Frogmore Stew is a one-pot wonder. We love it so much we featured it on the cover of this season's installment of Dish, our bi-annual dining guide. Basically, Frogmore Stew, also called Lowcountry Boil, is a mess of shrimp, sausage, potatoes, and corn all boiled together in a big pot of seasonings (like Old Bay). We usually make it at home when we've got a crowd to feed, but you can also find respectable enough versions at area restaurants.
Bowen's Island Restaurant serves a Frogmore Stew that has been written up in Men's Journal. A combination of red potatoes, fresh corn on the cob, unpeeled shrimp, sausage (usually Hillshire Farm's smoked kielbasa), and some Old Bay seasoning, this Lowcountry boil is put into one big pot and cooked so that the shrimp don't get mushy. "It's real popular," says owner Robert Barber. "It's particularly popular for a large group or private party because it's such a great meal for a group. When I was little, we'd spread it out on newspapers and not even use plates, just talking and eating and drinking." Bowen's Island serves their boil in a large copper or wooden bowl with some of their cocktail sauce — but just a small amount to add a light punch but not overwhelm.
At Gilligan's, you can get their boil, Gilligan's Stew. They combine local peel and eat shrimp, red potatoes, onions, and sausage, which is steamed together with Old Bay spice and served on a plate. Guests have the option of adding a cluster of crab legs to the dish. "It's good and flavorful because of the good-sized shrimp and the spice," says General Manager Wayne Sins. "It's a regional dish, so it's very popular."
A.W. Shuck's is another good bet for Lowcountry boils, which they often offer on the weekends. But for something they have every day, try Shuck's Steampot for One (or two). This dish changes up the traditional Frogmore stew a bit, combining mussels, oysters, shrimp, clams, snow crab legs, steamed sausage, new potatoes, and corn on the cob. It is seasoned with Old Bay and served on a green net in a steam pot. "It's quite a bunch of food for one person, but always a big hit," says Assistant Manager Frank Salewski.
At Red's Ice House, they keep it basic with their Lowcountry Boil. "It's a very simple dish, very good though," says Manager Brooks Duffey. "A lot of people do it when they tailgate — a good Charleston tradition." Their boil is the classic recipe made with Old Bay broth, potatoes, shrimp, sausage, and corn. It's hard to go wrong here, especially with a clear view of the water and a bucket of beer.
The Starfish Grille offers another good Lowcountry boil with a few enhancements. Their stew is a combination of shrimp, Andouille sausage, corn on the cob, and red potatoes. For flavor they add the classic Old Bay seasoning, as well as fresh lemon and garlic. "The lemons are a very important ingredient," says owner Kerry Gionis. "We put it in a lot of stuff. It's the Greek touch, I guess you would say." One other nice touch is the homemade cornbread served with every bowl — warm and inviting, and perfect to soak up that broth.