October 2019

The Reel Deal: Hook & Real brings bayou flair to Bluffton

Author: Barry Kaufman

Have you had enough of the same old same old when it comes to seafood? Looking to kick your classic Lowcountry boil up a few notches? If you are, the latest entry to Bluffton’s booming restaurant scene has you covered, with a Cajun-centric menu bursting with flavor and loaded with options.

Hook & Reel opened this past April, the latest location of a chain started in Maryland by the singularly named “Miller.” Miller opened his first restaurant in Maryland as a way to share his love of Cajun food with his fellow Old Line Staters and saw the business grow on the strength of its delectable seafood and unique presentation. And while it may say Cajun on the sign, one look at the expansive menu proves it’s much more than that.
“It’s not just New Orleans Cajun,” said co-owner Stella Morford. “You have a lot of choice.”

Choice is something of a specialty at Hook & Reel, with signature dishes that basically let you create something that’s totally your own. The Pick Your Catch option lets you start with your catch of choice, choosing on from a selection of 12 seafood options from shrimp and crawfish to lobster tail and crab legs, then lets you customize it with your choice of sauce and even heat level. The standout sauces are the Cajun sauce, which packs just the right punch in a blend of true N’awlins spices, and the Hook & Reel sauce, which lends a savory zing to every bite.


Hook and Reel offers mouth-watering options from seafood baskets and sliders to cold options like shrimp cocktail and raw oysters.

The other popular option, the Make Your Own Seafood Combo, offers one of the truly unique experiences that have made Hook & Reel a national phenomenon. You start with a half-pound of your choice of seafood options, selecting at least two options, again with a sauce and heat of your choice, and it comes served in a bag puffed up with steam. This presentation not only makes for a great conversation piece, the steam locks in the flavors and lends a perfect consistency to the freshly shucked corn on the cob and potatoes that come as side dishes.

These two experiences headline a menu that also offers seafood baskets, sliders, po boys and cold options like shrimp cocktail and raw oysters. But perhaps the best part is the price.

“When people talk about seafood, they usually think of it as being very expensive,” Morford said. “Here, you have a lot of choice, and you don’t need to spend a lot of money.”

Adding to that value are rotating specials, which change nightly and on weekends, like the lobster tail, snow crab legs and head-off shrimp for $29.99. Plus, throughout the month of November, they’re offering buy one entrée get one half-off. (This offer cannot be combined with any other offers or weekend specials and cannot be used in conjunction with The Family Catch from the menu.). That affordable approach also makes the bar at Hook & Reel one of Bluffton’s most approachable watering holes, with daily happy hour offering $1.99 draft beer and half-price apps.

The point being, you don’t need to break the bank to enjoy mouth-watering seafood. And you don’t need to settle for the same old same old when Hook & Reel has the delectable flavors of the Big Easy right here in Bluffton. 

Hook & Reel is located at 1009 Fording Island Rd., Bluffton. For more information, visit www.hookandreelblufftoncom.

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