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Aug 20, 2012 06:37 AM

McCradys, Macintosh, Butcher and Bee, Grocery, more....(Charleston,long)

So I dieted for 3 weeks and practically fasted for 3 days....I was starving when we got to dinner Wed evening.

McCradys was very good as I expected. We did the 4 course option, I chose 2 courses from the fish section, triggerfish in tomato dashi, shrimp w cauliflower and other lovely things. I started w/ an absolutely GORGEOUS salad, complete with a few of the best pieces of fried okra I've ever had. Lightly vinegared before breading, I would say. The husband loved his lamb, was less excited about the waygu tartare. The desserts were fantastic, they really have a great pastry chef there...notably superior to other restaurant desserts I've had lately. Their take on the currently ubiquitous S'mores was graham cracker icecream rolled up in meringue like a jelly roll and sliced. I'm still trying to figure out how they did it. The popcorn on my corn custard dessert was the highlight of that one.

Next day I was still reasonably slim. I tried to keep it that way by going to Poe's and having a grilled swordfish taco. It was tasty enough as was my husband's chicken sandwich. (yes, neither of us got a have to be seen half-naked on the beach, you know) Poe's is serviceable bar food in an extremely lively atmosphere.

For dinner we went to The Macintosh on upper King. We shared (copied straight from the online menu) Tommy Edward's Grilled Shrimp, Arugula, Cauliflower, English Peas, Potato Confit,
Mint, Curry Dressing 13 and Kurios Farms Bibb Lettuce, Scuppernong Grapes, Roasted Peaches, Asian Pears,Pickled Blueberries, Candied Pine Nuts, Buttermilk Goat Cheese Dressing. Both starters just delicious. At that point, we started falling off the wagon, because the truffled fries looked awfully tempting so we ordered them, ate half, and begged the waiter to take the rest away. Our grouper dish and triggerfish w/ clams were also very good.

Since we were already off the wagon, but still making a pretense of effort we skipped dessert at the Mac and stopped by Paolo's for's made from whole milk instead of cream, right? The pistachio was very good.

Belly was looking a little round on Friday, but a 4 mile run convinced me I should go to EVO for lunch. I had the melon salad which had 3 different types of green melon..sprite, crenshaw...and I forget. very nice. The marguerita pizza, also nice. And a canteloupe/lemongrass popsicle from King of Pops. Then we went around back to see the newly opened bakery owned by the EVO folks. They were "wiped out" of pastry. My husband noticed the roast beef (house made) on the menu board and bemoaned eating pizza instead. (Sue, you might want to stock up provisions from there on the way out of town) continued...

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  1. I know. Just when I told myself I am buying nothing ever again, lol!

    Tommy Edwards is my shrimper friend. I'll email you his phone #. He's nice as can be. I'm glad the Mac gave him a plug. Thanks for reminding me I need a EVO run. Keep going....

    1. At this point, the husband begged for more casual dinner, so I cancelled my Wild Olive res and we went to Butcher and Bee, which is normally not opened for dinner, but had announced on Facebook that they would be last Fri and Sat. Jeff had their rare house-made roast beef and was happy. I had poached grouper w/ tomato and herb house-made mayo on brioche and was also happy. We had the summer salad w/ tomato and watermelon, the minted peas (fantastic...the highlight), and something else I've forgotten. 2 non-alcoholic drinks (the place is BYOB). It was $49.

      So then we threw the corset on the armoir and went to Haagen Daz (which I cannot and never have been able to spell). The belgian chocolate w/ peanut better is better than the salted caramel, believe it or not. Afterwards, we lucked into a rooftop table at the Market Pavillion. Very mundane list of wines and cocktails, but a gorgeous view. They had a DJ and a security guard w/ a earpiece. Not my scene. I kept waiting for Paris Hilton to show up.

      Saturday was our last day, and 5 mile run or no, I wore a sarong over the bikini walking to and fro the beach. Undeterred, we left the beach and went to Glazed where we had the maple bacon doughnut and the raspberry glazed. yum.

      Then....we had our only culinary disappointment of the weekend. I had SOOO been looking forward to the farmer's market at Calhoun square. Although it was entertaining and I did buy shelled butterbeans ($18 worth, precisely) and dried Sea island red peas and purple cape beans, the farmer's market was quite inferior to what I'm used to in Asheville. Most of the veggie vendors appeared to be truck farms. I noticed nothing organic, and very view unusal varieties of anything. On top of that...the prices were tremendous. In Asheville organic tomatoes are $3/lb, in Charleston $5. incredible. Most of the vendors are selling non-agricultural products. There were very few to no bread/pastry/cheese vendors, and no fish for sale.

      We had lunch at Sermet's corner. If you have not been there since the remodel, you should go. They totally changed the look of the place, and the clientel seems much older/monied than before. The place was packed, and the owner beaming. I had my usual calamari appetizer, which I fear was not quite as good as normal. A tiny bit over cooked maybe, but still good. Husband had the pasta dish w/ tomato and olive and was pleased.

      The rest of our day was spent w/ non-food activities except for a trip to Goat.Sheep.Cow. where I acquired Podda (a cheese), a sausage as close to saucisson as we could find, some moldy cheese for my husband who can't tell it's spoiled, and a bottle of wine. The folks who run that shop could not be friendlier or more helpful. You should all go.

      Finally, we hit the Grocery for dinner before the nightime drive back to Greenville. Started w/ the chicken liver and persimmon jam. The jam made it, otherwise, it would not have been special. We had shrimp risotto, gazpacho w/ crab, gnocci, another great salad, and clams w/ chorizo. I don't much like sausage, but the chorizo gave the dish a great flavor even if you didn't eat it. If you get that dish, drink the Sauvignon Blanc, it was one of those magic pairings. We finished w/ the peanut butter/choc dessert and coffee. The dessert was really not anything to write home about, but the coffee (from Charleston roasters) was fantastic. kudos. The wine list was really interesting, I wish I could have ordered a bottle. Everything was very good, and the husband actually thought it was his favorite meal. The Grocery was not packed on Sat night...perhaps it's a bit TOO far upper King? I say go support them...btw, service was impeccable.

      So...I actually went to Charleston and didn't go to either Fig or Cru. I have broken free of my rut. And I am now fat. Thanks for reading !

      4 Replies
      1. re: danna

        Fabulous write-up, as usual. It all sounds do great.

        I agree about the Farmer's Market. The Fields do organic, but they come to the Mt P market on Tuesday nights, so I usually just go there. The one downtown is too touristy.

        Now that my kitchen is packed I guess I have to eat out for the rest of the week. Thanks for the inspiration. (*silent sniff*)

        1. re: Sue in Mt P

          I hope you have a big vehicle for all the provisions you need to take!

          I forgot to mention Tasi, a smoothie and juice bar in Seaside Farms (which is a maze-like cluster of shops including a Piggly Wiggly). I scored a protein shake for my husband w/ no artificial sugar and whey (not soy) protein. Also a well-made iced americano for myself. He went back the next day to get the same smoothie again as well as a fresh green juice (which tasted a little like grass clippings, but that's the fault of the person who ordered it.) The owner (?) couldn't have been nicer. Lots of good looking coffee drinks on the menu as well as other smoothies, etc.

          I find it strange that you can NOT, get a coffee on the IOP. I realize it's the beach, and it's hot by 8 am, but some of us are addicted, and without a car one morning, I actually had to DO WITHOUT COFFEE!!! let this be a warning to visitors...bring your own, or drive out to Tasi.

          1. re: danna

            Green juice IS grass clippings, hahaha.

            Sea Biscuit has coffee, but not fancy stuff. There's a nice place on Sullivans for coffee jonesers: Cafe Medley. Drew, the nice manager at A'ville owns it with his wife. Nice wine too.

            And I meant to say, no one will ever look at you on the beach and say "Please wear a sarong" :D

            1. re: Sue in Mt P

              Actually, in my desperation, i walked into Sea Biscuit, but they were swamped, and lined up with people waiting, and I didn't think a request for to-go coffee would go over well. If I had a coffee themed food truck, i know where I'd go in the morning.

      2. Thank you for TWO great write-ups, Danna. I only have TWO questions: Have you ever done Two Boroughs Larder? Where is Goat.Sheep.Cow? (Never heard of it.)

        4 Replies
        1. re: Jeff C.

          no, we missed 2BL. Goat.Sheep.Cow is right off of Broad, I'm sorry I can't remember the street. Maybe 1/2 way betwen east bay and meeting. It's only been around maybe a little over a year?...something like that.

          1. re: danna

            It will not stun or surprise anyone that I've been to 2 Boroughs Larder. I went with my friend who had had a hard night on Friday. We went to the Farmer's Market and she had a meltdown so we got something from Roti Rolls. Then we walked up and had to use the GPS to find it (right near Dave's). We both had the trout on grits and it was nice. The space is interesting and kind of clangy, It's like an odd grocery store where you can eat.

            1. re: danna

              Thanks, Danna. After I posted the question, I realized I could just Google it to find the address. (Duh.) Any idea when Chef Lata's new place opens on upper King? Color me VERY excited about that one.

              1. re: Jeff C.

                All i heard was "in the fall" on Lata's new place. I , too, am excited!