Note to self. Next time you go to a place recommend by a Food Network celebrity other than Rachael Ray, take a camcorder and have John to pretend he is filming you. Tell them you are from IGOUGO’s travel daily show and you’re here to do a segment on their restaurant. That may be the only way to get good food.
The correct name of this eatery is the Wreck of the Richard and Charlene. It is so named for an abandoned fishing trawler that set on Shem Creek next door to where the restaurant is now housed. September 21, 1989 unleashed a Category IV hurricane on the Charleston area and was so powerful it picked up the moored vessel and promptly sat where the building now stands where it sat for 9 months before salvagers finally moved the wreck. It serves a reminder of that day almost 20 years ago.
The Wreck was one of the places Food Network hostess, Giada de Laurentis, went on her show Giada’s Weekend Getaway . It was also featured on a local travel show The Carolina Traveler with host Mike Redding. Both praised this place. So of course what do I do? Decide we will try the ranks of those who praised this dining establishment including of course Southern Living (I am starting to think they need a new food writer). Also luckily it is located only a few minutes from our hotel.
We arrived and the parking lot is so crowed we have to park next door. We walk in people are stuffed into every corner of the waiting area rather that stand out in the cold and damp of this evening. We’re told by the hostess that it would be a 20 minute wait. Within about 10 minutes though, our name is called and we are seated in the dining room and lucky I am seated next to the fireplace. Good thing because otherwise I would be freezing from the draft coming in from the "walls" The dining room structure is basically a timber frame with plastic sheeting wrapped around and used as a wall. Maybe in the summer it isn’t so bad, but on a cold fall night the draft is not welcome.
Our waitress hands us three menus and tells us the circle our drink and food order and she will return in a few minutes to collect them. As we scan the menu, we notice the prices here aren’t exactly on a budget. Oh well it isn’t exactly called ‘Giada’s $40 a day".
This is a seafood restaurant and that is pretty much the menu. Fish, crab, shrimp, and scallops in varying forms dominate the options. If you don’t eat fish your only option is Lion Broil and you’re warned they are not experts in preparing and no returns. Then there is the price: $14 for London Broil ! Vegetarians and vegans are out of luck as there is not even a salad to be found.
I order the grouper, Brenda orders the flounder, and John orders the shrimp. Within minutes our waitress returns with our teas and two bowls of boiled peanuts. I prefer mine roasted or raw, but I am hungry so I make do. After about 10 minutes when I am thinking the food should be about ready, our waitress returns to tell me they are out of my fish. Well the only seafood I eat is fish and the menu is very limited in that department so I go with flounder.
20 minutes later our food arrives. The plates come with the unusual combination of a scoop of white beans, Spanish rice, slaw, 1 hush puppy, and fried hominy square. I get one small piece of fish which is OK but not worth $17. Same deal with John’s ½ pound shrimp at $19. There is nothing spectacular about the sides either except the slaw. This slaw is not a mayo based slaw but more of vinegar based slaw and was great and the only thing I really enjoyed. The hominy square is very spicy.
Our waitress drops off our food and never returns until she brings the check. Our drinks go un-refilled and even if there was a problem with the food it would have done no good as we didn’t see our waitress to complain to. The place was busy but she never took the time to stop by for a second and refill our