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Charleston - quickie report incl. Baked, G&M (Fast and French) and Three Little Birds

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First, let me say that Hucks was good, Cru was good, Al di La was good, and FIG was fabulous. These are givens, and that's why I'm in a bit of a Charleston rut. Unfortunately the new things I tried didn't get such high marks.

G&M: It's obvious why this is a local favorite. Good service, lively vibe, fun decor. We had a bucket of champagne and enjoyed our time there. But...the food is totally mediocre (as Lizzy mentioned) Not awful, the cheese and pate plate was acceptable, the bread was ..well...they gave us bread, the salad was not slimy. I'd go there if I lived or worked on Broad street, but as a tourist, I don't really see a reason to go back.

Baked: Eh. This place really has it going on as far as image. We stopped in to get a hot chocolate and wound up ordering half the store. The cakes look wonderful, as did the whoopie pies, bars, etc. in the cases. But nothing tasted like it looked. (OK, the ho cho was good) I really wanted to ask them if they make their frosting with Crisco but I didn't know how to say it without being insulting. The bar I got was greasy, the brownie was decent.

Three Little Birds: This was a nice breakfast and I'm so grateful for the recommendation, because we needed to get on the road early Sunday morning and few brunches (that I knew of) were opened at 9:00, as was the TLB. Our breakfast was nice, I had a great carrot juice, the grits were really good, the eggs were cooked nicely for the benedict. The sweet potato under the egg didin't thrill me and I couldn't taste the goat cheese in the gc stuffed french toast. The service was good and I would go there again if I had the same time constraint, but otherwise, I would have preferred Fat Hen, or Charleston Cafe or Hominy Grill.

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  1. Thanks for the report! I have been meaning to try Three Little Birds, but haven't gotten around to it yet so I appreciate the insight.

    Funny story about Baked, my fiance and I had a cake tasting there for our upcoming wedding. Into the tasting the person we are speaking with starts telling us about all of their fees, set-up, delivery, etc., and suggests to us as a cost saving measure we could assemble and set-up our own wedding cake! I don't know what the look on my face might have been but this person wouldn't let it go...we still laugh about it to this day.

    3 Replies
    1. re: lizzy

      Holy Cow! I'd rather BAKE a wedding cake than assemble one on site. I think the drive to my parents anniversary party with my 4 tier cake was in the 10 ten stressful moments of my life.

      What bakery did you pick?

      FYI, all my friends loved Cru, and we were shocked to walk right in to a table for 7 at 12:30 on a Friday. If you get to FIG any time soon, try the butterbeans.

      1. re: danna

        I honestly don't know what made this woman think I would want to assemble my own cake on my wedding day, like I won't have other things to be worried about.

        We are having our cake done by Elaine from Elaine's Events. She has been doing this out of her home for many years and comes highly recommended by nearly everyone so I am excited.

        Butterbeans sound good, and FIG always sounds good to me, did you have anything else worth mentioning? I think we are headed to Cru Friday night.

        1. re: lizzy

          hmmm...my black bass at Cru was also delicious. The farro side was good but I was less impressed w/ the winter greens than probably any veggie I've ever had at FIG. too healthy perhaps ;-) The collards at Hucks LT were very good, as was the spicy mac and cheese.

          At Cru, everyone raved about the sweet potato/apple soup, but I never order soup in a restaurant 'cause I'm well aware of how to make soup taste good (cream.) I had the shrimp/tomato/basil angel hair because I was on a pasta binge friday. It was good, but I would rather have had the shrimp blt!! Lucky you, enjoy Friday night.

    2. danna,

      Glad that Three Little Birds worked out. The bigger question is...how was the 1/2 marathon?? Way back in the day, the only reason I trained for marathons was for the pre-race carb up and the "party" after crossing the finish line!

      2 Replies
      1. re: OurGreatEscape

        Well, I never quite feel like eating much more than an orange and a muffin until a few hours later. But I heard reports that the bean soup was "warm and salty" both good things! There was also pasta salad and some sort of grain salad, cornmeal muffin and brownies. It really is a lot more of a meal than your typical post-race spread, but I miss all the swag that you get after Cooper River Bridge Run. They also have free beer, as I suppose you know, another thing I can't quite handle initially.

        My friends will probably revolt, but I'm thinking about trying somewhere besides Al Di La next year for pre-race. I would like to get some plainer pasta w/ no tomato sauce and no cheese/other fat. I suppose cooking it myself is about the only way to do that. It crossed my mind to ask if I could order the taggliatelle that comes w/ the bolognese just plain w/ some sea salt and basil. We had already harrassed the waitress enough, though (7 women) without trying to order off menu ;-)

        BTW, 1:44:13, a PR

        1. re: danna

          Cue Jack Nicholson in Five Easy pieces!

      2. I'm sorry to agree with the assessment of G&M. Everything about this place is interesting and fun, except the food, which is utterly tasteless and plain. It isn't awful and perhaps a little spice and seasoning might bring the food in line with the conviviality of its setting. Any further suggestions of french bakeries in the Charleston area?