By Justin Jarrett
Every foodie in Beaufort knows all about Breakwater Restaurant and Bar by now, but the downtown favorite stirred up another round of enthusiasm when it started serving lunch on April 30.
Well, of course The Island News Lunch Bunch had to check it out, just as soon as we could get all of our schedules to coordinate. It finally happened last month, and we all agree – if you enjoy Breakwater for dinner, you’re going to love it for lunch, too.
If you follow them on Facebook, you know they always have some mouth-watering lunch specials, including a fresh twist on Taco Tuesday, but we all opted to stick to the tried-and-true menu during our visit.
As our publishers, Kim and Elizabeth, and I waited for our sales representative Betty to join us, we decided to order some appetizers for the table. We agreed we had to try the Southern Fried Shrimp and the Spicy Calamari, but our server insisted we also opt for the Butter Bean Hummus (a move that would later earn her hero status).
The shrimp were massive and magnificent with just the right amount of perfectly-seasoned breading, and the calamari was equally delicious – lightly breaded and drizzled with hot sauce and served with a smoky tomato ranch dipping sauce to complement the spice.
But the Butter Bean Hummus stole the show – or at least the opening act. It was served with grilled pita, chunks of creamy feta, and castelvetrano olives, but even when the pita ran out – because the serving of hummus was so large – more than one of us resorted to eating it with a spoon. That’s how delicious it was.
We definitely could have wrapped things up at that point and left satisfied with some semblance of hope for a productive afternoon, but that’s not how the Lunch Bunch rolls.
Well, Betty did show some restraint, ordering just a cup of She Crab Soup, which she raved about.
Elizabeth also exhibited a bit of discipline, opting for the Summer Vegetable Salad — a romaine and arcadian mix topped with a veritable garden of summer field peas, grilled asparagus and zucchini, goat cheese and honey lime vinaigrette. The grilled salmon fillet she added was a substantial portion that was cooked to perfection.
Kim and I weren’t as responsible with regard to controlling our cravings.
Kim couldn’t resist the Fried Chicken (her favorite fried chicken anywhere, she said), which was served atop a mountain of smashed aligot potatoes with haricots verts and smothered with traditional Southern white gravy.
I was a bit bummed that I didn’t get to try the other two appetizers on the menu – the Pimento Cheese Plate and the Pickled Green Tomatoes – so I remedied that with my lunch order. I opted for the Warm Pimento Cheese sandwich, served on toasted artisan bread with fried pickled green tomatoes, and added bacon (because bacon makes everything better, but especially a pimento cheese sandwich). It was predictably tremendous, and the hand-cut fries were some of the best I’ve had anywhere. I washed it down with a glass of Murphy’s Pucker-Up Lemon-Aid, which tasted as good as the cause it supports — clean water for a school in Africa.
Our only regret was not saving enough room for dessert, but that just gives us another reason to go back.