High Tide fish and chips

The cod fish and chips lunch at High Tide Cafe in Charleston.

CHARLESTON — Every once in a while — without trying — I can make sports editor John Gunther chuckle at our weekly lunches.

Such was the case last week at High Tide Cafe in Charleston. As I was ordering the seafood jambalaya, the server asked, "Medium or hot?"

"Oh, medium."


The High Tide Cafe in Charleston is located at 91124 Cape Arago Highway. The restaurant is closed Monday and Tuesday, but open noon-8 p.m. Wed…

John knows my situation. I'm not in my 20s or 30s anymore. My tolerance of spicy food has gone down considerably over the years. Heck, I've noticed it a lot since we started doing Cuisine here 13-plus years ago.

But, I still like spicy foods, I just need to have them for lunch, not dinner.

And definitely on the medium to lower end of the heat scale, not "Hot."

I took one bite and told John that I was really glad that I had ordered the medium. He sampled one bite and laughed again.

I digress. High Tide has been on our radar for the better part of the last year. It is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, so it didn't fit into our usual dining schedule.

During the summer it has been a little easier to get out midweek, so we've been able to check off a few of these restaurants off our list.

As my luck would have it though, the one time we choose to go to High Tide, it's the one day in the last month that it is raining.

Thus we didn't get to take advantage of one of the few outdoor dining options near the water on the South Coast. High Tide has a nice little outdoor deck and dining area with a grassy play area before you get down to the bay. As nice as it has been out lately, I imagine that deck has been pretty full in the afternoons and early evenings.

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With all the tables up near the window taken, John and I settled in near the middle of the restaurant, just past the big river rock fireplace.

While the daily specials of Chicken Fettuccine, a Seafood Club and a Bacon Omelette sounded good (they served brunch until 2), my choice was easy once I saw the Seafood Jambalaya on the menu.

I'm a big Cajun food fan, so this choice was really a no-brainer. Just about anywhere I can order Cajun food, I do.

The menu describes the jambalaya as prawns, squid, sausage, chicken, bell peppers and onions in a tomato Cajun sauce with rice — medium or hot.

The only item on that list that was a concern to me was the squid. I wasn't quite sure how that was going to be used.

The Seafood Jambalaya at High Tide Cafe in Charleston. The seafood portion of the dish included a little squid sitting on top of the rice. Whe…

Turns out, you can see from the photo with this story, that the little squid is sitting on top of the rice in the middle of the bowl. Fifteen minutes later, that little squid was in the same spot, just with everything else in the bowl gone except a lemon wedge and two little pieces of kale.

He made a cute little decoration. I just wasn't going to eat him.

John asked his usual questions of our server about the popularity of their dishes. She told him that the fish and chips were popular and touted their tartar sauce, along with the pan-fried oysters (I knew this one was out for John) and a few others.

Naturally, the one day we decide to go to High Tide, it decides to rain for the first time in a month, thus not allowing us the option to dine…

He also asked about the freshness of the fish, just before ordering the cod fish and chips.

He later said he'd hoped the dish came with cole slaw, because he likes seeing what type of slaw restaurants prepare.

I've always liked dining at High Tide and have been there to have brunch meals as well as lunch and dinner meals and have always enjoyed the food. The jambalaya was no different, i enjoyed it a lot and if you're looking for a nice Cajun dish, here it is.

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