When a food truck strikes an item from its menu board, patrons are apt to write off the inconvenience as just another entertaining idiosyncrasy of eating far from a fixed kitchen. As Sean Mendes has learned since he earlier this month opened a permanent location of Roadside Seafood, it doesn’t work that way in restaurants.
“People don’t expect you to run out of everything,” he says. “I’ve been doing three or four batches of she-crab soup.”
The she-crab clamor is understandable, since Roadside – which got its start two years ago as a food truck – produces one of the city’s best bowls. Based on Mendes’ grandmother’s recipe, the soup bears little resemblance to the flavorless, overworked bowls of thick cream which have caused plenty of Charleston eaters to dismiss the dish as tourist pap. It’s almost more of a chowder than a bisque, crammed with picked crab and flecked with onion and celery. Continue reading