Skull Creek Dockside, Hilton Head, South Carolina

After my First Upland South Carolina Barbecue Tour (see preceding posts), I picked up Nancy at the airport and we went over to Hilton Head and checked into Marriott’s Grande Ocean, a Marriott Vacation Club resort. My cousin Sinclair and her husband Eric presently joined us for a weekend stay. You met Sinclair and Eric at Noble Smoke in Charlotte, where they live, and on many other occasions. (Sinclair is one of the Wilson County Griffins, and they’re Marty’s people now that Bill’s has succumbed. We Tanners are Parker’s people, but we’re all Flo’s and Beefmastor people, and we all get along. We just never eat barbecue together in Wilson.) But I digress.

After we got settled, we headed to dinner. With the help of the Marriott Vacation Club concierge, we were able to achieve the impossible: last minute reservations in Hilton Head during the high season. The first evening, we went to Dockside, a lovely Serge Group restaurant by their marina on Skull Creek. Now Hilton Head island is shaped like a foot, and Dockside is right at the ankle, facing west and overlooking the eponymous dock and, beyond the creek, the Pinkney Island National Wildlife Refuge. If you go to Hilton Head and eat at an outside table at Dockside, this is what you’ll see:

And this is what you’ll eat:

And you will be among happy and attractive people.

Actually, Dockside has all sorts of food available — all manner of seafood, meats, chicken, pizzas, and various types of ‘barbecue” that they cook in a Southern Pride smoker, but Hilton Head is a good place to get fresh local seafood — shrimp any way, oysters, grouper, snapper, triggerfish, wreckfish, you name it . I ordered a special, shown above, grouper with rice and all manner of field peas. The grouper was delicious, as usual with properly treated fresh grouper, and the rice and peas were a knockout side. Great. The cauliflower was colorful and about what you’d expect in terms of flavor. I seem to have deleted my notes, so I forget what everyone else had, but we all were mightily pleased.

Our server was a delight, at once professional and fun, and it was better than a play to watch him serve a table full of bridesmaids. Nancy said that he should have been flirting with us instead, (by which I presume she meant herself and Sinclair), since we would give a bigger tip. It was a merry dinner, with great food, a sensational setting, and a lively environment in which to get together with family.

You should give Dockside a try if you’re in Hilton Head. They’re open for lunch, and if they’re full for lunch or dinner, try the a bit more casual (a bit more me) Skull Creek Boathouse next door. And order some seafood.


And while you’re at it, click “follow” on our front page to receive blog posts in your email box. Or bookmark us and check in from time to time. If you’re planning a trip, you can “Search” the name of the city, state or country for good restaurants (in Europe, usually close to sites, like the Louvre or the Van Gogh Museum, that you’ll want to visit in any event). Comments, questions, and suggestions of places to eat or stories to cover are very welcome. And check out our Instagram page, johntannerbbq.


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