Mt. Pleasant’s Southern-Inspired “Dock Lunch” Like Dining In A Living Room

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by Andrew Morrison | Full disclosure: Elizabeth Bryan and I go back a few years. We both used to write for Vancouver Island’s EAT Magazine, long before Scout was born. I was reminded of this while flipping through back issues while waiting for my meal at Dock Lunch, her little Mount Pleasant hideaway. She had piles of them on the sideboard, along with original copies of Pacific Island Gourmet, the long defunct magazine that she used to own.

Elizabeth’s passion for food is incredibly genuine, and in no small way a consequence of her South Carolinian roots.  Her “soul food” style of cooking really satisfies with plates – usually three or four different ones a day (menu posted on her Instagram feed) – deliciously evoking/expressing where she comes from. Think fried chicken, ham and biscuits, shrimp and grits, berry shortcakes, the whole kaboodle. She does just about everything in the 16 seat charmer by herself. And by that I mean she welcomes, cooks, serves, and cleans up as if she’s hosting people in her own home.

The truth of it is that the space actually was her apartment for 15 years, which is exactly why it looks and feels like you’re dining in her living room. She moved out to make the tiny eatery legal, but it’s still not uncommon to see guests bussing their own tables, bringing all their spent plates and glassware back to the kitchen once they’ve finished using them. Good on them.

It would be great if all customers could treat their Dock Lunch experiences similarly, because to treat it like any other restaurant would be a mistake. I don’t mean to say that Dock Lunch transcends or escapes the usual order, eat, pay, and retreat protocols that are the norm. Nor do I mean to suggest that it’s especially precious. It’s just cut from a different cloth, and well worth a visit. Take a look…

  • Hours: From whenever the sign goes up until sunset.
    Hours: From whenever the sign goes up until sunset.
  • Subtle signage painted on a window at Dock Lunch
    Subtle signage painted on a window at Dock Lunch
  • Elizabeth in the tiny kitchen at Dock Lunch
    Elizabeth in the tiny kitchen at Dock Lunch
  • Biscuits, shrimp grits and vegetable soup at Dock Lunch.
    Biscuits, shrimp grits and vegetable soup at Dock Lunch.
  • Bright and inviting interior of Dock Lunch
    Bright and inviting interior of Dock Lunch
  • Charming and comfortable |  Dock Lunch off of Main Street
    Charming and comfortable | Dock Lunch off of Main Street
  • A Plate of proper Southern biscuits | Dock Lunch
    A Plate of proper Southern biscuits | Dock Lunch
  • Butterscotch banana pudding with vanilla whip cream | Dock Lunch
    Butterscotch banana pudding with vanilla whip cream | Dock Lunch
  • Kitchen clutter |  Prepping a ham, tomato and arugula sandwich | Dock Lunch
    Kitchen clutter | Prepping a ham, tomato and arugula sandwich | Dock Lunch
  • Books everywhere | Dock Lunch
    Books everywhere | Dock Lunch
  • Dock Lunch | Side stripe shrimp and chorizo over creamy grits with remoulade, Cajun slaw and a biscuit.
    Dock Lunch | Side stripe shrimp and chorizo over creamy grits with remoulade, Cajun slaw and a biscuit.
  • Elizabeth from Dock Lunch, chatting with a customer
    Elizabeth from Dock Lunch, chatting with a customer
  • Interior shot | Perfectly mismatched chairs and tables
    Interior shot | Perfectly mismatched chairs and tables
  • Ham, Tomato and arugula on a fresh biscuit with a side of summer garden soup | Dock Lunch
    Ham, Tomato and arugula on a fresh biscuit with a side of summer garden soup | Dock Lunch
  • Summer garden soup with biscuit at Dock Lunch
    Summer garden soup with biscuit at Dock Lunch
  • Sidewalk seating in a garden alcove at Dock Lunch
    Sidewalk seating in a garden alcove at Dock Lunch
  • Keeping with the eclectic vibe, cutlery has a thrift store aesthetic
    Keeping with the eclectic vibe, cutlery has a thrift store aesthetic
  • Newspaper butterflies at Dock Lunch
    Newspaper butterflies at Dock Lunch
  • Window detail | Dock Lunch
    Window detail | Dock Lunch
  • Interior shot of Dock Lunch, a mix of nooks and communal tables with just enough clutter to make it feel homey.
    Interior shot of Dock Lunch, a mix of nooks and communal tables with just enough clutter to make it feel homey.
  • Forest green exterior with painted signage on window of Dock Lunch
    Forest green exterior with painted signage on window of Dock Lunch
  • Corner table with awesome retro chairs and shelves lined with books
    Corner table with awesome retro chairs and shelves lined with books
  • Housekeeping Rooms | Dock Lunch
    Housekeeping Rooms | Dock Lunch
  • Treasures hiding in the corners of the Dock Lunch space
    Treasures hiding in the corners of the Dock Lunch space
  • Pantry of thrift store table ware | Dock Lunch
    Pantry of thrift store table ware | Dock Lunch
  • Cream, sugar, straws and tiny paper umbrellas | Dock Lunch
    Cream, sugar, straws and tiny paper umbrellas | Dock Lunch
  • Elizabeth Bryan, one woman show at Dock Lunch
    Elizabeth Bryan, one woman show at Dock Lunch

Dock Lunch | 152 East 11th Ave (off Main) | Open Mon-Sat, Noon(ish) to Six(ish)

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