News > Restaurant Review: The Reincarnation of Acme Lowcountry Kitchen

The sea islands around Charleston historically have not boasted many choices for quality dining. Especially if you don’t feel like overpaying at tourist traps. Fortunately, right in the center of the Isle of Palms, you can get a GREAT meal at a reasonable price at Acme Lowcountry Kitchen.

You may remember this authentic little beach spot as a southwestern, cantina style place, but their Tex-Mex days are a thing of the past. Executive Chef Frank Kline began a subtle shift to a more locally oriented menu three years ago. A wise decision, as the ‘eat local’ trend doesn’t seem to be a trend at all, and locals can often be quite resistant to change. Along with altering menus to suit local tastes, many restaurants try to adapt by keeping up-to-date with high-end restaurant supply and equipment to make better dishes with.

But this is a great change. Acme boasts a large menu, full of seafood prepared in Southern, straightforward dishes. There’s plenty to please any crowd (wings, burgers, salads, sandwiches, and more), and the price points are refreshingly lower than we’ve grown accustomed to downtown. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, starting at 8 am and calling it a day at 10 pm.

image: Zak Collins Photography

We tried several of the appetizers, choosing to share all around. Seared scallops with mashed sweet potato, arugula, and truffle butter were a hit. Fried chicken livers with truffle grits, caramelized onion demi-glace and cream was wiped clean. Personally I’m not a fan of sweet potatoes or chicken livers…but these were solid appetizers.
Next came the Charleston Succotash, an amazing amalgamation of ‘New Years Day’ and Southern comfort food at its very best. The fresh, creamy dish featured shrimp instead of the usual scallops, plus bacon and tarragon. It was easily the favorite of the appetizers, and Chef Kline confirms that’s the crowd favorite too.
Lowcountry Eggrolls mash up the tastes of the South-collards, shrimp, bacon, and country ham-inside a fried Asian wrapper. I’d live happily without ordering that again, but if that’s your thing, you will adore this dish. I’d suggest you order the Fried Green Tomatoes layered with pimiento cheese and balsamic vinaigrette, which had a pleasing ‘cool+warm’ contrast between the firm, lightly battered and fried tomatoes and the pimiento cheese.

image: Zak Collins Photography

So, every Thursday night is Lobster Night where you get three lobster tails for $19.99, and you can’t beat that. Lobster can be a messy affair for even the neatest eater, and the folks at Acme have thankfully thought ahead for you. No lobster bib needed or fear of slopping crustacean guts on your clothes. You don’t even need the drawn butter! The Carolina Crab Cake had a wonderful crisp exterior and next to no breading or filler. The crab cake was served over fresh field peas that were just as good as the star item itself. Jumbo charred asparagus and pimiento cheese grits came on the side; those warm, gooey pimiento cheese grits were delightful. Like, worth-an-extra-trip-to-the-gym (or yoga studio!) the next day, “damn the cellulite, I’m eating all these cheese grits!” good.

We ordered their Key Lime Pie with a pleasing smooth, cold, sweet + tart combination, and Chocolate Layer Cake with ganache, from Ashley Bakery. There’s room if you didn’t order as much as we did. Most of the desserts came home, to be enjoyed when everyone was able to recover from our monumental meal.

Do yourself a favor and head to see Chef Kline and his staff at their authentic little beach bungalow restaurant. Get ready for a meal that is 10x what you’d expect, if you only judged this book by its cover. Modest surroundings and outstanding dishes win out at the IOP’s Acme Lowcountry Kitchen.

words: Stacy Huggins

Acme Lowcountry Kitchen, 31 JC Long Boulevard, Isle of Palms. 843.886.0024.


Posted on January 11, 2013 by Art Mag.

Categories: Culinary, Review

Tags: Acme Lowcountry Kitchen, Eat Local, Isle Of Palms, Restaurant Review, Seafood, Southern

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