JC’s Seafood

Seafood
Memorable
One of the best
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If Jimmy Buffet was a restaurant, he might be JC’s Seafood. In fact, a happy-go-lucky “Buffet Buffet” of Margaritaville songs was playing on the sound system when I first sat at a varnished wood picnic table in the screen-walled dining area. The music made it so easy to succumb to the mellow charms of this carefree room with its ocean-blue floor and fresh-air breeze wafting through. Although JC’s is a few hours from the coast, I swear I could smell the ocean!

The specialty of the house is the unofficial state dish of South Carolina, a Low Country boil. Its fundamental elements are sweet corn, potatoes, sausage, and shrimp (although crab legs, mussels, sea scallops, lobster tails, or clams can be substituted for shrimp). The whole affair is boiled and seasoned mild, spicy-Cajun, or hot. The result: a glistening mountain of magnificent eating. The seafood, trucked in by the owners directly from the coast, is impeccably fresh (the XL shrimp are regal); the sausage is firm and fatty and vigorously spiced kielbasa; the corn is all the sweeter for its contrasting veil of spice.

Raw fish in the display case can include crab legs, lump crab meat, even stone crab claws, as well as Bluffton oysters, flounder, snapper, grouper, whiting, and salmon, plus live blue crabs in season. For 50 cents per pound, the management will steam or boil and season anything they’ve got in the case. A majority of JC’s business is orders that are called in, cooked, and picked up to take away. Meals to be eaten on premises are presented just like the take-out ones: in Styrofoam clamshell containers for eating in the screened room known as the Bait Shack.

I love eating in the Bait Shack. It has a genuine folksy feel and all the ingenuous appeal of a coastal eatery that does only a few things, but does them just right. Nautical nick-knacks grace the walls; overhead lamps are made from bushel baskets; tables are outfitted with rolls of paper towels for devil-may-care, sleeves-up eating. The house motto? “Nothing Fancy … Just GOOD Food.” To that, I say Amen!

 

What to Eat
JC’s Seafood, Low Country Boil
Low Country Boil
Must-Try
Low Country boil, glowing with spice
JC’s Seafood, Extra Large Shrimp
Extra Large Shrimp
Must-Try
One mighty lunch: a pound of XL shrimp and two lengths of corn, haloed by Cajun spice.
JC’s Seafood, Sweet Corn
Sweet Corn
Must-Try
Spice on corn is like salt on watermelon, accentuating its sweetness.
JC’s Seafood, Low Country Boil for 4
Low Country Boil for 4
Must-Try
The Lowcountry Boil for 4 is an endless feast.
Directions and Hours
closed now
Sunday1pm - 6pm
MondayCLOSED
TuesdayCLOSED
Wednesday11am - 7pm
Thursday11am - 7pm
Friday11am - 8pm
Saturday10am - 8pm
Roadtrips
This restaurant is featured in the following eating tours.
10 stops | 48 MILES | 1 hr 22 min

Aiken has long been a vacation destination for the horsey set – back in the 1950s, weekly non-stop train service direct from New York served wintering horses, horse owners, and their staff. It remains a destination for horse people of all kind. If riding (or watching) the four-legged athletes conjures up an appetite, there is…

6 stops | 63 MILES | 1 hr 35 min

Road Trip Overview

After moving to Aiken, South Carolina, Michael Stern put together an expertly crafted list of his six favorite local restaurants. This road trip, spanning 63 miles, will take just over an hour and a half of driving to complete. Along this drive expect ice cream that has people driving across the state…

Information
Price
$$
Seasons
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Lunch, Dinner
Credit Cards Accepted
Yes
Alcohol Served
Yes
Outdoor Seating
Yes
Website

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