Week in Pawley’s Island, SC

Rustic Table, Pawley's Island SC

Anyone who knows my husband and I, knows that we spent some of the best years of our lives as South Carolinians. Back in 2011, my husband’s position in the military required us to leave the Tar Heel State for our neighbors to the South, for a two-and-a-half year stint in Charleston. We adapted quickly to coastal living and lowcountry cuisine (obviously very challenging), and the Holy City became a place that truly felt like home. We had our first child in Charleston, and both started our grown-up careers there (in fact, I still work for the same Charleston-based company today).

Once we posted up in Charleston, we didn’t feel inclined to venture too far out from our home near IOP. Admittedly we still haven’t explored much of SC today, that is, except for a little beach town called Pawley’s Island.

Pawley's Island Creek, SC
Pawley’s Island Creek

Pawley’s has always been important to my inlaws. My husband has been traveling there annually with with his family since he was born, and the tradition started long before then, with his grandmother back in the 1940’s. I started tagging along on their yearly vacation several years ago, and while I may not have the same ties to the island as my better half – the trip always serves as a cozy reminder of our lowcountry life years ago.

Over the past week we received messages and requests for recommendations in Pawley’s Island, so I thought it might help to share a few select experiences (both old and new) for anyone planning to visit.

bisQit

Location: The Hammock Shops Village, off of Ocean Highway

bisQit has become one of our standbys over the past couple of years. One reason, frankly, is convenience; it’s close to our rental, and it’s open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It has also become a favorite for our kids because of it’s location inside the Hammock Shops Village, which also houses a play ground, hammocks, and numerous gift shops. All of this aside, it’s also yummy.

While the food is great, we find that our motivation to rinse off the sand, and pile into the car is usually due to their beverages.

The Nutty Cup at BisQit in the Hammock Shops Village, Pawley's Island SC (vanilla ice cream, chocolate chips, peanut butter, chocolate syrup, and Frangelico)
The Nutty Cup at bisQit
Rosemary Vodka Lemonade at BisQit in the Hammock Shops Village, Pawley's Island SC
Rosemary Vodka Lemonade at bisQit

My husband’s go-to drink this week was the Nutty Cup (vanilla ice cream, chocolate chips, peanut butter, chocolate syrup, and Frangelico), while mine was (and has been for years past) their Rosemary Vodka Lemonade.

For breakfast, we usually opt for bisQit sandwiches. They have several available, plus the option to build your own with delicious à la carte items like horseradish white cheddar, root beer-braised pork belly, or country ham.

The Litchfield biscuit sandwich, at BisQit in Pawley's Island SC (fried chicken, bacon, cheddar, apple butter, plus à la carte fried egg)
The Litchfield, at bisQit (fried chicken, bacon, cheddar, apple butter, plus à la carte fried egg)

Beyond their namesake offering, bisQit also serves pancakes, eggs, breakfast burgers and tacos, as well as a massive breakfast burrito.

Breakfast Burrito at BisQit in Pawley's Island SC (scrambled eggs, home fries, jalapeno bacon, and melted cheese, smothered in house queso, topped with roasted green chiles)
Breakfast Burrito at bisQit (scrambled eggs, home fries, jalapeno bacon, and melted cheese, smothered in house queso, topped with roasted green chiles)

Come lunchtime, choose from more sandwiches (both bisQit and traditional), soups, salads, and a slew of great burger options. Similar to the bisQit sandwiches, burgers can be customized with add-on items like pimento cheese, chorizo, and avocado.

Smokehouse Burger at bisQit in Pawley's Island SC (BBQ sauce, jalapeno bacon, pepperjack, smoked gouda, pickles, and onion ring)
Smokehouse Burger at bisQit (BBQ sauce, jalapeno bacon, pepperjack, smoked gouda, pickles, and onion ring)
Southeast Burger at bisQit in Pawley's Island SC (country ham, pimento cheese, iceburg lettuce, sliced tomato, mayo)
Southeast Burger at bisQit (country ham, pimento cheese, iceburg lettuce, sliced tomato, mayo)

It has become our habit to end every visit to bisQit with a trip to the Candy Cottage, a short walk away through The Hammock Shops Village. After perusing the the candy and toy selection, we slip into the connecting building that houses apparel, shoes, and some really cute gifts. If you have someone on your list, chances are you can find something for them here, or in another close-by shop.

The Candy Cottage at The Hammock Shops Village in Pawley's Island SC
The Candy Cottage at The Hammock Shops Village

The Chive Blossom Cafe

Location: 85 N Causeway Rd, Pawleys Island, SC 29585

The Chive Blossom Cafe is located right on the Causeway we take onto the island, so we’ve passed it many, many times, but this was the first year that we actually ventured in. We’ve heard before that you need a reservation, and that it should be made a week ahead. We had done no such thing, but decided to roll the dice and see what they could do for a party of slackers.

We entered through the side door to see a seriously adorable spot. There were shell light fixtures, cozy lighting, and I’m sure more details that I missed. Before I could take more in, we were informed that there was a patio outside that was first-come, first-served. We completed our walk through the small dining room and exited out the other side. Across the gravel lot was a generously-sized patio under a lovely canopy of trees and string lights.

Washed Out at The Chive Blossom Cafe in Pawley's Island, SC (Dixie vodka, cucumber sugar, fresh lemon juice, Washed Out Wheat)
Washed Out at The Chive Blossom Cafe (Dixie vodka, cucumber sugar, fresh lemon juice, Washed Out Wheat)

We began our dinner with drinks: a Washed Out (above) for me, and a Westbrook One Claw for my husband. For the kids, it’s important to note that they did not have milk as a beverage option. If it’s a must-have for your kiddos, it will be a BYOM situation.

For starters, we tried their Shrimp Stuffed Medjool Dates, followed by the She Crab Soup, both of which were fantastic. My husband and I usually have different opinions on how she crab soup should be, but this one won both of our favor.

She Crab Soup at Chive Blossom in Pawley's Island, SC
She Crab Soup at The Chive Blossom Cafe
Shrimp Stuffed Medjool Dates at The Chive Blossom Cafe in Pawley's Island, SC (apple smoked bacon-wrapped, with toasted pecans, smoked gouda, and balsamic drizzle)
Shrimp Stuffed Medjool Dates at The Chive Blossom Cafe (apple smoked bacon-wrapped, with toasted pecans, smoked gouda, and balsamic drizzle)

For our mains, we tried the Shrimp and Scallops, and Local Grouper. These were winners as well. We order shrimp and grits pretty regularly, but the truffle butter The Chive Blossom Cafe added was a welcome departure from what we’re used to.

Foreground: Local Grouper (warm dill potato salad, lobster, corn, asparagus); Background: Shrimp and Scallops (yellow stone-ground grits, truffle butter) at Chive Blossom in Pawley's Island, SC
Foreground: Local Grouper (warm dill potato salad, lobster, corn, asparagus); Background: Shrimp and Scallops (yellow stone-ground grits, truffle butter)

Overstuffed, but incapable of passing on dessert, we ordered two of about five or six dessert offerings that evening. A warm housemade Ghirardelli brownie smothered with vanilla bean ice cream, and a banana pudding crème brûlée.

Banana Pudding Crème Brûlée, and Ghirardelli Brownie with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream at The Chive Blossom Cafe in Pawley's Island, SC
Banana Pudding Crème Brûlée, and Ghirardelli Brownie with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream at The Chive Blossom Cafe

Pawley’s Raw Bar

Location: 9448 Ocean Hwy, Pawleys Island, SC 29585

Pawley’s Raw Bar is another place that has become a favorite in years past. They offer some of our favorite beach comfort foods – creek shrimp, crab legs, scallops, she crab soup, and fresh caught fish (just to name a few).

A new favorite of mine is the Bangin’ Shrimp Salad. I get to enjoy fried shrimp, fried wonton strips, topped with the Raw Bar’s house made creamy, spicy sauce – but I still get to say I had a salad for dinner.

Bangin' Shrimp Salad at Pawley's Raw Bar in Pawley's Island SC (fried shrimp tossed in housemade bangin' sauce, over fresh greens, tomato, cucumber, Monterey Jack, and fried wonton strips)
Bangin’ Shrimp Salad at Pawley’s Raw Bar (fried shrimp tossed in housemade bangin’ sauce, over fresh greens, tomato, cucumber, Monterey Jack, and fried wonton strips)
She Crab Soup at Pawley's Raw Bar in Pawley's Island, SC
She Crab Soup at Pawley’s Raw Bar

Another benefit (at least for our group), is that it’s very kid friendly. They have a solid kids menu, crayons with brown paper on the tables, and a fully fenced-in play ground off the front of the building. In fact, one of our favorite ways to begin our trip is heading straight to the Raw Bar after check-in, so adults can get a beer and the kids can stretch their legs after being in the car for four hours.

Massey’s Pizza

Location: 115 Willbrook Blvd, Pawleys Island, SC 29585 (but they deliver!)

After several meals out, we usually hit a mid-week wall with getting the kids ready (and convincing them that they want to go out for dinner). We hit that wall a little early this year, on Monday. Enter Massey’s Pizza.

Bacon Cheddar Cheeseburger Pizza from Massey's Pizza in Pawley's Island, SC
Bacon Cheddar Cheeseburger Pizza from Massey’s Pizza
Bacon Cheddar Cheeseburger Pizza from Massey's Pizza in Pawley's Island, SC
Bacon Cheddar Cheeseburger Pizza from Massey’s Pizza

The first few pizza places we looked into were closed on Monday, but we were happy that we landed on Massey’s.

The Bacon Cheddar Cheeseburger Pizza was my choice: beef, bacon, cheddar, mozzarella, and provolone. The kids ordered a regular cheese pizza, which I didn’t get to try, but understand that it was really good.

Rustic Table

Location: 10683 Ocean Hwy, Pawleys Island, SC 29585

Our last meal this trip was brunch at another new-to-us spot, a restaurant called Rustic Table. Close to the Hammock Shops and right off of Ocean Highway, we had passed it several times throughout the week and wanted to fit it in before we left.

It’s owned by the same folks that own Bistro 217, a stonesthrow from Rustic Table, and a favorite among my inlaws. I’ve personally never been to Bistro 217, (for fear of how my children would behave) but I hear it’s a great experience, and the Crab Nachos are a must-order.

As for Rustic Table, the kids were well-accommodated, and so were we. I enjoyed a monstrous Monte Cristo with thick slabs of ham, melted cheese, and raspberry sauce for dipping; my husband ordered the Chicken Waffles, which were drizzled with a Tabasco® maple syrup.

Monte Cristo at Rustic Table in Pawley's Island SC (egg-battered ham and cheese sandwich with breakfast potatoes and berry sauce)
Monte Cristo at Rustic Table (egg-battered ham and cheese sandwich with breakfast potatoes and berry sauce)
Chicken Waffles at Rustic Table in Pawley's Island, SC (belgian waffle topped with buttermilk-dipped fried chicken tenders, served with bacon and Tabasco® maple syrup)
Chicken Waffles at Rustic Table (belgian waffle topped with buttermilk-dipped fried chicken tenders, served with bacon and Tabasco® maple syrup)

Rustic Table had a great kids menu, and also one of the prettiest kid plates I’ve seen (while still being food my kids will actually eat). It was 10:00 in the morning, but our kids were able to select some delicious chocolate chip pancakes, as well as a hot dog with fries and a good serving of real fruit.

Note: the chocolate chip pancakes weren’t actually on the kids menu, but we didn’t mind helping him with his adult-sized portion.

Justin's dog, french fries, and fruit at Rustic Table in Pawley's Island, SC
Justin’s dog, french fries, and fruit at Rustic Table
Chocolate chip pancakes with bacon at Rustic Table in Pawley's Island, SC
Chocolate chip pancakes with bacon at Rustic Table

Alice Flagg’s Grave

Location: All Saints Cemetery, 3560 Kings River Rd, Pawleys Island, SC 29585

We are complete gluttons, and don’t get out of the condo much for things we can’t eat. That being said, this last experience is one that many view as a must-do while visiting Pawley’s Island, and as a lover of ghost stories, I agree.

If you’re unfamiliar with this particular piece of lowcountry ghostlore (and there isn’t a dogeared copy of local ghost stories in your rental), a cursory google search can fill you in nicely.

In short, Alice Flagg’s story is a tale of love, secrecy, classism, and of course, untimely death. She fell in love with a man that her family deemed beneath her, and in the end her brother stole her engagement ring as she was on her death bed.

All Saints Cemetery, Pawley's Island, SC
All Saints Cemetery, Pawley’s Island, SC

After she died at her home in Murrell’s Inlet, she was laid to rest at All Saints Cemetery in Pawley’s Island.

Her gravesite has become a popular tourist stop, and not just because of the story. At some point, a ritual was invented involving her tombstone. The word is, if you do below (at least as this is how I’ve heard it), she will grant you a wish, and maybe even appear:

  • Start at the “A” on the grave, and walk around six times, counterclockwise.
  • Starting again at the “A,” walk around six times clockwise.
  • Leave an offering, and make a wish

This is why if you go to visit her grave, you’re almost guaranteed to see it glistening with bracelets, rings, and other trinkets.

Alice Flagg's grave, All Saints Cemetery, Pawley's Island, SC
Alice Flagg’s grave, All Saints Cemetery, Pawley’s Island, SC

A dark way to end our trip, but part of Pawley’s history that we wanted to experience (and such a short drive from everything else, that you might as well). Here’s hoping that all we brought home with us were a few seashells.

Shells from the north end of Pawley's Island, including the Imperial Venus shell, often referred to as a "Pawley's shell"
Shells from the north end of Pawley’s Island, including the Imperial Venus shell, often referred to as a “Pawley’s shell”

We’re already missing the unseasonably mild days we had at Pawley’s, and looking forward to our trip next year. It will definitely include return visits to our favorite places, and hopefully some new ones as well.

On our list for next year:

  • Frank’s Outback
  • Bistro 217
  • Brookgreen Gardens

If you’re familiar with Pawley’s, let us know what we missed!

 

2 thoughts on “Week in Pawley’s Island, SC

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