With Steven Page formerly of the Bare Naked Ladies, now with The Illegal Eater
2013 was yet another banner year for Charleston. You name a list, we were atop it. Best place in America, Best Place in the world, Best place to be on a list.....The top ten list of lists we topped is one heck of a read (You can always head over to Holy City Sinner to see the list of lists). Guess it is about time for Foodmancing the Girl to do the list of the Best of Charleston 2013!
Best Summerville Restaurant: Perfectly Franks
For years, this spot was reserved for The Dining Room at the Woodlands. With its demise, we go to the complete opposite end of the dining spectrum with a hot dog joint from a local legend. With dozens of crazy dogs (My favorite involves cocktail sauce, shrimp, and sweet corn relish.), Perfectly Franks delivers family-friendly taste.
Must Have: A Sol Legare with a Peach Nihi
Best North Charleston Restaurant: Cork
The little restaurant that could has been a part of the revitalization of the old Downtown.
Must Have: Shrimp and Grits
Best West Ashley Restaurant: Riso Noodle House
Pan Asian cuisine has a tasty love-child with German.....that is Riso.
Must Have: Mr. Beef and the crispy pork intestines (well, that last bit you must have ONCE)
Best John's Island Restaurant: Angel Oak
Southern Cuisine isn't my favorite. Not even close. But Angel Oak consistently delivers Southern at its best.
Must Have: Friday Blue Plate Special, fried chicken with mac n cheese and collards
Best James Island Restaurant: The Lot
Farm to table hippy ethos meets rock n roll. The ever changing menu is always full of thoughtful, elegant, and satisfying dishes.
Must Have: If Cavatelli is on the menu, order it. Even if you order it for dessert. I do. Often.
Best Folly Beach Restaurant: The Wich Doctor
Funky gourmet sandwiches and pizzas make The Wich Doctor the eclectic restaurant Bohemian Folly Beach deserves. Throw in daily noodle specials that will leave you drooling, and you have a winner.
Must Have: Chicken and Waffle Sandwich and a pouch of Peach Vinegar to drink
Best Mount Pleasant Restaurant: Pattaya Thai
This isn't Basil. This is ACTUAL Thai food, since 1998. Properly prepared. In a strip mall. Next to a bowling ally. And unlike Basil, it actually tastes GOOD.
Must Have: Neau Pad Prik and a pot of Jasmine tea
Best IOP Restaurant: Coda Del Pesce
The new seafood joint from Italian cuisine master Chef Ken Vedrinski has given Charleston what it has always needed, a signature water-front seafood restaurant.
Must Have: Do the tasting menu, and let Chef Ken do all the thinking.
Best New Restaurant: The Ordinary
While it technically opened in 2012 (by less than two weeks) Mike Lata's love letter to seafood has dominated national press for a damn good reason.
Must Have: The Shellfish Tower
Best Chef: Nate Whiting of Tristan
One of the worst self promoters on the planet, Chef Whiting prefers to let his whimsical, thoughtful plates speak for him. His playful dishes show stellar technique and may be the most beautiful plating in the city.
Must Have: Dinner and a Show- Dinner for two with two tickets to the Dock Street Theater
Best Charleston Restaurant: Two Boroughs Larder
I swear Chef Keeler cooks only for himself with little regard to what the customer wants. And that is a good thing. Expect to hear his name among the James Beard Finalists this year.
Must Have: The Pork Scrapple or Wednesday night Burger
Saddest Closing: The Green Door
This breath of fresh air was snuffed out by the Champion of Mediocrity Ryan Condon. Fingers crossed it will be back soon.
Best Burger: Husk
To find out why I think Husk has the perfect burger, read my breakdown over at Yahoo Food
Best Shrimp and Grits: Anson
The Anson milled grits, slow cooked all day with copious amounts of cheese make these the gold-standard for the dish you see on menus all across the state.
Best Fried Chicken: Angel Oak
I'm not listing Martha Lou's Chicken. That is because what she serves isn't chicken, it is a religious experience. Angel Oak does, however, serve one of the most mind-blowingly juicy fried chickens, with hints of sweet from the buttermilk brine. So worth the drive down 17 South.
Best Canadian TV Show to feature Foodmancing The Girl: The Illegal Eater
That's right, Canadian rocker Steven Page came to Charleston and turned to this guy for some food knowledge. So if you find yourself bored in Canada scour the Travel + Escape Network for a rerun and pray they get a US distribution deal soon.
That is our Best Of 2013. Feel free to let us know what we missed, what we got wrong, or (in a totally un-internet like manner) what you agree with! Have a wonderful 2014, and keep eating!