Well, it’s tax day! Be sure to take advantage of all those Tax Day Freebies while you can (I know I will).
This quote has basically been my mantra since I submitted my taxes (and every time I see my take home pay).
“When a man’s stomach is full, it makes no difference whether he is rich or poor”
Here’s hoping none of you get audited!
Brunch lovers rejoice! Charleston institution Poogan’s Porch will be offering their brunch menu for a full two weeks in April. It will be available Monday through Sunday, April 8-23.
Regular brunch hours will still apply for the weekends (Saturday and Sunday, 9AM to 2:30PM) while Monday through Friday, the brunch menu will be available from 10:30AM to 2:30PM during that two week period.
Happy April, friends and followers! Can you believe we’re already a quarter of the way through 2017? Because I truly don’t know where the past few weeks went. But, I digress! The reason we’re here is to celebrate the kickoff of Eat Local Month! Every April, Lowcountry Local First invites everyone to focus their attention on local growers, fishermen and restaurants and inviting our community to actively engage in eating what’s ripe and in season.
To participate in Eat Local Month, all you have to do is shift $10 (or more) of your weekly food spending towards supporting the local food system. Easy peasy. Sign up for the challenge here and LLF will give you all kinds of helpful tips and tricks. You can also check back on my blog on the reg, as I’ll be giving you fun updates, recipes, and reviewing restaurants who focus on local food, to help make your challenge even easier to complete!
My Favorite Places to Buy Local Food
- Blackbird Market
Awesome for local veggies, meats, take-and-bake desserts (and to-die-for tomato pie), fresh baked bread, locally-made food products, and takeaway hot lunch and dinner items.
- Farmers Markets
Johns Island, Downtown, West Ashley, Mount Pleasant
Chock full of local farmers and artisans, food stands, and more. A great place to buy local produce and even hear great local musicians!
- Veggie Bin
Awesome local produce, coffee, kombucha, eggs, and more. And at amazing prices!
- Stono Market
Stono Market has a great selection of fresh produce, and a huge supply of take-and-bake food options. Plus, the Tomato Shed Cafe is amazing for good ole-fashioned southern cooking!
- Roadside Produce Stands
Throughout town on the side of the road, you’ll find purveyors selling (relatively) locally grown produce, and for the most part, it’s all pretty great. I got some of the best collard greens ever from a lady selling them out of the back of a rusted pickup truck.
- Geechie Boy Mill
Yellow grits. Red grits. Blue grits. White grits. Red Peas, Farro. I could keep going, but it’s all produced and sold at the little wooden shack on Edisto. They also have apparel, donuts, coffee, and a lot of locally-made food products.
- George and Pink’s
Yes, the floor is made of dirt, but it’s been there forever, and they have great local produce. You can tell that you’re truly supporting people in this community when you shop here.
- Harris Teeter
Harris Teeter does a great job of featuring local produce and locally-made artisanal products.
You can also read my Eat Local posts from previous years, local recipes, and more local recipes by perusing my blog! Be sure to check back every week for new tips on eating locally!
Wow, who can believe it’s April already? I just got back from my Chinaventure and I can’t wait to share my experience (and all my food pictures) with you guys! I already put a couple on Instagram, but I have about 1,000 more (and those only barely an exaggeration).
One thing I missed while I was in China was steak. So, in honor of that, I thought I’d share this quote with you!
“I think steak is the ultimate comfort food, and if you’re going out for one, that isn’t the time to scrimp on calories or quality.”
Then again, I rarely scrimp on calories.
Construction is underway for Félix, a new Parisian inspired cocktail bar serving small plates, coming to upper King Street this summer.
Longtime restaurateur Félix Landrum has a profound passion for hospitality:
“I believe dining and drinking are experiences that should be cherished and enjoyed,” he said. “My family and I look forward to the opportunity to be part of the Charleston community.”
Félix is working in collaboration with Nathan Thurston of Thurston Southern. For a peek at what’s to come at 550 King Street, visit www.felixchs.com.
Think you’ve got what it takes to be the next great mixologist? Time to prove it! Entries are now being accepted for the USBG “Make It Exotico” Cocktail Competition. Mixologists from across the U.S. are invited to submit their best cocktail recipe using Exotico Blanco or Reposado Tequila as the base spirit for a chance to win a trip to Tales of the Cocktail 2017 in New Orleans and the Grand Prize, an all-expense paid trip to Jalisco, Mexico, to visit Exotico Tequila’s distillery, Destiladora González y González, and its agave fields.
Online applications are now being accepted for semifinal event consideration. Entrants can submit their Exotico Tequila cocktail recipes until April 7, 2017. Semifinalists will be contacted between April 10-21. Click to read full competition rules and regulations.
- Nashville, TN: April 18
- Philadelphia, PA: May 9
- Denver, CO: May 16
- Portland, OR: June 6
- Seattle, WA: June 13
- Charleston, SC: June 27
- Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, LA: July 19
True Charlestonians look forward to Soft Shell Crab season the way 6 year olds look forward to Christmas morning: impatiently and with a childish fervor. So everyone can take a breath, because it’s here!
But I’ll pretty much eat anything with bacon on it.
While supplies last, you can find softie specials all around the Holy City at these fine establishments:
Soft Shell Crab BLT with jalapeños, creole remoulade, truffle fries, served on a Kaiser bun
Soft Shell Crab Tacos with citrus slaw, pico de gallo and avocado lime crema
Nashville Hot Softshell Crab
- Surf & Turf Soft Shell Crab with 4 oz. prime filet mignon, grilled soft shell crab, baked potato, roasted red pepper, asparagus tips, caramelized Carolina spring onions and wild mushrooms.
- Marinated Grilled Soft Shell Crab with black garlic butter, house-made challah bread, sofrito Dijon, pickled carrot and pear slaw, verjus vinegar
Soft Shell Crab Ramen with Asian wheat noodles cooked in a soy-based broth, tempura fried soft shell crab, a sunny-side up egg, matchstick watermelon radish, charred scallions, tobiko wasabi and garnished with microgreens
Fried Soft-Shell Crab Sandwiches: soft-shell crabs fried golden brown and served on a toasted, buttery roll with cole slaw, lettuce, tomato and onion for just $14.99 while supplies last
Tempura Soft Shell Crab Spaghetti with charred artichokes, blood oranges, local cayenne pepper purée, arugula and Meyer lemon
- Soft Shell Crab Omelet with asparagus, hollandaise, chives and espelette
- Soft Shell Crab Po’ Boy with spicy remoulade, lettuce, tomato and pickles
So this week, I’m heading on a very exciting adventure to China to visit my favorite redhead / one of my very best friends in the whole world, Lily! She moved to China in October of 2015, where she’s been ever since teaching English to adorable little Chinese kids. I saw her briefly during this past Thanksgiving when she was back in the US for a visit, but those few hours were not nearly enough time. So I booked a flight, got my Chinese Visa (what a process, y’all), and am leaving tomorrow for one of the greatest adventures of my life!
In honor of that, here’s a quote about food and friendship, my 2 favorite things in life.
“When I eat with my friends, it is a moment of real pleasure, when I really enjoy my life.”
– Monica Bellucci
Limehouse Produce is proud to announce the 2017 winners of their annual citrus celebration:
Prohibition: The Capricorn
Bartender Jim McCourt
- 4 segments Page Mandarin
- 1.5 oz Black Bush Irish whiskey
- Fresh ginger
- .75 oz fresh lemon juice
- .75 oz honey syrup
- Connemara peated Irish whiskey
- Candied ginger garnish
Congress, Scallop Aguachile
Mark Ciaburri, executive chef
- Scallop Aguachile
- page mandarin, lime, serrano broth
- page mandarin supremes
- watermelon radishes
- cilantro oil
The drink will be featured in an upcoming issue of The Local Palate and the dish on the back cover of Charleston City Paper Dirt!
Morgan Creek Grill, a waterfront retreat on Isle of Palms, is pleased to announce that Matthew Lagace has been hired as Executive Chef. A Rhode Island native with more than a dozen years of kitchen leadership, Lagace has introduced a new menu highlighted by inventive seafood preparations and seasonal local produce.
“Since arriving, Executive Chef Lagace has brought new inspiration not just to the kitchen but to the entire grill,” shares Morgan Creek Grill General Manager Kayleigh Lauffer. “With a vibrant mix of casual and fine dining options in Charleston’s ultimate waterfront setting, we look forward to welcoming new and returning guests this spring.”
Originally from Lincoln, Rhode Island, Chef Lagace earned his stripes at The Cambridge School of Culinary Arts in Massachusetts. After working up the ranks to Executive Sous Chef at The Oceanaire Seafood Room in Boston, Chef Lagace brought his passion for sustainable seafood and produce to Charleston in 2016.
Main Dining Room menu staples include:
- Crab & Orzo Stuffed Local Flounder with grilled jumbo asparagus, beurre blanc
- Spanish Farro Bowl with roasted corn, pico de gallo, dried blueberries, hearts of palm and guacamole
- Oysters Rockefeller with Eastern Virginia selects, collard greens, bacon, panko and beurre blanc
- Bacon Mustard Brussels Sprouts with bacon fat and parmesan cheese
- Shrimp Scampi with chorizo, garlic butter and cavatappi
Upper Deck Bar & Grill menu highlights include:
- Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl with ponzu, wakame, sesame and wontons
- New England Style Maine Lobster Roll with bacon, scallion, house dressing
- Black Grouper Fish Tacos with kale, cabbage slaw, pico de gallo, ancho creama
- Buffalo Fried Cauliflower with blue cheese crumbles
Morgan Creek Grill’s menu specials change on a daily basis and revolve around seasonal produce. The restaurant is located on 80 41stAvenue Isle of Palms, S.C. 29451.