Travel editor Sandy Lang leads the way to old-school Lowcountry flavor and character, as well as inventive new fare
ITALY MEETS HOLLYWOOD: Pane e Vino
It’s a Tuesday when we follow Highway 162 into Hollywood and park beside a cinder-block building that once housed a fire station, as well as the Old Firehouse Restaurant. Next door are hand-painted signs for “P-NUTS” and “CRABS” at a now-closed takeout vendor’s truck. But here, at Pane e Vino, the flag of Italy flutters.
I fondly remember long tables of friends and meals of pasta and wine in the courtyard when the restaurant was downtown on Warren Street, and I’ve been curious about chef-owner Alfredo Temelini’s move to this rural outpost in May 2021. Inside, the trattoria’s comfortable vibe begins immediately—white tablecloths, wooden chairs, and candlelight—and there’s an attached courtyard for warmer days. >>READ MORE
ADAMS RUN LEGACY: Station 17 Local Grill
The train’s horn blows, and you can almost feel the rumble of its passing. That’s how close the railway tracks run near Station 17 Local Grill. Owner Tracey Deas knows those tracks and this property well. When he was growing up a few miles away in Hollywood, he’d often stay at his grandmother’s house and watch her cook chitlins, fried chicken, and other hot dishes on the weekends to sell from a small building on this very spot. Open from the 1960s to the ’80s, Liz’s Place was where friends in the community gathered.
Deas dreamed of recreating that sense of place. Over the years, he bought neighboring lots and developed his heating and air business on the property along Highway 17, just north of the turn toward Edisto. And with the help of his wife, Synovia, they built and opened their restaurant in 2018. Inside, a custom Station 17 neon sign evokes a train station, and the long community table and bar were crafted with reclaimed 19th-century heart pine from downtown Charleston that was milled in Adams Run. >>READ MORE
MEGGETT CROSSROADS: Roxbury Mercantile
William “Beau” Barnwell remembers coming to the original Roxbury Mercantile as a child, especially his grandfather’s cooking and the worn wooden floor with gaps open to the bare ground. “That was before the 1983 fire that burned and melted everything,” he says.
These days, the building that replaced the old crossroads store in Meggett is once again home to a Barnwell family enterprise. The former paratrooper and graduate of the Culinary Institute of Charleston and his wife, Jackie, whose background is in restaurant management and accounting, bought the place from a fisherman and created a restaurant built on family and local history. >>READ MORE
TWIN DINNERS, EDISTO ISLAND: Edingsville Grocery Restaurant & Bar
Several things are happening at once when we get to Edingsville Grocery on Edisto Island. The twins who opened the place last fall have brought out the pretty tableware—vintage china, silver, and linens—for a special seating at one of the porch tables. Chef Robert Hughes leans in to let his brother, Randall, know that plates of crab cakes as well as quail and grits are coming out next.
The historical country store, which took them years to acquire and renovate into a restaurant, has quickly become popular. It’s a convivial place, Randall explains, and conversations are in full swing at tables near the fireplace across the room and by the green Formica counter lined with fresh-baked cakes—a carrot-hummingbird combo and a yellow one with chocolate frosting. Four or five people at the small bar in the central dining room sound like they might get a little rowdy tonight. Turns out they’re harmless, just loud talkers and laughers. And just getting settled in at the far end is the brothers’ 89-year-old father, Dr. James Hughes, a retired thoracic surgeon who lives nearby on Fishing Creek. >>READ MORE
LINKS & DRINKS, EDISTO BEACH: Ella & Ollie’s
We’re nearly 50 miles from Charleston by the time we reach the golf course at the far end of Edisto Beach. Following the road through a gate and past resort-style homes, we arrive at Ella & Ollie’s, which overlooks one of the greens. We’re arriving on a great night at this seafood-forward restaurant—soft-shell crab season is in full swing. (Other nights and seasons, the special might be fresh stone crab claws or pork chops from Walterboro’s Keegan-Filion Farm.)
Seated in a large dining room with a long bar, we order one of those fried whole crabs over succotash and a couple of glasses of rose—the softie is delicious and tender in a light, crispy fry batter. New Orleans-style barbecue shrimp in a peppery sauce is next, and we mop that up with slices of grilled baguette. Then there’s the golf-ball-size “grit puppies”—looking on the outside like a hush puppy but filled with andouille sausage and creamy, melty grits. >>READ MORE
Must Stops Along the Way
Stock up on local produce and products to bring home on the return drive along Highway 174
Flowers Seafood Company: Fresh fish, shrimp, and crabs in the blue-painted seafood market, plus ice for the cooler. Also seafood baskets, sandwiches, and boils to-go on weekends. 1914 Hwy. 174, flowersseafood.com
King’s Farm Market: Seasonal produce and take-home casseroles and ingredients, including strawberries (u-pick when in season), sweet onions, tomatoes, squash, peppers, farm eggs, steaks, bread, cakes, pies, and banana pudding. 2559 Hwy. 174, kingsfarmmarket.com
Marsh Hen Mill: Grits and cornmeal, jams and chutneys, and other pantry items at the farm-shed store beside the mill. 2995 Hwy. 174, marshhenmill.com
A bedroom in the 1940s beach house “At Ease,” a rental offered by Edisto Realty.
Where to Stay
Lucky are those who have a beach house at Edisto—or have friends who do. Otherwise, options are limited to camping at the state park or booking a beach house or condo rental. (There are no hotels on the island.)
Edisto Realty: Beach house and villa rentals. 1405 Palmetto Blvd., (843) 869-2527, edistorealty.com
*Note: There are also some listings online at booking sites VRBO and Airbnb.
Edisto Beach State Park: Cabin rentals and tent and RV camping, by reservation on both Edisto Island and Edisto Beach—all sites within a short walk or bicycle ride to the oceanfront. 8377 State Cabin Rd., southcarolinaparks.com/edisto-beach