Asheville · Charleston SC · Charlotte · Cornelius · Destin · Isle of Palms · Lincolnton · Savannah

Best of Restaurants: Appetizers

Appetizers are my very favorite part of the meal.  Not a big commitment, you can be adventurous and not break the bank.  Here is a list of my favorites:

Spinach and Artichoke Crostini from Crafted Southern Speakeasy in Lincolnton, NC

Caramelized Gnocchi from Aria Tuscan Grill

Fried Green Tomatoes at Huey’s Southern Eats in Isle of Palms

Mert’s Soul Rolls at Mert’s Heart and Soul in Charlotte

Homemade Lime Tortilla Chips served with Pineapple Mango Salsa from Caterer extraordinaire Food Junkie

Spinach and Artichoke Dip from Food Junkie

Filipino-style Pork Eggrolls with Spicy Apricot Dipping Sauce from Food Junkie

Funghi Repieni at Caruso’s in Mooresville

Peirogies from Twisted Oak Bar and Grill in Statesville, NC

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Manchego Skillet at Tybee Island Social Club in Tybee Island, GA

Warm Pimento Cheese & Jumbo Lump Crab Cake  from Tupelo Honey in Charlotte, NC

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Oysters Rockefeller at the Oak Steakhouse in Charleston, SC

Shrimp Flatbread from 5 Church in Charlotte, NC

Stuffed Portabello Mushroom at Chillfire Grill in Denver, NC

Beggar’s Purse with Cream Cheese and Salmon, Rock Shrimp & Fried Calamari with Vegetables from Wasabi in Asheville

Smoked Tuna Dip from Louisiana Lagniappe

Prime Rib Stuffed Mushrooms from Alton’s Kitchen and Cocktails in Cornelius, NC

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Destin

The Back Porch in Destin, FL

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The Back Porch has been become somewhat of an icon for most people visiting the beach.  Each night throngs of people stroll up from the beach to get a picture in the oversized beach chair and let their children play on the sand while they wait for a table.  And it won’t take long, not really.  It just seems long because you are hot.  And sandy.

Forget your troubles.  If you are a tourist, there’s no getting around it.  You have to go to the Back Porch.  The restaurant itself is basically outdoor seating inside.  All of the windows open up to allow the beach air to flow through.  Hope to sit by a window with a cross breeze.  On my last 2 visits, I have not and have nearly died from heat exhaustion.  A bit of an exaggeration, but my teenage son really did get sick to his stomach because he was so hot in an interior room.

We started our dinner with an order of raw oysters and an order of fried calamari.  The Oysters were fresh and plump and absolutely perfect.  My only complaint is that I wish they were served on a bed of ice, because they’d begun to warm up before we finished them.  The calamari was crispy and tender, served with a tart marinara sauce.  My kids loved them.

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The crab stuffed shrimp (pictured above, blurry) were really delicious.  Stuffed with crabmeat and topped with a lemony butter sauce, then broiled to a crispy perfection.  The stuffed potato was creamy and cheesy and needed just a touch of salt.   The Southern corn medley is studded with peppers and beans and was a flavorful accompaniment to the seafood.

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My husband ordered the blackened ahi, rare.  He reported that though the seasoning was delicious, his tuna was overcooked.

It’s never perfect, but it’s always good.  My favorite times at the Back Porch are coming in from the beach in the afternoon for a late lunch in flip flops and a cover up.  Smoked tuna dip never tasted so good.

Back Porch Restaurant on Urbanspoon