A few weeks back my husband and I went down to Charleston for a long weekend. I have read various books that take place in Charleston so I was eager to see the city myself. Most of the stories I read take place in the dead heat of summer, so walking its streets with long pants and a jacket felt odd at first, but a few bourbon drinks later I inexplicably got over it. There were many pluses and few minuses to the trip, but overall we had a great time and we got explore a new city.
One of the big attractions of Charleston is the food and I can understand why. In the midst of planning the trip we began watching a show called Mind of a Chef, it is on Netflix streaming and its narrated by Anthony Bourdain. The first season only prominently featured one chef, but he would have other chefs drop in throughout the episodes. One of those was Chef Sean Brock, who in the second season got promoted to several of his own episodes. His episodes were probably my favorite in the series. Anyway, he has his own restaurant in Charleston called Husk. While we were watching the show I remembered the name of restaurant from an article I read about the best Southern restaurants. His food philosophy and menu enticed me to make a reservation and I’m so happy I did. If you are planning to be in the Charleston area (or Nashville) plan to eat there. I porked out with the Pig Ear Lettuce wraps to start and pork tenderloin with pumpkin and vegetables for lunch. The Pig Ear Lettuce Wraps are incredible by the way, don’t think you are going to be getting something that looks like it should be in a bin at PetsMart. And the drink menu is very well crafted.
The previous day we had gone to a restaurant called F.I.G. (Food Is Good), which I had also read about and it was good, in fact it was great. I tried for the first time a medium/rare steak I figured I would be in good hands at this place and I was. Everything on the plate was amazing, from the jous to the vinaigrette on the salad. For dessert we had a Vanilla Malt Cake with banana ice cream. I was leery on the banana ice cream, but it was wonderful. The sweetness mixed with the very warm vanilla cake and then at the bottom of the plate there was a pool of butter rum which brought out a saltiness and lemon-like flavor. On their drink menu you could build your own Manhattan, which has left Honey I searching for limited released bitters and vermouths trying to recreate what we had that night. Though I think I should also mention the cherry on top, no really I mean the cherry. They probably made them, but it was a maraschino cherry that tasted like what all imitation cherry flavor has been been trying to achieve for decades. I only had one, so it wasn’t the booze talking, it was just a perfect cherry that tasted like what all cherries wanted to be when they grew up.
Southern hospitality was also alive and well at Dixie Supply Bakery & Cafe. While I made a bunch of reservations weeks in advance I realized I had neglected breakfast. A few days before hand my husband read good reviews about this place and I called to make a reservation, unfortunately they don’t take reservations. She added that they weren’t very busy at the moment and then I had to tell her that I wouldn’t be there for a few more days. I asked about what time they started getting busy and if we got there early would we be okay. She paused and asked how many were in my party. 2. She told me she would reserve a table, I thanked her profusely and we said our good-byes. Only after I hung up did I realize she didn’t ask for a name, maybe she was just betting on us showing up early enough or thought maybe we wouldn’t come. I didn’t want to call back and harass her in case she was just trying to be polite, so I figured we would just have to roll the dice too. Fast forward a few days and while we were in line in the small but very yummy smelling restaurant with very limited seating, my husband looked over and saw a hand written reservation on an order slip for 2 at 9 am.
The food of course was incredible I had a City Omelet and all I can say why are people not putting brie in more omelets? Oh yeah, heart attacks, but still… worth it.
So I’ll stop talking about food now and get to the other parts of the city. Going by the main street in Charleston I figure most people like to shop, but we much rather walk around. We saw Rainbow Row, White Point Garden, the Atlantic (with jumping dolphins), we walked around a few cemeteries, not to mention various day and night walks up and down King Street. I enjoyed the cemeteries the most, the history of the city was there and I could understand why there are so many ghost stories.
Below are four pictures from St. Phillip’s Church. While we looked around services were being held and singing and music came out of the church. At one point a stream of what seemed like 20 Alter Boys and Girls in red and white tunics went running through the graveyard from one building to another, shouting and playing. It was surreal.
Overall it was a lovely trip, lot of new sites and wonderful food. Though the one morning that we could sleep in we got a…how shall I put this…unsolicited wake up call at 7:30 am. Turns out the walls in the hotel were pretty darn thin and the people next door were awake, really awake….
Awake and involved.
..with each other. 😉
Once we realized what had woken us up, and the level of noise and intensity at that we started laughing- perhaps a little too loudly because the noises from the other side of the wall quickly stopped. I’ll admit that I joked about slipping a note under their door written in red lipstick that said “I know You Were Faking it This Morning”, but I didn’t do it. We still had another night there and I didn’t want any pre-dawn retaliatory actions. :-O