Charleston, South Carolina. My oh my. Now that was 4 days of exploration and fantastic food I won’t forget! The history, the food, the charm, the food, the waterfront, the food. We stayed downtown and had ourselves a ball. There are so many great restaurants that one would need at least 2 to 3 weeks. I have a new list of restaurants we didn’t have time to go to that I absolutely have to try next time. You can’t be in Charleston and just have a salad or keep it light because that is not only insane but you are being cruel to the chefs. Be prepared to please your palate, stomach and mind with some great dishes!
I made a dinner reservation for every night we were there. The first night we dined at the very relaxing lounge at Charleston Grill, while the soothing sounds of jazz music played. Amazing appetizers were followed by a wonderful amuse-bouche, followed by the delicious main course, and another tasty amuse-bouche, followed by fantastic desserts, followed by an excellent complimentary wine, followed by a complimentary plate of interesting Charleston sweets and two little take home yummy pumpkin cakes. We relished every minute of being pampered, so much that I asked my husband if maybe we could just stay there and maybe they could adopt us or take us in? He said no. He’s no fun.
Some of the things we ate. The menu is divided into four sections–Cosmopolitan, Southern, Pure, and Lush. The lamb dish was in the Pure section.
Grilled domestic lamb rack with garden vegetables, mint chimichurri and lamb jus. Yum!
Carrot Fritters with carrot granola and cream freaking cheese ice-cream! An awesome twist to a carrot cake 🙂
German Chocolate Cake with Coconut Sorbet, Sweet Fried Pecans, Salted Brown Butter Caramel, and Coconut Streusel. Not your standard German chocolate cake. I was speechless after the first bite!
My favorites were the macaroon and the pecan praline. Best pecan praline! You can be walking past a candy store and the sweet smell will come wafting out and draw you in.
Baskets made from sweetgrass at the City Market. You can watch them at work. Pretty cool. Wonder how long it takes to make one of these.
The Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon also known as the Custom House or the Exchange is the most historic building. Built in 1767, it served various uses. We went inside and took several steps back in time. Also the place where events took place in honor of George Washington’s week-long stay in 1791.
The Battery. The place where dozens of pirates were hung from oak trees. Beautiful Southern mansions to the left lined with Palmetto trees.
Our favorite hangout–The Waterfront. My husband, swinging away and thinking deep thoughts, like “A beer would be great right about now”.
Amen Street Restaurant. We got a taste and had to go back. You know how when you take a bite of something and you get all these crazy good feelings in your head and you can’t really form a sentence and you just go ‘Ohhh’, ‘Wow’, Damn!’ and it almost is too emotional? Satisfying, beautifully balanced and perfectly tasting shrimp and grits! It’s a pity I didn’t take a picture of the to die for She-crab soup drizzled with sherry. By the way, if you love oysters, this is the place to be.
Cobia fish with Hoppin’ John. Simple yet delicious!
Had to be the best freaking salted caramel cheesecake! The black stuff is black salt. Darn good!
Some pretty cool stuff…
You may not think much of this but it is a cool pineapple fountain at the Waterfront.
Close up of a Loggerhead Turtle (the State Reptile) at the Turtle Hospital. This is a separate tour at the Aquarium where they take care of turtles injured by boats or nets. Some of them are quite massive, the turtles I mean.
One of the turtles was found entangled in a net and had a lung infection and since its breathing was raspy, they named him Vader 🙂
His name is Alabaster and he is an Albino alligator. Other names which did not make it were ‘Lightning’ in second place, D’wight Gator in third place and finally Big Al. Albino alligators are very rare and this one is 1 of 50 or fewer in the world.
The 385,000-gallon Great Ocean Tank, which includes sharks. One of the divers was doing some cleaning and the other one was entertaining the kids.
Time Capsule at Washington Park containing Confederate items. How cool is that! All this sightseeing is making me hungry! Let’s head down to Hominy Grill 🙂
Ladies and gents, I give you the Nasty Biscuit! Fried chicken breast in a nasty biscuit with cheddar cheese and sausage gravy. Oh boy 🙂
Geechee Chicken. Interesting sauce, not spicy but slightly sweet. If you want to, read up on The History of Gullah Geechee Southern Cuisine.
Wash it all down with some White Thai beer! Lemongrass in beer–who woulda thunk it!
Let’s not forget to close it out with something sweet. How about a buttermilk pie and chocolate pudding? Why, don’t mind if I do. I think I can muster a few more steps.
I think the best part of the trip was getting to walk aboard, tour and experience the USS Yorktown aircraft carrier and the USS Laffey destroyer at Patriots Point. Truly incredible and unbelievably difficult times!
At Patriot’s Point, aboard the USS Yorktown aircraft carrier, we entered this replica of the Apollo 8 capsule and experienced a bit of what it was like to fly to the moon. It was fun! You can see film footage and hear radio communication from the December 1968 mission. The recovery of the Apollo 8 capsule and crew by the USS Yorktown was the aircraft carrier’s final mission.
I’m feeling a bit peckish…
We also had a lovely four course family style Italian supper at Trattoria Lucca. The restaurant was warm and inviting, the waiters and waitresses funny. A great atmosphere. This was just the first course. Our favorite, is the corn with almonds, raisins and Pecorino cheese in some kind of buttery, velvety sauce. We pretty much gobbled all four courses. Don’t judge!
Our last dinner was at Slightly North of Broad. Very cozy restaurant and great food!
Scallops with squash and okra and a delicious sauce. Yum!
Banana cream pie 🙂 Too pretty to eat? Nah!
On the last day of our trip, we stopped by Callie’s Hot little Biscuit for some breakfast. They were offering a Hurricane Matthew menu. We opted for the regular biscuit, the cinnamon, and the ham and cheese. Look at the size of them biscuits! My favorite was the cinnamon.
I couldn’t resist the homemade Oreo cookies! Do you see that fluffy cream, almost like a sweet cloud pillow, and the deep color of the cookie, which tasted so dark and rich. All that was missing was a glass of cold milk.
And then just before we left for the airport, we finally got the chance to eat at the bar, Closed for Business.
My husband and I fought over this soft pretzel with cider mustard. There were no crumbs.
We also fought over this huge fried chicken sandwich. it looks like a simple sandwich with some coleslaw and mayonnaise but this baby is juicy and delicious! We washed it all down with some awesome beer. They had a huge and great selection. A good end to the trip.
When we couldn’t possibly drink, eat or walk anymore, we waddled back to the hotel, collected our belongings and Uber’d it to the airport. Until next time, Charleston!