Thrilled to be visiting Charleston later this month!
I have several questions. Thanks in advance for your help. I really appreciate it.
We made a reservation at FIG, which will be our splurge meal. For other meals, I've reviewed posts on this board and assembled the following list, but I'd love to hear your comments about which on the list are good choices, given our criteria: excellent value-to-price ratio; desire to eat excellent "down home" Southern food such as meat and 3 sides plates, peach cobbler, etc.; desire to eat some good seafood. We are totally fine with "holes in the wall," non-fancy places. We have a car and we are fine with driving out of town if that's where the best food is. What do you think of the following list?
*Bowen's Island Restaurant (But are they open? I thought I read that they closed due to a fire.)
*Page's Okra Grill
*Hominy Grill (but I read some very bad reviews of Hominy on the Charleston City Paper web site)
*Butcher and Bee
*Two Boroughs Larder
I'd love to hear your comments on the list above and any suggestions you may have regarding other restaurants we should consider. We are also willing to eat our larger meal at lunch if that's a good way to experience a great restaurant at a cheaper price that we'd get at dinnertime.
*Anyone know where I can buy SAF GOLD instant yeast? It's hard to find locally where I live, and I hate to pay shipping to get it from King Arthur Flour or Amazon.
*We will visit the Charleston Farmers' Market on Sat. Anyone want to share what their favorite items are from this FM? Unfortunately, we can't get as much as I'm sure we'll want because we'll be flying home, but we could get fruit, legumes, nuts, etc. I just need to know what you Charleston 'hounds love!
*Has anyone taken this class at Maverick Kitchen Store? How was it?
Taste of the Lowcountry (at Maverick Kitchen Store)
What makes Lowcountry cuisine the cornerstone of our coastal South Carolina heritage? Learn the answer at Taste of the Lowcountry! This fun demonstration class is a great way to learn more about Lowcountry cuisine, while enjoying generous tastings of regionally based recipes and sipping a glass of wine. Come enjoy the tastes, the history and the entertainment.
FIG is a great choice, don't change that.
HUSK would be a bigger splurge for sure.
Lunch at SNOB is a deal.
I especially like the brunch at Fat Hen.
The Tomato Shed is the real thing, cheap & good.
Bowen's is now bigger, craft beer still in a plastic cup. The only thing worth getting there is the oysters, which are good. I would rather go to Morgan Creek Grill on a Saturday from 4-8 where they roast them outside for you.
Skip Hominy Grill, but happy hour at Lana's across the street is nice.
Have breakfast at the Crepe babe's stand at the Farmer's Market. Great people watching, I don't go until after 10am.
Man are you gonna love it here!
See, I only go to the FM downtown BEFORE 10am, lol!
John's Island IS an island, just a really big one, not a barrier island. You go that way to get to Kiawah and Seabrook. I absolutely love Fat Hen. I'm glad to hear Tomato Shed is back. It went through several interesting incarnations.
Have a great time and please report back with your impressions.
re: Sue in Mt P
I've never had a bad brunch at Hominy - it's always been fabulous. We get there right there when they open so we don't have to wait. Actually about 15 minutes before considering there is always a line first thing in the morning. Your trip sounds great. If you like oysters and seafood I'd throw happy hour at Pearlz in the mix - excellent food and great specials during this time (4-6 I think?) Enjoy!
re: miss piggy
Pearlz is a great rec if you are an oyster fan.
I always try and get to Fat Hen when I'm in the area - love that place. If you splurge for dessert, get their bread pudding, it's always good.
Sue gave you great info, as usual. The places you've listed are all good choices. Butcher & Bee is a completely different experience and I would suggest it for when you first roll into town (if it's lunch time). It's not a place where you would linger but the food is very good. They post their menu on a chalkboard which they photograph and post on Facebook. Check it out. The falafel burger is gooood.
Oh, and for a great experience, go to Goat.Sheep.Cow. Its a cheese shop in the historic district and the owners are the most charming folks. They will give you ton of samples and chat with you about all things cheese and wine. Saturdays they have wine tastings and they get in some good selections. http://www.goatsheepcow.com/
Have fun and eat well!
Thanks so very much, SE 'hounds, for your help.
*The SNOB lunch menu does look really good. Is SNOB part of Mavericks?
*Okay, time to confess--I don't like oysters. Chalk that up to growing up in a landlocked state and rarely getting good fish. So should I skip Bowen's? Does Morgan Grill Creek have good (non-oyster) seafood?
*LOVE the Happy Hour suggestion of Lana's. HH could work really well for us--light breakfast, big lunch, then HH for a drink and small portions of good food.
jim and sue-
*Ha! I am one of the get-to-the-Farmers'-Mkt-early-to-beat-the-crowds group :0)
*Love the Pearlz HH idea. Since I don't eat oysters, do you think the boiled shrimp would be a good choice? They also have mahi tacos on the HH menu, but I don't think mahi is caught near SC, is it? I hate to waste my calories on stuff I can get at home; I want to enjoy SC food that I'm not likely to easily find in MN.
*Goat.Sheep.Cow sounds wonderful. Do you think they would carry any cheese made in SC or surrounding states?
*Thanks for the tip to get bread pudding at Fat Hen. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE good bread pudding.
Morgan Creek Grill is located at a Marina.I've been a lifelong sucker for marina restaurants.I don't think I've ever found a really good one.I'd pass.
Since you are from MN you should consider doing something at Folly Beach or Isle of Palms,even if its just a walk on the beach.There are good lunch spots on Folly.
I think you've got enough suggestions to keep you busy for awhile!
OK you're going to want to stop thinking about calories now to get in the habit. Just Don't :D
I think you should go to Bowen's just for the experience. Oysters are their specialty, but they have other things as well. And the setting is so lowcountry. I say do it. You won't be sorry. Try one streamed oyster and see what you think. Too bad I won't be there with my famous cockail sauce.
SNOB, High Cotton and the wonderful Old Post House are all Maverick restuarants, and Charleston Cooks is owned by them as well.
Mahi IS caught locally, however, if you see wreckfish or triggerfish as a special get it.
Morgan Creek is a fun party place, but the food just isn't that great. I've been more times than I can count. The view is wonderful and lots of fun people come and go (you can find friends with boats!) but go for cocktails.
That downtown FM has local cheeses from several farms. You can also find Clemson Blue at grocery stores. It's delish.
Yes, absolutely they carry local cheeses and maybe even some cured meats made locally, in addition to some very hard-to-find selections that are shipped in from all around the world. Great, great stuff.
From one soccer mom to another, their bread pudding is as good as your kid scoring the winning goal in a state championship final. OK, that's a bit exaggerated, but it's really good stuff. ;-)
You've gotten premium advice here. Can't think of any i disagree with...and you just don't KNOW how rare that is ;-)
only a couple of things to add:
Husk - we had a $95 brunch for 2 there (1 drink). not exactly price/value champ.
Bowen's Island - fried shrimp pretty good, draft beer very good, try to time sunset and I think the lack of much else would not be such a tragedy.
Cru- you should go...get the shrimp blt.
Butcher and Bee - watch facebook. sometimes they ARE open for dinner.
Farmer's Mkt was a disappointment for me. BUT...the dried Sea island red peas and purple cape beans I bought there are keeping me happy now that the frenzy of local produce buying has died down this fall. And you can tell they are fresher than normal dried beans because they cook so fast. ReWined candles smell great and would make good souveniers.
re: miss piggy
You have done your home for sure,and Sue's take on your ideas is spot on.
I would add that if you can find a reason to explore south to Johns Island,please consider The Fat Hen and the Tomato Shed.Both are outstanding and won't bust your budget.We had our first experience at The Tomato Shed last weekend and it was just delightful.This is where "mest and three" meets farm to table.The cheeky friendliness of the staff just adds to the experience!
Also, for the other Charleston posters, the building that will become The Orginary is plobably at least six monthe from opening its doors.I peered in the window last Saturday.
We had the first bushel of local oysters on Satudey.They never dissapoint!
OK I'll start at the top:
I've been to all of those and, given your criteria, any of those would be fine. Be aware: peaches are out of season now.
*Bowen's is open. The fire was years ago.
*Dave's Carryout: Excellent, but it's carry-out only, so plan to have a picnic somewhere.
*Page's Okra Grill: A local favorite. Prepare to wait if you go on a weekend or right at lunchtime. Their desserts are homemade by the owner, Ashley, who grew up 2 doors down from me.
SHe is an excellent pastry chef.
*Hominy Grill (but I read some very bad reviews of Hominy on the Charleston City Paper web site) Hominy is one of those places that gets lots of national hype, and it's good, but I think people get their expectations out of whack. Get whatever fish special they have and some tomato pudding.
*Butcher and Bee: Just lunch and late night. It's BYOB and you order when you go in. Freind them on FB for daily specials.
*Cru One of my all time favorites. Eat on the porch.
*Husk You may need a reservation. It's fine, but for meat and 3 pick Page's or Seewee
*Seewee Traffic is awful getting north on 17 but Seewee is worth it.
*Two Boroughs Larder Interesting place, good food, and some fun retail items.
No idea about the yeast. You could try Whole Foods.
I like that Farmer's Market ok, but it's touristy and full of jewelry, soap, and candle vendors. The one in Mt P is better, but they end next week I think. Someties I just want to get my food and go, which is impossible at the one in the HD.
I have friends who have taken that class and enjoyed it. I have not, since I don't need to ;)
Have a good time.
re: Sue in Mt P
Mollybelle and Sue-
Thank you so much for this extremely helpful info.
Sue--I am so bummed that the Mt. P FM is closing on Tuesday.
Mollybelle--Both places you suggested---Fat Hen and Tomato Shed---look fabulous! I could not find John 's Island on the map for a minute or so bc I was looking for an actual island. Did that area used to be an island?
Again, thanks so much. I really appreciate this info.
On the SC coast great liberties are taken with what we call "islands".In most cases its just an area that is exposed to the ocean on one side and small rivers or tidal creeks on the other sides.In many cases you could roll up you pants and walk to these "islands" at low tide.
John's island is an easy drive from the HD.
Be aware that Dave's Carryout,one of my favorite seafood dives, is only open Tues-Friday for lunch.I don't get to eat there nearly as much as I would like.plan ahead for Sunday since many nicer spots will be closed.
I love your enthusiasm! You are going to love the Charleston area.You will also be going at a great time of the year.