Residential side streets lead to Shem Creek and a sign-free Wreck.
The Wreck of the Richard & Charlene resides on a back-stretch of Shem Creek, shielded by a residential neighborhood. If you didn’t know to look for it, you would never stumble upon it. Hell, the place doesn’t even have a sign.
Fred Scott named The Wreck for a Shem Creek trawler that Hurricane Hugo decimated in 1989. He opened the restaurant in 1991 and features several photos of the wreckage.
Speaking of Shem Creek, here it is at sunset, featuring several shrimp boats.
Elements of The Wreck’s oceanic décor included an inverted boat and a stuffed game fish in a Santa hat. When the fish was swishing through the ocean, is there any way he could have predicted a more humiliating fate?
The Wreck “dining room” is all porch, with wood tables and chairs, whirring ceiling fans and terrific creek views.
Each table is treated to a steaming bowl of boiled peanuts, well-salted and delicious. It took me awhile to appreciate the power of the boiled legume, but The Wreck made me a believer.
This bowl of clam chowder was just right, not too creamy, with tender clams, herbs and spices.
She crab soup, a Charleston specialty, was even better. The soup is traditionally served with a pitcher of sherry and flavored with roe from a female blue crab.
What The Wreck does best is big plates of seafood, either fried or grilled. Here’s an incredible combo platter of grilled scallops and shrimp, served with a sumptuous grit cake, a perfect hushpuppy, crisp cole slaw, and red rice studded with nuggets of andouille sausage. Check out that delicious spice crust on the tender seafood.
Their seafood platter features delicately fried shrimp, scallops, oysters and grouper, with the usual accompaniments, plus sivea beans (AKA limas). Fried seafood gets no better.