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Feb 1, 2006 10:37 AM

Charleston: moderate $ dinner in historic Charleston neighborhood

  • c

I'm escorting a tour group of northerners to Charleston at the end of March. 2 nights we have dinner on our own.

We are staying at the Mills House hotel at Meeting Street and Queen. We won't have transportation (we're on a motorcoach during the day) so any recommendations should be either walking distance, easy to get to on the DASH or worth a taxi trip.

On our itinerary we will be eating lunch at Poogan's Porch, Middleton Place, Magnolia's, RB's Seafood restaurant in Mt. Pleasant; and a dinner at High Cotton.

So what's your ideas for dinner? I am an adventurous eater, and would like ideas for modest or moderate prices. Others in my group may spend more - but may also eat lightly (our included meals are pretty heavy)

I noticed Sticky Fingers on the Charleston Visitor website. Any good?

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  1. 1
    1 wiener hound

    As to BBQ on the penisula in my opinion it is a no go. I would suggest Momma Brown's in Mt. Pleasant on Coleman Blvd. As to a Mod-Medium priced rest. for supper I would recommend Hominey Grill at the corner of Cannon and Rutledge Both restaurants are accessable by our bus system CARTA for more info contact Hominey Grill has been written up in NY Times several times. Will the group be going together. If so how many in group? Hominey is small. It is located in a Charleston single house on the first floor to give you some idea of size.

    5 Replies
    1. re: 1 wiener hound

      Thanks for all the responses so far!

      Hotdog, I read your description of Momma Brown's and it sounded fantastic. But I don't think I will be able to get to Mt. Pleasant. Would I? No car, not a lot of time.

      And, BBQ on the penninsula a no-no? Keep in mind I live in NYS, where we actually do have one excellent bbq place - Dinosaur BBQ - but not Carolina style.

      Sooo - is Sticky Fingers awful? average? good?

      No, the group will not be going together. I am escorting 35 people. These 2 evenings are "on your own" but that doesn't mean that folks won't team up together to go out. So the info on Hominy Grill's size is very welcome.

      1. re: CJ Boyer
        1 wiener hound

        There was an article in the local weekly paper about sticky fingers post Katrina and how much their natural gas bill had gone up. For folks from NYS that might not be a problem but here where there are so many other options it would be a major tipping point. I have not eaten at the Downtown SF but have eaten in the Summerville location where I live. S'ville is located 25 miles NW of CHS. On Sundays they have an AYCE Buffet. It includes pulled pork BBQ, BBQ chicken, Cole slaw, Dirty rice, Baked beans, G. beans and desserts are banana pudding and usually a Choc pudding of some kind. You add their bottled sauces to the BBQ. Unfortunately in the South we are tied to our automobiles and public transpotation is not the best. Having said that though the City of Chasleston and Mt. Pleasant have good bus service. Go to this is the local city bus service and I think there is a bus stop very close to the Mills House and Momma B. is located on Coleman Blvd at Center St. in Mt. P. just before you get to the causeway going to Sullivan's Island. You will also get to go across our new beautiful Cooper River bridge. Which is not like the Big Dig in Bean Town. The bridge was under budget and ahead of schedule by a year and a half. Somethings we are faster at.

        PS: If you truly want Eastern Carolina Q both N+S BBQ you need to go to Momma Brown's. South Carolina is a small state but it has three very distinct styles of sauces. Coastal V+P, Midlands Sweet Mustard, Piedmont more tomatoie

        1. re: CJ Boyer
          1 wiener hound

          Check out link below for discussion of BBQ in SC

          1. re: CJ Boyer

            Do not waste a meal in Charleston on Sticky Fingers. This is chain food, it is not representative of Charleston or a particular strain of southern bbq, if that's what you're after. I live in Greenville, SC, where the food choices are nowhere NEAR that of Charleston, and still, i have been to STicky Fingers once. And it is 3 blocks from my office. Does that give you some idea?

            1. re: danna

              I recently had dinner at Sticky Fingers in Charleston. If you are walking Charleston, it's pretty good lunch/dinner BBQ. The pulled pork was just fine, and so were the ribs.

              A few days later, I saw the Sticky Fingers in Greenville, SC & can only say it looked boring -- and heard reviews from locals that match Danna's.

              SF seems to have a half-dozen restaurants -- hardly a chain -- whose quality varies widely. I'd recommend the one in Charleston if you want "pretty good" BBQ that's close and handy.

        2. Go to SNOB (Slightly North of Broad) on East Bay. It is an easy walk from the Mills House -- a straight shot down Queen and turn left on East Bay. It is owned by the same group that owns High Cotton and is right across the street. SNOB is called a Maverick Southern Kitchen -- very sophisticated, yet casual and comfortable. It is also very different than High Cotton, although both are excellent.

          1. l
            Low Country Jon

            For something exotic, try Chai's Tapas Lounge. It's on King Street, a couple of blocks above Marion Square. It's a bit of a walk from where you'll be staying, but it's doable. Chai's serves Asian fusion tapas, very creative and flavorful. Since it's tapas, you can eat light for a reasonable price or splurge if you choose.

            If you want to get something quick and light and very Charleston, try the she crab soup and cheese biscuits at 82 Queen right next door to Mill's House. I wouldn't necessarily recommend them for a full dinner, but their soup is good and their shrimp and grits appetizer is not too bad either.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Low Country Jon

              Ditto for Chai's. We had a graduation party there last week and what a great way to dine. Had a small private area near the bar and Chai set out various courses of tapas. Loved it all. Wonderful lighting and great food. Thank you Chai!

            2. You almost can't go wrong. Every thing you mentioned plus ---
              I enjoy
              Carolina's - Low country with a little Asian touch
              Jestine's - Just good old country/soul/southern/low country
              Melvin's (James's Island and Mount Pleasant)
              Bookstore Cafe for breakfast - don't miss it.
              Cru Cafe - Lunch or Dinner
              Charleson Place for tea
              Many more

              1. Poogan's Porch is literally right out the side door of The Mills House.

                Jestine's Kitchen is excellent low country/soul food and is a short walk down Meeting Street (The Mills House is on the corner of Meeting Street and Queen Street).

                Have an appetizer on the roof of the Market Pavillion. Best views of Charleston in Charleston. If not an appetizer, at least have a cocktail. Even in the dead of winter, it is nice up there because of the heaters and the glass (it is outdoors).