Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Poogan's Porch

After a hot day at Fort Sumter, a yummy taco lunch, and a nap at the hotel, we were ready for a cozy dinner at one of Charleston's most famous and oldest landmark restaurants...Poogan's Porch.

Originally built in 1888 as a grand Victorian home, it is now frequently visited by celebrities, locals, and tourists alike. In 1976 the owner's of the house moved away but a little dog named Poogan, stayed behind, frequenting many porches in the neighborhood in search of scraps and a little attention.  When the next person came along to buy the home and turn it into a restaurant, there seemed to be no choice but the name the restaurant Poogan's Porch, after the beloved neighborhood pooch.

When we walked into the beautiful Charleston institution, we felt right at home. Literally, it felt as though we had stepped through time and were walking into someone's home just before the turn of the century. A stunning yellow house with romantic double porches equipped with ceiling fans.  It was warm and cozy, with beautiful stairs and hard wood floors.  Most of the rooms still divided like a regular old-timey house and furnished with antique fireplaces. And most importantly...good traditional Southern cuisine.

famous celebrity signatures on the menu

We began with a classic....Fried Green Tomatoes with pecan encrusted goat cheese and a seasonal peach chutney. I LOVE a good fried green tomato! And everything is amazing with goat cheese. Yes, everything. Almost.  I love the crispiness of the breading on the outside of the tomato and the juiciness inside.  The goat cheese is nutty, creamy, and tangy. All that combined with the peach chutney which provides a delightfully unexpected sweetness.

every god Southern meal must start with buttermilk biscuits

fried green tomatoes (center); pecan crusted goat cheese (top left), peach chutney (bottom right)

Their list of entrees consists of several modern dishes as well as several traditional ones. Being at a historic culinary institution for Charleston, I felt we would be remiss to go with anything but traditional.  So we got the Buttermilk Fried Chicken.  We split the dish so we wouldn't have to roll back to our hotel room.  What's also nice about splitting dishes, is that they actually give you each a little extra portion! How nice!!  Crispy, buttery fried chicken breasts served on top of butter whipped potatoes and a sage gravy, sprinkled with a few green onions on top. Perfectly balanced flavors and perfectly delicious!

The fried chicken was also served with pimiento cheese slaw.  Pimiento cheese is a childhood favorite for me!  It reminds me of my grandma.  I didn't have the traditional grandmas that people talk about as kids.  You know the kind...plump, sweet, doting, loves to bake with you and take you shopping, and all around spoil you to death to your parents dismay.  My grandma on my mother's side, (we called her Gongi), she taught me how to play solitaire, to love crosswords, her idea of fun was to shop at the Salvation Army, and every time she'd pick me up after school we'd stop at the store to pick up three things...scratch-off lottery ticket, apricot brandy, and a pack of Kool cigarettes.  Not exactly the typical apron-wearing baker that smells of cookies and hands out kisses. But most of my best memories of her are food related. One of my favorite treats she used to make for me after school was pimiento cheese sandwiches! Loved them and still do!! And this pimiento cheese slaw was definitely reminiscent of that.  And of her.  I don't know if it was as good as hers but I think Gongi would've been pleased.

And of course Pablo gave Poogan's Porch 4 ants! Pablo approved!

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