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27 January 2013

How To: Weekend in Charleston like a food writer

Saturday: 1130 AM

Angel Oak Tree, John's Island

"Biggest tree South of the Mississippi"

The Girl prefers sushi and salad for her picnic choice. With it being a chilled January day I go chili and a grocery store sandwich. Kentucky Fried Muffy and her man Stone Crab go full on picnic basket with table cloth. Friend D prefers Subway. It doesn't matter how you do it, there is no wrong way to picnic at this iconic, ancient, and provocative tree. 

#8 on Charleston Magazine's Bucket List, picnicking at the Angel Oak is a chance to reflect on the natural beauty and history that is prevalent in Charleston. At 1500 years old and 66 feet high, it is an impressive sight. Almost as interesting as the tree is listening in on tourists misinform each other about the history of the tree. Free, beautiful, and relaxing.

But don't forget the Charleston Tea Company Sweet Tea.

Saturday: 500 PM

Our House, In the Middle of Our Street

"Liquid Bacon, I'm telling you, liquid bacon"

The Foodess (Of The Foodess Files fame) brings over a present, Sugar Bob's Finest Kind Smoked Maple Syrup. This isn't pancake syrup; this is an assertive and smoky addition to any savory dish. Mix 1/4 teaspoon syrup with 3/4 oz sweet vermouth and 2 1/2 oz Bulleit bourbon to make a Smoked Manhattan.  

Saturday: 630 PM

The 'Wich Doctor, Folly Beach

"It's like liquid pork chop in a bowl"

The Foodess, Big Sky (Of Garden & Gun), The Girl and I make our way to this funky little slice of Bohemian Folly Beach to begin our version of the progressive dinner. Not that it was our intention, it just happened. Big Sky jammed on the Jerk Pork Sandwich ($9) while The Girl chowed down on the Pimento Cheese, Bacon, and Fried Green Tomato Sandwich ($9). The Foodess and I rip into bowls of Tonkotsu Ramen w/ pork belly, soft boiled egg, corn, love, effort, and a broth of 9 million ingredients. The smoke of the broth, with its rich pork flavor, will cure whatever ails you.

Drinks: BYOB but featuring a small selection of craft sodas and beers. PBR is always an option.

Saturday: 800 PM

The Lot, James Island

"Making Poutine Routine"

Intending on grabbing a quick dessert, ending two hours later, we start by splitting a salted caramel torte and Meyer lemon crêpes. Big Sky and I love the bright fresh zing of the lemon filling. The ladies love the candy bar flavor and texture of the torte. The band starts firing up next door at The Pour House, filing the space with a funky jam vibe. 

What better way to finish a dessert course than with a little poutine? This Canadian delight uses The Lot's mind bending fries, gravy, and cheese curds to bring a little Cold White North bar food down South.

Drinks: Small but strong list of craft wines and beers, specialty cocktails. The Ladies love the Crispin Cider. $3 PBR tall boys and Westbrook Seasonal are other options that are always worth your time.

Saturday: 1030 PM

The Bar At Husk, Queen St

"Make it Weaver's choice"

Freestanding bar next to the acclaimed dining room, make your way upstairs to a table. Order the fried pickles and burger, cut into quarters, and spread amongst the masses. The burger is a double patty with 10% Benton's bacon ground in, smoke flavor coming through with power but not overwhelming. 

The true reason to show up at the bar are the drinks. Rosco Riso Punch, The Swingles Club, The Copperhead - the list of innovative drinks is impressive, but it is nice to just relax and tell one of the master mixologists to mix up whatever they want. 

Sunday: 1220 AM

Butcher & Bee, Upper King St

"A Prada store in the middle of no where?"

The Foodess and Big Sky load up on the fried egg sandwich, The Girl and I split a Banh Mi. We beat in the food service crowd, but I spot a table of friends and sip a little of their vino. Conversation is travel and quickly a plan is made to visit Cuba via Marfa, Texas, so we can see that damn Prada store. 

Prices are low, and open til 3 on the weekends, B&B is a lot like the Marfa Prada store. An oasis of amazing in the middle of no where.

Drinks: BYOB so $140 wine and 40s of High Life are acceptable, but the Jarritos Grapefruit Soda is my go-to.

Sunday: 1230 PM

The Green Door, East Bay St. 

"It's magically delicious!"

Brunch isn't just a meal in Charleston; it is a cultural imperative. Big Sky sets us all to shame with the pastel red pants, classic tie, and old school blazer, but you should try to step it up on Sundays. We add the Queen of Rutledge to our entourage, and dig in to the  most schizophrenic brunch in town. Braised short ribs with kimchi and creole mac n cheese. Chicken and waffle tacos with Sriracha syrup. Fried pork belly Benedict. The food is crazy, but everything is delicious and thoughtful. This will make you rethink brunch.

Drinks: The Kimchi Bloody Mary is a savory and delicious way to shake off last night, but the Lucky Charms Adult Milkshake with vodka and Kalhua is guaranteed to sneak up on you and knock you down if you aren't careful.

Time can seem to go a little slower in Charleston, so use that to your advantage. Linger over your lunch, and speak to a stranger. Wander down an ally. See a new restaurant, pop in even if you just ate. Explore more than just where you live or are staying. Ask questions. Look to the sky as you walk the streets. Whatever you do, remember this most of all: when you get in your car, get out of that parking space as fast as you can, because someone as been looking for that spot for a half hour. 

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