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Charleston next week -help narrow choices for us and two 20 somethings with girl friends

We will be coming to Charleston May 15-22. I came to Spoleto 2 years ago with my sisters. We ate at Peninsula Grill, Cru Cafe, Tristin's, SNOB, Magnolias and Hanks. None of the family coming with me this time has ever been to Charleston. Husband and 2 sons with girl friends, 25 and 23 years old. We will be staying on Daniel's Island. Husband is history buff (esp Civil War), one son wants to take girl friend to water park since she is from NY and has never been to one. We are from AL, and changed our vacation plans from Destin, FL to Charleston at the last minute because of the Gulf oil spill. The condo has a grill and we hope to find some fresh shrimp and fish to grill (any ideas?) in addition to eating out at some great places. We would probably go to the beach one day, Sullivan or Folly? Sullivan appears to be a good bit closer. Any good places at either beach, or should we pack a lunch? Husband wants to see Hundley and probably Ft. Sumter. Aything around either of them? I loved King Street shopping last time, but alas, the 3 men are not shoppers, though we will have 2 cars. What about the deep sea fishing for the guys? Sorry, this is off the food subject. So far I am thinking for lunch Cru Cafe (loved it last time), Amen Street Raw Bar (a couple of them love raw oysters), Five Loaves, maybe Magnolia (liked this last time for brunch) or Hominy Grill. For dinner, McCrady's, Bowen's Island, FIG, maybe Trattoria Lucca Sunday dinner. How is Fast & French? I guess we could just as easily go to Mt. Pleasant as old town Charleston, so what are the recs there? Oh, and the kids might want some happening bar scene (cheap) and music.

Thanks for your help! Gail

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McCrady's Restaurant
2 Unity Alley, Charleston, SC 29401

Hominy Grill
207 Rutledge Ave, Charleston, SC 29403

Peninsula Grill
112 N Market St, Charleston, SC 29401

Five Loaves Cafe
43 Cannon St Ste A, Charleston, SC 29403

Trattoria Lucca
41 Bogard St, Charleston, SC 29403

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  1. You may want to post your basic tour questions over on Tripadvisor so you don't get deleted. I can help you with food choices here.

    Fresh fish and shrimp can be bought at Shem Creek in Mt Pleasant. I get my shrimp from a shrimper. If you want to do that, PM me on Tripadvisor screen name shanklemsw. Otherwise go to Raul's. There's a farmer's market on Tuesday evenings near there, so you might want to go there too. It's at Moultrie Middle School at 4 pm.
    Oyster season has ended so any raw oysters you get will be from off, but Amen is a great choice. Sullivans and IOP are both nice and not far from Daniel Island. Folly is a little further. Both will be crowded on weekend days during the weekend, If you choose Sullivans, go to Poe's (best burgers) or Seel's(great seafood and sides) for lunch, Atlanticville for dinner. On IOP Sea Biscuit is great for lunch, Huck's or Boathouse for dinner. Nothing near either the Hunley (on the old Navy Base in N Chas only on weekends)or Ft Sumter-you have to take a boat from the Historic District, so you may want to plan lunch downtown that day. Fast and French is great. So is High Cotton.

    Water parks are at the County Parks, so if you google Charleston County Parks you'll see your choices.

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    Sea Biscuit Cafe'
    21 J C Long Blvd, Isle of Palms, SC 29451

    Atlanticville Restaurant
    2063 Middle Street, Sullivan's Island, SC 29482

    2 Replies
    1. re: Sue in Mt P

      Sue,
      Thanks for the info. We were thinking of Altanticville too. Too many restaurants! We actually might eat out only one meal per day.

      1. re: glecroy

        Atlanticville is GREAT but I also highly reccomend High Thyme on Sullivans for dinner or Sun brunch !

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        Atlanticville Restaurant
        2063 Middle Street, Sullivan's Island, SC 29482

    2. I agree with a lot of Sue's choices. Sullivan's will be a lot closer to you on Daniel Island than Folly, but both are doable. On Sullivan's I like Poe's Tavern and Home Team BBQ, the twenty-somethings will like either, and you have the choice to sit outside at either. I am personally not a fan of Seel's, I think there are better fried seafood places around, and I have never been to Atlanticville but I've heard good things. If you go to Isle of Palms, try Huck's Lowcountry Table you won't be disappointed.
      If you do wind up going to Folly, definitely plan it so you are there for dinner, Bowen's Island is one of my favorite restaurants and has one of the best sunsets in the Lowcountry. It is no frills fried seafood.
      The one point I do disagree with Sue on is there are good restaurants near the Hunley in Old North Charleston. There is Sesame, burgers, EVO, pizza, Madra Rua, Irish pub, and Cork Bistro, new but again I have heard good things. Call on any of those for hours.
      FYI, you can also take a boat to Ft Sumter from Mt Pleasant, and Boulevard Diner is close by, comfort food with a twist. They are also open for breakfast, and have a wonderful crab cake benedict, plus if you save room they have wonderful desserts.
      For brunch I like Hominy, just know they do not take reservations, and I have never been to Magnolia's. However, I would think Hominy is much more laid back, more of a neighborhood spot than Magnolia's, which I would consider more formal.
      Lastly, I like Fast & French, but I consider it more of a snack spot than destination dining. It's good but not great, although they do have french press coffee.

      -----
      Poe's Tavern
      2210 Middle St, Sullivans Island, SC

      Atlanticville Restaurant
      2063 Middle Street, Sullivan's Island, SC 29482

      Boulevard Diner
      409 W Coleman Blvd, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

      Home Team BBQ
      2209 Middle St, Sullivan's Island, SC 29482

      3 Replies
      1. re: lizzy

        Thanks Lizzy! One of the kids wants to visit the tea plantation on Wadmalaw Island. How is the Tomato Shed at Stono Farm Market? It might be on the way. I saw that on a previous post. Looks like we could buy the shrimp there. We'll be in a condo and will eat some sandwiches, fruit and yogurt, plus cooking the shrimp and fish there, so we have way too many restaurant choices!

        1. re: glecroy

          It's been about a year since I've been to the Tomato Shed, and it was good. I can't remember what either my mom or I had, but I do remember she said it was one of her favorites from that trip to Charleston. You can buy local shrimp there, I believe they have their own trawlers.

          Since you will be in a condo, you might also want to check out the Boone Hall Farms store. They grow a lot of their own produce, and if they don't grow it might come from a local source. Also, there is a seafood counter and a meat counter which are outposts for local stores.

        2. re: lizzy

          Girl, you are right. I guess I just wasn't thinking of the great Sesame, et al as close to the Hunley. But all of those are not far away. And I adore that neighborhood. You see it often on Army WIves.

          glecroy, I haven't been to Stono Market in years. It used to be great. I heard it changed hands so I have no idea how it is now, but then the had the best tomato pie ever. The Tea Plantation has started having events, so check out their website for doins.

          and lizzy is right about Blvd Diner. Many locals frequent BD, so you may have a Mt P cop sitting at the nest table. Also close by is Locklear's which I love.

          I know there are too many choices, but we want you to be able to make informed decisions! Have fun and keep us posted.

        3. I know you have not mentioned BBQ and you may not be interested but there are several outstanding places in Charleston and Mt. Pleasant. Mama Brown's, Sticky Fingers and Melvin's are nice.

          Mama Brown's BBQ @ 1471 Ben Sawyer Blvd., Mt. Pleasant, SC. 843 - 849 - 8802. *
          Sticky Finger's BBQ @ 341 Johnnie Dodds Blvd., Mount Pleasant, SC 843 - 856 - 7427. *
          http://www.stickyfingers.com/default....

          Sticky Fingers is a small regional chain with 3 stores in the area. Also Home Team and Jim & Nicks in town just north of Market are nice. I really like Sticky Fingers on Meeting St. It's in a historical building with outstanding atmosphere.

          Home Team BBQ @ 1205 Ashley Rd., Charleston, SC. 843 - 225 - 7427. *
          http://www.hometeambbq.com/
          Jim N Nick's Barbecue @ 288 King St., Charleston, SC. 843 - 577 - 0406. *
          Melvin's Southern BBQ & Ribs @ 538 Folly Rd., Charleston, SC. 843 - 762 - 0511. *
          http://www.melvinsbbq.com/
          Sticky Finger's Rib House @ 235 Meeting St., Charleston, SC. 843 - 853 - 7427. *

          I would also like to suggest Gullah Cuisine in Mt. Pleasant just E. of I 526 on 17. I can't tell you what Gullah means but I have a good idea. It comes from the early slaves that settled in the area. I'm not sure if it's a dialect or maybe a tribal name. Anyway the food is outstanding.

          Gullah Cuisine @ 1717 U.S. 17, Mt Pleasant, SC. 843 - 881 - 9076.
          http://www.gullahcuisine.com/index.html

          If your husband is into history then you should visit Mt. Pleasant. I suggest you take the young ones and your husband to Boone Hall Plantation just NE of Mt. Pleasant at Hwy 17 and State Rd. S 10 97. It's on the right several miles from # 17 and it is where North/South was filmed in the 1980's. Visit Christ Church on the right before you turn for Boone Hall Christ Church was built in 1708 but fire destroyed it several times. It's got a lot of history and worth the visit.

          http://www.christch.org/
          http://boonehallplantation.com/

          I second High Cotton and Magnolia's. My favorite's are Peninsula Grill and Charleston Grill. I like SNOB and FIG as well. I really like Hank's but not like a lot do. I hope you have a great trip. Bon Appetit.

          -----
          Home Team BBQ
          1205 Ashley River Rd, Charleston, SC 29407

          Peninsula Grill
          112 N Market St, Charleston, SC 29401

          Charleston Grill
          224 King Street, Charleston, SC 29401

          4 Replies
          1. re: Littleman

            Thanks Littleman. Not so interested in BBQ as we can get great pulled pork and ribs here in AL as well as chicken with an awesome white sauce.

            1. re: glecroy

              Try to get to Charleston Grill. I believe it's on the same level as many NYC fine restaurants I have been to. Peninsula Grill is just about same level. HIgh Cotton is a great lunch place.

              Wrong board but what's your favorite AL BBQ places. Surely it's not Dreamland. Big Bob Gibson's? My son lives in Huntsville. You seem to have a lot better BBQ in AL than we do in MS. Best in MS is proably a joint in Oxford, Hick's and Abe's in Clarksdale then they go down hill after that.

              Take em all to Boone Hall Plantation.

              Good luck.

              -----
              Peninsula Grill
              112 N Market St, Charleston, SC 29401

              1. re: Littleman

                I prefer Mr. Crite's BBQ on Snake Road out in the middle of nowhere near Athens to all the others. My other favorite is Chuckwagon in Madison on Madison Blvd in front of Old Time Pottery. Both of these are little hole in the wall places. Chuckwagon has brisket, which I have never liked before getting it there. Big Bob Gibson's in Decatur is better than the other Gibson's in Huntsville in my opinion. I don't think Dreamland is as good as Mr. Crites for ribs. The sports folk rave over the Tuscaloosa Dreamland. I went before it ever made TV. It was quite an interesting place back then. Son went to school in Tuscaloosa and also has favorites other than Dreamland there.

                1. re: glecroy

                  Send me an email at littlemanattecinfodotcom. I don't think Chowhound likes us talking off the subject. I would love to discuss Madison with you. Thanks.

          2. Hey, lets get back on topic here...

            So are there any good beer pubs or bars for getting a lot of micros and possibly good food too? A quick check on ratebeer didn't really show much except for the Charleston Beer Exchange, but that's just a beer store.

            4 Replies
            1. re: thelecroy

              # 1 Microbrewery in the South they Say..............

              Southend Brewery and Smokehouse @ 161 East Bay St., Charleston, SC 843 - 853 - 4677. *
              http://southendbrewery.com/

              Here's a good link for beer bars info in Charleston.

              http://beeradvocate.com/beerfly/city/57

              1. re: thelecroy

                Mellow Mushroom, a pizza place on King Street, has an excellent selection of draft microbrews. Lizzy mentioned EVO in North Charleston above, they've got great beer selection - only about 5 drafts but a great bottle selection. On the same street the Mill also has an extensive bottle list.

                Anywhere you can get Coast (organic microbrew from North Charleston) is probably going to have a decent selection - here's a list of where they sell it: http://www.coastbrewing.com/purchase_...

                The beer situation is a little weird due to SC law, but we've definitely been getting a better selection of good brews in the last couple years.

                Edited to add: Just noticed you'll be on Daniel Island. Might want to check out Two Rivers Tavern for good beers and nice atmosphere.

                1. re: DoubleBaconVeggieBurger

                  I would mention that between Mellow mushroom and EVO...the pizza at EVO is worlds better, IMHO.

                  1. re: danna

                    Oh, I definitely agree with that, I just assumed they would be more likely to be downtown, and I just checked out MM's rooftop bar the other day so it was on my mind. Mellow Mushroom is good, but EVO pizza is in another league.

              2. Mt. Pleasant........

                The Wreck of the Richard and Charlene @ 106 Haddrell St., Mount Pleasant, SC. 843 - 884 - 0052. * LUNCH.

                http://www.wreckrc.com/

                Red's Ice House @ 98 Church St., Mt. Pleasant, SC. 843 - 388 - 0003. *

                http://www.redsicehouse.com/

                -----
                Red's Ice House
                98 Church St, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

                1 Reply
                1. re: Littleman

                  The Wreck is not open for lunch. Red's is fun for cocktails, but the food is just ok. The view however, is great.

                2. Do the guys need jackets at McCrady's and FIG?

                  Thanks, Gail

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                  McCrady's Restaurant
                  2 Unity Alley, Charleston, SC 29401

                  1 Reply
                  1. Reservations at High Cotton for Sunday Brunch, Trattoria Lucca for Sunday Supper, which sounds like fun. Other members of group now ranking their picks for activities and food, including older son, whose post regarding beer you may have seen :)

                    I hope the other reservations during the week might not be an issue, other than the next Friday night since school is not out yet and Spoleto is not until the next week. Is that likely to be the case? We have to get our schedule figured out if they will be a problem. Hunley open only on weekends, so Sunday is our only option for that. First Flush festival at tea plantation also Sunday, so we might split up.

                    I really appreciate all the input!!

                    -----
                    Trattoria Lucca
                    41 Bogard St, Charleston, SC 29403

                    1. Our Week in Charleston
                      Sunday
                      Brunch High Cotton – 4 in party, 3 got crab cake Benedict and loved it, on fried green tomato with poached egg. Had Firefly cocktail and bloody Marys. High marks from all for food and atmosphere.

                      Dinner – Sunday Supper at Trattoria Lucca – all 6 had arrived. This was given highest marks by all. 4 appetizers, English peas with bacon, marinated mushrooms with mozzarella, smoked meats (2 different ones, but not sure of the names), and fried eggplant with a cheese sauce. All were wonderful. Next was pasta with calamari. One of the party has shellfish allergies, which I had mentioned when the reservation was made. Chef Ken himself emailed me that it would not be a problem. She got veal meatballs with hers rather than calamari. The main dish was a chicken over mashed potatoes, incredibly rich and good. Of course by then we were pretty well stuffed. The dessert was a polenta cake, to me like a sweet corn muffin, with fresh strawberries and marscapone cheese. It was really good as well, we had just eaten too much to fully enjoy it.

                      Monday

                      Amen Street Fish and Raw Bar – we all had fish dishes, some had raw oysters, which were not as big as the oysters we are used to from the Gulf Coast of Florida, but we had switched our plans due to worry over the oil spill. This was good and we enjoyed it. That might we just had sandwiches at the condo and fresh strawberry pie I made with local strawberries brought from home.

                      Tuesday

                      We stopped at the Tomato Shed on our way to the Charleston Tea Plantation. One son said it was the best crab cake he had ever eaten. Too early for local tomatoes, so the tomato dishes were somewhat of a disappointment. The squash casserole was good and there were many vegetable sides to choose from. This place was also on the list of favorites for most of the group. We stopped back by there on our way home to pick up vegetables to cook for our planned grilled shrimp and steak meal that night. Unfortunately we couldn’t get the grill to start at the condo so we cooked inside. The shrimp was not local at Fish Net Seafood, and none was available at the Stono Market, so we got farmed shrimp which we cooked in the oven. At Fish Net Seafood we got fried blue crabs for $1.45 each and hushpuppies. They said the soft shell crab season ended 2 weeks earlier. These were our appetizers for the oven baked shrimp and pan fried steaks.

                      Wednesday

                      Lunch was sandwiches we took to Isle of Palms beach, where we spent a pleasant day. Dinner at FIG. I was expecting this to be everyone’s favorite, and it might have been except that 2 people ordered soft shell crab based on the waitress recommendation. They have eaten it before, so it was not that they didn’t know what to expect. We asked about the season based on the conversation at the Fish Net the day before but she assured it us they were still in season and very good. They didn’t eat much of it and in retrospect should have sent it back and asked for either the flounder or grouper, which were both excellent. That would have changed the whole experience into a much more positive one. The staff asked more than once if everything was to our liking, so I suspect they would have brought something else. We have never done that before, I guess our southern upbringing. Desserts were excellent. The experience was a little disappointing, but I guess our expectations were too high and it was our fault for not sending the crab back.

                      Thursday

                      Lunch Cru Café, which I visited on my first trip 2 years ago. I had remembered with longing the warm chocolate torte, and it was as good as the first time. We all liked what we ordered. The tilapia and shrimp over angel hair pasta were especially good. The 3 desserts were all winners, chocolate torte, tiramisu and bread pudding. We did a pub tour that night including appetizers. The best apps were at Social, the homemade potato chips with blue cheese were great.

                      Friday

                      Lunch at Boulevard Diner which was outstanding. We ordered way too much food because we wanted to try so many of the vegetables. After our 3 orders of fried green tomatoes we couldn’t finish, or even get a decent start, to the 8 side veggies we ordered in addition to our meals. No chance to order dessert we were so stuffed. Since we were going to Sullivan Beach we didn’t get to go boxes. For supper we had the She Crab soup we bought at Tomato Shed and had sandwiches at the condo. High marks again from all in party.

                      Saturday

                      4 of us went to Hominy Grill on our way out of town. The other 2 flew out way too early to eat anywhere. The fried green tomatoes were good. I had shrimp and grits since I had only tasted others on the trip and hadn’t ordered them. They were good, but not as rich as Boulevard Diner. Hubby had breakfast. Biscuit not great. Girlfriend with fried green BLT wished for bread rather than bun. Desserts here were good, buttermilk pie, hummingbird cake and chocolate pudding.

                      All in all a great experience in Charleston. Thanks for all the recommendations!

                      -----
                      Hominy Grill
                      207 Rutledge Ave, Charleston, SC 29403

                      Boulevard Diner
                      1978 Maybank Hwy, Charleston, SC 29412

                      Trattoria Lucca
                      41 Bogard St, Charleston, SC 29403

                      19 Replies
                      1. re: glecroy

                        Thanks for the report. My SO and I go to Charleston as often as $ allows. Always enjoy places to eat that we have not visited before. Sam

                        1. re: Sam at Novas

                          Funny how the 3 favorites of my family were the least expensive :)
                          Boulevard Diner and Tomato Shed were very cheap for lunch. Trattoria Lucca was a great value for what we got. $34 for 4 course dinner. It probably is not what we would have ordered given a choice, but we really liked it. Well, a couple of us not wild about the large amount of baby calamari in the pasta course but other than that we loved it.

                          -----
                          Boulevard Diner
                          409 W Coleman Blvd, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

                          Trattoria Lucca
                          41 Bogard St, Charleston, SC 29403

                          1. re: glecroy

                            Thanks SO much for the detailed reviews.

                            I'm eating at Fig thursday and I was wondering if soft shells were still available. What was wrong with them? not fresh?

                            And the baby calamari at TL, do you mean the dish was unbalanced because there were too many? or they weren't good?

                            1. re: danna

                              The shells seemed too hard, more like shrimp shells might be. The 4 others got flounder, grouper and fish stew. We all liked the dishes we got, other than the crab.

                              The baby calamari was very good, but there were many of them. Some of the party are not big fans of calamari, so they gave theirs to the others. The ones who love them got very, very many. I quit eating them after about 2 dozen. It wasn't unbalanced, if everyone in the party likes them. We had a group of 6 so we had our own table. If you went as just a couple you would be seated with people you do not know, which I would find fun, but some might not.

                              Oh, we also went to Mellow Mushroom, but didn't order pizza, the kids just got beer. And they went to some beer store near the waterfront park and bought a couple of bottles. They also went to Two Rivers Tavern on Daniel Island and got a couple of other different ones. The older one took a class at Virginia Tech called the science of brewing as an elective, which was about beer. He made a 98. He opted not to take the wine tasting class because he heard it was hard and they encourage you to spit it out :)

                              1. re: glecroy

                                hilarious post...thanks! so there's no spitting in beer tasting, eh?

                                1. re: danna

                                  glecroy, that is so funny! I am so glad you had a great time. You made some good choices.

                                  danna, the softshells available now are not local according to my buddies at Atlanicville. HOWEVER, the local shrimp are here! I had grouper at Hucks last week and it was wonderful.

                                  1. re: Sue in Mt P

                                    thanks Sue! My Mom is picking up seafood for us at Crosby's so we can cook at the beachouse the 1st night. My snobby-ass husband is all concerned about letting someone else pick out the fish.

                                    If I tell her to get the best looking local shrimp I can't see how that could go wrong. What about fish? In your opinion, what local fishes would be the best bet for having come right off the boat? Grouper? Trigger fish? my dad , not exactly a foodie, is still talking about the local trigger fish he got at FIG last year. I'm going to tell them to ask the fishmonger what's fresh, but sometimes they seem to take an attitude about that. thanks!

                                    We're going to do Hominy Grill Fri night. I am in the "what's the big deal?" camp on Hominy for brunch, but I wanted to try dinner to see if I could figure out what gets the NY times so excited. What do you think? I was also looking for something a bit less expensive and more casual after FIG the night before. I almost picked Virginnias on King because the menu looked really authentically local, but I don't hear much about it on here.

                                    We're doing Cru for lunch sat, and I'm not planning to lunch any of the other days, as that interferes with my non-stop beach-sitting plans. However, if there's anything on on near Folly you think we should know about (especially in case of rain) I'd love to hear about it. Any good ice cream/gelato in that neck of the woods?

                                    -----
                                    Hominy Grill
                                    207 Rutledge Ave, Charleston, SC 29403

                                    1. re: danna

                                      Hi girl. Welcome back. I'll start at the top.

                                      If your daddy wants triggerfish I say get him some. maybe he'll forget about Water's Edge :D. It's good right now as is wreckfish, if they have it.

                                      I like Hominy Grill for dinner. The house specialties like the purloo might be what gets the NY people going. They are good and the sides (which you don't get at brunch) are great. Try the tomato pudding. It reminds me of my grandmama's.

                                      Virginia's gets mixed reviews. I haven't been but my friends say it's unpredictable. Locklear's in Mt P might suit your purpose. You will see no tourists there. Get the she crab if it's not too hot. It's the best IMHO.

                                      I love Cru. If you haven't tried the General Tso's do so.

                                      Taco Boy on Folly and the one in town are fabulous and fun. Your group might enjoy it. I don't know of any gelato places at Folly, but I live on the other side of town and don't get out there often except to go to Bowen's of course.

                                      Send me a message on TA (shanklemsw) if you want more info. Y'all have fun. The gardenias are blooming.

                                      -----
                                      Hominy Grill
                                      207 Rutledge Ave, Charleston, SC 29403

                                      Taco Boy
                                      15 Center St, Folly Beach, SC 29439

                                      1. re: Sue in Mt P

                                        Will second Sue's rec for triggerfish and wreckfish (or wreckbass) if you can find it. Nice thing about wreckfish is you always know it's local since the only commercial fishery is off the Charleston bump. Seeing lots of local mahi and flounder right now, too. The bottom fishing ban, though in limbo, seems to be hurting the availability of grouper and possibly snapper (can't remember if snapper is usually running this time of year).

                                        I was at FIG last weekend and was surprised to see soft shell crab still on the menu. My wife and I did the all apps thing--we always seem to enjoy that more than the entrees. Don't miss the green garlic soup if it's still on the menu. It's incredible--think she crab soup but with green garlic and parmesan. The pork trotters are still great, too. Oh, and do not skip dessert--the sticky sorghum pudding and chocolate&caramel tart are two of the best desserts I've had in a while. All the more amazing since FIG doesn't have a dedicated pastry chef.

                                        Hominy Grill has great desserts, too, though much more homey, of course. Their caramel cake, German chocolate cake, and of course buttermilk pie are all outstanding. I think I like HG's desserts more than anything else on their menu. Their savory dishes never quite hit my sweet spot seasoning wise, but I still enjoy them. I should point out their purloo is good, but not an authentic purloo.

                                        My experience with Virginia's is that the food is good, but not great. I do like the breadth of their menu, though. It's also been a couple of years since I went so they may have improved.

                                        BTW, if you are jonesing for chocolate at some point, try some from Christophe's. His main shop (and where he actually makes his decadent creations) is in Mt. Pleasant, but his wife also runs a branch on King Street downtonwn. I've been impressed by everything I've tried. His truffles are phenomenal--I especially love the peach&pecan one.

                                        The oleander have begun blooming, too, I believe. I don't know what else--anything I see blooming that I can't identify, I just call jessamine! =)

                                        -----
                                        Hominy Grill
                                        207 Rutledge Ave, Charleston, SC 29403

                                        1. re: Low Country Jon

                                          Thanks Jon...my Mom would love you. She is frustrated by how many people say "jasmine" instead of "jessamine".

                                          A day has never passed that I don't need chocolate and I'm glad to hear about the King street branch...we keep driving by the one on Mt pleasant when we don't have time to stop. Is it on upper king?

                                          I'm a bad chowhound because I don't try enough new places to report on., but I'll give you guys a run-down on what we eat.

                                          1. re: danna

                                            Hahaha the jessamine has bloomed. It's the jasmine blooming now.My daddy calls everything petunias. And the oleander is in full regalia.

                                            I am going to Christophe's as soon as it opens. Thanks for the reminder. Peaches+pecans=me happy.

                                            1. re: danna

                                              Danna, the downtown location of Christophe's is at 363 1/2 King Street, which I think makes it Lower King Street by just a hair, a block or so below Calhoun. Here's their web page: http://www.christophechocolatier.com/...
                                              I think the times listed on their site are wrong. The hours listed on their FB page look a little more accurate, but you might want to call ahead if you go.

                                              Oh, and this is exciting news I just read this morning in the City Paper--Charleston now has a bakery specializing in macarons, called Macaroon Boutique (not sure why they are using the double-o in the name). It's located on John Street near Paolo's. Here's the article:
                                              http://www.charlestoncitypaper.com/ch...

                                              I'm probably going to check this place out on Saturday.

                                              1. re: Low Country Jon

                                                I have heard good things about Macaroon Boutique, in particular the croissants, but I haven't been yet.

                                        2. re: danna

                                          You are right about Hominy & the NY Times. I think his wife (Robert Stehling's) has some sort of connection there. She used to work for them or something...And Virginia's is just okay. They do not have a liquor license=no bloody marys or mimosas with Sunday brunch! If you go to Cru, make a reservation.
                                          Folly: Rita's, Woody's and the crepe truck down near Bert's are all great.

                                          1. re: penny35

                                            OK...here's my mini - report, not much new to say:

                                            We picked up grouper, pink snapper and shrimp from Crosby's. All were good. I brought home some wreckfish. I wish I had seen the post about the crepe truck, I ran past it a couple of times, and I would have been all over the chocolate, peanut butter, bannana one. But alas, not enough meals.

                                            Fig was very good as usual, but not as good as some nights. I was unimpressed w/ the green garlic soup, but loved the red pea "farroto". My skate w/ romesco was pretty good, but the highlight was the app...shrimp w/ polenta, morels , ramps and asgaragus. yum. My picky ass husband talked trash about his flounder, i didn't see anything wrong with it. My Dad quietly ate his swordfish, w/ no commentary nor offers to share. Before I had a chance to taste it, it was gone. He does that alot when he likes his dish ;-)

                                            Hominy Grill - yep, i'm still giving it a pretty big "eh". Now, full credit...the trigger fish w/ lima bean hummus was excellent. The pea side was very good, the tomato pudding was unique, but not great quality IMO. I ordered the goat cheese and pepper jelly app, pretty good...they gave us about 8 crackers for a table of 6 people when I had mentioned it was for the "table" We sent them back for more twice, I give them credit for obliging.
                                            My husband's fries were cold, limp and greasy. My biscuit, which I had to order as a side item (no bread was brought to the table) was mediocre. I'm now done w/ Hominy Grill. William Grimes is a nutcase. Oh...that reminds me, they did bring the worlds soggiest boiled peanuts to the table. What kind of attention does it take not to f that up?

                                            Cru - you all know...it was great as always. no need to run on.

                                            My failures: I saw the article about the macaroon place in the car on the way home this afternoon, dammit. I did not get to do any shopping, so no Cristophe's, dammit. Hope to do better next time. (but oh, was the weather awesome and the waves were the biggest I've ever seen)

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                                            Hominy Grill
                                            207 Rutledge Ave, Charleston, SC 29403

                                            1. re: danna

                                              Danna,
                                              I agree with you about the green garlic soup at FIG and the Hominy Grill. Next time we might try the Sun-Thur 3 course meal at McCradys, but am not sure when that will be. Oil on AL beaches yesterday breaks my heart. I'm sure our usual vacation destination at Sandestin FL will be hit soon as well. And more waters are closed to fishing.

                                              1. re: glecroy

                                                That 3 course at McCrady's gets two thumbs up from my friends. I need to go try it, but it's so crowded right now I can wait.

                                                danna is right. There is no reason to mess up bawl p'nuts.

                                                Do not get me started on the oil.

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                                                McCrady's Restaurant
                                                2 Unity Alley, Charleston, SC 29401

                                              2. re: danna

                                                We have all but given up on Hominy Grill. We feel like there are way too many people at this point and the food has suffered. We haven't found a replacement yet, but so far we are having fun trying.

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                                                Hominy Grill
                                                207 Rutledge Ave, Charleston, SC 29403

                                                1. re: lizzy

                                                  Would love to hear about your research! :D