Our time in St. Simons Island was much too short, but in order to stay on schedule with our itinerary, we need to make our way over to Charleston. Prior to leaving the island, we had to decide where to have breakfast. The restaurant 4th of May was full at both lunch and dinner, but we decided to try the Sandcastle restaurant, as they offered a buffet. Again it was a small place, but very welcoming. For $8.95 you had two kinds of grits, biscuits, sausage gravy, 3 types of sausage, bacon, hashbrowns and cornbeef hash. All of these items you serve yourself. Your eggs are prepared to order, as well as unlimited amounts of pancakes, french toast or waffles. The meal also included coffee, tea or orange juice. Service was good. You could see the kitchen from where ever you sit, so you know everything is being prepared fresh.
The morning was cold (39 degrees,) and overcast. Lola (our GPS) was acting up this morning. It’s amazing how reliant on technology we were, as none of us could remember how to get off of the island of St. Simons without Lola. She finally came around, and we were on our way. Next stop was Jekyll Island. We spent an hour walking through the historic village area shops and taking pictures of the Jekyll Island Hotel, rated among the top 500 resorts in the world by Travel & Leisure.We then asked Lola to show us the way to Charleston. We were about 190 miles away. There was a lot of road construction for the first hour, and another long stretch of road where the speed limit was 45, so the total ride took about 3 and a half hours.
We arrived in Charleston at 4:45 p.m. Our home for the next three nights is the Francis Marion Hotel. I have to say that at first glance, Charleston was not what I expected. We didn’t see much since it got dark shortly after owe checked in, so I’ll reserve more comments until then.
From the research we had done online, one of the restaurants we wanted to try was Virginia’s on King. It is a two story restaurants with brick interior walls and dark wood decor. A medium size bar in the back had several flat screen tv’s. The menu is packed with Southern classic cuisine. We once again ordered various appetizers and 2 dinners between the three of us, so we could taste as much of the dishes that are unique to the South.
As appetizers we ordered Fried Crawfish ($6.00,) Fried Pickles (4.99,) Pork Sliders ($7.99,) and Corn Fritters($4.99.) For dinner we had the fried country steak and the fried chicken, each for $13.99 with your choice of three sides. The prices were reasonable and the portions generous. As sides we tried macaroni and cheese, Hoppin’ John, red rice and sausage, stone ground grits, blue cheese cole slaw, sweet potato fries and fried okra. They also served us brocolli corn bread which was quite good. We have no negative comments about the food, although some of the items like the fried pickles or crawfish would not be something I would order again….not because of how they were preapred, but for the mere fact it isn’t something I would want to eat again. The highlights of the meal were the country fried steak, grits and mashed potatoes with gravy. Total meal was $62.
Day two is coming to a close, and we want to make note that we were able to eat at two great rertaurants for under $30 pp. We skipped lunch since we were full from a large breakfast, but we could have stayed under Rachel Ray’s $40 per day even adding in lunch…not bad!