By Pamela Brownstein
With gorgeous marsh views and a superb selection of seafood, it’s no wonder Gilligan’s Seafood Restaurant has been a family favorite for 20 years.
The Lunch Bunch was only a trio, but a fun group with me, Buck and Nikki, and we were excited because two of us had never eaten here before.
The attentive, friendly server brought us first two baskets of warm hush puppies. As I was gabbing (and attending to my 5-month-old baby), I mindlessly popped one in my mouth because I was hungry. But then I stopped talking because it was so surprisingly good. The manager, Eric, said they are made with Capt. Bookatee’s Famous Hushpuppy Mix, and the secret ingredient is cream of corn, which gives it a hint of sweetness. We all loved these, but warning, once you eat one hush puppy, it’s hard to stop! The good news is you can purchase the famous mix at the restaurant or online.
Next we were brought an amazing trio of appetizers: Fried mushrooms, Oysters Rockefeller, and seared ahi tuna with a teriyaki glaze and served with a cucumber wasabi dipping sauce. Nikki and I loved the tuna.
It was hard to decide, but I ordered Gilligan’s Gumbo, a big bowl of corn and okra gumbo with jumbo shrimp and sausage served over a bed of red rice. It was excellent!
Nikki tried the Grilled Island Fish lunch plate: A mild, white flaky fish seared with seasoned panko and drizzled with zesty horseradish and served with mashed potatoes and green beans.
Buck wanted to sample one of their most popular dishes, so the server recommended the Lowcountry Stir-Fry lunch specialty. The plate of grilled jumbo shrimp, sausage and shredded cabbage seasoned with mild Cajun spices is served over red rice. Buck ate all of it and knew why it was a favorite among customers.
The restaurant supports the Sustainable Seafood Initiative, and their shrimp right now is from Dodson’s Seafood on St. Helena Island.
It is also popular with Marines, and we saw several tables of graduates and their families happily eating together.
Gilligan’s is located at 2601 Boundary Street, Beaufort, 29901. It’s open Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more information, call 843-379-2244 or visit www.gilligans.net.