Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Humble Pie a la Mode

Humble Pie a la Mode, originally uploaded by PALMETT0.

Traveling south on Rutledge Avenue approaching the intersection at Cannon Street, one sees at some distance a painted advertisement at the second floor level which is a real eye catcher. At first it appears to be an illustration of a nurse presenting a steaming tray of ...something. Without the ad copy a distracted driver could imagine many titillating captions.

The painting quasi qualifies as a mural. It's rendered upon the clapboard siding of Charleston structure which dates to the 1890's. It promotes a restaurant which was established around 1996, a time when few commercial ventures would risk both that unsettled neighborhood or the remote location. It's far from the successful restaurant district which is considerably south of this point. Successful Charleston restaurants have either a well established reputation for superior food and service or they have a gimmick. The Hominy Grill didn't fit comfortably in either category, but this attractive painting seems to have been a solid drawing card.

The interior is fairly plain with a predominating tongue-in-groove wall surface. It reminds one of a classic beach house which was a pleasant break from the overwrought decor of many competitors. If anything, it was at pains to wax humble and folksy. What, after all, could approach the table with greater humility than hominy also knows as grits to visitors less familiar with local expressions. Where one might plot the Hominy Grill on the epicurean index or grant a bang-for-the-buck rating is a task we leave to others. We find restaurant reviews far more difficult to digest than the dishes they critique.

We can't deny that courage and good timing seem to have begun a very successful enterprise. The HG has played the folksy-chic theme like a cello. At a time when many new and fashionable eateries have become consumed by their own passion plays of absurd culinary inventions, the HG increasingly puts more sophisticated diners at plates of red rice, collards, cornbread and, of course, hominy.


Blogger Heather said...

HG is probably my favorite restaurant. Excellent food, without being too pretentious or expensive.

7:47 AM  
Blogger Windviel said...

Yes, Heather, we find that too many local restaurants affect an air of sophistication which is not supported by performance. It is largely due to an influx of people with more money than taste.

Thanks for stopping by.

3:59 AM  
Anonymous budman said...

The food is great, now if they would indulge us a better beverage selection--ie. a bud.

10:38 AM  
Blogger Windviel said...

WHAT ! They do NOT offer the King of Beers ? Any place which serves grits cannot turn its nose up at Budweiser. Call 'em up and give 'em hell!

10:57 AM  
Anonymous budman said...

By the way, what kind of work do you do? It must be the night shift with your post times. Westvaco, post office, or retired? My guesses

3:37 PM  

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