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Charleston, SC Suggestions

Charleston, SC Suggestions
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  • Post #31 - January 22nd, 2007, 9:46 pm
    Post #31 - January 22nd, 2007, 9:46 pm Post #31 - January 22nd, 2007, 9:46 pm
    This is another LTH Thread that has some information. The suggestions in both threads are will give you some ideas. Charleston is a great eating destination. I think its one of the top 5 in the country.
    Bruce
    Plenipotentiary
    bruce@bdbbq.com

    Raw meat should NOT have an ingredients list!!
  • Post #32 - January 23rd, 2007, 9:49 am
    Post #32 - January 23rd, 2007, 9:49 am Post #32 - January 23rd, 2007, 9:49 am
    Charleston is a very cool city and, as noted, is one of the top dining destination cities in the U.S. I think you'll have a great time, and definitely would spend at least a day walking around the historic district (and perhaps take a horse-drawn carriage tour). I looked through the other posts, and would add the following comments:

    Poogan's Porch gets a lot of press and is a neat place, and the food was okay, but I think it's probably a bit of a tourist trap. We went there for lunch, and I would recommend it for lunch but definitely wouldn't waste a dinner there.

    SNOB is a very nice restaurant with great food -- I'd highly recommend it. Magnolia's is a nice restaurant -- conveniently located and a good choice for an upscale lunch or brunch. A bit touristy.

    McCrady's is a really cool restaurant in an older building (was a tavern that once served George Washington). We found the contemporary American cuisine to be outstanding. It is pretty pricey, but is one of the better high-end establishments.

    We did not try Peninsula Grill, but I know that it is highly-regarded. The Charleston Place Hotel (where it's located) is very nice, and is worth checking out. I also would recommend the rooftop bar (weather permitting) at the Market Pavilion Hotel. A nice upscale spot for a drink, with a great view of the city.

    Finally, we didn't get to try Jestine's Kitchen, but I know that it gets a lot of press for its downhome Southern cooking (it's very casual). From what I've read, I definitely would recommend checking it out.

    By the way, most of the restaurants have websites and I was able to find a lot of information (including menus) online for most of these places.
  • Post #33 - January 23rd, 2007, 10:11 am
    Post #33 - January 23rd, 2007, 10:11 am Post #33 - January 23rd, 2007, 10:11 am
    The Holly Eats website is also a good resource for Charleston.

    Gullah cuisine is worth trying out too. Drive out from Mt. Pleasant towards the ocean and check out the Sawgrass baskets that are sold in roadside stands. Beautiful pieces of basket making.
    Bruce
    Plenipotentiary
    bruce@bdbbq.com

    Raw meat should NOT have an ingredients list!!
  • Post #34 - January 23rd, 2007, 5:40 pm
    Post #34 - January 23rd, 2007, 5:40 pm Post #34 - January 23rd, 2007, 5:40 pm
    I would second the Penisula Grill in Charleston Place. One of the better meals I've had. Service, food and ambiance are great.

    We did two of "famous" fish restuarants as well, but I was disappointed. There is a BBQ spot by Charleston Place that was pretty decent, but the name escapes me, (sticky fingers?)
  • Post #35 - January 24th, 2007, 9:31 am
    Post #35 - January 24th, 2007, 9:31 am Post #35 - January 24th, 2007, 9:31 am
    The Peninsula Grill is in the Planter's Inn, not Charleston Place. They are known for their coconut cake and I highly recommend it. I didn't dine there but stopped in for dessert and it was great. I enjoyed SNOB for lunch and Magnolia and Blossoms for dinner.
  • Post #36 - January 24th, 2007, 9:48 am
    Post #36 - January 24th, 2007, 9:48 am Post #36 - January 24th, 2007, 9:48 am
    RevrendAndy wrote:The Peninsula Grill is in the Planter's Inn, not Charleston Place.


    I stand corrected...I was thinking of the Charleston Grill, not the Peninsula Grill, which also is supposed to be excellent (although it looks as if they temporarily are closed for renovations).
  • Post #37 - January 25th, 2007, 11:25 pm
    Post #37 - January 25th, 2007, 11:25 pm Post #37 - January 25th, 2007, 11:25 pm
    Just a note. Bowens Island is closed. It burned to the ground last fall. There are plans to rebuild. But, I fear it will never be the same.

    A trip out to Awendaw to SeeWee is well worth the trip and one of the few remaining vestiges of real low country cooking that you can find around Charleston.

    I just want to, once more, further endorse a nice dinner at the Old Post Office on Edisto. Its about a 45 minute drive from downtown Charleston.
  • Post #38 - January 26th, 2007, 12:05 am
    Post #38 - January 26th, 2007, 12:05 am Post #38 - January 26th, 2007, 12:05 am
    Hey, thanks to everyone. I've forwarded all your suggestions to our hosts, and will report back after the trip, which is scheduled for early in February.
  • Post #39 - January 26th, 2007, 5:17 pm
    Post #39 - January 26th, 2007, 5:17 pm Post #39 - January 26th, 2007, 5:17 pm
    On our last Charleston trip, we had time for one restaurant meal. We had a Saturday lunch at Hominy Grill and it was excellent. Their shrimp and grits reputation is well deserved.
  • Post #40 - April 5th, 2007, 12:35 pm
    Post #40 - April 5th, 2007, 12:35 pm Post #40 - April 5th, 2007, 12:35 pm
    Sorry it took a while to post a recap of our Charleston weekend, but I've just now gotten around to sorting through the photos and pulling out a few of the culinary highlights.
    Friday morning we headed straight to Hominy Grill. The sun was shining and, despite a slight chill in the air, we sat on the patio and enjoyed a hearty southern breakfast:
    Image
    I ordered French toast, served with a sauce of spiced apples. Tasty, but a little bland. The bacon was wonderful; crisp and smoky. I already had nabbed a slice before snapping the pic.

    My wife loved her poached eggs over toasted cornbread with chunky tomato sauce and home fries:
    Image
    Would it be wrong of me to profess my lust for her big, fluffy biscuit? Oh, and we bought a couple coffee mugs for souvenirs.

    Friday night was the dining highlight of our trip. But more on that later.

    Saturday night we reserved a table at Anson's, near downtown. Here's a particularly nice app:
    Image
    Seared scallops and creamy cheese grits over blackeyed peas. Clearly, we weren't in Chicago anymore.

    I liked this entree a lot. too.
    Image
    Roasted pork shank with mac n' cheese.
    For a large place (two entire floors), the service was impressive. The wine list is fairly deep and intelligently priced. Overall, very enjoyable but the consensus was, we'd be inclined to try other places before returning.

    Sunday, we headed downtown for lunch before our early evening flight home. When our hosts suggested Sticky Fingers Ribhouse, I was skeptical. After all, how good could a touristy place with four locations really be?
    Actually, damn good:
    Image
    Here's the combo rib plate: Memphis dry, sweet, and hot. All three were terrific; smoky, chewy yet tender. No meat jello here. The dry ribs were the unanimous winner.

    Ever the contrarian, I ordered the brisket sandwich, a new item on their menu:
    Image
    Just the way I like it. The smoke in the brisket was subtler than the ribs, but definitely there. The sides-- beans and cole slaw, were better than expected.

    Some months ago, Charleston favorite son Stephen Colbert held a charity auction on his show. The prize item was the famous portrait of himself standing in front of a portrait of himself. Sticky Fingers made the winning bid, and the "portrait" now proudly hangs in the restaurant.
    Image
    Hey, who's that guy with Paul?

    Now, about Friday night. First, I have to say that just about everything we ate, including an unphotographed lunch at Jestine's, was very, very good in a Southern, calories-be-damned kind of way. But the real standout was a true dump of a place, aptly named The Wreck. Actually its full name is "The Wreck of the Richard & Charlene," in honor of a fishing trawler that was slammed into the dock by Hurricane Hugo at the exact spot where the restaurant now stands.
    Now, I love fried shrimp, and have eaten them in hundreds of restaurants. But these were the best I can ever remember:
    Image
    They lightly dust the shrimp in flour and pop them into the fryer. That it. OMG!. Good enough sides include dirty rice, hush puppy and some kind of other fried thingy. Happily, the local brew, Palmetto, is eminently quaffable. Notice also the side dish of boiled peanuts. Sort of like Redneck Edamame. Why do people eat those nasty things?

    As it turns out, our friends may be taking up semi-permanent residence in Charleston. That's good news. We hope to make many more trips down there and report back on all the good things we find to eat.
  • Post #41 - April 5th, 2007, 1:22 pm
    Post #41 - April 5th, 2007, 1:22 pm Post #41 - April 5th, 2007, 1:22 pm
    I also ate at Sticky Fingers when in Charleston... not realizing when I walked in that it was a Memphis BBQ chain. While quite good, it isn't South Carolina barbeque.

    Definitely made for a good midafternoon snack. My sons adore their habanero wing sauce.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #42 - April 6th, 2007, 12:10 am
    Post #42 - April 6th, 2007, 12:10 am Post #42 - April 6th, 2007, 12:10 am
    Paul SL,
    I'm sorry I didn't find this site until recently, otherwise I would have suggested you eat at Jestine's.

    At any rate, here is what I would have said:

    We visited Charleston in October, and Jestine's was probably one of the culinary highlights of our week there. We'd heard the locals love Jestine's, so we planned a special trip there. You know a place is good if there's a line going around the corner, for lunch on a (torrentially) rainy day! I'm sure a lot of people there were tourists, like us, but it doesn't matter. The food speaks for itself.

    We each had fried chicken, greens, and cornbread: the works. We were so very impressed with the full flavors and terrific quality of the food! The chicken was crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside; the greens were tasty; and the corn bread was not too sweet. We also had "sweet tea", which is a southern tradition, and really enjoyed that as well.

    The decor is kind of country and home-like, and made us feel like we were in somebody's grandma's kitchen, which I guess is the truth in a way. We felt comfortable and welcome.

    I lived briefly in the south, but Chicago is now my home, and my partner is from England; so we feel very fortunate to be have been able to eat some authentic southern fare in what is certainly one of Charleston's most beloved establishments.
    Little by little, one travels far. ~~~ J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Post #43 - April 7th, 2007, 12:55 pm
    Post #43 - April 7th, 2007, 12:55 pm Post #43 - April 7th, 2007, 12:55 pm
    Just felt the need to post...was in Charleston for the Food and Wine festival a month ago...Cool little festival (not that big and worth the trip solely for that). Great town too, if you are looking for a nice weekend getaway Charleston is really pretty (go in the spring)

    Low country fare is quite tasty, but I HIGHLY recommend the shecrab soup, it is extremely tasty.
  • Post #44 - April 7th, 2007, 10:58 pm
    Post #44 - April 7th, 2007, 10:58 pm Post #44 - April 7th, 2007, 10:58 pm
    Alice S. wrote:Paul SL,
    I'm sorry I didn't find this site until recently, otherwise I would have suggested you eat at Jestine's.

    As I mentioned in the post, we did indeed visit Jestine's. I simply forgot to bring along my camera, so it went unphotographed. I had virtually the same meal you describe; it was wonderful. I'd kill to find that kind of cornbread around here--moist, without a trace of sugar.
  • Post #45 - April 7th, 2007, 11:03 pm
    Post #45 - April 7th, 2007, 11:03 pm Post #45 - April 7th, 2007, 11:03 pm
    Yes, I saw that you had mentioned Jestine's and I'm so glad you got to enjoy it! For the benefit of anyone else considering a trip to Charleston, I thought I would elaborate a bit on the food we had there. Of course I haven't any photos either, since I didn't know of this forum until just last week :)
    Little by little, one travels far. ~~~ J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Post #46 - April 14th, 2007, 1:29 pm
    Post #46 - April 14th, 2007, 1:29 pm Post #46 - April 14th, 2007, 1:29 pm
    The two places we enjoyed the most in Charleston were Hominy Grill (mentioned above) and FIG (Food Is Good). Poogan's Porch was so-so. Sticky Fingers was good although I had other BBQ places outside of the city that I would have rather tried (outvoted again!). I haven't seen FIG mentioned before so here is the web site:

    http://www.eatatfig.com/home/default.aspx

    We liked the atmosphere (retro sophisticated Southern?) and the great sides of vegetables you can order. The food really was excellent although I remember being surprised at how high the check was when it came (but it was worth it). We went about a year ago so I don't remember exactly what we ordered other than a side of beets which were wonderful.

    Sadly, we never made it to Jestines because of the crowds.

    And of course...when in the South, there is always at least one stop at the Waffle House.

    I did quite a bit of research on Charleston before we went and there are a lot of places outside the city that are supposed to be great. If anyone is interested I can try to dig up some of the places that sounded good.
  • Post #47 - April 19th, 2007, 10:48 pm
    Post #47 - April 19th, 2007, 10:48 pm Post #47 - April 19th, 2007, 10:48 pm
    I just returned today from a little jaunt down south that included a few days in Charleston. I must say that I was quite taken back by the fact that very few, if any, of the higher end downtown restaurants seemed top be serving much local seafood. I saw lots of salmon on the menus, lots of grouper, lots of mahi (which can be had locally though not until later in the summer).

    On a more positive note, Slightly North of Broad just knocked my socks off for the 10th consecutive time. The medium rare duck breast and leg confit with a light as a feather squash and goat cheese souffle was one of the finest dinners i have eaten in a long long time.

    I also had the opportunity to visit FIG, where I had an outstanding sauteed flounder with leeks and artichokes. FIG's kitchen isn't as big or well staffed as that of SNOB. However, it was a very fine meal that held its own in terms of flavor and quality.

    On Wednesday afternoon, I met an old college friend for lunch West of the Ashley where we tried a really unique cajun place called Marie Laveau. I managed to get down about half of a really excellent "duck club" which is their signature sandwich. A sub roll is sliced lengthwise ionto three slices each of which are toasted, then lightly covered in garlic aioli, then the bottom layer is filled with a smoky rich, duck confit, chedsar cheese. The top layer is fitted with a couple of strips of extra crispy bacon, lettuce and tomato. Itb was a great sandwich.

    Marie Laveau's dinner menu includes a bunch of traditional sounding cajun dishes that I definitely would have given a try had I not discovered the place the day before I was leaving.
  • Post #48 - December 20th, 2010, 9:32 pm
    Post #48 - December 20th, 2010, 9:32 pm Post #48 - December 20th, 2010, 9:32 pm
    Going to Charleston over Xmas weekend. Magnolia's for dinner on Xmas Day (mainly because it's actually open), maybe FIG another night, and then? Any recs for low country grub in the Historic District?
  • Post #49 - December 21st, 2010, 2:33 pm
    Post #49 - December 21st, 2010, 2:33 pm Post #49 - December 21st, 2010, 2:33 pm
    You can take a look at my post currently on page 2 of this section highlighting a roadtrip we took to Charleston and Savannah a few months ago. viewtopic.php?f=15&t=30300
    "Call any vegetable...and the chances are good the vegetable will respond to you."
    --Frank Zappa
  • Post #50 - December 21st, 2010, 6:07 pm
    Post #50 - December 21st, 2010, 6:07 pm Post #50 - December 21st, 2010, 6:07 pm
    Thanks, saluki. I remember reading your trip report.

    We may try 82 Queen, and Jestine's for sure as we staying right there.

    BTW, I'm surprised you were pleased with your experience at Lady & Sons. We live not far from Savannah and we don't know any locals who eat there because of the hassle of getting a table and the (reported) lack of well-made food.
  • Post #51 - December 21st, 2010, 10:53 pm
    Post #51 - December 21st, 2010, 10:53 pm Post #51 - December 21st, 2010, 10:53 pm
    I understand your comment about Lady and Sons little500. If I were a local I would probably avoid it due to the hassle of getting in. There are places in Chicago that I avoid for the same reason.

    As I said, we heard mixed reviews about Lady and Sons but had a good experience. Personally, I liked Mrs. Wilkes much more due to the quality of the food and the ambiance of the dining room. There is nothing close to it up here in Chicago.

    Enjoy your trip.
    "Call any vegetable...and the chances are good the vegetable will respond to you."
    --Frank Zappa
  • Post #52 - December 21st, 2010, 11:50 pm
    Post #52 - December 21st, 2010, 11:50 pm Post #52 - December 21st, 2010, 11:50 pm
    little500 wrote:BTW, I'm surprised you were pleased with your experience at Lady & Sons. We live not far from Savannah and we don't know any locals who eat there because of the hassle of getting a table and the (reported) lack of well-made food.


    Food wise, I did not think that Lady & Sons was a bad meal. It was a lunch buffet of three entrees - fish, fried chicken and spaghetti - with five sides. However, the food was nothing really special. It was NOTHING that you could not find in at least a DOZEN other places in Savannah or any other southern city.

    The way guests are treated was disappointing. We showed up to get reservations at 9 am and were assured that there would be no wait. When we arrived at the assigned time, we had to wait twenty minutes as they seated THREE TOUR BUSES in front of us. When we did get in, we were seated in a tiny table at the back of the bar, quite easily the worst seat in the house.

    ++++++++++++++++++++

    If you want a phenomenal meal in downtown Charleston, SC, the St. Philip's Tea room at the Historic St. Philip's Episcopal Church is open ONLY the last week of April. It is excellent food. reasonably priced, served by parishioners and one of the best lunches of the year.

    http://www.charlestoncitypaper.com/char ... id=1778066

    +++++++++++++++++++++

    If you would like to try Gullah cooking, head across the bridge to Mt Pleasant and try Gullah Cuisine for some authentic low country cooking. We liked the Gullah rice, the gumbo, and the perfectly prepared collard greens.

    http://www.roadfood.com/reviews/overvie ... refid=1421

    +++++++++++++++++++++

    Jestine's was also very good.
  • Post #53 - December 22nd, 2010, 7:56 am
    Post #53 - December 22nd, 2010, 7:56 am Post #53 - December 22nd, 2010, 7:56 am
    Thanks, jlawrence. We may just try Gullah Cuisine, although my wife is not a big fan of Southern greens in any form.
  • Post #54 - December 22nd, 2010, 8:08 am
    Post #54 - December 22nd, 2010, 8:08 am Post #54 - December 22nd, 2010, 8:08 am
    if you have time go out to holly hill to sweatman's bbq
    philw bbq cbj for kcbs &M.I.M. carolina pit masters
  • Post #55 - December 22nd, 2010, 10:41 am
    Post #55 - December 22nd, 2010, 10:41 am Post #55 - December 22nd, 2010, 10:41 am
    little500 wrote:Thanks, jlawrence. We may just try Gullah Cuisine, although my wife is not a big fan of Southern greens in any form.


    I am an old Southern cafeteria operator and weekly, we would serve collards, turnips with and without roots, mustards, kale, spinach, and swiss chard once in a while to confuse the people.
  • Post #56 - December 22nd, 2010, 4:24 pm
    Post #56 - December 22nd, 2010, 4:24 pm Post #56 - December 22nd, 2010, 4:24 pm
    philw wrote:if you have time go out to holly hill to sweatman's bbq


    phil, I'm only there a few days and probably won't have the time to hit Sweatman's. Haven't been there since Bub passed. thanks for the rec, though
  • Post #57 - December 22nd, 2010, 5:03 pm
    Post #57 - December 22nd, 2010, 5:03 pm Post #57 - December 22nd, 2010, 5:03 pm
    went last march
    it was tops :mrgreen:

    there is also a place in santee that has blue grass music on fri & sat.
    for get the name but it is a old place that has little house that they connected
    & those are thedinning rooms
    philw bbq cbj for kcbs &M.I.M. carolina pit masters
  • Post #58 - December 23rd, 2010, 5:39 am
    Post #58 - December 23rd, 2010, 5:39 am Post #58 - December 23rd, 2010, 5:39 am
    See Wee Restaurant is outstanding.
    Bruce
    Plenipotentiary
    bruce@bdbbq.com

    Raw meat should NOT have an ingredients list!!
  • Post #59 - December 23rd, 2010, 8:30 am
    Post #59 - December 23rd, 2010, 8:30 am Post #59 - December 23rd, 2010, 8:30 am
    Bruce wrote:See Wee Restaurant is outstanding.



    I agree with Bruce. If there is a MUST grub place in the low country, it It SeeWee. It's about a 30 minute drive from downtown Charleston. But, well worth the effort if it is real regional cooking that you're looking for free of the tourist trap crap.
  • Post #60 - December 23rd, 2010, 2:27 pm
    Post #60 - December 23rd, 2010, 2:27 pm Post #60 - December 23rd, 2010, 2:27 pm
    Another vote here for Sea Wee, which I heard about from LTH and visited in January. It was my favorite meal of the trip!

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