THE BEST TACOS ON THE ISLE OF PALMS
Three years ago, Wyatt Durrette got a phone call from longtime friend Brett Jones. A local souvenir shop was closing and there would be real estate available on the Isle of Palms, South Carolina. Turning the shop into a restaurant was a huge endeavor, but Wyatt knew he had an all-star team. It was a no-brainer. “I didn’t know exactly what it would be, but I knew it would be great,” Wyatt says.
Chef Rusty Hamlin joined the team and worked on menu development. Rusty lives in the Atlanta area, and in addition to his other restaurant projects, he does a lot of traveling. Knowing he wouldn’t be at the restaurant every day, he decided to create a small menu with limited choices so they could ensure the best quality.
Kelly, Wyatt’s wife, came up with the name Papi’s, and the team created a fictional character to give life to their vision: Papi travels around the world and brings back a variety of inspired flavors.
Chef Rusty started with a list of favorite ingredients and foods he enjoyed, and three hours later had developed a menu that hasn’t changed since the doors opened in 2018.
Wyatt urges patrons that “it’s a chef-driven menu, so be open-minded!” He also says to try more than one. His personal favorite is the Juan Corleone—Papi’s taco version of a meatball sub, featuring chorizo and brisket meatballs, a red sauce made with charred poblanos and chile tomatoes, and Chihuahua cheese. Chef Rusty recommends the Fishin’ in the Dark—blackened mahi-mahi, grilled corn salsa, crispy onion straws, and jalapeno tartar sauce.
Papi’s fresh, chef-driven menu supports local farmers, fishermen, and small businesses, and the ocean view and craft cocktails make it the perfect spot to grab lunch or dinner. And trust us—you need those Churro Beignets in your life!
Visit papisiop.com to check out the menu.