It can be hard to stand out in the crowd of award-winning restaurants that Charleston has to offer, but the small but mighty Hominy Grill has managed to do just that for the last seventeen years. Their secret: serve up hearty, classic Southern food in a relaxed environment away from the hustle-and-bustle of the more high traffic areas on the lower peninsula.
Owned and operated by Chef Robert Stehling and his wife Nunally Kersh since 1996, the Hominy Grill is located inside a Charleston single-house in keeping with their focus on a traditional-with-a-twist approach to their restaurant. Stehling, who won the James Beard award for the Best Chef Southeast in 2008, was the first Charleston chef to do so. Locals have also bestowed multiple awards on the restaurant; the readers of the Charleston City Paper voted that the Hominy Grill offered the best breakfast and the best shrimp and grits, both high praise from a city known for its excellent Southern food.
His bold decision to locate the Hominy Grill in up-and-coming Cannonborough rather than in the more established East Bay Street/ King Street/ Meeting Street area has paid off. Now the Hominy Grill, located at 207 Rutledge Avenue, is a cornerstone of the revitalization that is occurring in the upper peninsula area.
Fodor’s calls the Hominy Grill’s offerings “uptown comfort food,” that includes standards like waffles and fried chicken as well as more eclectic items like Wadmalaw Island watermelon daiquiris and strawberry rhubarb pop tarts. A popular menu item is the “Big Nasty,” a biscuit with an entire fried chicken breast smothered in homemade gravy and cheddar cheese. Chef Stehling is committed to using seasonal ingredients and local seafood; Hominy Grill is a member of the South Carolina Aquarium’s Sustainable Seafood Project. This attention to detail is obvious throughout the menu, as every item is made from scratch daily.
See the menus here. Reservations are only accepted for dinner. Breakfast, brunch and lunch are first-come, first-served.
A few tips for first-time visitors: make sure to arrive early because this small neighborhood restaurant has been discovered by locals and visitors alike. Also, parking is extremely limited around the restaurant, so plan accordingly.
“Chef Robert Stehling.” Discover South Carolina. http://www.discoversouthcarolina.com/see-do/food/chefs/coastal/charleston/stehling/default.aspx
“Hominy Grill.” Fodor’s. http://www.fodors.com/world/north-america/usa/south-carolina/charleston/review-577953.html
“Menus.” Hominy Grill. http://hominygrill.com/menus/
Moss, Robert. “Hominy Grill.” Charleston City Paper. Winter 2013. http://www.charlestoncitypaper.com/charleston/hominy-grill/Location?oid=1068371