Friday, September 21, 2007

Anthony Bordain Wanted Me to Write This Post, Y'all...

Actually, that's an utter and blatant lie...

Anthony Bordain doesn't know me from Adam and could not care less about what I write*.
and Sigh.

However, it seems there are some very mysterious forces at work in the universe...

Shortly after I publicly threatened to post a review of Hominy Grill, I sat down to (belatedly**) watch Monday's episode of No Reservations. In which Anthony goes not only to South Carolina, but to my new favorite restaurant.

Ah - two loves.
United together.

Now I ask you - could this be any better???

Oh wait - yeah! It could have totally been better....
*I* could have been invited to go, too!

Let me just warn you: if you're not in the mood to read a swoony, "I'm utterly in love with this place" post - then you best stop reading. Because Hominy Grill makes me all swoony. And I'm utterly in love...

First off, Hominy Grill is cute, even from the outside. It's located in an old shotgun house, dating back to the late 1800's. It's pretty easy to spot, even though it's a bit off the beaten path in the neighborhood surrounding MUSC - the shocking pink color of the building guarantees that.

Oh, and the mural of the Grits Girl, too. That's pretty hard to miss...

Grits Girl...

If she's not the most photographed mural in all the Low Country, well, then she should be.

Hominy Grill

The entry is quite inviting; the interior space simple, but lovely. Lots of light; very clean and comforting.

Even though I appreciate a nice ambiance - what it's all about for me is the food! And that's where Hominy really shines...
Let's cut to the chase, shall we?

I had the "Low Country Omelet":

LowCountry Omelet

This was an omelet stuffed with Carolina Red Rice, and topped with shrimp gravy. I originally had my eye on something else - but Bubba had already called dibs, so I went with this as my Plan B.
(I don't like to order the same thing as Bubba and Schecky when we go out. I like it best when we all get something different, and then I get to share!)

I initially picked this thinking "That's a weird combination - it's so weird that it's either going to be amazing, or it's going to be a disaster."
It was most definitely amazing. I never would have thought to put these flavors together, but having tried them now all I can wonder is "why hasn't anyone done this before???"
Served with sunflower toast and home fries - this dish made it into the "Clean Plate Club" with ease.

Bubba called dibs on what I originally had my eye on: The Big Nasty Biscuit.

Big. Nasty. Biscuit.

I mean, seriously. If something is called the "Big Nasty Biscuit" you're kind of honor-bound to try it, right?
Hmmm - you and I think very differently then.

Fortunately, Bubba and I think an awful lot alike, and he ordered this. And even more fortunately for me, Bubba's an excellent sharer.

The Big Nasty Biscuit starts off with a gorgeous, gorgeous biscuit. I would have called it a "cat head" biscuit, but the menu claims it's a "high rise" biscuit. Whatever you call it, it's an impressively good biscuit.

But the goodness doesn't stop there. Nope - it's topped with a perfectly fried chicken breast, smothered with grated cheddar cheese and then liberally doused with an amazingly tasty sausage gravy.

I am drooling a little even as I type this... For real.

I know, I know - another unorthodox-sounding combination. But you really can't knock it if you've not tried it.

So. Unbelievably. Good.

I'm telling you, I could eat six of these.
(Of course, I'm pretty sure it would kill me... this is not a dainty meal. But what a way to go...)

Schecky ordered a pretty kick-ass version of Huevos Rancheros - which he dove into before our server even had the plate fully on the table. He was ravenous - as only nine-year-old boys seem to be.

There is no kid's menu at Hominy Grill - which wasn't really an issue for us, since the Scheckster loves breakfast foods every bit as much as his momma does. His ability to put away vast amounts of eggs, etc. is truly prodigious (and a bit scary if you accidentally get between him and his plate...)
I got the feeling, though, that our server would have worked with us to come up with a "kid meal" had it been an issue. The service there was wonderful - very attentive and responsive, yet never obtrusive, nor hurried. Very much in keeping with the comfortable vibe of the place.

Oh - and I almost forgot. You can't go to a place called Hominy Grill, a place that sells t-shirts emblazoned with the words "Grits are good for you"*** without trying these:



Then came the desserts:

You've already heard me go on and on about buttermilk pie. So I won't repeat myself. But just look at how pretty:

Buttermilk Pie...

Bubba ordered pecan pie.

Pecan Pie

Y'all this tasted just like my mom's - which is the highest compliment that a pecan pie can get!
There was one slight difference - my mom makes her version with unbroken pecan halves, this was made with pieces. So there was a textural difference. My mom's pie looks maybe a little prettier (you've got a pretty surface of entire pecan halves, so that it's very smooth looking) but I liked the almost chunky texture of this one. Hominy Grill gets the slight edge over my mom. (Don't tell!)

Schecky had the chocolate pudding.

Chocolate Puddin'

He'd never had real, "made from scratch" chocolate pudding before. (Honestly, I'm not sure I've ever had anything but the box kind - but remember, I'm not a big chocolate girl.) He was in heaven...

Schecky's Not Sharing Any More of His Pudding!

That's Scheck sayin' "I've shared enough, the rest of this is MINE!

So - as you can tell, I loved it all.

Ate the meal, bought the t-shirt. Even bought the cookbook, too!

You can find recipes for the "High Rise" Biscuits, the ButterMilk Pie and the Chocolate Pudding at the Hominy Grill website.

Bon appetit!

*That's OK, Anthony. Really. I still love you, even though it's very difficult for me to continue to claim that you as my boyfriend, what with you ignoring me like this and all...

**Thank you, TiVo! I love my TiVo. Perhaps even more that I love Anthony. And now that I think about it... my TiVo at least loves me back....

***And yes, I bought one for Bubba. But you knew that without me even saying it, didn't you?


Megan said...

It all sounds terribly yummy. One of my favorite places in Hotlanta is The Flying Biscuit (I even have a shirt). I would imagine you've been there - how does Hominy Grill compare? I just might have to talk the husband into a weekend trip to Charleston...

Sarah and Jack said...

I've been meaning to answer your burning question about what do St Louisians consider themselves forever now, so I figure I should do it while I remember. I don't know about everyone else in this town, but I think of us as Midwesterners.

Hockey Mom said...

umm, I think my heart just clogged up!

jen said...

mmmm anthony he is so awesome in SO SO many ways. you should have posted a stock picture of him in yer post!

i have yet to try real southern grits. need to do that sometime!
and i'd be all over the big nasty biscuit.

beki said...

Um, my mouth is watering looking and reading about all that. Heaven!
Matt and I totally do the separate entre thing. What's the fun in ordering the same thing?

normanack said...

I could eat grits for breakfast every day.

I am barred from high levels of saturated fat and cholesterol (SO. FREAKIN. UNFAIR.), but oh, oh, I want that food so much. Thank you for cyber-sharing it!

Thimbleanna said...

Oh YUM! Shrimp gravy??? YUM, Oh YUM!!! It all looks fabulous!

rohanknitter said...

It's so fun to find interesting places like that.
All the food looks drool-worthy!

Leah said...

I LOVE Tony!! It was so good to see him in the south & enjoying it!

Great review & pics! I need a nasty biscuit!!!

Debbie said...

You got me at Anthony Bordain! I just loved Kitchen Confidential.

Will check out that restaurant next time I'm in Charleston.

and must check out those recipes!

you are evil.

shizzknits said...

OMG everything looks soooo yummygood!

I want some of that biscuit...can you mail me a piece of the pie? I don't care which one! LOL

laeroport said...

Oh my god, I just drooled all over the check I'm supposed to be writing.....
Pecan pie... mmmmm.... that's one of those things that can be a taste of the gods or so completely bad. I always add a shot of burboun to mine. Divine!

Katkat said...

Oh my goodness all of that sounds way to good!!!!. i want to fly down there right now!

African Kelli said...

Wowie! What a great review. Although I'm not so sure about shrimp gravy...

TinkerBlue said...

My mouth is watering. I want to eat there. Why is it so far from Vancouver?

Big Pissy said...

Wow! I don't eat food like that anymore, but it all looks damn good! ;-)

p.s. I would have called that a "cat head" biscuit too!

Rebecca said...

i've got to go there. you sold me on the place. but you can keep anthony. i won't fight you for him.

that's cat heee-uuuuhdd biscuit to you. and that's what i would have ordered, too. luckily, ian and i rarely order the same things. he likes beef. i try everything.

all that and a t-shirt, too?

that buttermilk pie looked mouth-wateringly good. as for pecan pieces, i do a mix of broken and whole ones. or, i did. i think ian likes them broken, so i tend to try to please him, even though i eat it too. all tastes the same to me!

Versailles Rose said...

I know this is an old post, but I wanted to add my two cents about Chef Robert's Hominy Grill.

OMG, I totally love this place. My hubby and I worked for Spoleto USA arts festival, and met Chef Robert through his wife who also works for the festival. While we were in Charleston, we visited Hominy Grill OFTEN.

The buttermilk pie is just divine - and their shrimp and grits (a Low Country favorite) is just so good.

The nice thing about this restaurant serves unpretentious, honest food at a reasonable price.
And Chef Robert is a great guy, too!