A Favorite Charleston Seafood Dive

With its locally-caught seafood, graffiti-adorned walls, and cheerful atmosphere, you're always here with family at Bowens Island Restaurant.


[MUSIC] I'm Morgan Murphy. I have traveled 10,000 miles this summer to find the very best food in the South. Come along with me as I show you the South's best restaurants off the eaten path. Today I'm on Bowens Island, South Carolina. I'm about to eat at Bowens Island restaurant. We're just a hop, skip and a throw from downtown Charleston. Look at this giant pile of oysters behind me. That's a surefire sign that we're about to have a great meal because it's all local. We've got local oysters. Got shrimp boats going by, I can't wait to go in there and have a beer out on the back porch for a perfect summer afternoon. [MUSIC] I'm here with Hope Barbra, and Hope you were the, the granddaughter, great granddaughter. The great granddaughter. Tell me about your great grandmother. My great grandmother, her name was Sarah May Bowens and she bought Bowens island back in the 1940s. She and my great grandfather for about $3000. Oh, man. And he still had people fish out here all the time and got tired of people asking her to cook when they caught. So she decided, well, if I'm gonna do this, then I might as well make some money out of it. So she opened the restaurant and my father took over for her when she passed away in 1990. And so it's been in the family for well, over 50 years. Can you actually, when you drive in, you drive pass some of your family members houses? We do, the, the whole island itself is still owned by family. I love you, I love the dirt road and the oyster shells and everything about it. It is neat. Originally though, there was no causeway. You had to wait until high tide and you had to take a boat over. Now that's living. To get over the island. Exactly. Now tell me a little more about your oysters. Are they local oysters. Actually our, we serve for all you can eat oysters local oysters only and those are harvested by local gentlemen who go out and pick the oysters on a daily basis. [MUSIC] The unique thing, I guess, about low country oysters is that they are in clusters. A lot of people are familiar with the singles. Right. Or the select. So when you pull up a low country oyster, you get more than one? Yes, you get more than one. You get five or six on, on a, in a cluster. And so it's sort of up to you to, to sit with your oyster knife, and open them up. So this is Frogmore Stew. Tell me about Frogmore Stew. This is Frogmore Stew is also known as Low Country Boil. Okay. or, it's sometimes called Beaufort Stew. And I guess it originated in a little place near Beaufort called Frogmore, South Carolina. So there are no frogs in it. There are no frogs in it. And it's not really a stew, either. It's more of a boil, Yeah, there's no juice What's in here? So you have, corn. You have red potatoes. You have sausage and then fresh [INAUDIBLE] So, you gonna try some of this with me? I can't wait to try some of this. I, I sure will. If I'm gonna have corn in my teeth, you gotta have corn in your teeth. Okay. Okay? Alright. Oh, man. Fresh summer corn is so good. I love it. Yeah, it's, it's it's the best. It's really sweet though, with that kick of spice that really gives it to it. Mhm, it's delicious. I love corn. [MUSIC] Not only do they tolerate graffiti here at Bowen's Island, they even encourage it by giving you the pen. Now, I just gotta think of something clever. [MUSIC] You know the best thing about Bowen's Island. I mean can you imagine a more perfect summer afternoon? I've got a frosty beer. I've got a plate full of succulent crab cakes that were caught fresh today. Not the cake but the crab. It is just beautiful on the back porch here at Bowman's Island. I can't wait to try this. [MUSIC] Hot damn, that is good! I know Maryland thinks they got the corner on crab cakes but you need to come here to Bowen's Island, South Carolina right near Charleston and give this a try. I'm Morgan Murphy, you've been watching Off the Eaten Path. Mmm!
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