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Charleston, SC update


foodiehall
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I was in Charleston last weekend for the Citadel's homecoming. Didn't make it to Hyman's but did discover Mimi's on St. James. Nice hole-in-the-wall place, I had their Shrimp & Grits for brunch and really enjoyed them. Also ate a nice dinner at Blossom Cafe but didn't think it was anything spectacular other than the Gingerbread Bread Pudding I had for dessert, which was out of this world. Nice, eclectic wine list too. I've also had a couple excellent meals at Carolina's in the past year.

Edited by Lawen (log)
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Glad you enjoyed Charleston, Lawen! Mimi's is a great lil restaurant with a BIG view! I love to go there for breakfast or after a big night out. They have great bloody mary's, too! Blossoms is actually pretty tasty, but I can see where you are coming from. The former chef, Aaaron Siegel, just opened his doors TODAY on a new restaurant here called Home Team BBQ. I ate their today and saw the world famous Mike Lata of FIG enjoying some Q, too! Home Team is doing Q, right. I will share some pics, soon! The tunes were very nice, too. Pics of Allman Brothers, WSP, and many Athens, Georgia musicians were everywhere. Nice!

I was in Charleston last weekend for the Citadel's homecoming. Didn't make it to Hyman's but did discover Mimi's on St. James. Nice hole-in-the-wall place, I had their Shrimp & Grits for brunch and really enjoyed them. Also ate a nice dinner at Blossom Cafe but didn't think it was anything spectacular other than the Gingerbread Bread Pudding I had for dessert, which was out of this world. Nice, eclectic wine list too. I've also had a couple excellent meals at Carolina's in the past year.

CharlestonFoodCompany.com

Charleston, South Carolina Food and Beverage Discussion Forums and Food Photography!

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I was in Charleston on business earlier in the month and had a very nice dinner at High Cotton. I didn't pick it so I know next to nothing except my food was very good.

Roasted pumkin salad with bacon and parmesan

roasted and fried chicken with onion bread pudding

Everyone else was very happy with their meals too! And a very good wine list.

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  • 1 month later...

My girlfriend and I are going to Charleston for a three day weekend at the end of February -- it's one of the places we think we'd like to move, but for right now we're just visiting for the sake of visiting.

Anyway, I think I can cull a lot of great restaurant recommendations from the various threads. But does anyone have any recommendations for barbecue?

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We go to Charleston pretty regularly and I don't think of it as a barbecue town. Perhaps a local person can identify a hidden lowcountry gem. I haven't been to Bessinger's on James Island in years, but I never thought their barbecue was all that good.

However, if you're driving down 1-26 to or from Charleston on Friday or Saturday (they're only open Friday and Saturday), it's worth taking a several mile detour through Holly Hill to Sweatman's. We went last year and it was great.

Holly Hill is north of I-26 about 75 miles from Charleston.

http://hollyeats.com/Sweatmans.htm

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Well, we're flying in -- she can only get one day off of work, so we're there for a three-day weekend -- but we're renting a car and we like road trips, so that would be a good excuse for one, especially if we're blessed with pleasant weather. Is it a nice drive?

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  • 2 years later...

I'm going to be in Charleston for two nights at the very end of February. Is there anything I should know about any of the places mentioned here, or any places not mentioned here? Thanks in advance for any food advice.

By the way, if there are any farmer's markets or other food venues besides restaurants that would be worth a visit, I'm always interested . . .

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  • 4 weeks later...

I imagine most people here will know better than to try Jim 'N Nick's BBQ, but we arrived late in Charleston, checked into our hotel, and went looking for food nearby, and Jim 'N Nick's is where we ended up.

I had the half chicken, which was actually not bad -- very juicy, with a decent amount of smoke. My partner's pulled pork sandwich was a little dry and bland -- no sauce on it to speak of on it, nor slaw.

The real problem we had with the place -- well, I'll copy the e-mail I sent to the company's management, and I'll post any response I receive if I hear back from them.

I just wanted to let people know about our visit, in case someone was in a similar situation some time and thought to themselves, oh, a chain restaurant can't be that bad, can it? Well -- apparently it can.

We are Canadian visitors to Charleston, SC, and we had dinner at Jim 'N Nick's in North Charleston (the Center Point Drive location) this evening.

There were numerous small missteps this evening -- bread and pop refills that took their time in showing up, for example -- but most surprising was the 45-minute wait for our meals -- a 1/2 chicken dinner and a pulled pork sandwich.

Around the 40 minute mark, we were preparing to leave, but our waiter assured us that our dinners were nearly ready, that he had asked the manager to come to speak with us, and that he had asked the manager to give us our meals for free because of the excessive wait. Shortly thereafter, our meals arrived.

About 15 minutes later, as we were finishing our meals, the manager approached us and offered us free dessert in compensation for our long wait. At this point, we felt we had no option but to pay for the meals -- though we did decline the offer of free dessert, as we did not want to stay in the restaurant any longer.

I find it difficult to find polite terms in which to phrase how angry and disappointed I am in this experience. Since your local manager was completely unable to offer any suitable compensation for our experience, I'm wondering whether you as the corporate entity have any response.

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Anyone else go to the Charleston Food & Wine Festival? The weather was fantastic.

Because the most popular restaurants were booked for Festival events (oh, if I could've grabbed tickets to Brock/Wylie Dufresne at McCrady's), we had to try something new. Our Charleston friends recommended Fish, on Upper King, where they had gone a few weeks ago.

Fish is -outstanding-. The prices, too, are great -- six dollars for a cheese plate that even had gjetost fondue (a carmelized, melty, grainy cheese) for only $6. They had a local menu that night for 3 courses for $35, which none of us got unfortunately. The menu is described as Asian-French fusion. My meal was something that I've always wanted to try -- cassoulet. However, it wasn't the traditional stew that I was expecting. "Nico's duck cassoulet" ($19) was deconstructed. There was an excellent seared duck breast on top, perfectly crisp green beans, other shelled green and white beans, and a fantastic aromatic sauce that was probably a gastrique. My wife's coq au vin, also a lighter version of the classic, was also as well-prepared as my dish.

When I go out to eat and drop decent money, this is the type of food I hope for but rarely get. It was nice to find a pleasant surprise after I've had so many disappointments recently (in Atlanta).

One other thing -- they had a great cocktail menu, and they are definitely trying new things. I had a High Fashion, which was a very good updated Old Fashioned. Another drink used hibiscus and was even garnished with sorrel. The vanilla sky -- Stoli vanilla, elderflower syrup, and dry lavender soda -- intrigued me with the last two ingredients, but was overpowered by the vanilla. Only $7-8 for those.

Edited by Reignking (log)
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Anyone else go to the Charleston Food & Wine Festival?  The weather was fantastic.

Because the most popular restaurants were booked for Festival events (oh, if I could've grabbed tickets to Brock/Wylie Dufresne at McCrady's), we had to try something new.  Our Charleston friends recommended Fish, on Upper King, where they had gone a few weeks ago.

Fish is -outstanding-.  The prices, too, are great -- six dollars for a cheese plate that even had gjetost fondue (a carmelized, melty, grainy cheese) for only $6.  They had a local menu that night for 3 courses for $35, which none of us got unfortunately.  The menu is described as Asian-French fusion.  My meal was something that I've always wanted to try -- cassoulet.  However, it wasn't the traditional stew that I was expecting.  "Nico's duck cassoulet" ($19) was deconstructed.  There was an excellent seared duck breast on top, perfectly crisp green beans, other shelled green and white beans, and a fantastic aromatic sauce that was probably a gastrique.  My wife's coq au vin, also a lighter version of the classic, was also as well-prepared as my dish.

When I go out to eat and drop decent money, this is the type of food I hope for but rarely get.  It was nice to find a pleasant surprise after I've had so many disappointments recently (in Atlanta). 

One other thing -- they had a great cocktail menu, and they are definitely trying new things.  I had a High Fashion, which was a very good updated Old Fashioned.  Another drink used hibiscus and was even garnished with sorrel.  The vanilla sky -- Stoli vanilla, elderflower syrup, and dry lavender soda -- intrigued me with the last two ingredients, but was overpowered by the vanilla.  Only $7-8 for those.

I was at the Food and Wine Festival last weekend while I was in town. I enjoyed it, even though the food part wasn't exactly what I was expecting. I was expecting it to be all local restaurants. Instead, there were lots of commercial food vendors (though most were local/regional). Still, lots of good stuff.

After we were done at the festival we walked around the area. We were still hungry. I actually DID see Fish, but it appeared to be closed for lunch. We saw Monza Pizza on King Street. Decided to eat there when we saw the food fired pizza oven. Good thing we did. Great pizza. Very well done.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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To follow up: I was contacted by the owner and he was very responsive to my concerns. He also expressed great appreciation that I had contacted him about the problem. He did offer us a free dinner or gift certificates, but I refused -- I was interested in getting a response, not getting something free out of the deal.

My sense is that the problem was with the staff in the restaurant; the owner seems very interested in satisfying the customer. For that reason alone I'd be willing to give Jim N' Nick's another try. I look forward to going there next time I'm in Charleston.

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I was at the Food and Wine Festival last weekend while I was in town. I enjoyed it, even though the food part wasn't exactly what I was expecting.  I was expecting it to be all local restaurants.  Instead, there were lots of commercial food vendors (though most were local/regional). Still, lots of good stuff.

After we were done at the festival we walked around the area. We were still hungry.  I actually DID see Fish, but it appeared to be closed for lunch.  We saw Monza Pizza on  King Street. Decided to eat there when we saw the food fired pizza oven.  Good thing we did.  Great pizza.  Very well done.

Did you ever find any BBQ?

I didn't do the tent this year, but as you probably found out, Charleston is awash in food entrepreneurship. They made for great partners for our wedding years ago, to get some local business and flavors involved.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Charleston has a lot of great restaurants - after living in New York for 5 years, I still enjoy dining in Charleston, perhaps even more overall for different reasons.

F.I.G. (food is good) is worth a mention as it's a great restaurant and along w/ McCrady's, 2 of the best in fine dining. Also the Wentworth Mansion downtown has a great restaurant in the old carriage housethat's slightly more upscale in feel, not too pretentiously so but with really good food - it's called Circa 1886.

The Wreck is a great local seafood place - almost everything is fried but all the accompanying sides are delicious and with good friends / a few beers is pretty close to my idea of heaven.

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I was at the Food and Wine Festival last weekend while I was in town. I enjoyed it, even though the food part wasn't exactly what I was expecting.   I was expecting it to be all local restaurants.  Instead, there were lots of commercial food vendors (though most were local/regional). Still, lots of good stuff.

After we were done at the festival we walked around the area. We were still hungry.  I actually DID see Fish, but it appeared to be closed for lunch.  We saw Monza Pizza on  King Street. Decided to eat there when we saw the food fired pizza oven.  Good thing we did.  Great pizza.  Very well done.

Did you ever find any BBQ?

I didn't do the tent this year, but as you probably found out, Charleston is awash in food entrepreneurship. They made for great partners for our wedding years ago, to get some local business and flavors involved.

Nope. No good BBQ or any restaurants, save the pizza place. Just didn't work out for me with the travel situation, relying on other people to give me rides, those people needing to pick up other people from the airport, etc. etc..

But I am really glad I was in town for the food and wine fest. Good stuff.

Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm going to Charleston for the first time next week. I have reservations at both Peninsula Grill and Charleston Grill. Looking for two dinner/lunch suggestions for the rest of the days (total 5). Also, I'm looking for breakfast recommendations that are within walking distance from the French Quarter Inn (we won't have a car). We're staying during the week, so we won't be able to have Sunday brunch. Thanks for your recommendations.

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  • 2 weeks later...
I'm going to Charleston for the first time next week.  I have reservations at both Peninsula Grill and Charleston Grill.  Looking for two dinner/lunch suggestions for the rest of the days (total 5).  Also, I'm looking for breakfast recommendations that are within walking distance from the French Quarter Inn (we won't have a car).  We're staying during the week, so we won't be able to have Sunday brunch.  Thanks for your recommendations.

Just returned from our visit to Charleston, and Charleston is definitely a great food city! Great dinners at Magnolias (fried green tomatoes, scallops with bacon cream and balsamic vinegar, fried shrimp, house made potato chips with crumbled blue cheese, beef filets); Peninsula Grill (lobster and corn soup and grilled shrimp--coconut cake was fine--I'm not a coconut cake fan); Jestines (fried chicken was dry and overfried); Diana's (delicious steak panini with parmesan/truffle fries); Charleston Grill (excellent foie gras over waffle with huckleberry sauce and cream, shrimp and scallops were great, curry icecream was superb!); very good breakfasts at Joseph's on Meeting Street (omelettes and beignets).

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  • 11 months later...
  • 4 weeks later...

This thread doesn't seem to be getting much traffic of late but I'm heading to C'ton this weekend for some eating and drinking, so I'm bumping it. It's been a year since we visited; are there any new can't-miss places we should know about? I already have reservations for FIG and McCrady's and we'll probably drop in to Rue de Jean at least once and get breakfast/brunch at Hominy Grill at least once. We've visited most of the mainstays over the past 4-5 years (Charleston Grill, Oak Steakhouse, Carolina's, 82 Queen, High Cotton, SNoB, Blossom) but if anyone has suggestions for chef-driven places that are flying under the radar, I'd love to hear them. We're staying downtown on Meeting but will have a car so if there's something amazing on West Ashley/John's Island/Folly Beach/etc. don't be shy about throwing them out there. Thanks!

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  • 1 month later...

had a nice meal at FIG (in charleston).

had a nice meal at Wild Olives (Johns Island), near Kiawah island.

on Kiawah island, had a average meal (nothing special) at the Club House of the Ocean Course (Golf),

HOWEVER, sitting on a huge veranda, in the shade, with cool oceans breezes, overlooking the 18th green, the ocean, uncrowded....magically serene and restful experience. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. It's like eating in heaven.

Edited by Heartsurgeon (log)
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  • 3 months later...

Had another great visit to Charleston. Also stayed at The Sanctuary on Kiawah Island. Magnolia's is still great: went to lunch on our day of arrival and had the She-Crab soup that was delicious. I also had their Fried Green Tomato BLT that was "yummy"--wish NYC restaurants could make this. Dinner at McCrady's was "okay"--I expected better. Food wasn't particularly memorable and horrible timing problem between dishes: appetizers came out within 5 minutes of placing our orders, and entrees were placed as soon as appetizers were removed. Long wait for dessert (it was only sorbet). All of the tables were having the same problem. Dined at 82 Queen, and loved it. Fried okra was excellent, as were the crab cakes and ribeye steak. Returned to Carolina's for lunch (my mistake above) to have their delicious steak sandwich with the best truffled french fries. Joseph's continues to be an excellent choice for breakfast (love their beignets!).

Dinners at The Sanctuary ranged from good (Atlantic Grill) to very good (Jasmine Porch) to excellent (Ocean Room). We had the Autumn Mushroom Degustation that was wonderfully creative and delicious (even dessert had mushrooms that were brilliant). Buffet breakfasts at Jasmine Porch were excellent with great selections and among the best omelettes. Service at all of The Sanctuary restaurants was excellent.

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