Jestine’s Kitchen – True Southern Cuisine

5 Oct

I am not normally a person who does roundoff back handsprings carwheels somersaults for fried chicken.  I can take it or leave it.  But, Jestine’s Kitchen made me wanna find a gym mat.

Jestine’s Kitchen has been featured on Rachael Ray’s “$40 A Day,” the Food Network’s “Best Of,” Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations” and in Oprah Magazine’s “O’s Charleston’s Travel Guide.”  In 2009 it received the “Readers Choice Award” from Southern Living magazine.

Jestine’s Kitchen is known for home cooking in a warm atmosphere.  A lil’ history… Jestine Matthews was a native to the low country who worked for the Ellison family in Charleston.  Ms. Matthews and the Ellisons built a lifelong friendship.  The owner of Jestine’s Kitchen is Shera Lee Berlin, the daughter to the only Ellisons’ child.  Jestine lived for an amazing 112 years, but her Southern home cooking lives on – on Meeting Street in downtown Charleston.

The rest in pictures -

Thirsty?  Have some water from this jug strapped to a tree outside of the restaurant (there’s no reservations and often a line long around the corner!).  We probably waited 30 minutes on a Friday night at 7:30pm.  FYI: There are fans running outside for comfort.

Pickles while waiting?  Yes, please!

 Ridiculous salt & pepper tchotchkes?  Check!

::holy cannoli, that’s how you spell chotchkey?!::

J’s “Kitchen” 

Scooter’s cuteness + sweet tea 


Yummy cornbread with butter swimming in maple syrup

AND DRUMROLL (US-gymnast-in-the-Olympics-style)…

Fried chicken (white meat only – that was our choice), mac & cheese, and mashed potatoes

If you can’t tell, there were 2 HUGE pieces of chicken.  It barely looked like I made a dent into this dish by the time I was full and we got 2 of these identical plates!!!  Needless to say, we had a lot of leftovers!!!

You probably think we spent a fortune, right?  Think again!

$32.87 before tip for 2 nights worth of dinner!


Jestine's Kitchen on Urbanspoon


I very much enjoyed this dinner, but Scott CANNOT stop talking about it.  Time to go back AANNNNDDD invite my father…because he has yet to have fried chicken live up to the fried chicken that he ate in D.C. on a school trip when he was 13.  Yeah, he dreams about this chicken.  Time to make a new memory, Dad!!!


Are you a fried chicken lover?  What’s your biggest comfort food downfall?

I have many, but I’d say nachos and chili cheese dip top my list!



p.s. There were lots of Southern food choices on Jestine’s Kitchen’s menu including “Jes’s Meatloaf,” “Pecan Fried Chicken Breast,” “Okra Gumbo,” and “Peanut Butter & Banana Sandwich with potato chips.”  

p.s.s. Forget the fried chicken, that was THEE BEST sweet tea I’ve ever had – wheeeeeeeeeeee!




Beach Count: 61  

High Temperature: 74°


5 Responses to “Jestine’s Kitchen – True Southern Cuisine”

  1. Megan October 5, 2011 at 1:35 pm #

    I hate to admit it, but in all of my 27 (minus a few years while I was away at college) years of living in Charleston, I have never been to Jestine’s. I’ll start dieting now so I can go next year!

    • Sarah October 6, 2011 at 5:20 pm #

      Haha – you’re too funny! It’s worth the calories, girlfriend!

  2. Brooke @ Veggie Table October 5, 2011 at 5:38 pm #

    Obviously, I’m not a chicken fan but Jestine’s looks like a cozy, southern restaurant! For me, Mexican food = comfort food…love it, a little too much!

    • Sarah October 6, 2011 at 5:20 pm #

      I love me some Mexican food, too – I’m always in the mood for Mexican food!!!

  3. Jason October 11, 2011 at 6:57 pm #

    Next time you go – you *must* save room for coconut cream pie. Best in the WORLD!!!! All the desserts in general are worth the extra!

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