72 Queen St.
Beer selection: All the Palmettos (Porter, Pale Ale, Lager & Amber).
Food: Gourmet Low Country cuisine worth planning your vacation around.
I travel a lot.
And I like to eat a lot.
So people are always asking me where is the best place in America for good food. I guess they expect me to say New Orleans. Or Chicago. Or Memphis.
No doubt, those are all great cities for great food.
But if you want my opinion, the best eating city in America is right here— Charleston, South Carolina.
And Poogan’s Porch is one of the reasons why.
Of course, Charleston isn’t famous just for delicious food.
It’s the Confederate history, Victorian architecture, gorgeous scenery, warm weather, soft breezes, beautiful beaches, Palmetto Pale Ale, and fun watering holes that makes Charleston my favorite city on the entire continent.
But no trip to Charleston, no matter how brief, is complete without a meal at Poogan’s Porch. And in a city already full of wonderful places for travelers to eat, that’s saying something!
Part of what makes Poogan’s so great is that it is quintessential Charleston. Southern charm and hospitality to the core. A renovated 1888 Victorian home on a quiet side street in Charleston’s historic district, a meal at Poogan’s Porch is literally like dining in someone’s home.
The place is affectionately named after the owners beloved dog whose favorite place to rest — like any self-respecting Southern hound — was out on the front porch.
Poogan passed on to canine heaven a few years after the restaurant opened, but the owners honored him not only by naming their restaurant after him, but by burying him in the garden in front of his namesake porch.
I’ve enjoyed many a meal out on the porch, looking down on Poogan’s little grave marker.
So I have to admit, I was a bit sad when I discovered on my latest trip to Charleston that the restaurant paved over the garden to expand their outdoor dining area.
But apparently, Poogan’s remains were moved off to the side by the main walkway.
One can only hope the owners didn’t pull “a Poltergeist” and only move the headstone! After all, the place is supposedly haunted already, which makes sense.
Hey, if I were cursed to walk the earth for eternity, I’d want to hang out here too.
The food is that good.
Every meal starts out with a basket of warm buttermilk biscuits, made from scratch and served with sweet honey butter that instantly melts into the soft dough.
One bite and you will know why Poogan’s biscuits are considered one of the top tourist attractions in all of Charleston.
On the side I ordered a Palmetto Espresso Porter, a dark and roasty offering made from real espresso beans brewed by Charleston’s favorite local brewery.
By the time the macaroni and cheese appetizer came, I was thinking there is no way this meal can get any better.
I was wrong.
No child would ever again touch Kraft macaroni and cheese after one bite of Poogan’s version. How does soft melted Gouda cheese loaded with country ham and scallions sound?
Yeah. Sorry, mom. This puts your mac & cheese to shame.
Dreading the coming end of oyster season, I decided today was a perfect day for Poogan’s fried oyster po’ boy.
A decent amount of perfectly seasoned and fried oysters drizzled with tangy remoulade, Poogan’s po’ boy came with lettuce, tomato and a whole mess of sweet potato fries. Delicious, just as I expected.
And that’s what makes Poogan’s Porch such an all-star dining destination.
One look at the place and you are captivated by its Southern charm. But it has the food to match the atmosphere. It’s a rare tourist destination that can claim both great atmosphere and great food.
That’s why even locals and celebrities crowd onto the famous porch along with camera-dangling tourists.
Blue bloods and Yankees. The famous and the infamous. Ghosts and lazy, old Southern hounds.
Nobody steps off Poogan’s Porch without a smile on their face.
Rating: Bought the Shirt!