Lowcountry Style Shrimp & Grits


Shrimp & Grits is an iconic favorite Southern dish served in many restaurants across the country with a multitude of variations. The dish started out as “shrimps and hominy,” since hominy was the term Charlestonians used for cooked grits until well after World War II. It was a breakfast dish, and some Charlestonians ate it every morning during shrimp season, which runs from June until October. By the mid 1990s, shrimp and grits had started to spread across the South, and, in a ironic twist for a dish that began as a humble home breakfast food, it did so as a dinner entrée in fine-dining restaurants. At a restaurant in NC the chef cooked his shrimp with spicy Italian sausage and served them in a thick tasso gravy. The addition of tasso—a spicy Cajun smoked pork from Louisiana—was a clear Southern fusion move, bringing the flavors of one specialized regional cuisine to another.  This dish became so popular in Charleston that restaurants had to have it on the menu in order to be taken seriously. It’s been a remarkable journey for a once-obscure breakfast dish that’s now an icon of Southern fine dining.

Thrive’s Executive Chef, Justin Cox, a graduate of Johnson & Wales in Charleston, enjoys offering this popular dish. Cox makes the entree with  South Carolina’s Anson Mill white grits cooked in heavy cream and chicken stock.  The Georgia white shrimp are slow cooked in a spice blend of paprika, cayenne, thyme and other southern spices. Stewed tomatoes and white corn are classic additions.  The andouille sausage is made in-house with a high quality pork packed with spice & flavor.  This dish a favorite at Thrive and sure to satisfy your lowcountry craving.

Read more on this history of this southern classic here and be sure to check out other great items on Thrive’s menu here.