Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Jestine's Kitchen - Charleston SC

Yes...Jestine’s Kitchen is a ‘legend’ in Charleston… It’s also a major tourist destination!  We’re not big on waiting in line for a chance to eat, but at Jestine’s it’s pretty much what you have to do to experience the place…

The big challenge is that you have to wait in line outside…in the elements.  It was in the low 80’s and humid when we got in line.  It was about 1:20 pm on a weekday and by the time we were seated, it was 2:00 pm.

The inside of the restaurant has a nice cozy feeling to it…and the air conditioning was working!  Jestine’s is famous for it’s ‘meat and 2’ sides.  It’s been called southern cooking, or soul food…but more appropriately, it’s really low country cooking.

Our next problem was that by the time we were ready to order…after standing in the heat for 40 minutes, we just weren’t that hungry. When you first sit down, they do start you out with a little dish of taste bud tickling pickled cucumbers, while you’re studying the menu…ate them up…no photo!

So we didn’t try the pecan chicken, buttermilk fried chicken, shrimp and grits, fried pork chops or the famous meat loaf.  We further limited our tasting/review of Jestine’s by ordering the same sandwich.  This is the Bacon, Lettuce and Fried Green Tomato Sandwich.  We agreed that it was a very nice sandwich and that the cole slaw was tasty too. 

This is Laurie’s ‘BLFGT’… I included the photo because one of her sides was a generous helping of fried okra.  It was cooked just right and the breading provided just the right level of ‘crunch’.  As for my French fries…they were limp and quite tasteless…

Jestine’s menu includes a number of sandwiches…’Po Boys, Peanut Butter and Banana, chicken…and sides to include Mac ‘n Cheese, Butter Beans, collard greens, corn bread…lots of variety.  There is also a Blue Plate Special available during the week.  The big drink is Jestine’s special sweet tea… We have yet to acquire a taste for sweet tea…

When we finished our sandwiches, we decided that we could split a dessert.  We ordered this nice slice of Coconut Cream Pie… It ranks up there with some of the best pie that we’ve eaten.  Other desserts on the menu include banana pudding, Coca Cola cake, pecan pie and fruit cobbler.

Our first exposure to Jestine’s was positive, good food but not great food.  We want to come back during our next trip to Charleston so we can sample a wider array of items from the menu.  Hopefully, we can find a time where the wait isn’t too long…or the weather is cooler.

Jestine’s Kitchen is located at 251 Meeting Street in Charleston.  Phone: 843-722-7224.  Jestine’s has been favorably reviewed by Michael Stern of ‘Roadfood’ fame.    


  1. I don't do waiting well and after standing in line for longer than that at Paula Deen's place and being disappointed, I am no longer interested in eating at the tourist food factories. Don't believe really good food can be served in such massive quantities - it's the little hole-in-the-wall places for me, but you knew that.

  2. Dear Dave, I just love coconut cream pie. The place does look cozy, but French fries, well they should always be crispy and tasty, just kind of ruins it. Blessings, Catherine