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Feb 24, 2009 10:36 AM

Charleston area for lunch: Carolina's or Woodlands?

I think I've narrowed it down to these two options. We want something with a distinctly Lowcountry touch - something we won't find elsewhere (our entire point of visiting is to enjoy cuisine we can't get at home). We've ruled out Cru Cafe because they have tilapia (not a local fish) and General Tso's Chicken on the menu - what's up with that? Blossom is out because it seems like for lunch they are heavy on pizza and pasta - and unless they are particularly good, I can make a good pasta at home. We've already been to SNOB for lunch on a previous visit - it was okay. 39 Rue de Jean isn't a consideration since we've already dined at Fat Hen, which is where the chef that guided Rue to its prime now cooks. So what does that leave in terms of good Charleston restaurants that are actually open for lunch?

I'm torn between going with Carolina's or Woodlands. I've been to Woodlands before when Tarver King was there, but now they have a new chef. Have never tried Carolina's. Any suggestions to tip the scales?

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  1. Oh, Cru is a great little place. Very small and comfortable - its in an old Charleston carriage house. I have been wanting to go to a place on Upper King Street called "Fish"'s a local produce only, but has an Asian inspired menu.

    I think what you are looking for is Fig..on Meeting Street..

    Are you looking for high-end, or seriously local?

    3 Replies
    1. re: MissEmmaLee

      Take it to the Carolina's board.

      1. re: MissEmmaLee

        I don't have any budgetary restrictions, so I'm just looking for the best possible experience. I prefer places that use local ingredients whenever possible, and most high-end places do.

        Have been to FIG - didn't think they were open for lunch.

        So what's the draw of Cru despite the tilapia and chinese dishes?

        1. re: mikeh

          It used to be Pinckney Street Cafe, was sold and apparently has remained to be very good. I think the draw is it's small, local and really relaxed. I've spent hours, and I mean hours, sitting on the front porch sitting in the sun watching the horse carriages. Just very Charleston.

      2. I really like Cru Cafe. I have never had dinner there but I've eaten a good many lunches. Just good stuff all around. It has a pretty hefty local following too. It really always has, even when it was the Pinckney Cafe. I think the first poster meant to say a Charleston Single House.

        I would be surprised if anyone on this board came out in support of Carolina's over Woodland's. I have not been there in years but at one point it was my favorite restaurant anywhere. When I was in college my then girlfriend would save all month so we could go. I never hear it mentioned anymore on here but I would have to recommend it if just for nostalgia's sake. If you eat there please let me know how it was. I would love to hear that my old standby is still going strong.