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Jul 11, 2012 11:35 AM

My Charleston Itinerary...

This will be my first time in Charleston. I have been trying to plan this trip for some time, and am very excited its finally happening. Coming in over Labor Day weekend to celebrate our 1 year anniversary. We're getting in late Friday night, and leaving Monday after lunch.

We're staying at the Charleston Mill House. Here's what I have planned so far. Let me know if I'm missing anything or you'd change something...

Friday Night
The Macintosh (good since the kitchen is open late)

Lunch – Fleet Landing (wife loves eating by the water, so while the foodie in me doesn't want to go, I have to give in on some things)
Dinner – Husk

Brunch - Magnolia
Dinner - SNOB

Lunch - Hominy Grill

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  1. I think that looks great.

    Don't worry about Fleet. The harbor view is special and the food is fine.

    1. I would substitute F.I.G. or Grocery for the overrated Husk. Enjoy!

      1 Reply
      1. re: Jeff C.

        I would have dinner at FIG and move Husk to Sunday brunch. Scrap either Magnolia or SNOB. I admit I have never been to either, but it's because their menus do not look interesting to me (and because I hated Blossom so much). Husk is better at a meal that lends itself to a little less pretension , IMHO.

      2. As I've been reading the Charleston posts, I've keep seeing the same thing about Husk. That's disappointing, b/c I really wanted it to be the highlight of my weekend dining, but from the sounds of it, it might not be.

        How is Brock's cooking there compare to McCrady's? Would you recommend one over the other?

        I've looked at both FIG and Grocery. Would you choose one of those over SNOB?

        5 Replies
        1. re: Corporate_40

          I would choose FIG over pretty much anything in Charleston, and either FIG or Grocery over SNOB for sure. Magnolia's is a non-starter for me; I think they've been phoning it in for over 10 years and a recent meal there did nothing to change my opinion of that. Chef Mike Lata at FIG is a big reason why Charleston's food scene is so vibrant in the farm-to-table or sea-to-table ethos that it has today; he was the pioneer in forging relationships with growers and fishmongers that other restaurants have now joined. While Sean Brock of Husk/McCrady's is a famous face of this movement right now, Lata in my opinion pulls it off better. I found Husk somewhat disappointing - too heavy-handed with certain thematic flavors like bacon to the exclusion of other elements. I think if Brock were actually the chef de cuisine of Husk, he would pull off his own menu better than whomever he has cooking the stuff in house (I once attended a private Husk expo dinner with Brock doing all the cooking and it was some of the best food I've ever had, but some of the same dishes I had at the actual Husk came nowhere close to it).

          McCrady's is a very different experience than all the other options you mention - it's more your traditional artful platings with experimental elements that doesn't necessarily have a lot of Southern influence in it.

          1. re: Corporate_40

            It's also possible that people's expectations for Husk don't match up with what the restaurant strives to be. I love Husk because in terms of flavors and vegetables they use, it's more of an eating adventure than any other place in town, and stays true to southern heritage. You'll find vegetables, grains, legumes, and other flavors on the plate that nobody in any kitchen anywhere else is using. You never know what will pop up on the menu. They just recently featured pokeweed in one dish! Not many other restaurants on the planet would go that route.

            It's also food that's very modestly presented. So I think it's easy to order a dish, and just see a cut of fish on top of a pile of beans, and think that you've had better fish and beans elsewhere. But if you pay attention to what you're eating. you'll likely realize that you're eating beans that no one else serves, in a sauce that no one else makes. It's always exciting. Very often it's food that, outside of Husk, you could find only on a kitchen table in the middle of nowhere, SC.

            1. re: rutabegar

              you know, that's EXACTLY what I was hoping for at Husk...and didn't find it. I'll hope to have better luck next time, my only dinner there was just a few months after opening, and other than that I've only been to brunch. I thought McCrady's was much more vegetable -centric from my last visit.

              1. re: rutabegar

                I agree rutabergar...I also think that it is more Appalachian Southern than Coastal Southern and that throws people off too.

              2. re: Corporate_40

                I found Husk to be very good and found McCrady's to be outstanding, though more expensive. I'd still try to sneak Husk in if you get the chance.

                FIG and Grocery are both great as well--definitely would choose over SNOB.

                As for some quick snacks/sandwiches, I'd check out Two Boroughs Larder and Butcher/Bee if you can.

              3. Well, just checked and FIG is booked Fri and Sat night, so there goes that option.

                Thanks for the comments though...

                9 Replies
                  1. re: Sue in Mt P

                    ha ha. But you know, I wouldn't have figured. I never get turned away from a res at FIG if I'm willing to eat early enough (or late enough)

                    1. re: danna

                      When I went a few weeks ago just before 6 p.m. on a Tuesday night, the dining room was booked all evening. And that tends to be a "slow night" in the restaurant biz. Of course, sitting at the bar ended up being an extraordinary experience in itself, so I'm not complaining.

                      1. re: mikeh

                        hmmm...note to self:

                        1. make reservations immediately when I figure out my Chas plans
                        2. stop recommending this place ;-)

                        1. re: danna

                          The OP is coming on Labor Day weekend. Places get booked up early for holiday weekends. Oh and Bridge Runs!

                          1. re: Sue in Mt P

                            I tried to book FIG for Labor Day wknd - as i understood it, they are not full, but rather Open Table says it's too far out to book. I was going to wait a week or so and try again. Although now I'm thinking I should call?

                              1. re: Sue in Mt P

                                I called. They don't accept any reservations earlier than 30 days out.

                                1. re: miss piggy

                                  That's great news, thanks. I think I'm going to keep my reservation at Husk, and swap out SNOB for FIG should I be able to get the time I need.

                1. A few snacking suggestions (if you have room...)

                  Would highly recommend a stop at Baked for a cookie or other treat (or six!) while you tour the town.

                  We also really enjoyed the Sat farmers market during our visit. Lots of fun vendors.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: BernieBrewer

                    Save room for a Blackberry Goat Cheese donut or a Nutella donut with Raspberry Jam from Glazed on upper King, too!