“Céad Míle Fáilte!” or “One hundred thousand welcomes!” is what greets you as you enter the door into the unassuming little eatery that is the Bluerose Café. I’d passed this spot about a hundred times before I actually ended up eating there with my family for brunch last Father’s Day. Until I saw the menu, I had no idea that it was an Irish restaurant. Having visited Ireland in the summer of 2010, I was overjoyed when I saw that they had Old Fashioned Irish Breakfast on the menu. I was skeptical, thinking that it wasn’t going to be the same as when I was in Ireland, but really the only thing different was that I was eating in Charleston instead of in Dublin. It was just as delicious as it was when I was in Ireland. From the first bite, I knew this would be one of my new favorite breakfast spots.
I still get the Irish breakfast whenever I go to Bluerose for breakfast (which is more often than is probably healthy). For those of you who may not know, the full Irish breakfast consists of the following: Two eggs, Irish sausage, Rashers (which is pretty much bacon), Black & White pudding (because I don’t want to turn you off of this based on the description, I’ll just say that it’s like sausage. It’s delicious. Don’t Google what it is until after you’ve tried it), early morning potatoes, grilled tomato, and an Irish Scone (they might offer you toast or a biscuit instead, but get the scone. I’m obsessed with Irish scones, they’re so freaking delicious). I usually go with my dad whenever he is in town because he (like me) is obsessed. Last time we went, he ended up ordering the corned beef hash, because that’s pretty much his go-to breakfast order at any restaurant we go to. I think it’s gross, but hey, to each his own.
I only recently went to the Bluerose for dinner. They’re only open for dinner Thursday-Saturday night, so you have to catch them when you can. We went on a Thursday around 7, and it was perfect. It wasn’t too crowded, and we even got a chance to talk to the owner, Denis O’Doherty. He’s pretty great—very funny and personable. He teased me about wearing a jacket in March, since it’s so warm out. When we went for lunch on St. Patrick’s Day, we even had the treat of hearing him sing “O Danny Boy” completely a cappella. It was quite moving. For dinner we started off with an appetizer of the Baked Brie. Usually when I order baked brie, it’s encased in some kind of dough that you have to dig through to get to the cheese. The Bluerose baked brie, however, is baked completely dough free…. Naked, if you will. It’s topped with cranberries and pecans and served with warm crustinis to eat it with. It was sooooo good that we fought over who got the last bite (I won. As usual).
For dinner, I got the Irish Chicken Curry sandwich, with a side of Irish potato cakes and vegetable beef stew with rice. I absolutely loved it. The chicken salad has chopped apples and raisins in it, which gives it a freshness that really complements the curry. The potato cakes are basically like spiced mashed potatoes that are pan-fried, so they’re kind of crispy on the outside. I love them.
The soup was perfect. It was broth based, with chunks of beef and vegetables that went really well with the rice. It would have been the perfect complement to a grilled cheese sandwich, but it also went really well with my chicken curry, too.
The prime rib is sautéed with mushrooms, peppers, and onions, and served with au jus for dipping. Normally I don’t like things with mushrooms in it, but this sandwich was delicious. He got it with a side of potato salad, which he didn’t really love, but still ate. And because I was dining with a friend who had a crazy sweet tooth, we obviously had to get some of the homemade desserts they bake and offer daily. My favorite is the buttermilk pie. I’ve always had a hard time describing the consistency of buttermilk pie (also known as chess pie)…. the closest I can say is that it’s almost a custard, but not quite. So yeah. Hope that cleared it up for you.
Bottom line: Get the irish food and buttermilk pie. Wash it all down with a traditional Irish beer.
652 Saint Andrews Boulevard
Charleston, SC 29407