I almost laughed out loud when I read this line from George Cox’s review of Garner’s (somewhat new) Shuck ‘Em Shack:
Hushpuppies are not bad for a commercial product, though the Southerner in me cringes at paying $1.99 for a dozen.
I can remember going to Dockside at some point in college, one of the best locations in Wilmington for a great coastal view – paired with a bite to eat and a tasty drink. only to find out at that point they had decided to not offer hushpuppies at all. (Something about space for the fryer or it being the off-season… clearly I was in no mind for any excuses.) Everyone at our table heavily considered just leaving before ordering anything. What’s a Po’ Boy sandwich with a no hushpuppies? (The answer: not much.)
Same situation with the ill-fated Sunny Side Too, which also called Garner home. (I can name more than a handful of reasons this local restaurant didn’t last, sadly. But I won’t.)
My point is this: in Carolina, and much of the South, hushpuppies are expected. And we more often than not expect them to be yummy and a complimentary part of the Southern seafood meal.
You can read Greg’s entire report on the Shuck ‘Em Shack online at http://www.newsobserver.com/2011/01/14/917251/where-you-can-shuck-to-your-hearts.html.