Larry White has worked at Peninsula Grill, Circa 1886 and The Ocean Room, but he promises patrons of his forthcoming James Island restaurant won't see any traces of upmarket elegance.
"Fine dining is fun, but this is where my heart is," says White, the chef and owner of Lechon Food Truck. He partnered with Tyler Mai of the Fat Ninja food truck to create Big Belly Kitchen + Tap House, set to open before the end of the month.
"If you wanted to compare it to something in Charleston, it's between Fuel and the Tattooed Moose," White says of the 80-seat restaurant. "It's mostly geared toward sandwiches."
Although Big Belly's menu hasn't yet made it online, White says it features an array of "quirky" sandwiches, such as a pork belly gyro and fried chicken banh mi, and more traditional tacos.
Mai will handle the front of the house, while White - whose resume also includes a US Coast Guard Culinary School degree and personal chef gigs - will run the kitchen. He plans to apply his training to items such as chicken wings.
"Instead of the basic bar chicken wings, it's kind of like a Thailand style," White says. "They're brined and dusted in potato starch before frying."
Big Belly Kitchen + Tap House is located at 1014 Fort Johnson Road. Once open, it will keep an 11 a.m.-11 p.m. schedule. For more information, visit facebook.com/bigbellykitchen.