DeShawn’s Seafood and Chicken

All-You-Can-Eat | Chicken Dinner | Crab House | Seafood
One of the best

On the wall behind the hostess station at DeShawn’s there hangs a bell with a long chain on its clapper. A sign suggests, “If you are a first time customer and you enjoyed your meal…. RING THE BELL.” When I did, I was applauded and cheered by the waitresses as well as by diners at their tables throughout the restaurant. DeShawn’s is the sort of place that inspires exultant loyalty among both staff and customers.

It is not hard to see why seafood lovers are enamored, even putting aside the restaurant’s signature splurge – all-you-can-eat crab legs for under $30.There are so many good crustaceans and flatfish to eat, most meals half the price of the crab legs blowout. Consider, for instance, fried shrimp that are taut and sweet and encased in vividly spiced breading; and flounder that is skin-on flavorful, also sheathed in a full-flavored crust; and robust catfish (whole or filleted); and scallops and oysters and a whole menu of broiled seafood and even a real low-country boil of shrimp, potatoes, sweet corn, and sausage. As for fish-frowners, note the full name of the restaurant. No afterthought, DeShawn’s splendid chicken is breaded and fried to crispy-crunchy succulence with the same expertise that graces the seafood.

Both fish and chicken are terrific, but a person could make a meal here of nothing but side dishes. Foremost among them is hot baked potato salad, rich with cheese and mayo, radiating the flavor of superabundant bacon laced throughout. Mac ‘n’ cheese is deeply cheesy, ranging from custard-soft center to chewy edge. Turnip greens contain as much turnip as greens; they are pungent and fetchingly bitter. Collard greens, on the other hand, are soft and earthy with genial vegetable character.

Aside from offering excellent food that is well priced and served fast, DeShawn’s earns warm feelings from its clientele because it is so resolutely casual. No airs or pretense here. It is a two-room eating hall unceremoniously made of cinderblocks painted ocean blue with a wood floor that is battleship gray and the usual array of nautical nick-nacks hanging on walls and from a ceiling where overhead fans spin. Waitresses wear shirts that say “Let’s Get Crackin’.” Tables are available either normal height or at high-chair level; they are made of polished wood-grain material that is easy to wipe clean.

About the only negative thing about DeShawn’s is that it has earned a large army of loyal fans, which means that on a weekend night, the wait for a seat inside can be up to an hour. Do note that DeShawn’s is closed Monday and Tuesday and closes at 5pm on Sunday.

Finally, a fun nugget of knowledge: Deanna Brown Thomas, who owns the place with her husband, Shawn Thomas, is the daughter of James Brown, the Godfather of Soul. Brown grew up just across the river in Augusta.

What to Eat
DeShawn’s Seafood and Chicken, Crab Legs (All You Can Eat)
Crab Legs (All You Can Eat)
'There's nobody in this area with crab legs my size and all you can eat.' Shawn Thomas said.
DeShawn’s Seafood and Chicken, Shrimp & Flounder Lunch Special
Shrimp & Flounder Lunch Special
What a bargain weekday lunch special! Shrimp and flounder accompanied by mac 'n' cheese and turnips with greens and, barely visible in the center of the plate, a pair of hushpuppies. All for $6.99.
DeShawn’s Seafood and Chicken, Hot Baked Potato Salad
Hot Baked Potato Salad
Hot baked potato salad augments the goodness of tender, long-cooked spuds with lots of bacon, cheese, and mayonnaise. A winning combination!
DeShawn’s Seafood and Chicken, Turnips
When I ordered turnips, I expected mostly turnips. The dish I got was about half turnips and half their greens: a tangy, peppery, fetchingly flavorful southern vegetable.
DeShawn’s Seafood and Chicken, Biscuit
DeShawn's makes an excellent biscuit, then brushes it with honey butter, creating a natural fried chicken companion.
DeShawn’s Seafood and Chicken, Fried Chicken
Fried Chicken
I felt like a guilty hoarder as I savored bite after bite after bite of all the gnarled, crunchy skin packed around each piece of Deshawn's chicken. The superabundance of crisp, peppery coat truly is a wonder of the fried chicken world.
DeShawn’s Seafood and Chicken, Key Lime Cake
Key Lime Cake
I did nothing to enhance the color in this photo of DeShawn's Key lime cake. It's that bright. Sweet, ingenuous layer cakes are a house specialty.
DeShawn’s Seafood and Chicken, Macaroni ‘n’ Cheese
Macaroni ‘n’ Cheese
Soulful mac 'n' cheese, rich and creamy with a few crisp and crunchy pieces from the edge of the casserole.
DeShawn’s Seafood and Chicken, Collard Greens
Collard Greens
Collard greens are softer-flavored and earthier than spicy turnip greens.
DeShawn’s Seafood and Chicken, Hushpuppies
Despite flecks of jalapeno pepper throughout the cornmeal, hushpuppies are staid in nature – contrast to the enthusiastic, colorful, big-flavored succulence that characterizes everything else on the menu.
DeShawn’s Seafood and Chicken, Cheese Grits
Cheese Grits
Dine-in customers are invited to help themselves to a bowl of yummy cheese grits while waiting for their meal to arrive. They are more an appetite appeaser than true appetizer.
DeShawn’s Seafood and Chicken, Yams
Soft, syrupy yams are insanely sweet.
DeShawn’s Seafood and Chicken, Gumbo
Intensely smoky, gumbo is crowded with shrimp, sausage, chicken, veggies, and rice.
DeShawn’s Seafood and Chicken, Lowcountry Boil
Lowcountry Boil
Traditional lowcountry boil of sausage, shrimp, potatoes, and corn is here supplemented by the kitchen's famously large crab legs.
DeShawn’s Seafood and Chicken, Crab Cakes
Crab Cakes
They're billed as lump crab cakes, and they taste very good; but the meat is more shredded than lumpy.
This restaurant is featured in the following eating tours.
10 stops | 1 hr 22 min total driving
6 stops | 1 hr 38 min total driving
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Lunch, Dinner
Credit Cards Accepted
Alcohol Served
Outdoor Seating

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