Blu (Holiday Inn) - Folly Beach, SC
So my week in the Charleston area was letting me down from a food standpoint. SNOB was not good. Fat Hen had hits and misses. I was beginning to get depressed. I jokingly said my best meal would more than likely be at the Holiday Inn. The whole family laughed because they know at one time I waited tables at an airport Holiday Inn. Let me just say, breakfast by the airport is not a fine dining experience.
Blu, the restaurant at the Folly Beach Holiday Inn, has no web site that I can find. I was trying to convince the family that this just might be a good choice via Urbanspoon reviews. We all agreed to leave it for Sunday. I think they were hoping to find somewhere else. I mean really... the Holiday Inn.
So I know you are thinking that this tale will either end in sorrow or glee. Let's cut to the chase. Blu served me the best danged meal thus far this trip. Yes... it kicked SNOB's reputation right off its bar stool. I thought it would be good. I didn't realize it would be great.
The menu is mostly tapas (small plates) style but does serve a few entrees. We were trying to be a little lighter, so this was perfect. We tried two salads. The watermelon, feta, and kalamata olive salad was AMAZING. I loved the flavors and freshness. The briny olives were a perfect compliment to the sweetness of the watermelon. I swear I'm making it for my next picnic.
To switch things up a little from the average caesar salad, the chef at Blu grills the romaine, giving it a great smoky taste. The standard dressing was switched to buttermilk upon request and the end result is so good.
Next up came our tapas aka entrees. I tried the special. It was oysters topped with Mexican chorizo and a little cheddar. I was worried about the chorizo overpowering the roasted oysters, but they were well balanced.
My cousin had sliced steak which he said was great. He did comment that it was a little under cooked, so be aware to check temperature if you are super picky on this. It was beautiful for sure. And the mashed potatoes were creamy but had a little lump to the texture... just the way I like them.
My aunts split a flatbread pizza which they said was really tasty.
Finishing the meal were several fabulous looking deserts. For those who can do gluten, the chocolate brownie with chocolate ice cream looked good, as did the bread pudding of the day (toffee). Apparently this bread pudding was good enough to eat for breakfast too! I love a double deal, don't you?
For those of you who are gluten intolerant, opt for the key lime martini without the grahm cracker crust. Simply put, it is key lime pie filling in a martini glass, topped with sour cream topping, and garnished with meringue. LOVE IT! It makes me so happy when a chef does something beyond creme brulee and flourless chocolate cake for those of us living gluten free. And look... isn't it magnificent!
We all agreed it had been the best meal of the trip. 5 salads, 3 small plates, 3 desserts, and a cocktail came in around $100; the quality of ingredients (they are part of the sustainable seafood initiative) are great considering they are averaging less than $10 a plate. My only real issue is that service is a little slow. It took a while to get our salads, but once we got going, everything seemed to improve.
So don't let the fact that Blu is in the Holiday Inn keep you from going there. Instead, embrace the tiki bar and dine outside, or ask for the drapes to be pulled for a romantic dinner. Either way, you will enjoy it.