Crowd-sourcing can be an incredibly helpful way to find great places to eat, especially when traveling far from home. And that’s how we found Page’s Okra Grill in Mount Pleasant, S.C.
As we prepared to visit the Charleston area, I joined a 38,000-member Facebook group called “Chucktown Foodies.” I asked a simple question: What’s the most iconic but affordable Charleston-area restaurant everyone should visit? I’ve visited the South Carolina Lowcountry more than a dozen times, but I wanted some fresh perspectives on where to eat.
I received nearly 300 comments in just a couple days, including suggestions of many restaurants I’d visited before and many I’d never encountered, like Page’s Okra Grill. Page’s sits on the main highway in Mount Pleasant, just across the Ravenel Bridge from downtown Charleston.
We checked out the menus of most of the suggestions we received on the Facebook post, and Page’s had one of the most enticing menus of all. Among the items are appetizers of Seafood Mac and Cheese, Fried Green Tomatoes, and Pork and Pimento Cheese Spring Rolls with Barbecue Sauce; entrees of Shrimp and Grits, Chicken and Waffles, a Filet Mignon Salisbury Steak, and most any fried seafood you can imagine; as well as a lengthy list of sides, an extensive cocktail and drinks menu, and more.
When we travel to a coastal area, we always seek out seafood joints of all kinds. Page’s became one of those such joints for us, even though their menu combines the best of coastal seafood and other classic Southern dishes like the Chicken and Waffles. We also try to vary our cuisine types while traveling, eating different kinds of food at different restaurants. Barbecue, burgers and Southern fare had already been on our menu on this trip, so this was our fit for seafood.
I went all in and chose the seafood platter and added fried oysters at Page’s. That made it a $30 entree, but it was a heaping plate of the oysters, fried shrimp, flounder and a crab cake, along with hushpuppies and two sides of my choosing. I went with the namesake fried okra (how could I not?) and butter beans, which intrigued us as a menu item you don’t find many places these days, even in cafeteria-style setups.
Each variety of seafood was excellent. The crab cake was light yet meaty with very few perceptible fillers. The shrimp was crispy, the flounder light and the oysters perhaps the most flavorful and delightful of all. My wife Molly said the okra tasted like it was picked out back, something my parents have always said about the fried okra at Hyman’s in downtown Charleston. And the butter beans were incredibly seasoned and soft like they’d been cooking for hours on low heat.
Molly opted for the Shrimp and Grits, a dish we both love and have eaten from New Orleans to Savannah and many Southern locales between. Page’s uses grit cakes in their Shrimp and Grits, which is a bold move. We’ve had dry and unappetizing grit cakes with bad gravy before. Not an issue at Page’s. The grit cakes were crisp outside and moist and creamy inside, easily the best grit cakes we’ve had anywhere.
The shrimp were plump, plentiful and a bit buttery, and a kicky sauce over it all topped the whole bowl off nicely. Page’s serves up one of the most unique and satisfying plates of Shrimp and Grits we’ve eaten, and it’s worth a try for someone in your dining party if they like such things. The meal also comes with a soft biscuit, a great vessel for sopping up grits and sauce when you reach the bottom of the bowl!
Since we decided on such robust entrees, we didn’t get to try any of the appetizers, but we absolutely would on another visit. They were tough to pass up. We did, however, try a coffee cocktail that was quite refreshing at the beginning of our experience. We dined on the early side of lunch and, while Page’s has a brunch menu, some things like the coffee cocktail are available afterward. Always be sure to ask a server if you want something you’re uncertain about at a restaurant.
Page’s is located in a nice newer building with a lot of accents we’d call country chic. They have a sort of upscale farmhouse-type feel in places, with relaxed lighting throughout. There’s also a decent-sized parking lot behind the restaurant off the main street and a side street.
We had a great experience at Page’s, and we appreciate the recommendations from all the Chucktown Foodies on Facebook. It’s always been a tradition for travelers to ask locals for dining recommendations. Social media makes that even easier and leads to many more great answers (like Page’s) than ever before!
Page’s Okra Grill, 302 Coleman Boulevard, Mount Pleasant, S.C.