Pier 22 on Sullivan's Island
One of my Dad’s favorite expressions he would use to make me feel better was “the best gifts come in small packages.” I would say that expression describes Pier 22 perfectly. Pier 22 is the newest creation of Brannon Flories, it is located on Sullivan’s Island between High Thyme and Home Team. It has two communal tables inside and 3 or 4 round high-tops on the porch.
Brannon Flories’ places have always been favorites of ours. We still miss the original Granary in Belle Hall shopping center. We used to love to sit at the communal table/bar and order a variety of dishes to split between the two of us, or share with a small group of friends. Always a great happy hour atmosphere, but equally amazing for dinner or brunch.
We love On 41, it is one of our favorite places to fill up on comfort food with a twist! That said, we tend to save our trips to North Mount Pleasant for visiting family or trips to Costco and not usually for food. I know that is wrong, but I’m being honest here. But then we heard that Pier 22 was opening!
We have been twice and both times loved everything about it! The atmosphere is casual and welcoming, with a nice beachy feel. It maintains a little slice of what Sullivan’s was like when we first moved here over 25 years ago - your local spot with great seafood. But Flories brings his own imagination and twist to everything on the menu. The ordinary becomes the extraordinary!
On our first visit we ordered the cerviche, crab dip, wagyu beef sandwich and tuna poke noodle bowl. The cerviche took a minute. I tend to be a traditionalist about some things, and having visited Mexico’s Caribbean coast numerous times, I have an idea of what cerviche should be like – this was not it at all. All it took was one bite, though, to throw aside my preconceptions and fall in love with this slightly pickled version. Light, refreshing and a wonderful burst of flavor, you won’t be disappointed.
The crab dip is something that you could never tire of. How can you go wrong with fresh crab meat, cream cheese and parmesan baked to perfection and served with fried wontons? The answer is, you can’t. It was so good that we had to order more on our second visit. I ordered the Tuna poke on noodles that was so clean and wonderful - the pickled carrots, edamame, broccoli, bok choy, thai basil and mint all melded into just the right mix and complimented each other so nicely. Mike had the wagyu on brioche and thoroughly enjoyed it. It is topped with the kimchi that I forgot how much I missed. I was also very pleasantly surprised by the saki margarita!
On our second visit we, of course, had to try order the crab dip to start things off. Mike and I then decided to split the tuna burger, with a seaweed salad as the side. I adore seaweed salad and this was one of the best I have ever had, just the right blend with a wilted but crispy texture. It is one of my favorite summer time dishes. We were torn between splitting the lobster roll or the tuna burger. I, to this day, have stood my ground and not had a lobster roll outside of Maine. People who know me know there isn’t a lot I love about Maine, but lobster rolls and fried clams are two I do. The fact I was willing to try Pier 22’s lobster roll says a lot. Friends who had it were raving about it. But my ground still stands because after hearing the tuna burger described we had to try it. OK, I have to say, first of all I rarely choose a sandwich, and if I do, I am a deli girl. But this sandwich defies all else. To call it a burger almost diminishes it, but the soft bun played perfectly with it. I have no idea what magic is melded into that burger, or, for that matter, how it even stays together, but it is one of the best bites you will ever taste!
So, thank you Brannon and Shannon for bringing your gift of creating food and great atmospheres back to our side of town. I’d say a walk on the beach followed by a cold beer and anything on this menu would be hard to top! This is one of those best gifts in a small package!