Sunday, November 28, 2010

Brunch at Poogan's Porch

Tucked away in a lovely Victorian home at 72 Queen Street in downtown Charleston is Poogan's Porch, one of the city's oldest and most popular dining establishments.


Since its opening in 1976, Poogan's Porch has served some of the finest Lowcountry Cuisine anywhere and has been a favorite destination for well-known actors, politicians, tourists and locals alike.

Just knowing Tennessee Williams, Joe Namath, Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, Barbra Streisand and James Brolin and so many other celebs have dined at Poogran's Porch makes a visit here all the more enticing!

There are some interesting stories associated with Poogan's Porch, and all just add to its allure.

First, its name. Seems the place was named after a scruffy neighborhood dog that spent his days roaming from porch to porch, begging for table scraps. When the restaurant opened in 1979, its owners, who loved Poogan dearly, named the eatery in his honor.

Secondly, it's haunted. The Travel Channel had voted the restaurant the "Third Haunted Place in America" in 2003. Ghost Tours here always include a stop at and story about Poogan's Porch.

The story goes that Zoe St. Amand, a native of Charleston, lived at 72 Queen Street for a number of years before her death. Since then, "she" has been spotted in various locations in the building and at various times of the day and night. Pots and pans in the kitchen have been known to crash to the floor without reason, and hostesses in the restaurant have seen visions of an old women in a long black dress walking around.

Needless to say, I couldn't wait to dine here.

When I arrived this morning for brunch, I was greeted by Andy, a native of Seattle who opted to leave grey skies and daily mists behind and make Charleston his new hometown. He led me to a charming table upstairs, right in front of one of the two fireplaces in the room. It was a welcomed sight, as temps in Charleston today are just low enough to make sitting by a roaring fire an extra special treat.

Soon I was joined by Jenny Ferrara. Jenny is a lovely young woman from Connecticut who moved to Charleston in June "because she's loves the city and just wants to live here." We connected because she now works for Obviouslee Marketing, a firm that represents Poogan's Porch and a number of other local establishments.

Knowing the treats in store, both of us were eager to place our orders!

I opted to start with a cup of the famous Issac's Okra Gumbo and found it to be absolutely yummy! (A larger portion would, in itself, make a grand meal.) Ingredients include Cajun sausage, chicken, seasonal vegetables and tomato broth.

For my entree, I selected a big bowl of Sunrise Shrimp and Grits, one of the signature dishes of Poogan's Porch. After just one bite, I knew why! Featuring a blue crab gravy, peppers, onions, sausage and two poached eggs, it was extraordinary!

After brunch, Jenny and I headed out on foot, both wanting to spend some time on King Street, popping in and out of antique and gift shops, boutiques and the like and, of course, both hoping to find more treasures to bring home.

Obviouslee, we did!





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