Seafood Feast in Hilton Head, South Carolina
Don and I learned from a local, that this was the best place to go for seafood when visiting Hilton Head. "It's kind of stinky sometimes, but don't let that bother you."
Checking It Out
On the Docks
I told Don to wait in the car and I'd run in to check on the smell. I passed the sign saying, "Yes, Our Oyster Bar is Open. Entrance at the Docks." I loved it already.
Built on Oysters!
I peeked around the other side and saw more boats and tons of oyster shells. This property originally opened in the 1920's, for seafood processing. Thousands of oysters were brought in daily, by oar-powered boats. They were shucked inside and sent north on barges. Discarded shells piled up outside, eventually creating the peninsula, where the current restaurant sits!
So I stepped inside and was immediately greeted by cheery staff. I said I was just checking the place out for later. I discreetly inhaled and wasn't blown over by fishy smells. "Look around!" A young woman encouraged.
Shucking Tools and a Window
I tried to photograph a display of oyster shucking tools. The glare was bad, but I could read some of the different names... like Stabber Pattern! A woman cleaning up, noticed my interest and pointed through the wall's window to another room.
Oyster Factory Room?
She seemed delighted that I was interested in the history. She took me into the large room, which I believe was called the Oyster Factory Dining Room. She said it was the original space where oysters were once shucked.
She pulled me over to a painting on the wall. "This shows what it used to look like in here." The image showed about 10 men shucking at long tables. Evidently Hudson's today, serves over 3,000 gallons of oysters annually.
A Good Report
When I finally made it back to the car, I told Don we just had to come back when our friends arrived. A few days later we headed over with Dan and Kim. It was a lovely evening, when we approached from the east, as the sun was lowering.
We paused to check out the boats from across the water. Hudson's is the only restaurant on the island that has a working fleet of shrimp boats.
It was tempting to eat on the deck, near the boats. We might have seen Jeff and Skip Toomer arrive. They are third generation shrimpers.
But we opted for inside dining... after watching a dolphin, playing during sunset.
Kim and Don
We didn't get a table right at the window, but there were plenty of windows surrounding us. Kim and Don posed for me. We've had a few memorable meals and photo posing times, in our 25+ years of friendship.
Our waiter Todd was on top of things. We told him how hungry we were and he brought us their famous hushpuppies first. My photo is blurred, but the flavor was perfection. Light brown with onions and crispy, sweet cornbread! No sauce was needed! There's a long story about how the Hudsons purchased this recipe with bottles of whiskey. The crab cakes were just heavenly!
Don's Fried Shrimp with Slaw
Don just had to have fried shrimp. 100,000 pounds of shrimp are consumed here annually.
Knowing about the oyster history, I made sure to have some. Todd explained that it was a good oyster day because of the low tide. My Oysters Rockefeller and Bacon Wrapped Oysters were very yummy. The Stuffed Mushrooms, Mini Crab Cakes and Scallops were also good.
So we got to enjoy a dining adventure with our good friends... at an iconic, family owned seafood business in South Carolina!
Thanks Hudson's! You passed the food and smell test!
The Dining Blog
This is a blog about Dining Adventures. Sometimes, I talk about food. Below, you can read how this started.
On July 4th 2011, I set a goal to try 50 culturally diverse restaurants in one year! (I knew that was possible, living in the Houston area) I spent the year pulling in friends and family to join me, on some unusual dining adventures. I met some curious people, tried some scary foods and explored places and cultures I never would have otherwise. Even though I met my goal, I learned too much to end my adventures in dining. I have continued blogging about memorable dining adventures of all kinds, near and far... and all the discoveries and funny things I've learned along the way!
Locations and types of dining adventures, are listed further down.