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May 31, 2012 11:12 AM

Charleston Trip Report

My husband and I had a great first visit to Charleston (threats of Tropical Storm Beryl notwithstanding)! Thank you all for your advice. Figured I'd give a quick run down of our eats to the extent it's helpful for future visitors!

Saturday "Lunch" @ Amen Street: Our flight was delayed so we had to forgo Bowen's Island but instead grabbed fresh local raw oysters and a yummy order of fried oysters at the Bar at Amen Street. Lots of fun for a lunch or mid-day snack!

Saturday Dinner @ Husk: There's a lot of hype and backlash surrounding Husk but overall, we had a very good, but not perfect, experience. Service was warm but slow (took forever to get our first course). We enjoyed the modern upscale/casual interior housed inside a traditional Southern historical bldg. My smokey bacon and screened egg salad was underwhelming but it was made up for by my delicious Wagyu sirloin entree with oyster mushrooms. Yum. My husband enjoyed his fried chicken skins and cornmeal dusted catfish. We finished with an unmemorable peanut butter tart. A pre-dinner drink at the Husk Bar was really enjoyable but when we went back two days later for another drink and a snack of tea-brined chicken wings, we were disappointed in the slimy, under cooked texture of the wings.

Sunday Brunch @ High Cotton: A lovely brunch experience. My shrimp and grits with a side of biscuits and gravy were some artery-clogging goodness and my husband enjoyed his duck hash.

Sunday Pre-Dinner Drinks @ The Gin Joint: We LOVED this place. I'm usually a wine and beer only person but their cocktails were really yummy. And a $1 stick of beef jerky off their bar menu was a very tasty little bite of food!

Sunday Dinner @ McCrady's: Wow. This was truly excellent. Our server was perfect and everything we tasted was special and inventive. A great deal at $60 for 4 courses (comparing to NYC fine dining prices). Some highlights were the Carolina shrimp, beef tartare, the salad with grilled peaches, and the duo of Berkshire Pork. The dessert course was also memorable. I had a cornmeal cake whose earthy flavors I'm still thinking about now a few days later.

Monday Lunch @ Butcher and Bee: This was a disappointment. We each ordered a roast beef sandwich with horseradish and smokey onion jam which we were surprised to find was served cold and was very sweet (we think the menu had a typo and should have said sweet onion jam). The servers were slow and we never got the fries that we ordered. There are places similar to B&B near us in Manhattan/Brooklyn that do a much better job than this place did.

Monday Dinner @ Fig: Another winner. Probably second to our meal at McCrady's but still excellent. The absolute standout being my mustard crusted grouper with chicken jus. One of the best fish dishes we've ever had! Dessert was also yummy - a strawberry panna cotta was light and refreshing and a chocolate budine was the perfect amount of chocolate!

Tuesday Breakfast @ Hominy Grill: Early morning on the way to the airport we stopped at Hominy for a quick bite. Excellent egg and biscuit, grits and ginger bread. Great place. Would've been fun to be there during their rush hour.

All in all a wonderful eating adventure! Thank you, Charleston!

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  1. Excellent. Thanks for the detailed report. Did your husband enjoy the Big Nasty? We went to Hominy a couple of weeks ago for lunch. I had delicious porgy and vegetables.

    That McCrady's deal was a DEAL. The wait staff really goes above and beyond. I don't know how they remember all that stuff. And FIG is at the top of my list. So glad you enjoyed it.

    1. great review, thanks so much! your restaurant experiences match mine quite closely. oh, and I can also relate to the pain of late flights...couple of years ago we landed in Paris a full 8 hours late. blew a whole vacation day, and let me say, we do not "land in Paris" often. ;-)

      1. Excellent recommendations that will help us plan our October trip to Charleston! Thanks!

        3 Replies
        1. re: myturkishjoys

          Hi Joy, I am your mirror image here in Charleston, a Turkish expat living in SC...
          I don't know how much time you have here but here are few of my favorite places:

          1- Monza: Upper King pizzeria. They have their wood burning oven with 750F fire which makes perfect thin crust, very flavorful. Their salads are also very fresh. Could be a nice choice for lunch if you like pizza.

          2- 'Cesca: I like this new italian restaurant. It is pretty big and service is impeccable. Their home made pasta dishes are very tasty. I loved their goat cheese, sage and brown butter ravioli.

          3- Cypress: I go to this place to have my high-end wine at the bar (very nice selection which is reasonably priced) with some nibbles. Try their sweet and sour lamb meatballs.

          4- Poe's Tavern: This one is at Sullivan's Island. Their burgers are soo tasty.

          5- Fig: Perfect for foodie dinner. He is sort of specialized in seafood preperations.

          6- Heard very good things for "The Grocery" and "Two Burrough's Larder", bur never been to them yet.

          Enjoy Charleston and shoot me a message if you have any questions...


          1. re: ekutluay

            Dear Eko,

            We are heading to Charleston tomorrow. Nice to hear from a Turkish expat in America. I'm sooo ready to eat my heart's content of pork, greens and fried foods. Thanks for the recommendations. :-)


            1. re: myturkishjoys

              We recently went on our annual early October trip.

              Coast. Skip
              Circa1886. Skip
              Lunch @ Charleston Place. Pricey, but excellent, peach mojitas are tops
              Lunch @ High Cotton. Excellent
              Magnolias Good and reliable
              Husk. Despite reviews, our party of 6 loved it