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Charleston Weekend


umbabaru
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We're heading out on a last minute trip to Charleston. We have no idea where to go or where to stay. Here's the criteria:

Accommodations: less crystal, antiques, and lace -- more funk, fun, and location.

Food: fresh is more important than style, a cook that values ingredients.

What do the Charleston folks recommend?

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We're heading out on a last minute trip to Charleston. We have no idea where to go or where to stay. Here's the criteria:

Accommodations: less crystal, antiques, and lace -- more funk, fun, and location.

Food: fresh is more important than style, a cook that values ingredients.

What do the Charleston folks recommend?

I haven't been yet, going in a couple of weeks, but based on my research, Fig could be what you're looking for.

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

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We're heading out on a last minute trip to Charleston. We have no idea where to go or where to stay. Here's the criteria:

Accommodations: less crystal, antiques, and lace -- more funk, fun, and location.

Food: fresh is more important than style, a cook that values ingredients.

What do the Charleston folks recommend?

I'm in Raleigh but I've been making annual pilgrimages to Charleston for the last 25 years. That said (and I believe I said this in the Charleston Dining thread), my advice is to head to Hominy Grill. I think you'll find what you're looking for there.

Can't help with accommodations---we're into the crystal and antiques places, which also have a good location.

CBHall

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To stay - the Indigo Inn. A few antiques in the room, but otherwise funky and a great courtyard. Excellent location, too.

Food. Bowen's Island. I repeat Bowen's Island. If fresh is the criteria - the oysters are gathered that afternoon. Totally unique - no place like it anywhere. Just bring a change of clothes and a couple of band-aids.

Holly Moore

"I eat, therefore I am."

HollyEats.Com

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FIG was definitely the high point. You all already know what the low point was -- Bowen's Island burned down before we got a chance to go there. We even stopped by on Saturday to see the place, and decided to return on Sunday for an early afternoon feast. Holly and others comment on what I missed, but hopefully can again enjoy, in the thread on the fire.

At FIG we started with a King Mackerel salad. The ~3 oz. filet was grilled, I believe at a colder temperature, and then served with a julienne of roasted peppers (which were a bit overwhelming, but perhaps that's a personal thing) and a few currants spread around, along with some amazing arugula.

My entre was veal sweetbreads, pan fried, along with some interesting mushrooms. Perfect. I've tried and tried to do sweetbreads at home, and I can't get the technique down. These managed a crispness on the outside and creaminess on the inside with that unmistakable sweetbread heartiness. My wife had a grilled triggerfish that was beautiful as well. We had a side of local turnips that were the best I've ever had, and I love and have had a lot of turnips. Simply done: sauteed in butter with chives.

No desserts, but I had a grand tour of the wines-by-the-glass menu (my wife wasn't drinking!). Wines were wonderful, but the server didn't hit the recommendations quite right.

Service was informal but very good.

We went to Hominy Grill, and I found it pretty ordinary. If you ever went to the Bluebird Cafe in New Orleans then that's about it. It was fine, but not worth the 45 min wait. Not even worth a 15 min wait. I wish we'd stayed in town and done Diana's or something.

The G&M/Pig and Chicken was amazing as always. I love how that place can be so interesting 25 years -- it must be because it is simple and French.

Another highlight -- there is a small hotdog storefront (Ed's) on Wentworth behind Justine's where Justine's baker sells (in addition to hot dogs) the most amazing red velvet cupcake. I have never, ever, had a cupcake like that.

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We went to Hominy Grill last year and also had an ordinary meal. Not bad, but nothing special.

Wanted to mention another lodging option. If you want a great downtown location with free parking, check out the Days Inn on Meeting street. Nothing fancy at all, but can't beat the price/location ratio. Nothing comes close that I'm aware of.

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A little remote, but sensational, is the Middleton Inn, ten or so miles from downtown. IMO, the best piece of modern architecture in South Carolina and Middleton Plantation is next door with a fine restaurant. The walk from the inn to the palntation through the thousands of azalias in the spring is memorable. I assume the MI has a website.

Also, one of my favorites is Al Di La, on the Savannah Highway (Route 17), a mile or so after crossing the bridge. Reservations required on weekends. Good Italian food.

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Bowen's JUST burned down a few days ago, Holly. PM me and I will give you an update. Some friends of mine are trying to get together an event to help out!

To stay - the Indigo Inn.  A few antiques in the room, but otherwise funky and a great courtyard.  Excellent location, too.

Food.  Bowen's Island.  I repeat Bowen's Island.  If fresh is the criteria - the oysters are gathered that afternoon.  Totally unique - no place like it anywhere.  Just bring a change of clothes and a couple of band-aids.

CharlestonFoodCompany.com

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

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Great review umbabaru! I enjoyed reading yoru review very much. Thanks for visiting our great city. !

FIG was definitely the high point. You all already know what the low point was -- Bowen's Island burned down before we got a chance to go there. We even stopped by on Saturday to see the place, and decided to return on Sunday for an early afternoon feast.  Holly and others comment on what I missed, but hopefully can again enjoy, in the thread on the fire.

At FIG we started with a King Mackerel salad. The ~3 oz. filet was grilled, I believe at a colder temperature, and then served with a julienne of roasted peppers (which were a bit overwhelming, but perhaps that's a personal thing) and a few currants spread around, along with some amazing arugula.

My entre was veal sweetbreads, pan fried, along with some interesting mushrooms. Perfect. I've tried and tried to do sweetbreads at home, and I can't get the technique down. These managed a crispness on the outside and creaminess on the inside with that  unmistakable sweetbread heartiness. My wife had a grilled triggerfish that was beautiful as well. We had a side of local turnips that were the best I've ever had, and I love and have had a lot of turnips. Simply done: sauteed in butter with chives.

No desserts, but I had a grand tour of the wines-by-the-glass menu (my wife wasn't drinking!). Wines were wonderful, but the server didn't hit the recommendations quite right.

Service was informal but very good.

We went to Hominy Grill, and I found it pretty ordinary. If you ever went to the Bluebird Cafe in New Orleans then that's about it. It was fine, but not worth the 45 min wait. Not even worth a 15 min wait. I wish we'd stayed in town and done Diana's or something.

The G&M/Pig and Chicken was amazing as always. I love how that place can be so interesting 25 years -- it must be because it is simple and French.

Another highlight -- there is a small hotdog storefront (Ed's) on Wentworth behind Justine's where Justine's baker sells (in addition to hot dogs) the most amazing red velvet cupcake. I have never, ever, had a cupcake like that.

CharlestonFoodCompany.com

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

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  • 3 weeks later...

.

.......

We went to Hominy Grill, and I found it pretty ordinary. If you ever went to the Bluebird Cafe in New Orleans then that's about it. It was fine, but not worth the 45 min wait. Not even worth a 15 min wait. I wish we'd stayed in town and done Diana's or something.

.......

[/quote

Am sorry to hear that you weren't pleased with Hominy Grill....perhaps they were having a bad day or maybe it's just not your kind of place. Diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks. HG has become one of our favorites within the last few years....and we've been going to Cha'ston for 25 years and eating very well while we're there. Here I sit in November and can still remember the dinner I had there in late May: for starters, okra & shrimp beignets w/ salsa and cilantro cream; entree was grilled duck breast, fried eggplant cubes (yummmmm...heavenly) and braised greens; for dessert, a chocolate stout layer cake w/ ganache. Everything I ate that night just hit the spot(s) for me. Our other dinners were at McCrady's, Peninsula Grill, and Magnolia's.....all were fine, but the hands-down best of those was at Hominy Grill. We sat out on the patio, which was lovely with the tiny white lights.

CBHall

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  • 2 weeks later...

.

.......

We went to Hominy Grill, and I found it pretty ordinary. If you ever went to the Bluebird Cafe in New Orleans then that's about it. It was fine, but not worth the 45 min wait. Not even worth a 15 min wait. I wish we'd stayed in town and done Diana's or something.

.......

[/quote

Am sorry to hear that you weren't pleased with Hominy Grill....perhaps they were having a bad day or maybe it's just not your kind of place. Diff'rent strokes for diff'rent folks. HG has become one of our favorites within the last few years....and we've been going to Cha'ston for 25 years and eating very well while we're there. Here I sit in November and can still remember the dinner I had there in late May: for starters, okra & shrimp beignets w/ salsa and cilantro cream; entree was grilled duck breast, fried eggplant cubes (yummmmm...heavenly) and braised greens; for dessert, a chocolate stout layer cake w/ ganache. Everything I ate that night just hit the spot(s) for me. Our other dinners were at McCrady's, Peninsula Grill, and Magnolia's.....all were fine, but the hands-down best of those was at Hominy Grill. We sat out on the patio, which was lovely with the tiny white lights.

I may have been a bit harsh on HG -- it was one meal, two plates, and so I don't think that is a good basis for judging the food. We went for Brunch, and I do not think the items we had were well conceived, plus in a weekend of terrific meals, it was the poorest we had. However, my comparison to Bluebird was ill-conceived as well.

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