Thursday, August 18, 2011

All I took pictures of were trees and food. No really.

So last week I went on a roving vacation with my Mom through the South. We drove from Delaware to Hilton Head, South Carolina and it only took us a hundred and fifty hours. Ok more like fifteen. But still, it was an epic, Bataan Death March meets the Odyssey kind of drive, but we made it, relatively unscathed, to the swampish heat of the coast. Some of the best food we had the whole trip? Wilson's BBQ and Grill, in Emporia Virginia. I'm pretty sure BBQ is my number one comfort food, falling somewhere neck and neck with Vietnamese. They had some of the best pulled pork I've ever had - and their baked beans were top notch. Oh and for anyone interested, they've got one of the most sadomasochistic "how much can you eat?" throwdowns I've ever seen. All I'm going to say is it involves a pound of bacon, a pound of ribs, and that's just the first two of TEN courses. Oh and you have 23 minutes. But hey if you eat it all you don't have to pay for it! Shudder.
Once we got to Hilton Head, we were adrift in a sea of tourist trap nightmares. Capn' Jacks Crabby Crab Shack! type places (no offense to anyone who happens to have named their establishment Capn' Jacks Crabby Crab Shack - any resemblance to actual places is purely coincidental). But there were some seriously amazing tucked away spots.
I'm a raging snob. I'm the first to get in line to admit it. Combatting it and or hiding it from people is something I try to do gracefully, and let it slip in gradually once people get to know me. However when I discover a restaurant I'm interested in going to is located in a shopping center next to a Piggly Wiggly and a laundromat, I'm probably going to either try to find somewhere new, or resign myself to whatever is in store (except, I say again, Vietnamese places...they can pop up anywhere and be the best friggin thing ever). Kenny B's French Quarter Cafe was AHMAZINGOHMYGOD. Go there. Drive to Hilton Head just to EAT THEIR FOOD. That plate took me three days to work through, seriously, and pretty much left me only able to drink water for days after that without starting to whimper and cry at the site of food. I've never had jambalaya that good in my life.
Giant buspan of stone crab claws. Died. Heaven. Went to.
Juleps. Had to. And not a bad cocktail bar, The Gin Joint, in Charleston. Loved Charleston. Amazingly beautiful. I might have to live there one day, after I move to Savannah for a little. Fantastic cities, both.
And ok, one non-food picture. En route to Charleston we took a short detour to see the Angel Oak. I'm a sucker for trees, so I spent the majority of the trip alternately falling over things because I was so busy marveling at the Spanish moss that was everywhere, or getting misty eyed over oysters and soul food. The Angel Oak defies words.
This trip reaffirmed many things for me, namely, yes, I definitely hate "family style seating" (sorry, Mrs. Wilkes, you were a bummer), 99 degrees with a 115 degree heat index will take just about anyone down, unless you're bolstered with bourbon and lemonade, and watching Chopped reruns with your Mom while polishing off cheap bottles of wine is more fun than just about anything else in the world.

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