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Hannibal's

16 Blake St., Charleston, SC - (843) 722-2256
Posted By Michael Stern on 11/5/2009 7:58:00 AM
Finding Hannibal's, in an unstylish East Side neighborhood of port industry and housing projects, is a challenge. It looks more like an unholy bar than a Holy Grail, its low-slung dining room lit with a random array of bare bulbs and fluorescents, its seats a hodgepodge of upholstered chairs, banquettes that resemble automobile bench seats, and a few stools at the order counter.

It appears forbidding, but Jane and I were made to feel at home; actually, we were treated more like family than customers, enjoying a constant back-and-forth joshing with the staff about how we were enjoying the various items we ordered. Wanting to try everything on the menu, which includes such soul standards as smothered pork chops and fried whiting, but also expands plate-lunch possibilities to include peppery shrimp fried rice, we overordered and plowed into a meal of turkey necks, shrimp fried rice, okra stew with pig tails and crisp-fried shark, all sided by clove-accented braised cabbage and followed by sweet-sweet sweet potato pie.

Hannibal's is open for three meals a day, with breakfast offerings that include shrimp and grits, and liver 'n' onions with grits and toast. It also is known for its "2 buck sandwiches" of ham, bologna, sausage, or lunch meat. Don't ask me to explain why, but somehow the bologna on white with mayo and tomato (the latter is 50 cents extra) is really, really good.

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Scorecard

4 - Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Okra Stew
Fried Rice
Lima Bean Supper
Turkey Neck
Shark Steak
Sweet Potato Pie
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

A signature dish of Charleston that is little-known elsewhere -- the lima bean supper. It contains a vast amount of full-flavored pork.
"A signature dish of Charleston that is little-known elsewhere -- the lima bean supper. It contains a vast amount of full-flavored pork."
Michael Stern





The custardy version of macaroni and cheese served at Hannibal's is a Southern classic.
"The custardy version of macaroni and cheese served at Hannibal's is a Southern classic."
Cliff Strutz


Throughout the South, especially in soul-food restaurants, the listing of 'cabbage' on a menu doesn't mean just a steamy mass of bland crucifer. It is a porky fiesta that transforms limp leaves into luscious luxury.
"Throughout the South, especially in soul-food restaurants, the listing of 'cabbage' on a menu doesn't mean just a steamy mass of bland crucifer. It is a porky fiesta that transforms limp leaves into luscious luxury."
Michael Stern


Sweet potato pie has all the soft, sweet creaminess that you want to conclude a vividly spiced meal. We were so stuffed that we got ours to go and it fell apart in transit.
"Sweet potato pie has all the soft, sweet creaminess that you want to conclude a vividly spiced meal. We were so stuffed that we got ours to go and it fell apart in transit."
Michael Stern


Turkey necks take some effort, but the meat retrieved is as luscious as poultry can be. In back of the necks is a heap of shrimp-fried rice.
"Turkey necks take some effort, but the meat retrieved is as luscious as poultry can be. In back of the necks is a heap of shrimp-fried rice."
Michael Stern


Not your average franchised Happy Meal, but a soul food feast! Most of this plate is occupied by spicy okra stew with meat-laden neck bones and a couple of oink-flavored pigtails. At the left are hunks of deep-fried shark.
"Not your average franchised Happy Meal, but a soul food feast! Most of this plate is occupied by spicy okra stew with meat-laden neck bones and a couple of oink-flavored pigtails. At the left are hunks of deep-fried shark."
Michael Stern


The menu board on the day we stopped in: 12/31/12. Click on the photo for a readable view.
"The menu board on the day we stopped in: 12/31/12. Click on the photo for a readable view."
Cliff Strutz


You can dine high on the hog in Charleston's sophisticated restaurants, but it's also well worth exploring the Holy City's humble soul-food cafes. Hannibal's is among the humblest.
"You can dine high on the hog in Charleston's sophisticated restaurants, but it's also well worth exploring the Holy City's humble soul-food cafes. Hannibal's is among the humblest."
Michael Stern



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