An October 2000 trip
to Hilton Head by vampirefan
Quote: Both Hilton Head and Beaufort offer their visitors some outrageously good eats. You have your choice of hundreds of restaurants. But these are the ones we gave a try.
At first glance, you may mistake Ollie’s by the Bay for just another historic home. The house was built around 1850. It was turned into this delightful restaurant in 1990. Ollie’s is a favorite of both locals and tourists alike.
You can chose to dine upstairs, in a more formal atmosphere, or you can go downstairs for a more casual feel. Or, if you are very lucky, you can grab outdoor dining, which gives you an amazing view of the Beaufort River. They are located on Bay St. You can just park in the municipal parking, and it is just a few minutes' walk.
Ollie’s offers patrons an array of fresh seafood, steaks, pasta, and sandwiches. They are also well-known for the fresh-made crab dip. If you order oysters, they shuck them right in front of you!
John and his mom are big seafood fans, but I am not. John loves shrimp and went with their shrimp sautéed in butter and a rich garlic sauce. It was served with a loaded baked potato and hushpuppies, as well as fresh-made coleslaw. John is very picky about coleslaw, but he loved this slaw. Oh, and in case you haven’t the foggiest what a hushpuppy is, it is a Southern thing! It is fried cornbread batter. They are yummy and wonderful with ketchup, tartar sauce, or cocktail sauce. Brenda had breaded grouper on a bed of herbed rice. She said it was one of the best pieces of fish she had ever had and noted the breading was perfect. Not too hard and not too mushy. She paired her fish entrée with a small house salad. I went with the steak. I got an 8-ounce filet minon that was sublime, with a wonderful peppercorn sauce on top. The steak was so tender, you almost didn’t need a knife. I also had a baked potato and house salad. Their house vinaigrette was simply wonderful. They do offer homemade tartar sauce for fish. They start you off with a loaf of homemade wheat bread that is marvelous. It is served with regular butter, herbed butter, and honey butter. I could make a meal of the bread and butter alone. For dessert, Brenda had a piece of chocolate cake that was oh, so yummy. It came with fresh cream and chocolate shavings on top. John and I split an apple brown betty that had an incredible walnut sauce on top and walnut ice cream. What a meal. Needless to say, we didn’t go away hungry.
They do serve both lunch and dinner. They accept major credit cards. They do not take reservations, except for parties of eight or more. They offer nightly entertainment inside five nights a week. If you want to grab an outdoor seat at sunset, make sure you come early. They do have a full-service bar. You can call them at 843-524-2500 for more information, or go to www.beaufortsc.org for more information.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on April 25, 2005
Ollie's by the Bay
822 Bay St.
Hilton Head, South Carolina
Restaurant | "Guiseppis Pizza and Pasta"
Located at Shelter Cove, behind Fudruckers, you will find a pizza place that will make your tastebuds sit up and take notice. Make sure you come in and visit the fine folks at Giuseppi’s Pizza and Pasta. They have been developing a large following of pizza fans since 1983. They have been voted best pizza in Hilton Head for seven years now and have received gourmet nods from many newspaper and magazine reviews, including the Atlanta Journal and Travel America.
Two frat boys started this shop, and their interior reflects that. It is quite comfy here, and you will find the atmosphere a fun place. This is a great place if you are not among the stuffy found all over Hilton Head. Or a great place for the stuffy who just want to be one of the regular folks. If they have a happy crowd, they will make a grand spectacle out of their pizza dough-tossing skills.
They offer a variety of subs, salads, pasta, boli (calzone), and something called a weggie, which sounds like a calzone to me. But since they offer calzones, I guess it is not. They offer a variety of pizzas, including several specialty pizzas, and about 20 toppings. They have a white sauce pizza that is inspired by the owner’s native California. They also offer a veggie pizza and veggie toppings for the vegetarian in your group. They do serve beer and wine.
All three of us easily agree on pizza, so we just went with a large pizza divided into thirds, and we got our own toppings. John went with pineapple and extra cheese, I went with pepperoni and tomatoes, and Brenda went with extra cheese and pepperoni. Their sauce is handmade and just wonderful. There are no words to describe their pizza. I think Homer Simpson says it best: Mmmm, pizza. If you don’t like this pizza, then what's the matter with you? We all went with a side salad - their house Italian dressing is so flavorful - and we also had garlic bread and marinara. Oh, my. We ended up quite full, with no room for dessert.
They do offer both lunch and dinner. They are open 7 days a week. They do not take reservations. They do offer local delivery and gladly deliver to the major resorts. In fact, we found out about them though Disney. They had a menu in our room. They do accept credit cards. For more information, call 843-785-4144 or go to www.hiltonheadfun.com.
Giuseppi's Pizza and Pasta
32 Shelter Cove Lane, Suite B
Hilton Head, South Carolina 29928
In the gated community of Harbour Town, you will find a local favorite, Crazy Crab. As you might guess, Crazy Crab offers some of the best and freshest seafood around (to include, yes, crab!). The great people at the Sea Horse Farms, where we went horseback riding, suggested this place to us.
Despite being in a gated community, this is a casual restaurant. So you will not feel out of place walking in wearing your jeans. They offer seafood and a smaller menu if you are not a seafood lover. They offer salad, chicken, and steak for the non-seafood patron or vegetarian. So if there is not a seafood lover in you, you are limited in your choices. When our waitress came out, she brought a fresh basket of hushpuppies with her for a snack. So we didn’t need to order an appetizer.
They are well-known for their crab pots, and since John loves crab, that is what he got. They bring out the crab in a pot, just like it sounds. This is locally caught, and John said it tasted incredibly fresh. I just have a problem eating something that stares back! On the side, you are served a ramekin of both melted garlic butter and melted herbed butter. He got a baked potato, and it came with a house salad. Brenda went with fried flounder, which came with your choice of rice or potato and fresh veggies or salad. Brenda went with potato and salad. I went with their rosemary baked chicken, which was just scrumptious. It was so tender and flavorful. I had mine on a bed of herbed rice and fresh veggies, which included carrots, corn, green beans, and zucchini. I also went with a side salad, which had this incredible fresh-made herbed ranch dressing. What a winner. Afterwards, we saved room for dessert since they had a tempting menu of ice cream, cakes, pies, and other gourmet pastries. Brenda just went with an ice cream sundae, while John and I went with an individual berry pie. These single-sized delights included blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries, topped with ice cream. Everyone left very full.
When you’re done, walk around and check out the local shops and climb to the top of the Harbour Town Lighthouse. There are a number of cruises that leave from here, including dolphin cruises. So this makes the perfect place to stop before or after a cruise. This is a gated community, but you can pay $5 at the gate and come on in. Crazy Crab is open for both lunch and dinner. They do accept credit cards, and they do not take reservations. They are open 7 days a week. For more information, call 843-363-2722 or go to www.harbourtown.com.
149 Lighthouse Rd
Hilton Head, South Carolina 29928
The Hilton Head Diner is the kind of place that locals keep mum about so that it isn’t overrun by out-of-towners. This is casual at its best. When we were here after 9am, the place was still crowded.
Our waitress was one of those typical diner waitresses who has probably been here since the place opened. So the service was excellent. She promptly greeted us with a pot of coffee. John and Brenda are the coffee-drinkers (I am always the odd one out), so they were glad to see her approaching with the pot. She did an excellent job of keeping their coffee filled.
The menu here is typical diner food, offering a variety of ways to start the day. Omelets, eggs, pancakes, waffles, and even just your plain old milk and cereal can be found here.
I went with a plate with scrambled eggs, bacon, and hash browns. Everything was perfect. The bacon was slightly chewy, not crispy and overdone, and the hash browns were nice and brown and crispy. John got a cheese omelet, which came with three types of cheese: jack, cheddar, and mozzarella. He also got grits with his. Brenda had a plate of silver dollar pancakes and sausage links. The silver dollars were huge! You had your choice of several kinds of fruit toppings, syrup, or strawberry or blueberry syrup. Brenda just went with the regular maple syrup, which comes in its own cute little jar. I also ordered hot tea, and they had a terrific assortment of teas from which to choose. I am not too adventurous in the morning, so I just went with English Breakfast. The teapot was also a very generous size, instead of one of these tiny water pictures you get in most places. Our waitress also brought us out a bread basket which included toast, biscuits, and bagels. Accompanying that was fresh butter and a small bowl of homemade strawberry preserves. Wow! We were stuffed, and that breakfast kept us going all day.
They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They are open 24/7. They do accept credit cards, and they do not accept reservations. Their phone number is 843-686-2400.
Hilton Head Diner
6 Marina Side Drive
Hilton Head, South Carolina
After leaving Bluffton, we decided to make a quick run into Creative Kitchens so I could do a little shopping for my new kitchen. We were quite surprised to find this wonderful gourmet shop also had a small restaurant. Since it was lunchtime, we decided to go grab a bite first.
They offer an array of sandwiches and salads. John and I decided to split a muffaletta. This was as good as you can find in New Orleans. The sandwich is made out of two huge rounds of bread that is very similar to pita bread. It had lettuce, pastrami, ham, pepperoni, salami, onions, and then olives. These sandwiches are made early in the day and then wrapped in plastic wrap very tightly. The reason for this is that it allows the oil from the olives to get compressed down into the rest of your sandwich. A real treat. Now if you don’t actually like olives (we don’t), just scrape them off the top. You can order one minus olives, but then you don’t get that flavorful oil disbursed throughout the sandwich. And then what is the point, really? Brenda went with just a turkey sandwich. She had a very big pile of turkey on that sandwich. You get your choice of several gourmet breads, lettuce, tomatoes, and then your choice of mayo, mustard, honey mustard, or brown mustard. For your side, you can choose from chips, pasta salad, or potato salad. They have the best pasta salad I have ever tasted. It is not too oily, like most other pasta salads I have tasted. They do have an array of desserts, including some homemade gourmet cookies and cake. John was too full for dessert, so Brenda and I split a piece of black forest cake. It was just pure heaven. Afterwards, I wished I had my own piece to eat. They do offer beer and wine.
They are just open for lunch and Monday to Saturday. They accept credit cards. After filling your tummy, make sure to do some serious shopping. This place is a haven for foodies and gourmet chefs. They have top of the line appliances, tons of kitchen gadgets, and some incredible oils and spices. They also have vanilla bean pods, in case you’re like me and have a hard time finding them elsewhere.
1540 Fording Island Rd. Bridge Ctr.
Hilton Head, South Carolina 29910
Charlotte, North Carolina