS BEER !

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This dog pulled at my heartstrings. I was hoping that this dog wasn’t medicated and I googled the situation.  Seems like the owner has him trained to be dead and puts him in a coffin box requesting $ for his burial. And, of course above as a passed out canine lush.  This is one hard working dog.  Is there a dog protective services?

I find the buildings in this city so varied and interesting. Architecture is everywhere. Took this pic at Christmas. PEACE Y’ALL Right on NOLA!

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Cool Ironwork!

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The windows  and shutters in the French Quarter buildings are unique and I  ❤ Terriers!

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The unique graveyards are world famous. It’s like people watching but they happen to be in their forever place.

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The graveyards are probably one of my favorite places to take photos.   Super interesting.

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Last December, I even practiced. But, did return to the living and faced the music.

The music is a beating heart. Take the time to learn about how NOLA played a huge role in music!

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 I recently learned that there is a National Park in the heart of this city. I had even been there once, not realizing that they offer free music history tours.  Unfortunately, this visit I was there on a weekend and the tours were not available. I’m going to do this on another visit. 

Who knew?

Who knew?

Luckily, I found my own way. This Jazz Band was so much fun!

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Taking the music to the streets.

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My visits to NOLA are quite the ride. It is not just a unique city in the USA, but is a unique world destination.

I give my visit 5 MEGastars ***** There is truly something here to suit all interests. From family friendly  to party central.

MEGatips

  1.  If you have a chance, visit this fun city. Don’t forget to get out at night and stay safe.
  2. If you have the kids, do some research. Bourbon Street can be a bit confusing to the kiddies. Lots of great things to do with the fam.
  3. Bring your camera.
  4. Visit an art gallery
  5. Try to get to that National Park area for their tour. It is easy to miss and the website outlines the limited hours.  Save your parks!
  6. The food is equally as fun, I wrote a separate piece on the eats NOLA style. “New Orleans food is as delicious as the less criminal forms of sin.” -Mark Twain
  7. What happens in NOLA stays in NOLA

Magnificent Munich

I am in love. I love Germany, I love Bavaria, I love Munich.  “Far Away Friday” in this great city.

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Bavaria stole my heart.  I wrote in four other parts;Dachau, Rothernburg ob der Tabuer, Wieskirche and Neuschwanstein.  This was one of those MEGASTOPS that will remain with me forever.

While the countryside of Bavaria was fairy tale and peaceful, I found Munich to be energetic, historical and a whole lot of fun.

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Here are a few sights that i took in.

OLD

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Mix of old and new

Mix of old and new

Great mixture of old and new. Beautiful churches with amazing craftsmanship.

Munich is a fun place to walk around and see ‘stuff.”  Great parks, A mix of old and new. Castles, gardens, parks and squares.

Interesting things that I see while zooming around this planet. Yes, it is touristy sight, but I am a tourist, Duh!  And w ho doesn’t have this on their bucket list?

One of the places that represent this city has to be the Glockenspiel in the tower/balcony of the Neues Rathaus. It is in the Marienplatz Square. Since 1908 people have been gathering for the 12 minute scene. 32 figurines that represent stories from Munich’s history, revolve on two levels. Cooper’s dancers, an angel of peace and the city coat of arms. Right on!

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You can go to top of tower and see city sights. On the day that I visited there was construction and I missed out.  I really want to do this and hope I get another chance.

Unusual things Imust see while zooming around this planet

Unusual things I must see while zooming around this planet!

Not pictured is some pretty cool shopping nearby. I didn’t do because I got a bit thirsty. Which brings me to the beer. Born in Milwaukee and raised in Wisconsin.  The largest German population in the U.S.A., there is a little bit of beer, and a whole lot of party. Munich had that familiar spark.

Nearby there is a market not to be missed. Oddly, I must have deleted my photos from the market area.  Viktualienmarkt (a farmers’ market.)  Picture fresh fruits, vegetables, sausage, cheeses and yep beer under beautiful oak trees.  Speaking of beer.

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This is the real deal.  Not a beer drinker?  This location offers a fantastic lunch stop in a beautiful courtyard.   You can wander around inside and buy some goods. Music plays on a stage indoors.  Great menu in a fantastic setting. 5 MEGastars for this place!

My favorite meal in Munich was a completely unexpected find. I peeked into the door of a recommended German restaurant, I just wasn’t feeling it, and decided to walk up the street to a flea market that I had noticed on the drive in.

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I found this neighborhood park. Apparently, it was beer o’clock here.

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I wonder if this man saw my “secret” snap. I was trying to be polite.

I found a full on neighborhood shindig in this lil park. There was a band, food carts, people joining in the music and more beer. I ate the BEST food here. There were about 5 carts with different foods and a bakery cart.  Wish I had more snaps to share.

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The food was not a mutant hybrid.

I may have had some fun here.  Seems I stayed past dark.I took some blurry photos

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Great sites, great walks, great markets, great beer, great friends. What more could a girl ask for?  I have put Oktoberfest onto my bucket list and hope that I can spend a bit more time in  Magnificent Munich!

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I love Germany and it loved me!

And I always try to find a cool toilet.  Outside of that beer garden cause when ya gotta-ya gotta go.  Bring your € !

COOL TOILETS W/C

COOL TOILETS W/C

Some quirky photos are on https://instagram.com/kickingthebucketlistwithmeg/

MEGastars-5***** Love

MEGatips

  1. Spend more than a few days in this fine city.
  2. I stayed in a few Munich locations. I loved Marriott Residence Inn Munich East. In the Haidhausen District. Just steps away from The Munich Ostbenhauf (train station) and just 7 minutes to downtown.  I had a car and there was underground parking.  An amazing breakfast buffet. Super clean-modern rooms and outdoor seating.  A 25 minute drive to the airport and near that fun park. This was one of my favorite stays europe ven alp mun 265
  3. There are many great restaurants nearby. I loved that park.  I also ate at L’ANGOLO DELLA PIZZA – Ristorante, Bar & Holzofen-Pizzeria.  You need reservations but they let me have someone else’s spot as they were late. Oops, sorry, their loss. europe ven alp mun 257

In Search Of Bigfoot “The Swamp Wookie,” Louisiana Style

Travel Thursday and back in the always funky and lively New Orleans, Louisiana.  Sooner or later, the party always ends and nature calls.

I have been on swamp tours before, but this trip sought out a location to the north of Lake Pontchartrain, and much thanks to my friend “Google,” I found this gem where a Bigfoot has reportedly been spotted. Bonus!  Honey Island Cypress Swamp Tours in Slidell, Louisiana, turned out to be a really swamptastic side trip.

 What I absolutely loved about this tour was the unique and gorgeous natural setting. Using a small boat enabled the skilled tour guide to get us from the beautiful Pearl River into a tight area of the 250-square-mile Honey Island Cypress Swamps.


Great views along this river gives lots of opportunity for nature photography.

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Because this is a migratory area, our tour guide was able to point out some rare birds along the way. Other birds in the area include; bald eagles, waterfowl, herons, egrets, ibis, owls, osprey.


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Located next to a nature preserve in an undisturbed clean, very unique natural setting.   There is a lot of wildlife in this area. Of course, we came to see some Gators and hopefully a Bigfoot. We did see some gators and so many turtles.

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Hi handsome. what happened to your face?
Interesting fact, there are only two places on Earth where one can see alligators. The United States and China. (I had just visited The Everglades in Florida.) There are crocodiles other places on Earth. There were people in our boat from other countries, and I had to stop and think that seeing one of these slimy ancient creatures is really a special thing to experience.

Other animals that live here are; deer, feral hogs, nutria, raccoon, otter, beaver, mink, turtles, frogs.

THE highlight for me was seeing this swamp-angel in the wild.


   I thought people sure could confuse this creature with a Bigfoot but reportedly area sightings has him standing at 7 feet tall. The Honey Island Swamp Creature has been the source of books and T.V. shows.

I learned some survival skills

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Fishing for some crawfish

The hanging moss and cypress the trees, gives one a glimpse of this unique United States setting. I thought it might stink, but I found it to have a beautiful scent. I learned that it’s one of the least-altered river swamps in the country. It’s pretty much in its original condition, almost a pristine wilderness.

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MEGASTARS 5*****

 

MEGATIPS

  1. This swamp tour is fantastic and very easy for people of all ages.  I highly recommend this tour. It received the 2014 Trip Advisor Award.
  2. Want to see gators? We did not see many as compared to other Swamp tours that I had been on. Visit Jean Lafitte National Historical Park at the Barataria Preserve area. I have not yet visited this park but I sure will. Two women who sat next to me on the tour said it was loaded with gators, snakes and other wildlife from a safe boardwalk area.
  3. The greater Slidell area has a population for 90,000 and there are some great places to dine. I visited on a Monday and many of them were closed so I ate in Mandeville at ACME Oyster House-Yum!
  4. Bring your camera; there is ample opportunity for nature photography.
  5. Make an easy reservation before your visit.
  6. I loved that this tour operator did not beg for tips, our family personally gave him a great tip and thank you.
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