Don’t dare call Folly Beach Charleston. Though it sits just minutes from the Holy City, Folly Beach has its own culture and vibe. Millionaires and surf bums get along with Southern ease, which makes this beach town one of my faves. Rita’s Seaside Grill captures that same ethos with the best bar in town (the bar itself is covered with vintage surf-shack stickers). Don’t miss Rita’s spicy blackened tuna nachos — try them with a house-squeezed watermelon margarita. The shrimp and grits are also a must. Then go work everything off bodysurfing in the Atlantic. The waves crash just steps away from Rita’s doors.
Watermelon pico de gallo
- 2 cups 1/4-inch diced seedless watermelon
- 1/4 cup 1/4-inch diced red onion
- 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
Blackened tuna nachos
- 1 (1-pound) tuna steak (1 1/3 inches thick)
- 2 tablespoons blackening seasoning
- 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
- 1 cup very thin sweet onion strips (about 1/2 medium)
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
- 1 (15.5-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 9 cups corn tortilla chips
- 1 pound mild white Cheddar cheese, shredded
For the watermelon pico de gallo
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and chill 1 hour.
For the blackened tuna nachos
Preheat oven to 350°. Sprinkle all sides of tuna with blackening seasoning. Set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté onion and jalapeño pepper in hot oil 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in black beans and next 3 ingredients. Cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
Spread tortilla chips on a half sheet pan. Sprinkle with half of cheese. Spoon bean mixture evenly over top of cheese. Sprinkle with remaining half of cheese.
Wipe skillet clean. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil and heat over medium-high heat until hot. Add tuna steak and sear on all sides, 4 minutes or to desired degree of doneness. Transfer to a cutting board; let stand 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, bake nachos at 350° for 7 minutes or until cheese melts. Remove from oven and let stand 3 minutes. Cut tuna into thin slices; cut slices into 1-inch pieces, and arrange over top of nachos. Serve immediately with watermelon pico de gallo.