Cazey, Liz (our fabled former roommate) and I went down to Charleston to ring in the New Year, which is pretty adventurous considering none of us are New Year’s Eve people. But anyway, we stayed a night at an Airbnb where we got in trouble within eight minutes of arriving. On the way out, we asked for the best place to brunch. For the blog, of course.
He suggested Hominy Grill, so we headed over there. Either he told EVERYONE he’s EVER met to head there at the same time, or it’s just a really popular place. But we sent Cazey in and he came back immediately to report that it was a horrible pick if we wanted to eat within this century.
So as Liz was pulling out of the parking lot, I zoomed over to downtown on Yelp and read off a few names. Poogan’s Porch sounded funny (I mean, poo, lol), and "porch" sounded perfectly Southern. We found parking easily, piled out and wandered over. As we were walking up the stairs, I felt content with our choice: it was quaint.
Once you walk up the stairs, you open the door into a long hallway to the hostess. It looked like a converted old house. The two people in front of us checked in to their reservations, and I immediately regretted just showing up.
“Table for three, please, no reservation,” I said, hoping for the best.
And the best we did get.
I was ready for about a 30-minute wait, and we had none. Not a moment of pause! They sat us immediately in the back room, where there were big, floor-to-ceiling windows with shutters.
I think our enthusiasm was overwhelming to our kind waitress, as we ordered our meals and coffee immediately.
The coffee wasn't the strongest coffee I've ever had, but they did a great job keeping me constantly refreshed, which is a feat since I had four full cups.
I ordered the low country omelet, which was stuffed with pimento cheese, ham and peppers, since we were in the south after all. I was between the low country omelet and the fried chicken sandwich (blue cheese, Brussels sprout slaw and pickles). Cazey ordered the pimento BLT with egg and got potatoes on the side. I was tempted to get the grits because Cazey got the potatoes, but I don’t really like grits (please see my grits experience at Social 52).
I wish I timed how long it took the food to come out, because I bet it was sub 10-minutes. As I watched the food get laid out on the table, I had a moment of pause, since there was grits on my plate instead of potatoes. Then I reconsidered, since if I’m going to like grits, it’ll be in the South.
My first bite of omelet was pure egg. The second bite was much better. The ham chunks were bigger than I was expecting, and the pimento was rich and creamy. Then I headed over to try the grits. Boy, let me tell you, I might be a fan of grits, y’all! They were creamy, savory and delicious.
Growing up, I thought Cream of Wheat was the shit. We’d eat it after getting teeth removed (not to sound weird, but I did that often), when we were sick or when it was rainy. I thought grits were the ugly stepsister of Cream of Wheat, but they do in fact serve very different purposes. They’re not actually comparable at all. Grits are good when they’re good. I tried grits the next day too and wasn’t such a fan as at Poogan's Porch.
In short: I’d go back to Poogan’s Porch for brunch in Charleston.
We even considered going back on Monday, but it’s downtown and we were not. Want two more ringing endorsements?
One of our fellow RVA-based foodies from Let's Share a Dish saw that I was in Charleston and recommended Poogan’s. We had already gone, but it felt better going there knowing we were supposed to go there rather than me just randomly picking a funnily-named restaurant.
- We went on a ghost tour that night, and they told us to go too. Apparently one of the two former occupants haunts it.
We stumbled into Poogan’s and stumbled upon the place you’re supposed to brunch in Charleston.