In the spirit of feeling at home in Charleston, I’m reviewing my favorite hidden gems around town. You might not see these businesses on TV, and none are tacky tourist traps. With my city gaining various accolades in the public eye, here’s where the Lowcountry locals go!
Located across from the Charleston Nine Memorial in West Ashley, Boxcar Betty’s is a hole-in-the-wall restaurant that proves sometimes less is more when it comes to menus.
Boxcar Betty’s serves antibiotic and hormone free, free roaming, vegetarian fed chicken sandwiches. For the vegetarians, there’s deep-fried mushroom caps stuffed with pimento cheese, quite possibly the least-healthy (but most delicious) vegetarian option I’ve ever had at a restaurant.
And… that’s about it.
For those who don’t want a sandwich, Boxcar offers a salad with either chicken or portobello mushroom, and kids (or adults who are kids at heart) can order chicken strips. You can pick from a few side items- fries, sweet potato fries, fried green tomatoes, and slaw.
The menu keeps it simple, but Boxcar Betty’s does everything so well that it makes up for it. Plus, you can “build your own” sandwich which means unlimited customization options. For your sweet tooth, you can have pecan pie in a cup or an ice cream float for dessert.
A few weeks ago, our friend PJ visited Charleston to celebrate his birthday, and we decided on Boxcar Betty’s for a quick dinner. PJ was one of our best friends when we lived in Florence, and he did our engagement and wedding photographs, as well as shooting a few races I ran when I lived there. He’s an amazing photographer and an all-around fun guy.
The restaurant was pretty packed for a random Tuesday night, and it’s already a small restaurant. For what it’s worth, we’ve eaten at Boxcar Betty’s several times and you can order your food to-go and it’s still tasty when you get it home. You stand in line and order from a large menu on the wall, pay via iPad, and your food is delivered to your table. There’s really no wait service as you get your own drink, but the staff members walk around and check on everyone.
The sandwiches came out quickly and piping hot. I got the portobello cap with pimento cheese, slaw, and spicy mayo. PJ had the Boxcar (chicken, pimiento cheese, peach slaw, spicy mayo, housemade pickles), and Clay had the Chicken and “Not So Waffle” (chicken, pimiento cheese, bacon jam, tomato, maple bacon sauce, and maple syrup).
We also had two orders of sweet potato fries, and one order of fries is enough to split between two people. All the portions are large, with the chicken or portobello bigger than the bun, and Boxcar does not skimp on sandwich toppings.
Best of all, you can get two sandwiches + an order of fries for $16.50 plus tax, well within mine and Clay’s “lunch for under $20” budget.
If you’re looking for a quick and delicious lunch or dinner in West Ashley, check out Boxcar Betty’s. It’s worth the drive, wait for a table, and the extra trip to the gym!
Other Local In the Lowcountry reviews: