Lowcountry Food: Fresh and local at Sea Eagle Market & Good Eats
Welcome to Sea Eagle Market & Good Eats, where old fashion value meets tidal rivers and salt marshes, a place where fresh Atlantic seafood and local sourced food are served six days a week .
Sea Eagle Market & Good Eats is actually two businesses under the same roof, on one side is the fish market where you can purchase fresh caught fish and seafood to bring home and on the other is the restaurant where fresh seafood is cooked six days a week. The entire business is owned and operated by the Reaves family, who have been providing South Carolinians with fresh caught seafood for twenty-five years. This is Craig and Jana Reaves second restaurant, and as owner Craig Reaves says, “It is pretty crazy!” Craig laughs, and says “Seriously we are passionate about fresh, locally caught seafood and we wanted to open a spot where you can get a good meal at a reasonable price. A place that was like the restaurants of the past in all the best ways.”
Located at 2149 Boundary Street in Beaufort, Craig says, “The building sat empty for six years. When we first visited the space, it seemed too big for us at 5,200 square feet; but, as we drew the floor plans for the renovations, we quickly utilized all the space. We’re glad we were able to renovate a building that sat vacant for so long, which was good for us and good for the town.” Recently, honored by the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce with the Civitas Award for Community Stewardship; Craig said serving the Beaufort community “Is an honor and it is humbling.”
Craig says his current favorite dish on the menu is “The Caesar Salad topped with blackened tuna. You can also get it topped with shrimp, salmon or chicken. My Dad, Laten Reaves, loves the Deviled Crabs.” He continues, “Although shrimp baskets are king around here; we also have a great flounder sandwich; the Palmetto Pride, named after my brother’s shrimp boat. It is a fresh flounder fillet topped with coleslaw. It started as a special and was such a hit, it has now been added to the menu.”
Craig said he recently found a local sustainable source for the popular delicacy, Soft Shell Crabs, so customers can enjoy them beyond their traditional short spring and fall seasons.
Of course, you will find all the favorite seafood dishes on the menu that make Beaufort different from other coastal towns; like the famous Lowcountry Boil, also known as “Frogmore Stew” (shrimp, sausage, corn and red potatoes), fried blue crabs bathed in a garlic butter sauce, a Shrimp Burger topped with Captain Craig sauce, a crab cake made in house with fresh picked lump crab meat, and a whole whiting fish split down the back and fried to perfection.
The menu has something for everyone. It includes some traditional offerings like BLT, Grilled Chicken, Wings, Burger, Soups, Salads and a few items just for the kiddos like mini corn dogs, grilled cheese sandwich, chicken fingers and popcorn shrimp.
Probably the most popular choice for customers are the seafood baskets. You can order them in a variety of ways, so it is just the way you like it. You can choose from one to three seafood items, and they will be cooked to order (fried, grilled, or blackened) and accompanied with your choice of two homemade sides and hushpuppies. The sides alone are worth coming in for, especially the mac n cheese which is simply the best in town.
Another unique aspect to this seafood restaurant is the open steam kitchen in the front dining room. You can watch steamed items like shrimp, snow crab legs, little neck clams and blue crabs cooked right before your eyes. Just smelling the seasonings from the pots makes your mouth water.
The restaurant is doing well in spite of the Boundary Street construction happening all around it. Easier access to Sea Eagle Market and Good Eats is coming soon with the nearby traffic signal at Carolina Cove.
Craig says, “The shrimping season has been real good this year, the best I have ever seen, so come down and pay us a visit!”
Story by Cindy Reid and cover photo by Paul Nurnberg for Beaufort Lifestyle Magazine.
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