Review Category : Lunch Bunch

Italian favorites such as pizza, pasta and salad draw families to The Upper Crust

By Pamela Brownstein

At this bustling pizzeria on Lady’s Island, hungry patrons stream in and out. The Upper Crust attracts families and groups with big tables and booths and an extensive menu that serves stellar pizza, pasta, salad and sandwiches.

Dave's favorite pizza

Dave’s favorite pizza

The Lunch Bunch started with a hot cheese pizza, which our friendly server dubbed “Chef Dave’s favorite.” It was so good, we each ate two pieces.

Nikki tried the Antipasto Salad that comes with onions, black olives, green peppers, cherry tomatoes, pepperoncini peppers, pepperoni, salami, ham, capicolla, balls of fresh mozzarella, and feta cheese sprinkled on top. She said this large, colorful salad was delicious.

Irene opted for the Low Country’s Best Shrimp Salad (as it’s called on the menu) and she really enjoyed the fresh local shrimp tossed in a creamy dill dressing piled high on a large salad.

April, who is a big fan of Upper Crust and dines here often, wanted her favorite: the Notorious Grilled

Anitpasto salad

Anitpasto salad

Chicken Salad. The tossed salad has green peppers, onions, cucumbers, black olives, tomatoes and grilled chicken. (It usually comes with seasoned french fries and cheese on top, but April opted out.)

Elizabeth said she recently had a dream about alfredo so she had to get the Cajun Alfredo — a creamy Parmesan sauce “Cajun Style” tossed with fettuccine pasta and grilled chicken.

I ordered the Chicken Wrap, but this is no ordinary wrap made with a thin, tortilla-like wrap. It is stuffed with grilled chicken, mushrooms, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, special sauce and mozzarella and rolled in homemade dough then baked to perfection. The result is a giant sandwich that is irresistible. I also got a side of the signature sour cream and chive fries and Elizabeth and I

Chicken wrap with sour cream and chive fries

Chicken wrap with sour cream and chive fries

couldn’t stop eating them.

Although we were all full from the plentiful portions, we did share some cannolis and they were amazing.

The Upper Crust is located at 97 Sea Island Parkway, Suite 201, Hamilton Village, Lady’s Island. Open Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sunday, 5 to 9 p.m. Call 843-521-1999 or visit www.theuppercrustli.com.

 

Cajun alfredo

Cajun alfredo

 

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Visit Dataw Island for fabulous salads and sandwiches at The Outpost

By Pamela Brownstein

From downtown Beaufort, take the Sea Island Parkway out to St. Helena Island, then make a left at the light when you see the sign for Dataw Island. Go down the winding road, through the gate and past the charming houses until you reach the Dataw Island Marina. This picturesque spot is home to Sweetgrass Restaurant, which is only open for dinner, and The Outpost, which is open for breakfast and lunch. Both eateries were recently bought by owner and DSC_0082chef Penn TenEyck, and the Lunch Bunch was excited to see what was cooking.

Cranberry-pecan chicken salad

Cranberry-pecan chicken salad

The Outpost is decorated very cheerily, and has an old-timey theme, like a small town soda shop. It has a full coffee and espresso bar, and customers order at the counter. The menu offers a variety of salads and sandwiches, all with quality ingredients and special features.

Elizabeth ordered The Burger which comes with pimento cheese, caramelized onions and mushrooms on a Brioche bun. It was big, and she said it was very delicious.

I tried the Ham and Turkey Club, which is one of the more popular items on the menu, and for good reason. Piled with ham, turkey, bacon, lettuce, tomato and red onion on toasted wheat bread, this giant sandwich also includes cranberry mayo, which only elevates its awesomeness.

On the healthier end, Nikki and Irene opted for specialty salads. Irene enjoyed her shrimp and crab salad over

Ham and turkey club

Ham and turkey club

mixed greens, while Nikki said her cranberry-pecan chicken salad was the best she’d ever had. The smoked chicken gave it immense flavor, and the sweetness from the cranberries and crunch from the pecans made for a winning combination.

We also shared the Barbecue Sandwich — slow-cooked pork with signature BBQ sauce and bacon coleslaw on a Brioche bun — that was really good, and the Shrimp Burger that was super tasty.

Even though we were all full, we were treated to a dessert platter that was impossible to refuse. We sampled a piece of Coconut Cake with hints of pineapple; a slice of Chocolate Mousse pie that I single-handedly devoured; and a Double Caramel Nut Chocolate Torte with Ladyfingers that was as decadent as it sounds.

The Outpost is at the Dataw Island Marina on Dataw Island. It is open for breakfast from 8 to 11 a.m., and lunch from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day of the week except Wednesday. Call 843-838-2508 or visit www.outpostdataw.com.

Shrimp and crab salad

Shrimp and crab salad

The cheery inside of The Outpost on Dataw Island.

The cheery inside of The Outpost on Dataw Island.

 

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Cool off with yummy frozen yogurt, customized with awesome toppings at YoYo’s

By Pamela Brownstein

One of the best parts about summer is the chance to beat the heat and cool off with a tasty treat. At YoYo’s Frozen Yogurt in downtown Beaufort, they serve up a variety of frozen yogurt flavors and toppings so each customers can build a unique cup of yumminess.

Lunch Bunch stopped by YoYo’s last week for a mid-afternoon dessert.

General Manager Stuart behind the counter at YoYo's Frozen Yogurt Shop on Bay Street.

General Manager Stuart behind the counter at YoYo’s Frozen Yogurt Shop on Bay Street.

Nikki combined three flavors of frozen yogurt: Island Coconut, Italian Style Tart and Zeusberries Greek. While that may seem bold, Nikki revealed that she is an expert “mixologist” seeing that she worked at a frozen yogurt shop as a teenager.

Elizabeth and I were having similar cravings and chose Sea Salt Caramel Pretzel and Espresso flavors. I topped mine with pecans, fresh strawberries and pieces of Reese’s peanut butter cups. The combination of chocolate, salty crunch and sweet fruit was amazing.

General Manager Stuart said they have 40 toppings. Additional featured frozen yogurt flavors include Dreamy Dark Chocolate, Wild Strawberry, Birthday Cake and Cookies N’ Cream. DSC_0083

They also have a fun “Phoyo” booth where you can have your picture taken and it automatically goes on the store’s Facebook page, so you can share the photo with your friends.

YoYo’s Frozen Yogurt is at 722 Bay Street, Beaufort. Call 843-548-0300 or find them on Facebook.com/BeaufortFrozenYogurt or visit www.beaufortfrozenyogurt.com. The store is open Sunday, 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Monday through Thursday, noon to 8:30 p.m.; Friday, noon to 10 p.m.; and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Sea Salt Caramel Frozen Yogurt topped with pecans, Reese's peanut butter cups and strawberries.

Sea Salt Caramel Frozen Yogurt topped with pecans, Reese’s peanut butter cups and strawberries.

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A pair of adorable frozen yogurt fans at YoYo’s.

A pair of adorable frozen yogurt fans at YoYo’s.

 

 

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The quintessential cafe serving sandwiches, salads and ice cream at Marketplace News

By Pamela Brownstein

Ideally located in the heart of downtown Beaufort at the corner of Bay and Charles streets, Marketplace News attracts visitors and locals alike with its mouth-watering menu, spacious seating and delightful decor. Since 2000, owner Tae S. Holmes has been running her eatery based on the successful recipe of fresh ingredients, homemade dishes, a large selection, and quick and friendly service.

Garden salad with egg salad on top

Garden salad with egg salad on top

April, who has lost nearly 30 pounds since January, ordered a big Garden Salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, cheese, herb croutons and egg salad on top.

Nikki, who has also been working hard to stay healthy and lose weight, got the Chicken Salad Salad, and she said it was excellent.

We were all envious of Irene’s Grilled Chicken Teriyaki, served on a big plate with a side salad and fried rice.

I was so pleased with my Charles Street R.T.B. on rye. The sandwich is made with roast beef, turkey, bacon, lettuce, tomato and ranch — yum.

Grilled chicken teriyaki special

Grilled chicken teriyaki special

Kim Turner — guest Lunch Buncher and The Island News’ newest sales associate — ordered her favorite sandwich, the West Street BLT. She

West Street BLT

West Street BLT

customized it by adding Swiss cheese and choosing toasted rye bread.

With summer here, Marketplace News offers an extensive variety of cool dessert treats including milk shakes, root beer floats, banana splits, and dozens of flavors of Bluebell Ice Cream. So we had to try the Brownie Sundae, and not only was it lovely to look at, but it was impossible to take just one bite. It was so delicious and indulgent; I was glad everyone else is dieting, more for me!

Marketplace News is located at 209 Charles Street, downtown Beaufort. It is open seven days a week, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Catering and meeting room available. Call 843-470-0188.

Charles Street R.T.B.

Charles Street R.T.B.

 

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Experience the newly remodeled dining area at Lady’s Island Country Club: The Tavern at Royal Pines

By Pamela Brownstein

The Lady’s Island Country Club is just unveiling the dramatic renovation of its clubhouse that has been under construction since last August. According to Jeff Fischer, the outdated building was completely gutted, with the exception of the stately fireplace that remains at the entrance of the newly designed restaurant, The Tavern in

Homemade chips

Homemade chips

Royal Pines. With light hardwood floors and an emphasis on clean lines and a Lowcountry look, the result is a beautiful and inviting dining and bar area.

Ginger shrimp salad

Ginger shrimp salad

The food at Lady’s Island Country Club has always been delicious, but now with a big, brand-new kitchen, the chef and staff are excited to reveal new menu items.

The Lunch Bunch had a hard time deciding between all the tempting options. But we started by sharing a plate of the homemade chips, and between the four of us, we scarfed them all. We also tried the Ginger Shrimp Salad, and it not only looked gorgeous, it tasted so good too with ginger-seasoned shrimp on a bed of slaw tossed with barbecue blue cheese sauce.

Nikki ordered the Spinach Salad made with strawberries, walnuts and spinach and topped with grilled shrimp and raspberry vinaigrette dressing. She loved the salad — before I even realized, she had finished everything on her plate.

Chef salad

Cobb salad

Elizabeth thoroughly enjoyed her giant burger topped with grilled onions, blue cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, red onions and jalapeños, and a side of sweet potato fries.

Guest Lunch Buncher Daniel Brownstein really liked his Southwestern Chicken Wrap. And I was amazed by my colorful and plentiful Cobb Salad with all the ingredients — cucumbers, tomatoes, bacon, mushrooms and eggs — lined up so perfectly I almost didn’t want to disturb them. But I did and it was excellent.

Jeff said the renovations are still ongoing. The big brick patio will be expanded, making room for tents and providing a great additional outdoor area for weddings and big events. But the goal of creating “a

Southwest chicken wrap

Southwest chicken wrap

fun, family friendly place” is coming true.

Lady’s Island Country Club is located at 139 Francis Marion Circle, Beaufort, and is open for lunch 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call 843-524-3635 or www.ladysislandcc.com.

Blue cheese burger with sweet potato fries

Blue cheese burger with sweet potato fries

 

 

Spinach salad with grilled shrimp

Spinach salad with grilled shrimp

 

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An extra-large menu that’s big on creativity is a huge success at Fat Patties

By Pamela Brownstein

Everyone has their favorite restaurants in Beaufort, and Fat Patties is one of mine. I love it because the food is always excellent, the service is friendly and prompt, the restaurant has a good energy in that it’s lively — with big screen TVs and music — without being too loud, but just loud enough that it can drown

Calamari starter

Calamari starter

out the sounds of crying children (which, as a mom to two little ones, I’ve found this is quite a bonus because you won’t be disrupting other diners). That being said, it’s also family friendly, but with a sizeable bar and a nice outside seating area, it caters to all crowds.

Deviled Shrimp starter

Deviled Shrimp starter

The Lunch Bunch shared as many appetizers as possible, but really, it’s hard to choose because they are all so good. We had to get the Blue Cheese Tater Tots, which are big potato rolls served warm and filled with blue cheese, and also a side of their apple salad — a simple mixture of walnuts, apple slices and dressing that is so flavorful and pairs so well with the tots.

We also had to get the Deviled Shrimp, my favorite, as well as the Siracha Honey chicken wings, which I hadn’t tried before but were super tasty.

Elizabeth ordered the most amazing meal: The Thai Me Up with a shrimp burger. The shrimp burger was so big and fresh, you could see the actual shrimp when she cut it in half. Topped with julienne veggies, coconut red curry sauce and fresh basil, this burger was the real deal and she said it was awesome.

But Nikki’s Au Poivre burger was also incredible. She chose the grass fed beef pattie, and no bun. One bite of the burger covered with cracked black pepper, pink peppercorns and Brandy cream sauce was melt-in-your-mouth instant delight. We were all wowed. She also enjoyed her house salad with

Au pouvrie burger with a side salad

Au Poivre burger with a side salad

cucumbers, tomatoes, croutons and raspberry vinaigrette.

Irene had the Coconut Crusted Calamari as her main dish, and she also tried the Marshmallow Mudslide made with Rumchata and Kalua. What could be better than a cool adult shake on a Friday afternoon in the summertime?

Fat Patties is located at 831 Parris Island Gateway, half a mile from Parris Island. It is open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, starting at 11 a.m. Call 843-379-1500 or visit www.fat-patties.com.

Thai Me Up on a shrimp burger

Thai Me Up on a shrimp burger

Blue cheese tots with apple salad

Blue cheese tots with apple salad

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Honey siracha wings

Honey siracha wings

 

 

 

Fat Patties offers a stellar selection of adult beverages. Here is a Wit, a Golden Monkey, and a Marshmallow adult milkshake.

Fat Patties offers a stellar selection of adult beverages. Here is a Wit, a Golden Monkey, and a Marshmallow Mudslide milkshake.

 

 

 

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You’ll find ‘great food, good people and always a fun time’ at Boondocks

By Pamela Brownstein

I have a confession: After 10 years in Beaufort, I had never been to Boondocks. So when Lunch Bunch met last week at the restaurant located off Sea Island Parkway on St. Helena Island, I

Grilled shrimp skewers over homemade coleslaw

Grilled shrimp skewers over homemade coleslaw

was excited to finally see what it had to offer.

Blackened swordfish over rice

Blackened swordfish over rice

New owners Travis and Jesse are enthusiastic about their new menu and serving fresh, local seafood along with hearty, homemade Southern comfort food. It’s a combination that is fine. Actually, it’s more than fine, it’s fantastic.

We started with a piping hot basket of tasty hush puppies, as well as a glass of white wine for each of us, a perfect way to enjoy a summer Friday afternoon.

Next, we tried grilled shrimp skewers over homemade coleslaw, and it was an excellent dish. The shrimp had a glaze with a slight kick, that paired perfectly with a bite of cool, fresh slaw.

Our sweet, friendly server also brought out two whole fried Soft Shell Crabs for us to share as

Boondocks nachos.

Boondocks nachos.

well as succulent pieces of blackened swordfish over rice, which was my favorite. We also devoured the Boondocks nachos, and Kim declared a must-have with homemade chips, cheese, tomatoes and barbecue.

Nikki insisted that we try the homemade crockpot mac n’ cheese, and it was really awesome.

With the dining area on the first floor, upstairs features a spacious sports bar with big screen TVs, a pool table, video games and a large screened-in porch.

Mac n' cheese

Mac n’ cheese

There are also plans in the works for a miniature golf course adjacent to the restaurant, which will only make this worthy establishment that much more of a must-stop destination.

Boondocks Restaurant and Sports Bar is at 1760 Sea Island Parkway on St. Helena Island. Lunch is Monday through Sunday at 11 a.m., Sunday brunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The restaurant and bar are open until 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and until 9 p.m. Sunday. Call 843-838-0821.

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You’ll be anything but blue after eating at The Lowcountry Store’s Blue Dog Cafe

By Pamela Brownstein

The Lowcountry Store on St. Helena Island might be more well-known for its stunning variety of locally produced specialty products, but the Blue Dog Cafe tucked at the back of the store is a hidden gem for anyone hungry for a quick, tasty homemade meal. It’s a perfect place to stop on your way to or from Hunting Island.

Gumbo

Gumbo

The Lunch Bunch gathered at one of the inside picnic tables as owners Ed Jerue and his wife prepared our orders in the little open kitchen.

Kim ordered their famous tomato pie, a perfect Southern dish for a summer afternoon, and she ate every bite.

Irene ordered the prize-winning gumbo made with tomato, okra, shrimp and andouille sausage, and it was flavorful and filling. She also enjoyed the chicken salad.

Elizabeth was pleased with her blackened chicken Caesar salad wrap, and I really liked my pimento cheese sandwich.

Guest Lunch Buncher, Kim’s teenage son William, ordered the BBQ Sandwich Special. The

BBQ sandwich with pulled pork and coleslaw

BBQ sandwich with pulled pork and coleslaw

soft bun was piled high with pulled pork and barbecue sauce on one side, and a giant helping of fresh coleslaw on the other, making for a hearty and delicious sandwich with every bite.

They also have a big array of tempting desserts. We were curious about the Charleston Crunch Toffee, so we all split a giant piece, and it was chocolatey and crunchy and heavenly. We also tried the apple pie and the sweet potato pecan pie, and both were outstanding.

The owner’s dog, Blue, the namesake of the cafe, is sweet and jolly and makes it feel like you’re at your own kitchen. Except with really amazing food.

The Lowcountry Store is located at 736 Sea Island Parkway, Frogmore, SC, 29920. For more information, call 843-838-4646 or visit www.lowcountrystore.com.

Sweet potato pecan pie

Sweet potato pecan pie

The cafe's namesake, Blue.

The cafe’s namesake, Blue.

 

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Savor the refined excellence and authentic Italian fare at the exceptional Griffin Market

By Pamela Brownstein

The Lunch Bunch was treated to a wonderful dining experience last week at Griffin Market in downtown Beaufort. Owner Riccardo Bonino is a master at his craft of creating unique dishes with local ingredients that represent authentic Italian cuisine. He also has an impeccable attention to detail that shines through in his food and his

Insalata di Mare with baby octopus, calamari, shrimp and mussels in herb vinaigrette.

Insalata di Mare with baby octopus, calamari, shrimp and mussels in herb vinaigrette.

friendly demeanor when greeting and serving and making thoughtful recommendations for his customers.

For starters, we each ordered something different so we were able to sample all the enticing dishes. The biggest problem we had was deciding which one we liked best because they were all seriously amazing. Irene ordered the Insalata di Mare made with baby octopus, calamari, shrimp and mussels in herb vinaigrette, and everyone liked it. I can’t remember the last time I ate octopus, and all the seafood was so fresh.

Elizabeth was so pleased with the Alici: pickled anchovies in tarragon and capers vinaigrette with sieved eggs, while Nikki enjoyed her Insalata d’Anguria — ripe watermelon and Griffin Garden Basil in blood orange-infused olive oil. I loved Nikki’s starter because it was so refreshing and flavorful.

Kim went with the classic Italian Caprese made with hand-pulled Mozarella with ripe cherry tomatoes and Griffin Garden Basil. I’m a big fan of Caprese salads too, and this was excellent. I tried the Crostini and it was awesome. Ricotta, fresh herbs and white truffle honey on garlic rubbed ciabatta — we were all impressed.

While the starters all packed a wow factor, the entrees were equally as tasty. Elizabeth loved her roasted asparagus

Roasted asparagus topped with Taleggio Cheese, fried Yard Farm eggs served with garlic rubbed crostini.

Roasted asparagus topped with Taleggio Cheese, fried Yard Farm eggs served with garlic rubbed crostini.

topped with Taleggio Cheese, fried Yard Farm eggs and served with crostini; and Kim wouldn’t even let anyone try her coveted Soft Shell Crab.

I can’t emphasize enough how innovative and incredibly delicious the food is at Griffin Market. It is an exceptional restaurant that you must try for yourself.

Griffin Market is at 403 Carteret Street, Beaufort, and is open for lunch Thursday through Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., and dinner is 5:30 to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and Sunday from 6 to 9 p.m. Call 843-524-0240 or visit www.griffinmarket.blogspot.com.

 

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Hop on over for fabulous views, fun vibes and fantastic food at The Foolish Frog

By Pamela Brownstein

Located on Sea Island Parkway on St. Helena Island, The Foolish Frog fulfills all the requirements of a memorable restaurant with beautiful views of the water and the marsh, indoor and outdoor seating, friendly staff, the option of a fun bar with a generous wine and drink selection, and above all, a commitment to quality ingredients and delicious food.

Flash fried calamari appetizer

Flash fried calamari appetizer

The three of us gathered for Lunch Bunch sat at a little table by the big windows, and decided a glass of wine would be the appropriate way to enjoy our lovely surroundings.

We ordered the Flash Fried Calamari and the Fried Okra appetizers and both tasted amazing. The plates were enormous, and I couldn’t stop eating the perfectly crisp little pieces of calamari dipped in sweet Thai chili dipping sauce.

For an entree, Irene had the healthy, colorful Asian tuna salad with greens, mandarin oranges, cucumbers, peanuts, red onions, thick slices of tuna on top and a ginger rice wine vinaigrette.

Nikki ordered the Mahi BLT — blackened Mahi Mahi with lettuce, tomato, bacon with Cajun remoulade on a crusty baguette — and she said it was an excellent sandwich.

I tried the Fried Green Tomato BLT special with sweet potato chips, and it was very tasty.

When our friendly server Tom asked if we were interested in dessert, we all felt so full, but we couldn’t pass up the homemade creme brulee. I love that “tap, tap, tap” sound on the top layer to reveal the creamy custard underneath. There’s a reason Chef Will McLenagan was voted Favorite Chef for The Island News’ 2014 Favorites awards.

The locally owned restaurant also often features live music on the weekends as well as a spectacular Sunday brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The Foolish Frog is at 846 Sea Island Parkway, St. Helena Island. Lunch is Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; dinner is Tuesday through Saturday, 5 to 10 p.m. Call 843-838-9300 or visit www.thefoolishfrog.com.

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