In preparation for our trip, I had spent hours researching Charleston’s historic buildings, attractions, tours and dining opportunities. I wanted to ensure that we hit the high points in all respects!
However, when it came to dining, I will admit that it didn’t work out as I had planned… With only one exception we ended up stopping for breakfast, lunch or dinner at restaurants that we impulsively stopped at or that someone else had suggested…
We’d spent a few of hours walking the streets and sightseeing in the downtown area of Charleston…alternatively using their free bus core city bus system as well. We were close to our Hampton Inn, we were whipped and we had no desire to travel very far to have dinner on our first night…
That’s when we passed the Francis Marion Hotel with its aptly named restaurant, Swamp Fox. We checked out the menu shown on the wall above and said, “This is the place!”
Note: For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Swamp Fox, aka. Francis Marion, he was a military officer who served in the American Revolutionary War. He was a persistent adversary of the British in their occupation of South Carolina in 1780 and 1781. Due to his irregular methods of warfare, he is considered one of the fathers of modern guerrilla warfare, and is credited in the lineage of the United States Army Rangers. He was given the name, the ‘Swamp Fox’ by a British officer who gave up after pursuing Marion through 26 miles of swamp.
This is the interior of the Swamp Fox Restaurant in the Francis Marion Hotel. It wasn’t fancy but it was perfect for 4 casually dressed worn out tourists looking for some decent food! FYI…Service was excellent!
The two ladies both ordered the house special adult beverage, the “Swamp Fox”. ($9.00) This mixed drink is a blend of vodka, lemonade, brewed unsweetened ice tea and fresh mint. They gave it two thumbs up!
I ordered this Half Caesar Salad to accompany my entrée. ($6.00) Unlike many others I’ve eaten in the last couple of years, I could actually taste the anchovy! It was a very nice salad…
Bill ordered the Fried Chicken Livers with brown gravy, peppers and onions as an appetizer. ($9.00) He said that they were very good indeed!
Bonnie and Laurie took advantage of the fact that this was the last day of “Restaurant Week” in Charleston. These special dinner packages cost $33.00 each. Both of them ordered the South Carolinian She Crab Soup with her meal. (Normally $4.00 for a cup) The soup came with a nice hunk of crusty bread. This was a winner!
I convinced myself that I should try the Chicken N’ Waffles…fried chicken with jalapeno bacon cornbread waffles, mustard “Q” sauce and South Carolina goat cheese grits substituted for collard greens. ($19.00) I really liked the grits and the fried chicken with the mustard based “Q” sauce. However, I still don’t understand the synergy between fried chicken and waffles…even jalapeno bacon cornbread waffles!
For his entrée, Bill went with the Low Country Catfish. ($21.00) It came with pecan and blue crab coleslaw and grilled tomato tartar sauce. He opted for the collard greens instead of French fries. This was another winner!
Both of the ladies ordered the Crab Cakes with Carolina red rice, grilled asparagus and lemon caper sauce. ($24.00) Both of them were very happy with their entrees!
Following a very nice dinner, our very accommodating and helpful waitress Emily, took this photo of our little group… (From left to right; Bonnie, Laurie, myself and Bill)
Just to end on a 'sweet note', in the preceding photo, you might have noticed that both of the ladies had a dessert in front of them. Here’s a close-up of happiness! It was part of their special dinner package… Laurie let me have a taste and it was excellent!
We walked in off the street and we SCORED! Swamp Fox serves some quality cuisine in a casual setting…far above the average for a hotel restaurant. Of course, to compete in Charleston, you must have good food or you’d be out of business. It is important to note that the Swamp Fox Restaurant has been serving diners since 1924…so they must be doing something right!
The Francis Marion Hotel and the Swamp Fox Restaurant are located at 387 King Street in Charleston. Phone: 843-724-8888. Restaurant Website: http://francismarionhotel.com/dining/.
…and so ended a successful first day in Charleston. Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them.
Thanks for stopping by for dinner!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave