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out on hilton head island

April 6, 2015

So last week, Kenny and I were on spring break. (And I’d like to be clear that it was spring break, and not a babymoon. If for no other reason than the fact that our hotel bathroom sink was used as a cooler to ice down libations for the entire week. That, my friends, is spring break.)

Now we ultimately went back and forth for quite a few weeks beforehand about where to go and what to do, but at the end of the day, we were just looking for something easy and relaxing, which is why we took our annual trip to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, early. It just felt right to go to the place we know best.

Now this trip was a maxin’ relaxin’ one and really, our daily responsibility was just to decide on somewhere awesome to eat. So for today’s post, I am simply going to do a quick run down of all our decisions. Some spots were go-to favorites of ours, and some were new to that list. But all in all, there was some very fine dining.

Bomboras fried picklesBomboras Grille. We actually tried this on a whim on our last trip and returned because we remembered the easy environment and good bites. Happy to report, memory served us right. Located on the outskirts of Coligny Plaza, here we basically grubbed on a spread of appetizers and small bites, with my personal favorite being the fried pickles pictured above (and not for the obvious pregnancy stereotype…fried pickles are pretty much always awesome). Other notable mentions go to the crab cake sliders and pork egg roll dipping sauce. Both hit the spot.

photo 3Ela’s Blu Water Grill. While perusing Open Table on the drive down for new spots to consider, I have to say, this spot had the most enticing menu. Reading off the appetizers and main courses, both Kenny and I got very excited at the prospect. Located in Shelter Cove with live music Thursday through Sunday, this seemed like a no brainer. It was our first “dressy” night out and it really didn’t disappoint. I sprung for the grouper with lobster butter and truffle potatoes and it was definitely a doozy. Honestly though, the pea and carrot accoutrements were my favorite bites, which is great, but that shouldn’t be the star when there’s truffle potatoes and fish, right? Either way, it was us and a bunch of retirees and I was digging the lifestyle.

Sante Fe Cafe grouperSante Fe Cafe. This was a place that we discovered years ago when our yearly trip was made with tons of friends around the fourth of July. Back then, it was awesome because it had a rooftop area and an amazing grouper. It still has both, but it seemed completely different for some reason. I don’t remember it being so tex-mex but it really was. Regardless, I went for the grouper and it was extremely tasty, thanks mostly due to the chipotle parmesan potatoes that sit atop it. That, plus the mexican rice and vegetables really did me in. They also had great guacamole and fried oysters, so win-win-win all around.

photo 4Amigos. This is a lunch staple. Located in the Bi-Lo strip mall behind Wild Wings, we can’t make a trip and not go there to get the barbecue chicken salad. Served in an enormous taco bowl, this one just nails it every time. I thank my lucky stars that my friend Molly stumbled upon this spot the first summer we lived down there (2006) because it has been an absolute must every trip since.

Hinoki tunaHinoki. This was the one Kenny looked forward to the most. He could not stop talking about the sashimi that he was going to get. Now had I been a luckier woman, I would have joined him in the order, but it was only non-raw options for me. And sure enough, when his dinner was served, conversation ceased. My sushi rolls were not up yet so I just sat there popping edamame while he indulged bite after bite. I wasn’t jealous. Not in the slightest. But let it be known that my order of shrimp and lobster rolls did not disappoint at all. And while it is hard to call any one of the meals we had favorite, I’d have to say this one was easily the most satisfying. Huge fan.

We also casually lunched at Aunt Chiladas for the basketball games on Sunday, and I enjoyed a very tasty shrimp taco. There was also coffee at Java Joes, brunch at Plantation Cafe, and happy hour at The Quarterdeck with peel-and-shrimp and my man, Mike Kavanaugh. Oh! There was also a very serious dinner at The Studio, which received rave reviews from the locals we talked to and quite frankly, my seafood paella special there was probably the most flavorful thing I had all week. Pretty ridiculous.

So if you are like the rest of Ohio, you know Hilton Head well, and you either agree with what I’ve talked about or now have a few new spots to add to your list. If you’ve never been, hopefully this sparked a bit of interest and while I’ve only talked food, don’t hesitate to inquire about more. I’d love to give you the scoop.

Well, welcome back to the real world if you are like me and lucky enough to cash out for spring break last week. It was a good, much needed break.

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5 Comments

  • Reply Thread Cincinnati » out on hilton head island April 6, 2015 at 6:26 am

    […] out on hilton head island […]

  • Reply Brittany April 6, 2015 at 8:41 am

    That chicken taco salad looks divine! Hope you all had a great time!

  • Reply Shannon April 6, 2015 at 4:00 pm

    What if your yearly trip is still made over the fourth of July? I guess that means you’re married to Kevin Barger. #steamers

    We LOVED Ella’s last summer! Also, Skull Creek Boathouse was a new find and the atmosphere and food were awesome. Glad you all had a great trip :)

    • Reply outandoutfit April 6, 2015 at 7:22 pm

      Okay, we’ll definitely have to add Skull Creek to our list! And I like’s Ela’s too! We wished we could be there on the patio in warmer weather, so we’ll definitely be doing that next time!

  • Reply Lauren April 14, 2015 at 10:46 am

    Next time you go, you’ve GOT to try A Lowcountry Backyard. Hands down best food on the island. Sit at the outside bar. It’s lovely, quaint, and the food is amazing.

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