Whaley's Restaurant and Bar: Edisto Beach, SC
at 12:00 PM
While enjoying a long weekend on Edisto Island, we could only pick one restaurant to dine at. After a long process of elimination and calling around to various restaurants, Whaley's was the clear winner. And I do not regret my decision one bit, even after being catechized by the wife for two hours, who is laughing now! Edisto is not a very large area, and you can get from one side to the other in just a matter of minutes, so we drove by each of the finalists and once we came upon Whaley's, the wife said, word for word, "NO, NO, I DON'T THINK SO. You are not taking your kids into that shit hole let alone am I going to step foot inside". After a few hours of more interrogations by the wife, I finally talked her into it, as if she really had a choice.
As you can see, they offer a fried shrimp platter for the little ones, and my #2 child loves shrimp so much, she asks us almost everyday for it. At a whopping $7.75, this is the most expensive kids meal I have ever purchased. And this didn't even include a kids soda. We were on vacation and the little one loved it as she didn't even save a single bite for me.
We all started off our meal with a cup of Shrimp N Crab Bisque, Smooth and creamy with a hint of Sherry for $4.95. A little spendy for just a little bowl, but in the end, it was worth every penny. Three large shrimp and a ton of crab were a pleasant surprise along with a very well balanced bisque base. Not too sweet, but not too buttery or bland. My #2 child also enjoyed the soup eating nearly two-thirds of mine. We opted to order-up a bowl to-go as well (since I didn't get any), but that cup wasn't nearly as nice as what we received in the restaurant. For $6.95 and double to soup, not one single shrimp was included in the to-go cup.
I went with the daily lunch special, Fish and chips for $9.95. They were all out of the real reason why we/I selected this place in the first place (Shrimp Burger, Jumbo local shrimp, pattied and rolled in panko bread crumbs and cooked til golden brown with a green chili mayo, $9.95), so I was left with no other option than the special. Not only were they out of the "signature" dish, they were also all out of cole slaw, for which they offered to substitute O'rings in its place. The fried cod was very greasy. Probably too greasy for most people, but once you got past that, the fish has some wonderful flavor and texture. The batter was nice and light with just the perfect amount of crispness to it.
The wife also wanted the Shrimp Burger and was even more disappointed than I was, but she got over it. She ended up ordering the Crab Cake Sandwich, One of our dynamic crab cakes with lettuce, tomato & Cajun Remoulade for &9.95. On the plate, it looked like a disaster, but in taste it was a masterpiece. The bun and all of that was just a filler to make one crab cake a meal, but all that set aside, the crab cake was wonderful. The wife was almost in shock and didn't know what to say. The thing didn't have any filler (well maybe a little) and consisted of all crab meat. And the crab meat didn't come out of a can, bonus. She even shared a few bites with me as I think she felt bad that our #2 child ate my entire soup while she chugged hers down and finished it off by licking the bowl.
Bottom-line, when you find yourself at Edisto Beach, bring your pocketbook as this place is not cheap as you do not want to miss Whaley's Restaurant & Bar. Almost $75 later and a $15 tip, we were stuffed to the gills and very satisfied. The place is a total dive and they advertise as having the oldest bartender in the state of South Carolina who can be a little grumpy at times, and let me tell you, it is all true. The food is fresh, home-cooked and absolutely delicious while the service is better than most touristy places in the off-season.