Thursday, May 2, 2013

Lowcountry Backyard

Yeah, so everybody's heard of The Masters, right?  Even if you think golf is one of the most hypnotic, sleeper spectator sports of all time, you've heard of it.  Well, after the Masters comes The Heritage at Hilton Head.  Since I only became remotely interested in golf at the ripe old age of 31, it goes without saying that I've never been to The Heritage.  Until now.

My friend Kelley, had tickets but was unable to use them, so she offered them to me.  I thought, "Huh, I've always heard it's really fun.  Why shouldn't we go?"  So, I accepted her offer.  Good move on my part...not only did we have tickets to Saturday's play but we also had an invitation to a Hospitality Suite.  N.I.C.E.

After a fun day of wine, awesome pulled pork, cruising about the links and Harbour Town, running into friends from high school and watching said friends play the "dollar on the ground attached to fishing line" trick, it was time for us to head home.  But, first, we needed to fuel up.  And the car too.  I had consulted my buddy, Urbanspoon, and the website for The Heritage and came across a restaurant I wanted to seek out before leaving the island. The Lowcountry Backyard.

I am so glad we followed our noses.  First, this place is right off the traffic circle at Sea Pines, so it was a cinch to find. As their website tells you to come early, we were in good shape since around 4:30 we were looking for a substantial "snack" before our drive back home.  Like a couple of nerds, we were standing outside when they unlocked the door, with our Heritage tickets hanging from our shirts. To be exact, however, there was actually another couple there before us, so we didn't have to be the mega-geeks seated first!

Here's the low-down. We both flipped our lids over this little place.  It's a small dining room and a backyard dining area.  This day was chilly, so they didn't even bother asking us if we wanted to be outside...they knew we'd say no.   The dining room is charming and intimate. I loved the fact that the ceiling has those little pin-hole fiber optic lights in it.  You know, the ones that subtly change color. It has a very close and comfy feel to it like you're in the dining room of a friend. Right off, we were greeted by the most fabu waitress we've had in awhile.  She's quite beautiful, actually.
Amy. Best Waitress Ever!
First off, they make fried green tomatoes here.  I am a sucker for fried greens.  Funny thing is, until the movie Fried Green Tomatoes I'd never even heard of this.  People say and think it's so Southern, but in my South, this was not a frequent flyer on our menus. But after that movie, they started showing up everywhere. I think it was Rockaways that introduced them to me.  Things haven't been the same since! So, we ordered the fried green tomato appetizer to share.  It came as a stack of tomatoes with homemade sweet pickles.  The tomatoes were perfect and were drizzled with homemade Ranch dressing but those pickles were pretty incredible too! The slices were thick enough to allow the tartness of the tomato really come through. Fried well too, no excess grease.

Super stack of fried green tomatoes

I am not a meatloaf eater.  My mom hates meatloaf, therefore, my family never had meatloaf. I've grown curious about it as I've aged, but I've always concluded that my mom knew what she was talking about.  It's a brick of meat. The meatloaf of this restaurant is described as "potato chip meatloaf."  I thought it was interesting that some of the reviews actually said stupid stuff like "I really couldn't appreciate the potato chips." Really?  Really?  Who are these people?  Have you ever been able to "appreciate" the torn up bread or bread crumbs in other meatloaves?  Here's a shouldn't taste bread or potato chips or panko or whatever binder is used.  And here's something else you should using potato instead of bread, these clever folks have made this dish gluten-free, which we know is necessary for some and "all the rage" for others.

Neil ordered the meatloaf sandwich on flat bread with a side of grits.  I know, I know. Odd combo, but that's how my man rolls.  This meatloaf is a game-changer.  From the moment the plate hit the table, I was intrigued.  It didn't look like meat-brick.  Not at all.  It had sauteed onions, beautiful flatbread, but what really caught my attention was that there was actually JUICE coming out of the meat.  What?? Meat bricks don't have any moisture, right? Well, this is the true exception. The grits are magnificent.  Definitely cooked with cream; perfect consistency.

The meatloaf sandwich and incredible grits
 On to my plate...I chose the shrimp burger. Now this is a dish that first showed up around here back in the early 80's.  It was at the Shrimp Shack on St. Helena Island. Maybe it's because childhood memories run deep, but to this day, I think the Shrimp Shack still is the King Daddy of shrimp burgers.  However, the Lowcountry Backyard is a very close second.  The Backyard's burger was nicely cooked. I believe theirs is pan-fried and like the tomatoes, not greasy at all.  It was served, as you can see, with a beautiful bright red tomato and a crisp romaine leaf.

Shrimp Burger

I selected the macaroni salad as my side, since I'd read so much about it.  I thought it was quite good because even though it's a mayo-based pasta salad, it wasn't swimming in mayonnaise.  And, some more of those yummy homemade pickles. 

Neil and I were simply delighted with this place. The food is really good, the atmosphere is comfortable and inviting and it's not an over-priced seafood-slinging tourist magnet.  Our server was very friendly and open to our questions.  She knows the menu and made our experience A+.  I'll tell ya this...I'm ordering that meatloaf for myself next time.  Wow.  I never, ever, ever expected to hear myself say that.  This should tell you how flippin' good the stuff is.  And, if you expect or want to taste potato chips, you're just going to have to get a side of chips.  

A Lowcountry Backyard Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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