Half Shell at the Pier, St. Simons Island

Yesterday I mentioned all the fun things we did while Kris Moye was visiting last week.  On Wednesday, after a delicious lunch at Tortuga Jack’s, we weren’t hungry for supper at 6 p.m.  Instead we had dessert as our supper.  Kris has a friend that visits the island regularly and she gave Kris a list of recommendations.  One of the things that she had recommended was the butter cake at Half Shell at the Pier.  Since we only wanted dessert, we were willing to try the Half Shell butter cake.

The Half Shell at the Pier is a newish restaurant on St. Simons.  It has been around since 2013, which probably puts it in the middle in terms of restaurant life.  Because St. Simons has so few chain restaurants, the local restaurants have a chance to thrive or fail.  Some have been here a very long time, but most have been on the island less than 10 years.  Last year a new restaurant, Sapelo Crow, opened and this year it was closed.  Tom and I never ate there because it was a dumb name for a restaurant.

The Half Shell at the Pier is a restaurant Tom and I would probably not try if Kris had not been here.  We avoid strictly seafood restaurants.  I am not a big fish eater and have a sensitivity to shellfish.  Tom, after a couple of bad experiences with clams, is also very careful.  The menu at Half Shell is mostly seafood, with one beef dish, one chicken dish, and one pork dish.  As with most seafood restaurants, I could find something on the menu to eat.

Waiting for our butter cake

But we weren’t there for dinner.  We were there for dessert and The Half Shell at the Pier only has one dessert:  butter cake.  I had never heard of butter cake before so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  We asked our waiter how big the servings were and he told us they weren’t big.  So we each ordered a piece of butter cake.  It came warm with a small scoop of ice cream and a slice of strawberry on the top.

The cake was more like a butter bar than a cake.  I could taste the creaminess of the butter.  Tom asked me what I thought was in the butter cake and I answered eggs, butter, flour, and sugar.  Basic ingredients that go into a delicious cake.   I was tempted to let it melt in my mouth instead of chewing.

Butter Cake at The Half Shell

It was the best butter cake I have ever had.  Of course, it is the only butter cake I have had.  After eating it, I went home to research the recipe.  The closest I could find is something called St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake.  The link takes you to an excellent article on the cake and a recipe that I think would produce something similar to what we ate.  Tom and I haven’t spent much time eating at restaurants in St. Louis, which must be why I had never heard of butter cake.

We enjoyed our butter cake very much although I don’t think it is something I would want to eat often.  Thanks to Kris for sharing her list and suggesting the butter cake at the Half Shell.