Over the weekend, a friend and I decided to celebrate our upcoming birthdays by spending a weekend in Charleston, SC. Here’s the scoop on Charleston – It’s decidedly Southern, emitting hints of the Old South and everything that represents. From the century old wrought iron gates guarding their Pre-War estates:
to the rainbow-colored homes lining the streets:
Horse drawn carriages coexist with nimble runners on cobblestone streets, and gentleman come clad in Oxfords, bow ties, and boat shoes. Also, it’s a fantastic food town. James Beard Award-winning chefs run rampant and if you are really lucky, you can experience one of the better, if not best, meals you’ve ever had.
In an effort to cut to the chase, I’m simply going to list my “Best of Charleston” guide – things I highly recommend you do, or try if you ever have the pleasure of visiting the town:
Best Restaurant – FIG, stands for Food Is Good. But it’s not. It’s better than good. It’s phenomenal. I started with a John’s Island Tomato tarte tatin that was unforgettable. Had a melt in my mouth herb roasted scamp grouper for dinner that put me in the clean plate club, and ended with a sorghum “birthday” cake that lasted about 1/2 a second before it was gone. I could go on and on about this place, but honestly, Google it if you need further encouragement. It’s out of this world.
Best Beach – Sullivan’s Island:
It’s only mildly crowded on the weekends and its close proximity to my next best of…
Best Burger – Poe”s:
A hole in the wall, seat yourself joint, that is slammed on the weekends so try to get there during the week. And when you do, order a burger. Any kind, you can’t go wrong. Also, their salad is surprisingly fresh and tasty and their fish tacos are a legit bet for anyone not feeling beef.
Best Cocktail – Pear of the Dog at Roof Top Bar.
I’m a huge fan of vodka grapefruits (no salty dogs for me, salt rimmed drinks aren’t my fave) and this place mixes the juice with pear flavored vodka – a delicious combination that was a perfect accompaniment for the 360 degree views that the restaurant offers.
Best Brunch – Husk. Behold, the best pancake I have ever eaten:
Wood fire roasted SC blueberry buttermilk pancakes – Oh My God. Everything on this menu sounded amazing, the decor was inviting yet minimalist, and the mimosas were spot on.
Best Run – The waterfront/Battery:
Between the breeze coming off the water, the stunning scenery of the astounding homes, and non-existent elevation change (seriously, flat as aforementioned pancake), it makes for a very pleasant run in which you can work off all the food you have to try.
Best ‘touristy’ thing to do – Carriage ride:
Hop aboard one of these suckers and enjoy prancing along the streets, pissing off drivers, and learning fun facts about the beautiful city you’re in.
And just to keep things interesting, some notable let-downs: Slightly North of Broad (S.N.O.B.) – Our waiter was mediocre at best, the ambiance was stuffy, and the food, although good was not particularly wonderful, especially for their prices.
Hominy Grill: This is not a typical let-down in the fact that the food was quite delicious and I still recommend that you go there. However, their signature item (or at least what I went there for),shrimp and grit,s was $16. I have no problem paying for delicious food, but I begin to question this reasoning during breakfast. I don’t know, and maybe it’s just me – but 20 bucks for breakfast for one isn’t exactly what I want to be spending my daily food budget on. The shrimp and grits were wonderful, unfortunately I stand firm that Rouxbarb still has the best.
There ya have it, a Sassy Swan approved guide to a wonderful city!