There are some great eating and drinking experiences hidden on the side streets that criss-cross between Meeting St. and E. Bay St., but there is one that you might actually have to hunt down. I found it by mistake one day trying to circumnavigate a traffic delay. I cut down Line street, and I noticed two tables on the sidewalk and small sign fastened to the fence in front of what looked like any other house. The sign said Georgean’s Caribbean Soul, so I made a quick mental note to come back sometime. Well, I finally checked it out, and I was astounded.
It’s hard to think of a restaurant that epitomizes the expression neighborhood restaurant better than Georgean’s Caribbean Soul. This quaint kitchen is nestled right in the middle of two houses on Line St., just across from a church. Oh yeah. Did I mention that they will deliver Sunday supper right to your church parking lot?
I arrived a few minutes before they opened, but the co-owner Deborah welcomed me in early, commenting, “If you know I’m here, just knock and I’ll let you on in and take care of you.” Deborah is the co-owner with Chef Tim Jackson, who named the restaurant after his grandmother. Opening in January this year, the two work together to bring authentic Caribbean cuisine to the Charleston food scene.
When I asked Tim how they wound up in this location, he replied, “There weren’t many restaurants in this neighborhood. There was a Church’s Chicken a few blocks down, but most other restaurants are too far away. We wanted to offer something closer to the surrounding neighborhoods.” What better way to do that than to open up shop right in the middle of the neighborhood?
Aside from the two small picnic tables outside, Georgean’s is strictly take out. When you step inside the door, the only thing separating you from the kitchen is the front counter and a few feet of space to move around in. A small and fairly simple menu on the counter offers their various food options. This means you have a front row seat to watch your meal cooked from scratch. They don’t par-cook or reheat anything here. Everything is made to order from the freshest local ingredients available. This does mean that there will be a bit of a wait, but it’s worth it.
The flagship menu options are definitely the jerk or curried chicken. I opted to go with the jerk chicken with cauliflower mash and macaroni and cheese. It may not have looked like much, walking to my car with the styrofoam to-go box and sweet tea, but don’t be fooled. Let me tell you, that trip back to school felt like the longest five minute drive ever. The sweet and savory aroma quickly filled my car, and I found myself contemplating digging in on the drive back, but I waited… and waited… and nearly ran from my car to the break room and jumped into this Caribbean dream.
I’m usually not one for skin-on chicken, but it didn’t slow me down one bit. In fact, I wish I had slowed down. Before I knew it, I was looking at an empty plate, gasping for air and wondering what the hell had just happened. I basically inhaled my lunch in a blur of spices and flavors that made up what was one of the top five best meals I’ve ever eaten. The jerk chicken had a delicately crisp skin and an oh-so-tender center that was bursting with flavors. These flavors come from the wet jerk seasoning that the sliced chicken breast is sautéed in. Notes of ginger, clove, nutmeg, allspice, and brown sugar shine though in every savory bite. The farm raised, preservative free chicken was sliced and served over a bed of creamy cauliflower mash. After I finished the chicken, the cauliflower worked perfectly for mopping up the juices left behind. The macaroni and cheese was what my inner child has been searching for all these years; each creamy bite was oozing with a delicious blend of three different cheeses. My only regret is that I didn’t order more.
Georgean’s Caribbean Soul
8-D Line Street
Charleston, SC 29403
Monday – Thursday: 11:30 AM – 8:00 PM
Friday – Saturday: 11:30 AM – 10:00 PM