Monday, September 27, 2010
GRILLED MAHI MAHI TACOS IN CHARLESTON, SC
Though we live in New Bern, NC, one of my doctors is in North Charleston, and another is in Orangeburg, SC, making for an almost-1,000-mile round trip. We always stop to visit our old-time friends, Poppy & Don, who were previous neighbors when we all lived in Long Valley, New Jersey. When time permits, we also have lunch in Charleston. Charleston is known for its good restaurants, but once we found the Noisy Oyster, we stopped looking. The Noisy Oyster gets its local seafood brought in daily. It's cooked properly and the prices are reasonable for the quality of the ingredients. The restaurant is charmingly funky, with it’s warehouse-type windows that open (no screens) to the street.
Ceiling paddle fans and boating decorations add to the ambiance. No air-conditioning here, it’s open-air
The menus are just as interesting as the ambiance, with a decidely Southern/island slant. Where else have you seen fried gator tails listed as an appetizer? Or maybe you’ll want a shrimp corn dog, or a low-country shrimp and grits spring roll. You’ll have a hard time deciding, because everything sounds delicious – and a little different. I usually agonize over my menu choice, but this time it was an instantaneous decision. As soon as I saw grilled Mahi Mahi tacos, my mind was made up. My obsession with grilled fish tacos started with our last trip to San Diego, and hasn’t let up. Guy ordered the flounder sandwich.
With each sandwich, you have a choice of sides. I ordered the day’s veggie, green beans, and Guy ordered a baked potato.
My mouth was watering for the fish taco. Although I make them at home, I never seem to get enough. The Noisy Oyster makes their own version, different from San Diego’s. The ingredients are rolled up in a large tortilla, then sliced on a diagonal, resembling a burrito more than a taco. Black beans and mango salsa are incorporated in the wrap instead of being served separately with rice. If I had to vote on which fish taco was the best, it would be a draw. This was different, but equally as good as the fish tacos I had in Ocean Beach. I could only eat half – it was just too big. We wrapped the remainder in tinfoil and put it in the cooler. When I had it about 3 hours later, it tasted just as delicious as when it was warm. The green beans, however, are typical low-country beans, cooked to death with a ham hock. Not so good to a Northerner who likes crisp-tender green beans.
Guy said his flounder sandwich was the best he had ever eaten. The flounder was juicy and meaty, and the breading was not overpowering. We both feel flounder should be treated with respect when it’s cooked, so as to preserve the delicate flavor and texture. The Noisy Oyster must agree.
We’ll be going back in 6 months and will be doing our best to work in another lunch at the Noisy Oyster. If you get to Charleston, plan on visiting the open market across the street and having lunch or dinner at one of the best restaurants for seafood in the country.
(Please note: I have not been compensated in any way for this endorsement.)