Vote for Charleston Magazine’s “50 Best Food & Bev Faves”

Voting for CharlestonMag.com’s 50 Food & Bev faves goes until 11:59pm on Thursday, October 23rd. This is a great chance to vote for some of your favorite Charleston restaurants, bars, breweries, and more.

Pay special attention to #21, as I would love it if you, my lovely readers, would vote “Queen of the Food Age” as “Best Food Blogger” in Charleston!

50 food and bev

Minero

I’ve been waiting for Minero to open for what feels like my whole life. From the minute I heard that my culinary obsession, Chef Sean Brock, was opening a Mexican restaurant, I knew that was a place I was going to enjoy.

Be still my corazon!

Be still my corazon!

So when I got word that last Friday would be Minero’s official first day, I grabbed Lily and Sheena and forced them to wait 45 minutes for a table in order to try and be one of the first people to try it out. Considering all the hype around the opening, I was surprised the wait was only 45 minutes. While we were sitting outside patiently (and by that I mean “the opposite of patiently”), an older gentleman (who looked not unlike a retired sea captain) who’d just finished his meal stopped to tell us that “it’s defintiely worth the wait. And order el Satánico! Blended!” So when it was finally our turn to be invited in, that was the first thing we did.

As well as the Titán and Dragón Rojo

As well as the Titán and Dragón Rojo

The space is super cool and very inviting. I’m obsessed with the exposed brick, soft lighting, and general earthy feel of the whole place. It’s a little narrow, but the ambiance was spot on for a Friday night dinner. While I was trying to figure out what to order, I noticed Chef Brock walk past our table and let out an audible, involuntary gasp. My hero! In the flesh! Right there! I’m embarrassed that I acted like a 12-year old fan girl, but honestly no one was surprised.

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Full house for the night.

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The menu is relatively short, which I think is a good thing because I was already having a hard enough time deciding on an entree. To start, we ordered the guacamole ($8), which was topped with radish, mexican chili powder, and plenty of cilantro. It was super flavorful and fresh, but a bit on the small side. The tortilla chips were perfect and served in a warm mitten (I don’t know what to call it) and were seasoned well enough to be delicious all on their own. And they better be since he sampled over 40 kinds of corn to perfect them.

guaca-guaca-guaca, mole mole mole. A dip! A dip, dip!

guaca-guaca-guaca, mole mole mole. A dip! A dip, dip!

We also ordered the queso fundido ($9), which is the opposite of the kind of queso that immediately springs to mind (thanks, Moe’s. You’ve ruined me forever). It’s thick and melty and made with smokey roasted poblano, spicy chorizo and meant to be eaten with soft corn tortillas, rather than crispy chips. It was delicious and I think we polished it off mere minutes after it was brought to our table.

You can't go wrong with melted cheese, though, really.

You can’t go wrong with melted cheese, though, really.

Because we had trouble deciding which tacos to order (despite there only being 6 varieties on their menu), we decided to each order 2 and share them so we could get an idea of how each one tasted. Lily picked the fried whiting (pickled green tomato tartar, cabbage, red onion, $4) and the pork carnitas taco (confit, jowl, chicharron, salsa verde ,chilmole, $3.5). They were both delicious, fresh, and flavorful, although if I had to pick a favorite of the two, the carnitas would win hands down.

I don't know if I've ever met a taco I didn't like...

I don’t know if I’ve ever met a taco I didn’t like…

Sheena opted for the grilled steak taco (charred onions and peppers, queso fresco, garlic-amarillo, $4), and the tacos al pastor (marinated and grilled pork, pineapple, avocado, $3.5). The tacos al pastor were awesome with the pineapple, giving a tart and savory flavor to the spiced meat. The steak tacos, though, were out of this world. They were so full of flavor and the meat was tender and juicy…

Dat steak though...

Dat steak though…

I got the final two options, the chargrilled chicken taco (mango, cotija, lime pickled red onion, pasilla de Oaxaca, $3) and the green chorizo taco with potatoes and grilled onions ($4). The chicken tacos had a nice smokey taste from the chargrilling and were very good. However, the chorizo tacos made me stop and close my eyes, chewing slowly so as to really savor the flavor. Each of us had the same reaction. If you’re debating, I definitely recommend the green chorizo taco over all the others.

I'm glad I tried the chicken taco first, or else I would've been super disappointed.

I’m glad I tried the chicken taco first, or else I would’ve been super disappointed.

After our taco feast, we were still a little peckish, so we decided to try the Hotdog confit and deli ham torta (avocado, tomato and chipotle mayo, $9.5), because we were way too intrigued to not try a confit hot dog. I’m so glad we did. The sandwich was huge, but it was unlike anything I’ve ever had. It was topped with some kind of shredded greens (cabbage, I think?), which gave an extra hint of freshness to the salty pork.

Do you see how big this sandwich is??

Do you see how big this sandwich is??

Basically, I want to live in this restaurant. The prices were really reasonable for everything and the quality was top-notch. The service was absolutely awesome, some of the best I’ve ever had. I left feeling like I was best friends with our server by the time we left. In fact, let’s just put a little plaque under table 13 that says “Reserved For The Queen.”

Or just add my name to the sign, that works, too.

Or just add my name to the sign, that works, too.

Minero
155 East Bay Street
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 789-2241

Minero on Urbanspoon

 

Quote of the Week 10/8/14

I know we still have like 3 more weeks until Halloween, but I’m going to a big Halloween party this weekend so I’m definitely in that mode. For example, I’ve started craving tiny candy bars for some reason.

“Whoever thought a tiny candy bar should be called fun size was a moron.”
–Glenn Beck

 

Aaaand that's about the only thing we agree on.

Aaaand that’s about the only thing we agree on. Photo via Flickr / Shankbone

Quote of the Week 10/1/14

I feel like I say this at the beginning of every month, but I really can’t believe it’s October already. I’m going to a Halloween party next weekend. It can’t already be Halloween time already, can it? Can someone please take 2014 off of fast forward mode?

“October, baptize me with leaves! Swaddle me in corduroy and nurse me with split pea soup. October, tuck tiny candy bars in my pockets and carve my smile into a thousand pumpkins. O autumn! O teakettle! O grace!”

 

–Rainbow Rowell, Attachments

 

I think she and I could be friends.

I think she and I could be friends.

Twenty Six Divine

One of the best parts of Restaurant week in Charleston is that it always falls on my birthday week, so I end up going out like 4 or 5 times with different friends to celebrate. This year, I had 4 great meals, but my favorite of all the places I tried was Twenty Six Divine! I hadn’t ever even heard of it prior to RW, but I’m officially a fan. Walking up, Sheena and I were delighted by the courtyard, and the interior was small and cozy and felt like we were eating dinner at a friend’s house.

It's like eating dinner in somebody's living room!

Photo Bomb!

When we first sat down, we were greeted by Jennifer Parezo, co-owner & pastry chef (with her husband Enan, who’s the chef). She sat down 2 different kinds of rolls for us to enjoy, and enjoy we did. I loved the hawaiian bread, it tasted similar to the kind you buy in the store, but amplified by about a thousand. So fresh and warm. Mmm… The multigrain roll was also super flavorful and I loved the sunflower seeds on top.

I'll just cancel my entree and eat more bread, please!

I’ll just cancel my entree and eat more bread, please!

For my first course, I went with the Bacon & Avocado Salad (mixed greens, baby tomatoes, goat cheese, avocado, radish, smokey tomato vinaigrette). It was awesome. I love pretty much any salad with bacon or goat cheese in it, and this one had BOTH. The veggies in this salad tasted so fresh, I wonder if they picked them from the garden that morning!

So yummy

I could totally eat this every day.

Sheena got the White Bean Zucchini Cakes, which came with red pepper coulis and more fresh baby tomatoes. They came out looking like mini crab cakes and had similar consistency, but the flavor was totally unique. I wish I could figure out how to make them because they were so simple, but also so full of taste.

And that sauce!

And that sauce! I’m in heaven.

After they cleared out our appetizers, we were each given an amuse bouche of a little cheesy pastry, and it was soooo good. I could’ve eaten a whole basket of those. And they served it on one of those individual soup spoons and it was just too cute.

But 20 in a basket would be even better! #Addicted

But 20 in a basket would be even better! #Addicted

For my entree, I debated furiously between the pork dish and the lamb dish. In the end, my southern side won out and no one was surprised when I ordered the Slow Cooked BBQ Pulled Pork (pork shoulder, collards, petite jalapeno-cheddar corn muffins, smoked gouda mac ‘n cheese). The pulled pork was served wrapped in the collard greens like a paleo burrito, and it was unique and totally delicious. I loved the tanginess of the BBQ sauce paired with the collard greens. And that macaroni…. So good.

And who doesn't love a tower of jalapeno-cheddar corn muffins??

And who doesn’t love a tower of jalapeno-cheddar corn muffins??

Sheena opted to be a little healthier than I, and chose the Cilantro-Lime Seared Mahi Mahi (roasted chayote squash, Carolina gold rice cake, mango buerre blanc). I’m not crazy about fish, but I loved this mahi. It was so full of flavor and was cooked perfectly and cilantro-lime of the fish struck the perfect balance with the mango buerre blanc.

Meals like these make me wish I'd continued on with culinary school.

Meals like these make me wish I’d continued on with culinary school.

For dessert, I was lured into ordering the Chocolate Mousse Cake by the promise of Salted caramel that accompanied the buttermilk chocolate cake and the dark chocolate mousse filling. It was super rich, but super delicious. Everything you want from chocolate cake.

With the added bonus of salted caramel!

With the added bonus of salted caramel!

Sheena, being a pastry chef herself, was ready to judge the crap out of the Mixed Berry Ricotta Tart she ordered for dessert, but ended up singing its praises. The light fluffy vanilla tart was the perfect counterpoint to my rich chocolate cake.

And how cute is that plate?!

And how cute is that plate?!

Once we were stuffed to the point of being uncomfortable, we were given a tiny 2nd dessert of mini apple tartlets which Sheena and I couldn’t stop raving about. She loved that they used nutmeg, rather than cinnamon which gave it a really unique taste and differentiated it from a standard apple pie. I hope these are on the regular menu, because they were so yummy!

And so cute and mini!

And so cute and mini!

I can’t wait to come back and try them out for brunch when I can sit out on this little terrace they have out back. Thanks for the great meal Jenn & Enan!

I can already see myself sitting right there, drinking a cup of coffee, lamenting my hangover.

I can already see myself sitting right there, drinking a cup of coffee, lamenting my hangover.

Twenty Six Divine
682 King St
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 297-8118
Twenty Six Divine on Urbanspoon

Quote of the Week 9/24/14

Yesterday was the first day of fall and today is the birthday of one of my very bestest friends, Christina-lina! Hope you have a wonderful day everybody, if you need me, I’ll be at Starbucks drinking a Pumpkin Spice Latte.

“Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year. The morning of the first September was crisp and golden as an apple.”
–J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/File:Pumpkin_hp3.jpeg

Photo Credit: Harry Potter Wiki

Tupelo Honey Cafe, Greenville, SC

Once upon a time, Lauren and I were looking for a good brunch place in Greenville. My mom did a quick Google search and suggested Tupelo Honey. From the moment we walked in, I could tell I was going to like this place. The atmosphere was fun, colorful, and inviting, and it smelled absolutely amazing. I now make it a point to go to Tupelo every time I’m in Greenville, and sometimes Lauren even drives up from Augusta because it’s that good, and Shay always makes time to meet us there, no matter how busy she is.

And we always have this amount of joy, even if we've had to wait an hour for a table.

And we always have this amount of joy, even if we’ve had to wait an hour for a table.

Once you order, they bring you a plate of these huge, warm housemade biscuits that are served with housemade blueberry preserves, which are out of this world, and some honey (which I assume is the tupelo variety). Also the biscuits are huge. And flaky. And warm.

Are you drooling yet?

Are you drooling yet?

My favorite appetizer is the “Southern Popcorn,” or as you might know it better, fried okra ($7.95). It’s well worth the price, as they give you approximately 4,000 pieces of okra. It’s perfectly fried and only has a little bit of the “slimy-ness” that people associate with okra, which I personally think is delicious. They serve it with “Carolina white sauce” which pairs perfectly.

Give me ALL THE OKRA

Give me ALL THE OKRA

On the past couple of trips, we’ve also gotten the fried green tomatoes ($7.95), because Shay has suddenly found a deep affinity for them. They’re breaded in cornmeal and served over their delicious goat cheese grits and sprinkled with fresh basil. They’re also so freaking tasty.

Seriously. Why is there not a Tupelo in Charleston?!

Seriously. Why is there not a Tupelo in Charleston?!

Lauren always gets the Venerated Veggie Bowl (Our Goat Cheese Grits, topped with salsa verde black-eyed peas, savory sautéed greens and crispy fried okra. Served with Sunshot Salsa, $12.95). I’m pretty sure she dreams about those goat cheese grits sometimes. All the flavors mesh really well together and there’s a great harmony of texture in the bowl. Plus it has “veggie” in the title, so it tricks you into thinking it’s healthy.

It's not. But it is delicious.

It’s not. But it is delicious.

I try to get something different every time, although it’s hard because I definitely have a favorite. The Southern Fried Chicken BLT (Crispy-fried, natural, hormone-free chicken
breast, maple peppered bacon, dijonnaise, fresh lettuce & tomato on an artisanal bun, $10.95) is out of this world. It’s HUGE and bursting with flavor. So yummy.

Served here with the salsa verde black eyed peas

Served here with the salsa verde black eyed peas

Shay recently got the In Praise Of BBQ plate (8 ounces of slow-cooked, hand-pulled pork ‘cue tossed with smoked jalapeno barbecue sauce. Served with fried okra and New South sautéed greens, $13.95). I’m usually hesitant to order BBQ from a non-BBQ restaurant, but Tupelo’s version is delicious. It’s tangy and has a little kick to it which sets it apart from most southern BBQ offerings.

You definitely won't leave hungry.

You definitely won’t leave hungry.

Their sides are all delicious and reasonably priced at $3.75 each. They also have a veggie plate option, where you can choose 3 for $10.95 or 4 for $12.95 and build your own meal. All 13 sides that they feature are awesome–I’ve never been disappointed by any of them so far. I’m especially fond of the mac and cheese (obviously), the salsa verde black eyed peas, and the cheesy smashed cauliflower.

Harry opted for the smashed cauliflower, brussels, and mac & cheese. Pretty good choice, if you ask me!

Harry opted for the smashed cauliflower, brussels, and mac & cheese. Pretty good choice, if you ask me!

There are currently 8 locations throughout SC, NC, and TN. I think it’s about time they build one in Charleston. I’m pretty sure I could singlehandedly keep them in business. Plus, they just debuted their new brunch menu!

Waaah, I want to go to there.

Waaah, I want to go to there.

Tupelo Honey Cafe
1 North Main Street
Suite – T
Greenville, SC 29601
864-451-6200

Tupelo Honey Cafe on Urbanspoon

Edmund’s Oast

I’ve been to Edmund’s Oast a couple of times. First for brunch, and then for dinner. For brunch, I went with Lily, on a lazy Sunday morning after a night of drinking and debauchery. When we walked in, I was struck by how massive the beer list is. It’s not even a list, it’s a whole wall.

I'll have one of everything!

I’ll have one of everything!

I also really liked the design of the menu. Simple yet sophisticated.

So many words!

So many words!

We started with an order of the cornbread (served with honey butter, $4) which is absolutely mindblowing. I think it might be the best cornbread I’ve ever had. And that honey butter. OMG. I can’t even explain it, you’ll just have to try it for yourself. Somehow, we hit the jackpot, and they accidentally sent out a second cornbread, which Lily and I devoured before they’d realized their mistake.

Seriously. Is this made out of angels?

Seriously. Is this made out of angels?

They change their menus weekly, so I don’t know exactly what I ordered, but it was delicious. I ordered a dish that was a play on biscuits and gravy. It was potatoes confit with jerky gravy, cornbread (more cornbread!) and sunnyside eggs. Now, I don’t love eggs, and I can really only eat them scrambled (it’s a texture thing). It was so freaking good.

You had me at "

You had me at “Potatoes.”

Lily had braised pancetta with polenta, slow poached far eggs & smokey greens. That braised pancetta was unreal. Lily fought my fork away when I tried to steal a taste off of her plate, but I managed to sneak some away when she succumbed to the bliss of her breakfast and closed her eyes for a second.

With a side of sunburn.

With a side of sunburn.

We also split a side of bacon, because we’re lardos. It turned out to be a good decision, because it was awesome. Plus they smoke all of the meat in house, so it would’ve been wrong to not try the bacon. Right?

Right?!

Right?!

Here’s where they age / smoke all of the meat. It’s cool how much it adds to the ambiance while still being functional. I love this place!

Can I come back here every weekend??

Can I come back here every weekend??

The second time I visited was with my mom for dinner, and we went all out (as one usually does when Tina’s involved). Since it was after 5, and they had such a nice selection of specialty cocktails, Tina decided to try a Red Wedding cocktail (Elijah Craig 12 year, amaro averna, orange peel, hibiscus thyme sweet tea ice cubes, $12), which seemed appropriate because we were going to be watching Game of Thrones later that night. She loved this cocktail, and despite it being kind of pricey, ordered a second one. She loved that the flavor of the drink changed as the ice cubes melted, and she said it tasted unlike anything she’d had before.

I mean, how could you not??

I mean, how could you not??

When you first walk into EO, one of the first things you notice is the massive beer wall, 48 taps chock full of local and not-so-local ales that you can try. One of the beers they brew in house, the PB&J beer had always intrigued me, so I decided to give it a try. OMG. It is so good. It sounds like it might taste overly sweet or overpowering, but it’s anything but. You get a slight sweetness when you first sip, and a hint of peanut butter after you swallow. I’m a fan.

Even though they apparently don't have it anymore. Sadness.

Even though they apparently don’t have it anymore. Sadness.

To start, we got the “Gin Joint” style Jerky (1.50), which was cut thin, appropriately tough, and super flavorful. It had a very “real” taste. Nothing artificial here. Slightly firm, but also crisp that made is seem homemade and like a lot of work was put into it.

Even if it was a little more on the "well done" side.

Even if it was a little more on the “well done” side.

At the waitress’s recommendation, we also ordered the braised lamb meatballs(apricots, argus cider, mint, $12) as an appetizer. Although this was probably my least favorite dish of the meal, it was still very flavorful and yummy. I really liked the salty-sweet aspect that the apricot added, and I liked that they were kind of spongy, but not frozen tasting.

I do love me some lamb!

Like if Swedish meatballs were made of lamb and tasted nothing like Swedish meatballs.

I ordered the chicken gizzard and duck heart tagliatelle because I was feeling adventurous after the amazing bone marrow pasta I had in NYC, and was not disappointed. Tina was really grossed out by the idea of the dish, but was absolutely astounded by how good it tasted. I would probably order this every time I go back. The noodles tasted homemade and were the perfect vehicle for the sauce. So yummy.

I think the only part of a duck I haven't eaten now is the feet.

I think the only part of a duck I haven’t eaten now is the feet.

Tina got the Chicken and rice porridge which was so delicious. She’s always really nervous about getting chicken soups because she considers hers to be the end-all-be-all. She just kept saying “Oh my god, this is so yummmeh,” every time she ate a spoonful. So I’d say that’s a hit.

And this one was juuuuust right!

And this one was juuuuust right!

For dessert, we couldn’t resist the call of the fudgy brownie with graham crackers and meringue. This dessert is possibly heaven on earth. If heaven had a flavor this is what it would be. I don’t even think I can accurately describe it here, so just go order it and be astounded. Like. It’s SO GOOD. I can’t get over it.

I don't think I'll ever have a brownie this good ever again.

I don’t think I’ll ever have a brownie this good ever again.

The waitress recommended the dessert cocktail, which we were a little skeptical of since it had egg in it, but we decided to go for it to try something new. Not my favorite.

Can't win 'em all!

Can’t win ‘em all!

Tina also ordered the cookie sandwich (because, why not?) and it was delicious and simple. I want to start making this at home.

I love cookies and sandwiches, so this is the best of both worlds.

I love cookies and sandwiches, so this is the best of both worlds.

We ordered the strawberry cake as well, and it came to the table after the chocolate thing. I think we would’ve loved it a lot more if we’d eaten it before the chocolate orgasm dish, but after that brownie, all other desserts pale in comparison. I think if you’re less of a chocolate person, you’d much prefer this strawberry cake, which was tangy and fruity and not so sweet, but somehow that was ok.

And plus, look at how pretty it is!

And plus, look at how pretty it is!

I’d have to say that this was an outstanding meal, and I can’t wait to go back again. Plus, the atmosphere is something else. I absolutely love it here.

Plus, those lights!

It’s like modern medieval. 

Edmund’s Oast
1081 Morrison Dr
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 727-1145

Edmund's Oast on Urbanspoon

Quote of the Week 8/4/14

I’ve been (unsuccessfully) trying to eat fewer carbs lately, which has ended up making me crave bread and pasta even more. It’s a vicious cycle.

“Plain fresh bread, its crust shatteringly crisp. Sweet cold butter. There is magic in the way they come together in your mouth to make a single perfect bite.”
–Ruth Reichl

ruth-reichl-bread-quote

Great. Now I’m craving a milkshake, too.

Charleston Culinary Tours

*Note: I was given free tickets to a Charleston Culinary Tour in exchange for my review. This does not impact my review of them at all*

A few weeks back, I was invited to join a Charleston Culinary Tour of my choice. Since I knew Lauren was coming to visit me at the end of July, I thought that would be the perfect opportunity to do something new and different. The tours offered on Saturday are the Chef’s Showcase At The Farmers Market, Mixology, and Upper King Street. For whatever reason, the Upper King Street tour wasn’t available for the date we wanted to go (as is my life), so we decided on the Farmers Market tour.

We met our tour leader, Glenn (who is also one of the owners of the company), bright and early Saturday morning (9:30am) over by the Visitor’s Center, and he introduced us to Chef Garrett Priester of Southend Brewery, who would be our chef on the tour. Unlike the other tours they do, this one is much more interactive, as we get to pick out all of the ingredients ourselves and the chef essentially has to come up with a meal based on the ingredients we chose.  Chef Garrett was very friendly and genuine and seemed really excited about basically being our Iron Chef for the day.

Chef Garrett in his natural habitat.

Chef Garrett in his natural habitat. Photo via Charleston Culinary Tours

Our first stop at the Farmers Market was to visit the shrimp man, who picked out some fresh-caught shrimp that the chef was going to cook with. Lauren doesn’t really eat shrimp and mentioned it to Chef Garrett who said he’d be happy to leave the shrimp out of her dish, which was very accommodating.

He was very informative about shrimp!

He was very informative about shrimp!

We were then led over to the tent of a local farm in the area whose name escapes me (whoops!). Our group had only 7 people in it, but somehow we still managed to pick out pretty much every single vegetable they had available, including heirloom tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, boiled peanuts, okra, collard greens, corn, watermelon, cantaloupe and so much more!

So many veggies!

So many veggies!

After veggies, it was time to visit Mike the Cheese Man, who had these cute little snacks ready for us to sample. Some fresh mozzarella bruschetta, and some spiced brie on strawberries. We also sampled a couple of his cheeses plain (chocolate washed cheese anyone??) before we decided as a group on the Chardonnay washed brie, which was super tasty.

I can never say "no" to cheese.

I can never say “no” to cheese.

After we picked out the cheese, Chef Garrett went off to round up another protein and we were given 25 minutes to wander the market and do whatever we want. Lauren and I grabbed a delicious iced latte from a local coffee stand and stopped to watch a group of talented street performers do acrobatics that would likely kill me if I attempted any of them.

We met back up with Glenn who led us on a leisurely stroll from the Farmers Market to Southend Brewery, stopping at numerous points to tell us about restaurants we should try (Burwell’s, Amen St.) and those we should avoid (Hymans.. but, I mean, duh).

Our fearless leader!

Our fearless leader!

We finally arrived at Southend Brewery and were seated family-style at a private table on the second floor for the beginnings of our 5-course feast. The first thing Chef brought out was a pitcher of watermelon mojitos, which were absolutely delish. I loved how fresh it tasted and I never would’ve thought to make something like that.

But you can bet I will now!

But you can bet I will now!

Our first course was an heirloom tomato caprese salad with fresh mozzarella and sweet balsamic reduction. Chef also made an olive oil, herb, and truffle dressing to go on it which was the perfect complement.

I'm obsessed with heirloom tomatoes, though.

I’m obsessed with heirloom tomatoes. I don’t even care if that makes me sound pretentious, HARRY.

Perhaps the most unique and inventive dish we sampled was the second course, prosciutto-wrapped cantaloupe with peaches, crispy prosciutto, and sweet balsamic reduction. I don’t even have words to describe how good this was-sweet, salty, savory, and fruity all at the same time. Bravo!

SO yummy!

I’m going to start wrapping all of my fruit in prosciutto!

Our 3rd course was a shrimp and veggie succotash served over Carolina Gold rice, and topped with some of those freshly caught shrimp, cooked perfectly. True to his word, Chef made Lauren her own little pot of veggie succotash sans shrimp. It was so delicious; hearty like a stew, but not so filling that we wouldn’t still be hungry for the courses that follow. This is definitely a recipe I’d like to have at home.

Sufferin' Succotash!

Sufferin’ Succotash!

By the time course 4 came around, I was starting to hit a wall. Lauren looked at me with eyes that said “please don’t make me eat anymore,” BUT I HAVE NO MERCY. For our penultimate course, Chef prepared a Farmers Market hash using some breakfast sausage he picked up at the market and the remainder of the vegetables we picked out, including boiled peanuts, sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, okra, and onions. He topped the hash with a mustard aioli, some of the chardonnay-washed cheese we picked out, and paired the whole thing with a fried egg for a perfectly balanced brunch meal. The hash was absolutely delicious. The mustard aioli paired perfectly with the sausage and everything was so flavorful and fresh that it’s a wonder people don’t cook like this all the time.

Like, so good.

Like, so good.

Before the dessert came out, Chef brought us around another piece of the fresh cheese we’d picked out (I forget which one this was), served on a cracker with an okra chip and a raspberry jam that was pretty delicious. I’d like to make these for a cocktail party.

You know, when I start hosting cocktail parties.

You know, when I start hosting cocktail parties.

The dessert course was a peach and fresh berry cobbler topped with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. It was served in these adorable little individual ramekins and were still warm out of the oven. It was absolutely heavenly. Even though I felt like I couldn’t possibly eat anymore, I still couldn’t put my spoon down to stop eating until it was gone.

I mean, how delicious does that look?!

I mean, how delicious does that look?!

Sitting family-style afforded us a great opportunity to talk with the other people on the tour during and between courses. The couple who sat next to us from the Atlanta area were super friendly and asked a number of questions about restaurant recommendations, and I’m curious to know where they ended up going the rest of the trip. The other three people on the tour were friends from Miami and were full of fun information and we all got along really well. After the meal, we gave Chef a hearty round of applause for a meal well done!

I don't even know what I'm doing with my arm there.

I don’t even know what I’m doing with my arm there.

It was a great experience and I highly recommend it, whether you’re a Charleston local or visiting from out of town!

Charleston-Culinary-Tour
Charleston Culinary Tours
843-259-2966

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