Memorable | One of the Best
Review by: Michael Stern
“One of my favorite Roadfood restaurants,” is how tipster George Motz described the SeeWee Restaurant, a former grocery north of Charleston along US 17. Expanded to include a patio for al fresco dining, the SeeWee still looks a bit like a roadside store – shelves stocked with supplies, higgledy-piggledy décor of nautical bibelots. But it is now a restaurant, well-known to Charlestonians for its local seafood, its downhome vegetables, and its cakes.
What should I eat at SeeWee Restaurant?
Daily specials are chalked on a board; when we visited they included country-fried steak, whole catfish, Jamaican jerk chicken, Buffalo shrimp or oysters (fried in spicy Buffalo-wing style), and fish stew by the cup or bowl. We zeroed in on the regular menu and its fried seafood. In this part of the world, cooks know how to fry shrimp, scallops, and oysters. You can get a platter or a sandwich with very good extra-large French fries and cole slaw on the side. Our shrimp were snapping firm and veiled in a fine, crisp crust.
One of the great only-in-the-South meals to get here is an all-vegetable plate. Choose four from a list of more than a dozen, including such local faves as red rice, butter beans, fried squash, fried okra, and rice and gravy. We went for fried green tomatoes (deliciously al dente with a tangy smack), sweet potato casserole (super spicy), macaroni and cheese (dense and thick with cheese), and collard greens (salty, oily, luxurious).
As you walk in the restaurant you will see a shelf of the day’s layer cakes; and desserts are listed on a blackboard. When we saw chocolate cake with peanut butter icing, we knew we had to have a piece. So we ordered it as we ordered lunch. The cake came before the meal. “I cut this for you because I was worried there wouldn’t be any left by the time you were ready,”: our waitress kindly explained as she set it down with our sweet teas. We are so grateful she was watching out for us, because this cake was superb … as was our caramel layer cake and goober pie.
No bill arrives after the meal. When you’re done eating, the waitress will instruct you to go up to the cash register and tell the man your table number. He’s got your check and will tally it up and get you squared away.
Breakfast is served Saturdays only.
Directions & Hours
|Credit Cards Accepted||Yes|
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What To Eat
SeeWee Restaurant Recipes
What do you think of SeeWee Restaurant?
4 Responses to “SeeWee Restaurant”
June 6th, 2011
I’ve been to Charleston, SC two years in a row (visiting relatives who moved down there) and for two years in a row I’ve eaten at See-Wee. The person who hated it… nuts! Listen, folks, take it from a New York foodie who regularly eats out at the finest restaurants as well as the best local “joints” from coast to coast and around the world: See-Wee is one cool place. See-Wee has “atmosphere,” not ambiance. It’s kitschy yet authentic. Noisy and boisterous? Yep. Friendly and inviting? Darn right!
As for the food, two words: fried pickles. Three more words: free hush puppies. My personal favorite special there: Black and Bleu Shrimp! Listen, it’s comfort food; fresh, homemade comfort food. There’s cold beer on tap – by the pitcher if you’re so inclined – and either indoor or outdoor seating.
Waiters and waitresses are friendly. If you’re from NY or MA or CA or any “wealthy” part of the country you’ll find the prices more than fair. Hey, what else do you want? It’s South Carolina. It’s REAL South Carolina. And it’s darned good!
And let me let you in on a bit of a little “secret.” Google “barn jam awendaw green” and see what happens right across the street from See-Wee each Wednesday night. Folks, I’m telling ya, dining at the See-Wee and then attending the (contributions gladly accepted) Wednesday night barn jam… ya can’t get more “country” than that!
August 23rd, 2010
Bad, just really bad. There is no art to the fried food at this kitschy roadside cafe. The building and decor look promising, but the food disappoints.
The fried beer-battered shrimp are small, tough, and taste like overused cooking oil. I had to scrape the batter off so I could eat these rubbery crustaceans. Although the mayonnaise-based slaw was fine, the collards were too bitter. They had not used any ham to flavor the pot liquor. I tried to eat a piece of apple pie to console myself, yet the bottom crust was raw and the tart apples were as undercooked as the pie crust. Truly a disappointing meal.
If you are headed north on US-17 from Conway, remember to eat before you pass the city limits!
July 12th, 2008
SeeWee is worth the 15 minute drive from the beaches (Isle of Palms and Sullivan’s Island). Costs are reasonable for today’s expanding food and gas prices; dinner and dessert for two was under $50 and we had plenty of food.
We had fried pickles and a cup of she-crab soup for appetizers; complimentary hush puppies were brought to the table for good measure. For our main courses we each had a seafood platter; both orders were fried with plenty of grease for a kinda messy show. The catfish portion was very small but the jumbo shrimp made up for it. The third item on the seafood platter was fried oysters; we each ate one and left the other four on the plate. The oysters were another hot greasy mess.
We each had two vegetable sides, which included greens, mac ‘n’ cheese, fried green tomatoes, and fried squash. The vegetables weren’t as greasy as the seafood, but they were a little too salty for my taste. For dessert we had bourbon pecan pie, slightly warm, and red velvet cake. The desserts were the best part of the meal; kinda balanced off the salt and grease. If you like a place that still has Coca-Cola and Grape Nehi in glass bottles, or ice-cold Pabst Blue Ribbon, this is the place for you.
September 27th, 2007
Since making the “Hit Parade” of quaint Southern restaurants, SeeWee has gotten a big head. Prices have gone up, food is OK, but… All in all, since I live in the South and can prepare everything on their menu equal to or better than SeeWee, and I know the $$’s behind each serving, and I know how to serve it, my patience wears thin.
Their soups are particularly annoying. Thick is not necessarily better, and serving it at too cool a temperature is even worse. That’s how it came across during my last visit. Soft-shell crabs are “cool” for the tourists, but to charge $14 for one boiled in lard, served with mac and cheese and collards is a joke! Properly prepared it may be worth that price, but simply to dump a lovely soft-shell crab into the lard, overcooking it to the point that the delicate meat inside is indistinguishable from the shell, is a disgrace.
Would I go again? Yes, to see if they get it. BTW, the fried green tomatoes are spot on. These alone will get me back, and while there I will sample some of the rest and keep updating my opinion on this website. As a local “joint” it works as a stop on anyone’s “gotta go there” list; however you may leave disappointed if you know your food. That said, if you are not into food preparation and would like to experience how the locals ate a few generations ago, it’s for you. Forget the cost, simply enjoy the “Living Museum” experience.