A few weeks ago, I had the honor of attending Carolima’s first Gullah/Geechee dinner in Goose Creek as a guest of Carolima’s chef, Sameka Jenkins. As I was stuck in traffic for over an hour traveling from Johns Island, I thought to myself this food better be worth it. After stuffing myself with all the Gullah food my stomach could fit (and then some), the verdict was clear: the food is definitely worth it!
The setup was super casual, with a number of tables setup community style, meaning you sit down with a bunch of strangers (but leave with lots of new friends)! While they were putting some finishing touches on the meal, they had us play fun little word games, handing out plates with common Gullah/Geechee phrases on them and asking us what they mean.
They also brought out little appetizers to whet our palate while we waited for the main event. The first was some of the best fried okra I’ve ever had. The breading was nice and light and perfectly seasoned, and there wasn’t a lot of that token sliminess that okra is known for.
Next, we had a “Lowcountry Egg Roll” stuffed with collard greens and pork. It was really yummy, and a fun twist on a classic. These were really fun to eat!
The food was set out on the bar buffet-style, and one table at a time lined up to be served. Everything was amazing. I loaded up on one of everything (because why not?!) and was thoroughly impressed with every bite I took.
My absolute, hands-down favorite thing was the fried chicken. Holy cow. I don’t know what she puts in her breading, but it is jam-packed full of flavor and super light and crispy. I definitely got up for seconds.
There were also a ton of sides, everything you could possibly want. Like cabbage
and, of course, rice (in a few different iterations).
There were 2 different dessert bars: the Charleston Chewy and the Red Velvet Brownie. My favorite were the Charleston Chewies. I’m not 100% sure on all of the ingredients in these bars, but I am sure of one thing: there is a lot of butter. And I am here for it.
The creative director of Carolimas, Rethmiriam Barr, also gave us a fun mini-history lesson that talked about the differences between Gullah and Geechee, and its cultural impact on the Lowcountry.
All in all, this was an unforgettable event. The food was amazing, the people were friendly and boisterous, and I learned a lot! I’m not sure when the next Gullah/Geechee dinner will be held, but in the meantime, Carolima’s is offering an amazing menu for Thanksgiving: Garlic & Herb Roasted Turkey (12-14lbs), their “Famous” Macaroni & Cheese, Sweet Potato Souffle topped with Brown Sugar and Pecans, Sautéed Green Beans, Cornbread Dressing, Southern Style Brown Gravy for 10 people for just $175! Place your order ASAP and be ready to impress everyone at your table!