My husband and I love a good brunch, mostly because it’s the best of everything. I mean, you get to sleep in and then you can decide between getting breakfast or lunch as your first meal of the day. Or, if you’re lucky, you can squeeze in a little of both.
I was looking for a place for us to eat brunch in Charleston, SC, and Poogan’s Porch kept popping up along my search; it was practically begging us to eat there. The menu looked fantastic (eccentric and whimsical without being pretentious) and there was definite southern charm surrounding the restaurant. I was sold.
Poogan’s Porch was originally a Victorian home, but converted into a restaurant in 1976. The original owners sold their home and moved away, but their pooch, Poogan, stayed behind. And as far as that dog was concerned, the porch was his. The new restaurant owners named the eatery after Poogan and his porch, and he greeted each customer until he died in 1979, poor pup.
If you visit Poogan’s Porch, look to your right just before climbing the
stairs to go inside, and you’ll see little “Poogan” sitting comfy
amongst the flowers.
We arrived at Poogan’s Porch just before they opened at 9 am (we had a long
drive ahead of us that day, so we needed a slightly early start), and
they graciously let us wait inside until we could be seated.
The whole place was decorated like an old home—there was even a fire
roaring in the fireplace next to our table—and the ambiance was
chic, classic, and comfortable. To get to our table, we walked through a huge bar, which reassured me that we’d be back some day.
served on an over-sized clipboard, was simple and straightforward. As a
transplanted southern girl, I’ve been tasting local favorites: I’ve had
sweet tea, boiled peanuts,
fried green tomatoes, and okra, but there were two things left on my
imaginary list that I had to try: fried alligator and chicken and waffles, and Poogan’s Porch had both of them on the menu.
When you’re in the southwest, chips and salsa are served before your meal; when you’re in Italy, bread is placed in front of you. But when you’re in the south it’s a whole different ballgame. You get biscuits, my friends, big, fluffy, buttery, delicious biscuits. This is a tradition I can definitely get behind.
We ordered alligator as an appetizer and I have to admit: it tasted like a chewy piece of chicken. The honey-jalapeno sauce that it came with was delicious, but my mom and husband ended up eating most of the alligator. Ridiculous side story that will make me look slightly crazy: Alligators creep me out, and I kept thinking the pieces on the table were going to come to life and eat me while I was eating it. (Totally irrational, I know, but it it kept me from eating any more of the bite-sized nuggets.)
I was really, really, really excited about my meal, because I finally got to try some genuine chicken and waffles! I have three words to describe my thoughts on this dish: Yum, yum, and yum! Okay, technically that’s one word repeated three times, but I think you can catch my drift. I’m a huge fan of different flavor and texture combinations in a meal, and this had it all: sweet and salt, crunchy and soft, fruity and savory. Yum, yum, yum!
The chicken would have been perfect on its own (the breading was
flavorful and crunchy, and the meat was tender) and same with the waffle
drizzled with blueberry sauce, but it was wonderful all together. The
composition of the plate was gorgeous to-boot. The only problem I had
with it is that now I’m going to want it every time I see it on the
Next up is Julia’s meal, because I’m practically drooling over it now just thinking about it again. We ordered her mac ‘n cheese, but this wasn’t like any we’ve ever tried before, because it was made with ham and aged gouda, and then sprinkled with scallions.
I’ve decided that every mac ‘n cheese should be made with gouda, because it simply makes everything better. If this had some green chile in it, I’d dare say that it could’ve been one of the best things I’ve ever tasted. Bold statement, I know, but it’s true. I think my husband and I ate more of Julia’s meal than she did.
My mom went a little bit southern with her meal and got the Fried Green Tomato BLT with an egg on it, because, it was brunch after all. This was Tasty—with a capital “t.” It had a crab meat remoulade, thick bacon, arugula, and an over-easy egg that oozed out with every bite.
If you know my dad in real life, then you know he doesn’t like to mess with anything fancy-schmancy when it comes to breakfast. Give him his eggs, toast, potato, and sausage or bacon, and he’ll be a happy camper. So that’s exactly what he got with Ike’s Down Home Breakfast. No picture of it, sorry; I was too busy devouring my meal.
My husband picked my second-runner up for breakfast, the Charlestowne Fry. I almost got this for my meal, so I’m glad he got it instead, because I at least got to taste it. The Charlestowne Fry is an open-faced omelet filled with bacon, peppers, gouda, and—wait for it—fried oysters. Yup. Oysters for breakfast. Genius and delicious.
I loved that Poogan’s Porch took simple and common dishes, but put a slight twist on it that made it not only more southern, but took things to another level. This was most definitely southern comfort food at its finest and I truly can’t wait to eat there again, hopefully for lunch and/or dinner next time.
Check out more of my local eats here. Until next time…