Thursday, March 30, 2017

These meal companions would be long remembered...

 We all know there usually is a crowd of people milling around in front of Hyman's Seafood on Meeting Street.

Having to stand in line - or sit and bounce on a Charleston joggling board - seems to attract tourists as our season gets underway.

But there are loyal locals mingling in that crowd. I go there and often take my visitors there.

Staff members roam among the patient patrons, offering a mini-menu to study while one waits or handing out an appetizing crunchy and sweet-tasting hushpuppy.

I've stood there, munching on the deep-fried treat as I wait for my name to be called. I just don't wait as long.

I am a designated VIP.

A laminated card in my wallet is shown discreetly when I arrive and my party and I are seated as quickly as possible.

My first special access treatment started about 20 years ago when Eli Hyman handed the special pass to me.

Eli explained he wanted to thank - and encourage - locals to dine there.

It was a bright blue key chain that had a photo of staffers posed out front.

It stated that it was a special local "insider" opportunity to enjoy the food without waiting and hanging around out front - like a tourist!

Oh, Eli loves these out-of-town visitors. And us.

 He is the 4th or 5th generation of owners and, along with other managers, they wander among the diners, stopping at each table to say thank you and to solicit feedback.

Banners proudly are displayed inside that says the place runs on two rules:

1. The customer is alway right and
2.  if there is a problem, see rule #1.

I was downtown early a few days ago after a dental appointment at MUSC and thought I'd stop in and see if they served a breakfast meal.

It was about 11:20 and I walked right in and was seated near a window on the first floor.

I was able to watch the lunch crowd gather outside as I enjoyed some sumptuous Shrimp & Grits - Carolina Delight. Grits is traditionally a breakfast food in the South and the added treat was a topping of bacon and cheese. Mmmmm.

One quirk I like is the brass plaque that states who had dined there.

Well, maybe not at THAT particular chair at that table.

But, records indicate that those named had indeed dined there.

Even Oprah who used a fake name when she signed up to run the annual Bridge Run years ago.

I looked around to see who else would be my companions if the seating was possible.

Well, he would bring some humor to the table and some diversity for Senator Thurman.

Reached over with my camera to snap a shot of the plaque that would indicate who would fill the 4th seat.

Not proud of the shaky shot but I was laughing and made sure the last of the foursome would be identified.

Comedy. government and "The Blues."

Lively conversation indeed! Filibuster and other stand-up comedy.

The Sisters would put down their wooden rulers and applaud Jake and Elwood for a change.

I had a good meal, chatted with Eli some left a good tip.

Grits for breakfast - the most important meal of the day, especially in the South.

(Click on the images and the links for more details.)

Contact Eli to get YOUR VIP discreet seating pass. Proof of residency required.

And,  appreciated.

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At Sat Apr 01, 11:49:00 AM , Blogger Paul said...

I frequently go to Hyman's, but I'm not a SC resident. I think that I should get an out of towner VIP card! :) Maybe I'll talk to Eli the next time that I see him. I'll drive down from Charlotte 3 or 4 times per year just to eat there!

At Sat Apr 01, 12:11:00 PM , Blogger chuckography said...

Sure, tell Eli your story, he'll probably give you a VIP pass as a reward for past visits! Let me know when you're coming next. Buy you a drink!


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