There are three kinds of Southern cuisine that are commonplace on the Grand Strand - country cooking, Lowcountry cooking and soul food. Newcomers may not notice the subtle differences at first, especially since there are a lot of crossover dishes, but Southern-cooking connoisseurs can tell chicken bog from pilau - both rice dishes with similar ingredients but distinctly different for longtime lovers of Coastal Carolina cuisine.
Country cooking is more traditional and familiar to visitors. Fried chicken, grilled pork chops, chicken-fried steak with sides of mashed potatoes and gravy and other vegetables. Long-standing institutions like Mammy's Kitchen and The Shack know how to put out a spread just like grandma used to make.
Lowcountry cooking is specific to the Coastal Carolina area and features some of the treasures from the area's tidal creeks and swamps, such as crab cakes, shrimp and grits and she-crab soup. The influences of Gullah and plantation culture combined with traditional Southern fare to create a unique taste. Webster's in Pawleys Island serves the best around.
Soul food also takes a page from the Gullah cookbook with some comfort-food classics, like fresh oysters, mac and cheese, collard greens and more. Big Mike's is the place to feed your face with soul food. Of course, the ultimate Southern food, barbecue, is available at many of these country cooking hot spots.