Restaurant Reviews

Pawpaw

July 21, 2017

I had some family friends come into town recently and felt a lot of pressure to take them to a good restaurant. So rather than risk one of my favorites failing to live up to the hype, I decided to have us all try somewhere I’d never been before so that we could all experience it for the first time together! I decided on Pawpaw because we’d been out exploring the Market and they had a reservation available for a party of our size. I had messed up in counting when I made the reservation, so we were actually 1 chair short when we were seated (hey, I’m a writer, not a math-er), but the team was super great about adding an extra table so that we could all sit comfortably.

I ordered a cocktail, the Word of Mouth (Local Hat Trick Gin, Yellow Chartreuse, St. Germain, Grand Marnier, Rose Water, Vanilla, $14), which I loved. I’m really into cocktails that are refreshing and vegetal, and this very much fit the bill.


 

For appetizers, we started with the Truffle Fries (roasted pepper coulis, house aioli, $8.50), which were awesome. Sometimes restaurants go way too heavy on the truffle, but the balance on these were perfect. The sauces were also delicious, and I opted to keep the house aioli to dop my 2nd appetizer (Brussels sprouts) in.

I think aioli is my favorite condiment.

The 2nd appetizer was the Brussels Sprouts (fried with parmesan cheese and chives, $8.25), which were perfecto! Nice and crispy on the outside, and soft on the inside, and seasoned perfectly. (Note that these are not on the online menu, but I just called and confirmed that they are in fact still available).

And brussels are my favorite vegetable.

Our third appetizer was the Macaroni and Cheese (parmesan bechamel, english peas, smoked pork, cheddar, biscuit breadcrumbs, $10.95). I usually prefer simpler macs, but Pawpaw did a really good job of not going overboard with the toppings, so it was delicious. A couple of people even ordered it as their entree after trying it as an appetizer.

Mac and cheese with orecchiette is growing on me.

For my entrée, I opted for the house-made Orecchiette (farm egg, smoked pork, heirloom tomato, touch of chili, $15.95), which was amazing. The egg was cooked perfectly so that the yolk melded with the pesto and created this awesome creamy sauce that was to die for. The pasta was also cooked to perfection at al dente, and it was altogether a really pleasing dish.

A top-notch pasta dish!

My mom ordered the Chef Rogers’ Recipe #88 Free-Range Fried Chicken (collard greens, potato purée, herb gravy, Nashville hot butter, $22.95) and I have to say, this is probably the best fried chicken I’ve eaten in Charleston. I’m not sure what they put in their breading, but it is fantastic. The chicken was perfectly juicy, the breading was super flavorful, and it was pretty much perfection on a plate. In terms of the sides, the mashed potatoes were creamy and rich and cheesy. My only complaint is that when asking for pepper vinegar to accompany the greens, the waitress looked at me blankly and replied “we have balsamic vinegar, would that work?” No. No it will not.

Judge all other fried chicken by this one.

All in all, Pawpaw was super flavorful and delicious and a definite crowd-pleaser for a reasonable price point (especially for its location).

Pawpaw

209 E Bay St
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 297-4443
Pawpaw Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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  • Meg Taylor July 26, 2017 at 4:30 pm

    Every year, one of the things on my summer bucket list is to visit 5 new-to-me Charleston restaurants. It’s halfway through the summer, and I’m still at 0. Whoops! I definitely need to add this to my list! That mac and cheese is calling my name, and that cocktail sounds awesome. Hat Trick Gin is one of my favorites! Awesome review, Sydney.

    Meg, Borrowed Heaven

    • Queen of the Food Age July 26, 2017 at 4:38 pm

      Yes, you should definitely go! The fried chicken and mac and cheese alone are worth the trip 🙂

  • Amanda July 27, 2017 at 9:00 am

    I’ve been here twice, both times with out of town guests and everyone was very impressed!!! The foot is outstanding and so is the service. Also love the atmosphere. Still can’t believe it used to the the Wet Willys haha!

    • Queen of the Food Age July 28, 2017 at 12:05 am

      I know, right?! It’s totally beautiful inside. Almost as crazy as how The Skinny Dip on King Street used to be Boone’s. Talk about a 180!

  • charlestoncrafted July 27, 2017 at 10:13 am

    umm i want to go here, right now. I am drooling at my desk!

  • Tori July 27, 2017 at 7:42 pm

    This looks so good!!

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