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Recently, I decided that I've been overlooking much of what West Ashley has to offer. In an effort to discover restaurants I'd previously written off, I've been dragging my husband around town to try all those little places we pass on the drive home every day, but never bothered to stop at. That is how we decided to go to The Green Goat.
On the corner end of a run-down shopping center on Highway 17, it's not much to look at from the outside. As soon as we walked into The Green Goat's dining room, we were hit with the strong smell of cleaning chemicals. This is not the slightly piquant smell of bleach or freshly cleaned tables -- this was a "I am having a hard time breathing" level of chemical smell. I told myself, "At least they clean the place", and continued inside. We were greeted immediately and seated at a booth that gave us a full view of the restaurant. The interior is all hard surfaces, with an exposed ceiling and concrete floors. There was a small bar crowd that definitely had an "Old West Ashley Crew" look to it, but was not disruptive or otherwise obnoxious. Other than us, the dining room was empty. The menu looks great. Several salad options, some creative main courses, and quite a few husband-friendly hot sandwiches. Plus, our waiter was super friendly, taking the time to ask if it was our first visit, and offering several of his favorites and a few other suggestions from the menu. I had been dying for calamari for months, so I ordered the calamari appetizer, served with aioli, and a small-sized Grammy's Favorite, an arugula salad with dried cranberries, oranges, and fried goat cheese. My husband got the meatball sub, which we had heard great things about on social media reviews, and the waiter-recommended Newcastle Mac & Cheese. I was really, really excited to steal a bite of that Mac & Cheese.
It was probably a solid 40 minutes between ordering and eating. Our super nice waiter was still very attentive during this time, checking in on us and telling us our food was coming, but it was still a very long wait. Finally, our food came to the table ( along with the apologetic waiter ).
I'd like to take a second here and tell you something, reader. I believe in being polite, but I am honest. The Green Goat has put me in a tough position here, because there is just no polite way to say how I felt about the food.
It. was. horrible. It was, hands down, the worst meal I've ever had.
I am something of a squid and calamari addict. My standards are admittedly low. I love it all -- perfectly tender, grilled tentacles with a squeeze of fresh lemon, but also the greasy, heavy, slightly-chewy, fried variety. Sorry, I'm not sorry. We all have our weak spots, and squid is mine. So believe me when I tell you, the calamari was inedible. It was horrifically overcooked and greasy -- like little rubber rings in soggy breading. Look at the picture above -- see the liquid on the plate? That's not from the lemon -- that's grease. I had just a few bites before I decided that even I, the fool for calamari, could not choke it down. Oh, and then there was the "aioli". I'm pretty sure it was just plain mayonnaise, squeezed directly from the plastic bottle. Gross.
Next, came my salad and my husband's dinner. My salad was actually pretty decent, but it wasn't anything worth going back for. The arugula was fresh, and the dressing was homemade, but the fried goat cheese seemed like something that came pre-made and frozen, and just dropped in a fryer at the restaurant. Also, the "orange" on the salad was canned mandarin orange! I might not have minded, if the expectation had been set for canned fruit on the menu.
My poor husband, though. His dinner was the worst of all of it. The meatball sub was bland, and once again, we wondered if the meatballs were of the frozen variety. The Newcastle Macaroni and Cheese was the worst mac we've ever had. The flavor could have been good -- I think I could taste what they were going for under all of that grease, but the main flavor of their version was GREASE. Also, the macaroni was completely mush. I have to wonder -- how many days old was this food, and how many times had it been reheated to reach that consistency?
An overlooked West Ashley eatery that deserves to be overlooked. Great service, but nearly inedible food.
Grammy's Favorite, if you must.
1300 Savannah Hwy
Charleston, SC 29407
Strip mall parking lot in front of the restaurant.