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“Great Service, Not-So-Great Food”
Review of Magnolias

Magnolias
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Ranked #17 of 951 Restaurants in Charleston
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$31 - US$35
Cuisines: American, European, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Business meetings, Local cuisine, Special Occasion Dining
Dining options: Lunch, After-hours, Breakfast, Dinner, Reservations
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Neighbourhood: Downtown
Cross street: located between Cumberland & Queen Streets
Transit: Charleston CARTA to and from Visitors Center can be picked up 1/2 block from the restaurant on the quarter hour. There are also local cab companies and Charleston's famous Rickshaws that will transport guests to their hotels.
Reviewed 5 March 2012

My wife and I visited Charleston for a long weekend in early March 2012. We ate out a lot and generally enjoyed every place we visited. Magnolias was recommended by a couple of our friends who had been to Charleston fairly recently, so we figured it would be a sure bet. I first want to say that our service was fantastic. Our waiter was very attentive without being overly intrusive. Unfortunately, the food was simply not as enjoyable as the server/staff. My wife ordered fried chicken which came out tough, dry, and overcooked. For the amount of money her meal cost (around $28), we figured the chicken would at least be properly cooked. It was hardly edible. I ordered the pan-fried pork chop and it was okay, but nothing spectacular. We also had salads and an appetizer and all of it was the same... just kind of "blah." If you're in Charleston for a limited time there are plenty of other restaurants that are out of this world! Our favorite was Poogan's Porch on Queen St, but there are certainly many others that are better than Magnolias.

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Thank Andy H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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5,249 - 5,253 of 5,954 reviews

Reviewed 5 March 2012

My husband and I went for Sunday brunch. We ordered the collard green egg roll which was ok. But we wished we had gotten the chips with bleu cheese crumbles. It was definitely worth the money. I got the shellfish over grits. The description said it had shrimp, scallops, and lobster. Well I got lots of "tiny" shrimp and ONE scallop and ONE piece of tough lobster. This meal was $16 and was not worth it. My husband got the shrimp and grits which was pretty good. His was $15 and I felt that he got his money's worth. I ended up eating off his plate once I was done with mine. He got bigger shrimp than I did. The meal did take a while to come. It was definitely not worth the money at all. It was a costly lunch that we definitely learned from our mistakes.

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1  Thank Marketa M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 March 2012

My wife and I made a reservation using OpenTable.com for Magnolias during a busy summer weekend when the remaining open tables were only available at 9:15 PM. Obviously, it was nearing the end of a busy night at Magnolias but, clearly, we had arrived when our particular waiter, and apparently the kitchen, had had enough. The service was perfunctory, at best, the order in which the appetizer, salad, and main course arrived was rushed, and the food itself was mediocre. For all of the accolades my wife and I had heard concerning this restaurant, none were evident. Other diners who were leaving, or in the process of leaving, when we arrived and were seated appeared to have had a great experience, but our expererience was weak at best. Apparently, after a certain bewitching hour, either from being burned out or having undergone a tremendous rush that they were not prepared for or simply could not handle, both our service and our dinner was an afterthought, the main purpose of which appeared to be ending the day and clearing out the restaurant. I understand that restaurants need to wrap things up at the end of a busy day, but if the service and the food are going to suffer, the restaurant should not accept late reservations as Magnolias was only too willing to do. Compared with the previous evening only a couple blocks away at McCrady's where both the service and food were impeccable, we were left to wonder how Magnolias could ever be considered in the same class. If we ever would consider a return visit to Magnolias, which is unlikely, we would ensure it was early evening.

Thank JupiterFL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 March 2012

My meal was quite good as was the service. A bit pricey, but worth it for a quality meal.

Thank clarkbhm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 March 2012

Food is very good and looks great . Waiters and waitress very nice.

Thank Animaltammer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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