According to an excellent round-up of Charleston shrimp and grits that earlier this month ran in The Wall Street Journal (props to writer Adam Leith Gollner for citing Lowcountry cuisine stalwarts Nana’s Seafood & Soul and Hannibal’s Soul Kitchen, venues too often ignored in the national press), the highest expression of the dish isn’t found at Hominy Grill.
“Red Drum’s version handily defeats Hominy Grill’s, whose shrimp, it should be noted, come without having been tailed or deveined,” Gollner wrote.
But try telling that to users of Foursquare, a location-based city guide app. Data released today by the company shows the “unique taste more popular in this city than any other (when normalized for size)” is grits. And according to tips and ratings recorded by Foursquarers, grits taste best when adorned with button mushrooms and shrimp at Hominy Grill.
Foursquare users in Charleston are also disproportionately fond of oyster shooters, sweet potato pancakes, seafood towers and casseroles. The complete list of 50 items that have achieved outsized popularity in Charleston is here.
In addition to dishes and drinks, the Charleston list includes outdoor seating, tasting menus and rooftop bars.
“Tastes are not just food,” spokeswoman Nicole Pfeifer says. “They are simply things that people like.”
Because the company wants its fans to approach the compilation as a checklist, it developed an algorithm to determine the top source of each taste. In addition to the shrimp-and-grits at Hominy Grill, Foursquare suggests seeking out iconic dishes such as rice at Circa 1886; pimento cheese at Caviar & Bananas; she-crab soup at 82 Queen; oysters at The Ordinary; cornbread at Martha Lou’s Kitchen; collard greens at Magnolias and butterbeans at Indaco.
For more information, visit foursquare.com.