Castaways a great place to belly up for football

Blackened chicken mac and cheese from Castaways Grille.

Remember A.J.’s, the short-lived sports bar beside Gold’s Gym on Folly Road?

Yeah, me neither.

How about King Street Grille, the venerable, multi-located establishment that took its place?

Maybe?

Well, the restaurant turned over again in the past few weeks, reinventing itself as Castaways Grille, lessening the King Street Grille empire by one.

Though with locations in Mount Pleasant, Kiawah Island, Myrtle Beach, West Ashley and North Charleston, the KSG kingdom remains strong.

The layout at Castaways is similar to KSG: large patio, large pentagon-shaped bar.

There are too many TVs to count here, but we did anyway.

The indoor tally comes to 21 high-definition televisions, including four 110-inch projection screens, while the outdoor patio features 10 HD TVs behind the bar.

Visitors also will be able to taste Castaways-KSG similarities, such as the Southwest egg rolls, a tasty sampling of Tex-Mex ingredients and seasonings that appear on both menus.

As for changes: Castaways offers skin-on, house-cut fries rather than the trademark King Street waffle fries.

No warm pretzel rolls either, as Castaways favors fresh Kaiser buns.

And kudos to Castaways for the James Island Viking Club sandwich.

Can’t say I can recall another restaurant naming a dish for the island, particularly one like the Viking ($10.99), which has roast beef, capicola ham, thick-cut bacon, pepper jack cheese and Tabasco aioli on deli rye bread.

Additionally, $1 from the sandwich is donated to the James Island Vikings, a local charity organization.

Castaways also fashions a smoked salmon BLT ($10.99) with avocado mayo on sourdough bread, though the condiment spread overwhelms the salmon taste.

Other mainstays include the Reuben, cheesesteak, French dip and entrees such as the bone-in pork chop, meatloaf and blackened chicken mac and cheese.

It’s nothing particularly out of this world, or even out of this island, but Castaways makes an optimal place for a cold beer and football game.

Remember, there’s only four more weeks to the start of the college season. But who’s really counting?