Rae’s Coastal Cafe

Caribbean | Lowcountry | Seafood
Worth a return

Reminiscent of 20th century sea-themed eateries such as Hinky Dink’s (Trader Vic’s original place) and the Chart House, Rae’s Coastal Cafe is casual and fun. Open since 1992, it looks like a tin-roof shack. Oddly nestled deep in Augusta’s well-heeled Forest Hills neighborhood, it’s a challenge to find. (My GPS would have had me driving over people’s lawns to get to it.) Interior decor is a happy hodgepodge of nautical miscellany.

Informal it may be, but tables are covered with thick white cloths and the food reveals skillful hands in the kitchen.

Rae’s is known for serving what old-timers know as the Green Jacket Salad (for the old Augusta restaurant that invented it): a well-marinated mix of iceberg and romaine lettuce, scallions, tomato, red pepper and countless little crisp croutons made from pita bread. It is a boon companion to just about anything on the menu, or suitable in full-size form to be a meatless meal . In fact, you can get a very forthright lunch of salad sided by yellow rice and black beans (this is not vegetarian-friendly; the beans are scrumptiously porky) or a tricked-up salad topped with strips of grilled jerk chicken. The chicken is marvelous, made from a recipe that Conrad the waiter assured me comes straight from Jamaica — perfumy, peppery, and allspice-sweet.

Other exotica from farther south include Cajun-spiced blackened mahi mahi, Gulf Coast coconut fried shrimp, and Key lime pie guaranteed to be made from genuine Key lime juice. But it’s the Carolina specialties that win my heart: thick and velvety she-crab soup, Low Country Frogmore Stew (shrimp, sausage, potatoes, and corn), and plump, filler-free Outer Banks crab cakes.

Among notable desserts are Kahlua-charged chocolate cheesecake and frozen mango pie that is a dense block of fruit-infused cream cheese topped with raspberry sauce.

What to Eat
Rae’s Coastal Cafe, Rae’s Salad
Rae’s Salad
Raes famous salad includes marinated lettuce, peppers, and little croutons of crisp-toasted pita bread.
Rae’s Coastal Cafe, Jamaican Jerk Chicken Salad
Jamaican Jerk Chicken Salad
Atop the tangy Rae's salad lie strips of chicken with sweet-spicy jerk seasonings.
Rae’s Coastal Cafe, Crab Sandwich
Crab Sandwich
Baked crab patty is nothing but seasoned crab. No filler.
Rae’s Coastal Cafe, Key Lime Martini
Key Lime Martini
Key lime martini glass is rimmed with Graham cracker crumbs.
Rae’s Coastal Cafe, Blackened Mahi Mahi
Blackened Mahi Mahi
Blackened mahi mahi packs peppery wallop.
Rae’s Coastal Cafe, She-Crab Soup
She-Crab Soup
Sherry is offered for drizzling on she crab soup.
Rae’s Coastal Cafe, Key Lime Pie
Key Lime Pie
Key lime pie is fluffy more than silky.
Rae’s Coastal Cafe, Frozen Mango Pie
Frozen Mango Pie
Mango-infused frozen cream cheese, drizzled with raspberry sauce
Rae’s Coastal Cafe, Dinner Roll
Dinner Roll
Meals begin with high-quality rolls and a ramekin of whipped butter.
Rae’s Coastal Cafe, Grilled Salmon
Grilled Salmon
Grilled salmon, infused with orange rum sauce
Rae’s Coastal Cafe, Scallops
Scallops wallow in citrus butter.
Rae’s Coastal Cafe, Shrimp and Grits
Shrimp and Grits
Shrimp and grits comes in casserole form.
Rae’s Coastal Cafe, Frogmore Stew
Frogmore Stew
Frogmore stew, aka Lowcountry boil
Rae’s Coastal Cafe, Chocolate Cheesecake
Chocolate Cheesecake
Supersweet chocolate cheesecake, dripping with Kahlua and raspberry puree
Rae’s Coastal Cafe, Carrot Cake
Carrot Cake
Carrot cake delivers expected nutty sweet flavor.
Rae’s Coastal Cafe, New Orleans Shrimp
New Orleans Shrimp
Stars of a New Orleans shrimp plate are marinated-lettuce salad (11 o'clock) and fantastic crisp-pickle tartar sauce.
Directions and Hours
Open Year Round
Meals Served
Lunch, Dinner
Credit Cards Accepted
Alcohol Served
Outdoor Seating

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