Legendary | Worth driving from anywhere
Review by: Michael Stern
It is not surprising to find great seafood in Charleston, South Carolina. But a great lobster roll? Yes, here it is; and it does make food-chain sense when you know that 167 Raw is an offshoot of the 167 Raw fish market and raw bar of Nantucket, Massachusetts. So, the lobster meat is dandy: sweet and resilient, veiled in mayo and piled high in its bun. And oh, that bun! I’ve seen nothing like it Downeast, where it is common to lightly toast a split-top bun on a buttered grill. 167 Raw takes that practice to surreal extent, virtually deep-frying an extra-hefty roll in a pan full of butter. It becomes crunch-edged and luxurious: lobster’s BFF.
Beyond the headliner lobster roll, 167 Raw’s menu is a rousing parade of spectacular seafood. The tuna burger, for instance, is a plush pillow of ground tuna that is sweet and fatty, griddle-cooked until its outside gets crisp but the center stays as pristine as the finest sushi you’ve ever known. Halibut ceviche offers silky white nuggets of fish in sweet/tart citrus marinade, accompanied by a plateful of kettle-hot, well-salted tortilla chips. Of course, there are raw oysters, at least a half dozen different kinds, a board above the bar listing where they’ve come from that day and rating their salinity. Other highlights: fish tacos, crudo of the day, po boys, seafood tacos, and, for fish frowners, 10-hour pork carnitas.
Note: It isn’t easy to eat at 167 Raw. There are no reservations; service is strictly first come, first served. There almost always is a line of people hoping for a seat. I arrived at 10:45am, 15 minutes before opening, and there already was a cluster of eager customers waiting for the door to be unlocked.
Thanks to Rich McNeil (who knows his lobster rolls) for directing me here.
|Meals Served||Lunch, Dinner|
|Credit Cards Accepted||Yes|