Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Two Restaurant Names Inspired By Lowcountry Dogs--One In Charleston and One On Folly Beach

This is Jasper. Jasper enjoys barking at
other dogs and loves Cheez-its.
The movie called "Seeking a Friend for the End of the World" is about a man who is abandoned by his wife after the two of them hear the world is coming to an end in twenty-one days. I have not seen the movie as of today, so I cannot comment about what could have triggered the wife's sudden change of heart or whether the movie even gives you a hint. One may be left to speculate. To be confronted with such a dire outcome is a tragedy of enormous proportions, but even a greater calamity of epic magnitude when your closest, dearest friend forsakes you at such an ominous moment. Such a thing would not happen if that closest friend were a dog because a dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.

The profound loyalty of a canine friend is well documented, as is the attachment people have to their dogs. With this in mind, let's consider another scenario with unusual prospects. In a study by the American Animal Hospital Association, over half of the respondents stated if they were stranded on a desert island, they would prefer the company of their pet to a human companion. That is, more people would rather find themselves in a "Pooch Lagoon" situation than a "Blue Lagoon." In my opinion, I am thinking the majority of respondents were female and obviously animal owners. Men tend to be more superficial about who they would want to be stranded with and only a dog owner would answer in such a dogmatic fashion. Woof. Woof.

Following are more interesting information about people and dogs. Many believe (I'm not one of them because I do not accept the precepts of the Theory of Evolution) we owe our survival as the superior species to our dog companions or else the world would be ruled by Neanderthals. I'm guessing Neanderthals were not pet-friendly. On an average, at least 70 per cent of the people polled around the world always sign their dog's name on a greeting card along with the rest of the family names. When it comes to travel, more than 20 percent of vacationing dog owners take their pet with them in the car when they travel, even planning vacations around their pets. These owners take their dog on an average of five car trips per year.

In the U.S., 63 percent of all households own a pet. Thirty-nine percent of those households own at least one dog. So, there is no mistaking it, the relationship between people and dogs is as profound as the love Charlestonians have for shrimp and grits and as celebrated as the city's Spoleto Festival. It is an actuality further corroborated by the two area restaurants named after resident dogs--one in Downtown Charleston and one on Folly Beach.

Located on Queen Street, the Downtown restaurant is one of Charleston's finest places to dine. When I heard of its name, I thought it to be a rather unusual designation for a restaurant, but when I did some research into the matter, the name made perfect sense.

The story is both exceptional and endearing. It’s the American Dream at its best and its telling warms your heart and puts a smile on your face because Poogan was a scruffy, neighborhood dog and a bit of a wanderer who finally found his place in society and a permanent residence at the old Victorian house that was built in 1888 and in 1976, was turned into the restaurant bearing his name.

Poogan presided over the renovations to the old house and its interior and greeted the first happy customers. Like many Charlestonians, the porch was his favorite part of the house, thus the name Poogan's Porch.

Poogan is no longer here, but if he was and he could speak, he would tell you, "To succeed in life, never bite the hand that feeds you." As a tribute and an expression of their endearment, the owners had a stone monument of Poogan placed in the landscaping.

There's something appealing and fun about dining in a restaurant that once was a house. Poogan's Porch is all of that and boasts credentials that make it one of Charleston's oldest and most reputable culinary establishments. A 1500-bottle wine cellar was built in 2005, which has tripled since opening. Over its many successful years, numerous awards have been bestowed upon it. Always a popular favorite for Charleston's Restaurant Week--September 9-20, 2015.

A dinner for two will average around $75 without wine. Open 365 days a year, Poogan’s Porch serves a Lowcountry lunch from 11:30 am-2:30 pm, dinner from 5-9:30 pm, and weekend brunch from 9 am-2:30 pm. The restaurant closes for one dinner seating on Super Bowl Sunday--a family tradition. It is located at 72 Queen Street, just down the street from the Dock Street Theater. Menus and reviews.

The Lost Dog Cafe on Folly Beach got its peculiar name from the mischievous behavior of a dog named Hocus. Hocus had a naughty habit of just "taking off" when he felt like it. It was from these stints of disappearing that the dog's owners were inspired to conceive the fitting name they ended up choosing for their beach cafe. It is advertised as a gathering place where locals and tourists can meet and eat. With a laid back atmosphere and simple fare, the most unusual thing about the cafe is pooches are welcomed and its dog wall of fame.

Lost Dog Cafe features an all-day breakfast menu with burritos, bagel sandwiches, and good coffee. If you like it simple and easygoing, Lost Dog Cafe is located at 106 W. Huron Ave. It opens daily at 6:30 am. Out of the 814 reviews, 92 percent of the reviewers give it a high rating.

If you are looking for a place to stay on Folly Beach, a surprise feature of the Lost Dog Cafe is you can rent the loft above the restaurant starting at $150 a night. It has 750 square feet of living space and sleeps two. There is a galley kitchen and window seats. Despite being over a busy cafe, reviewers surprisingly note their peace and quiet was never disrupted by the lighthearted clamor from the dining area below.

As a dog lover and dog owner, Poogan's Porch and Lost Dog Cafe are two Lowcountry restaurants you will want to check out, if you haven't done so already. And finally, this enlightening parting thought: The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue.

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