Andrew Zimmern, host of Travel Channel's Bizarre Foods, stopped by Martha Lou's Kitchen today for lunch. He has been traveling in an hour-and-a-half radius around Charleston for the past few days sampling the best of Lowcountry cooking.
His stops have included downtown favorites like Husk, McCrady's, and FIG, as well as small-town institutions like T.W. Graham & Co. in McClellanville and Scott's BBQ in Hemingway. Zimmern has also eaten some home cooking, and one family in Awendaw served him a traditional Gullah meal.
"Our show is about discovering culture through food," Zimmern said, "and I think the food culture in South Carolina is one of the most unique places in America to see something that's untrampeled."
At Martha Lou's, the plan for lunch was to try a little bit of everything. The tiny, pink-painted eatery on Morrison Drive has earned national acclaim before, with New York Times food critic Sam Sifton calling it the sun at the center of "the cosmology of Southern cooking." Head chef Martha Lou Gadsden was honored last year at the Charleston Wine + Food Festival's Gullah Tribute Luncheon for her food, which includes the best fried chicken and lima beans in the city — assuming you like them piping hot and more than a little salty.
The episode being filmed in Charleston today will probably air in March or April, according to one of the show's producers. The crew will begin filming an episode in Savannah, Ga., tomorrow.