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Charleston, SC Restaurant Reviews

Craftsmen Kitchen & Tap House

June 28, 2013

Last Wednesday, after a hilarious night of improv at Theater 99, we were struck by hunger pangs and looking for somewhere to eat. I consulted my handy dandy Yelp app to find a restaurant in Charleston that was still serving food at 10:30, and we were lucky enough to stumble upon Craftsmen Kitchen & Tap House. Located on Cumberland Street in the old Johnson’s Bar spot, Craftsmen is a cool space featuring 2 bars and an outdoor beer garden area.


No, not that kind of beer garden. [Photo: Tilly's Nest]

No, not that kind of beer garden. [Photo: Tilly’s Nest]

I started off with a beer from Frothy Beard, one of Charleston’s newest breweries. The  Photuris Pale Ale (apparently a photuris is a lightning bug. Who knew?) was good, but I think they still have some work to go on getting their technique right. Or maybe I just don’t like pale ales. I would like to try their Peppermint Porter (which hopefully I will be able to do this weekend at the brewery!) But, I digress. The beer menu is pretty cool, featuring 48 drafts on tap, which they rotate out regularly. I’d like to stop by during the day to take advantage of the outdoor space. The interior bars are also really well designed and have a very comfortable feel to them. Here are a couple of pictures of the two bar areas:

2 Bars, One cup

2 Bars, One cup [Photo: Eater]

The menu is divided into 2 parts. One one side, you have their “Bar Classics” which are available daily. On the other side, you have their “Daily Features,” which change out daily depending what they have in the kitchen. Laura and I both ordered the BBQ Pork sandwich (pulled pork, cole slaw, fried pickles on a sesame seed bun) from their daily features menu. It was delish. The bun was toasted ever so slightly and the fried pickles had just the lightest coating of batter and were delicious with the coleslaw. The sandwich was served with their “fries” which were more like fat potato chips.

I'm so glad I live in the south so I have access to good BBQ.

I’m so glad I live in the south so I have access to good BBQ.

John ordered the Delta Catfish and Chips with Comeback sauce ($10) from the Bar Classics menu. He said it was delicious with a “good fry on it, nice sized chunk of fish, and good catfishy flavor.” I love catfish, and just looking at it from across the table, I could tell it was delicious.

It kind of still looks like a fish. Like it's swimming across John's plate.

It kind of still looks like a fish. Like it’s swimming across John’s plate.

Ben ordered the Farmhouse Burger (beef, pork, idazabal, beer pickles, and bibb lettuce) from the Bar Classics menu. I took a bite of it, and let me tell you, it was outstanding. Not as good as a Husk burger, but still pretty darn good. The combination of beef and pork was very interesting and gave it an extra layer of depth. The idazabal cheese was good too, and added an almost smokey flavor to it. Really, really good.

You can't really see the meat because of the lettuce, but trust me, it's there (and it's delicious).

You can’t really see the meat because of the lettuce, but trust me, it’s there (and it’s delicious).

I’ve had like 4 people tell me that I should get the Crunchy Dame (BBQ Pork belly, butterkase, cherry jam, sunny egg, $9) from the Bar Classics menu. Apparently it’s “unreal” and it “may have brought tears to my eyes,” so when I go back I’ll have to give that a try.  All in all, I was very impressed and definitely recommend you try this place out.

I mean, the space is so freaking cool.

I mean, the space is so freaking cool.

Craftsmen Kitchen & Tap House
12 Cumberland St
Charleston, SC 29401
(843) 577-9699
Craftsmen Kitchen and Tap House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Charleston, SC Restaurant Reviews

Crave Kitchen & Cocktails

March 29, 2013

The first time I visited Crave was June of 2011 with my mom for Sean’s birthday (and because I had a Groupon). I remember it was really delicious, so I don’t really know why it took me so long to go back again. Probably because it’s all the way out by the Isle of Palms connector and I rarely venture out in that direction if I can avoid it. Both Crave and its executive chef, Landen Ganstrom follow me on twitter, and tweet at me pretty much anytime I post anything food related, (ie “Looking for somewhere to eat lunch in Charleston,” etc) with suggestions, which can be really helpful.

Plus, those are some excellent suggestions.

Plus, those are some excellent suggestions.

After I saw that Crave won “Most Life-Changing Mac and Cheese in America” from Esquire Magazine, you can bet they shot to the top of my list of restaurants to try. I had their mac and cheese at the Mac Off in October where they won People’s Choice Best Macaroni and Cheese (Ben didn’t because he was “so full of macaroni I never want to see another bowl of mac and cheese as long as I live”), and it definitely stood out from the crowd. So I dragged Becca out there last Saturday for lunch to try it for ourselves. I started with the Macaroni and Cheese, which I reluctantly shared with Becca, and I have to say, it was pretty damn delicious. It reminded me of that Mitch Hedburg joke “Fettucini alfredo is macaroni and cheese for adults,” because it had a similar flavor. I was almost tempted to cancel my entree and just get another order of the macaroni, but I had just enough self-control to resist.

Creamy, cheddary, deliciousness.

Creamy, cheddary, deliciousness.

Becca got the Greek dip to start (Creamy garlic hummus and Mediterranean olive tapenade, served with flat bread and mixed greens topped with cucumbers, tomatoes, olives and feta cheese), which I gladly shared with her. We were surprised at how good the hummus was. For some reason, I was expecting it to be really generic tasting, but it was actually really yummy. I don’t do olives, but Becca said she loved the olive tapenade.

Gosh, I love hummus.

Gosh, I love hummus.

For my entree, I went with the turkey club (oven-Roasted half pound turkey club served with toasted ciabatta bread, apple wood smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato and cajun remoulade), which was outstanding. You could really tell that the turkey was fresh and not lunchmeat out of a package. It was thick and flavorful and so good. I also love that the bacon was nice and crispy. I hate when restaurants serve chewy, rubbery bacon. This was perfect. And the cajun remoulade was the perfect condiment. The sandwich just went together really well. I got a side salad to accompany my club (to try and cancel out some of the damage I did with the Mac), with the lemon vinaigrette which was good also. It had olives, feta cheese, and cucumbers on it, and it was really good for a side salad, but I wouldn’t say that it blew me away at all. Then again, it’s really difficult to get me excited about a salad, no matter how good it is.

I wish they delivered downtown. I'd eat that sandwich every day.

I wish they delivered downtown. I’d eat that sandwich every day.

Becca got the “Wedge salad” (local Butter lettuce with Humbolt Fog Blue Cheese, Duroch pork lardons, crisp fresh red onions, apples and a cracked black pepper and dill dressing), which more accurately should be called a “butter lettuce salad with a wedge of bleu cheese.” She liked it, but was a little disappointed that it wasn’t actually a wedge of lettuce.

I, however, think all "wedge salads" should actually be a wedge of cheese and a side of lettuce.

I, however, think all “wedge salads” should actually be a wedge of cheese and a side of lettuce.

For dessert, I was really excited to try the Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake that they tweeted me about a couple weeks ago when I was looking for a dessert place in Charleston. It’s a “rich Gluten-free chocolate cake with salted homemade caramel butter crème and sea salt chocolate frosting topped with caramel drizzle.” It was, in the words of my mother, “The Bomb.” It was so yummy. I don’t think I would’ve known it was gluten-free if they hadn’t specified it on the menu. I loved that it was sweet without making me feel like I had diabetes by the second bite (I’m looking at you, Applebee’s). They have a bunch of other desserts that look good, too, like Baked Alaska, Seared Pear, Hot Fudge Snickers, Coconut Cake, and an array of ice cream. I definitely know where to go next time I’m looking for dessert.

Omigosh, it's so good.

Omigosh, it’s so good.

I also see that they have a bunch of options that are gluten-free, paleo, and cross-fit friendly for people like me who are trying (keyword here being TRYING) to eat healthier. Despite the fact that our service wasn’t really that great and I really wish they had a better website, the food more than made up for any issues I may have had.  I highly recommend stopping by Crave whenever you’re out in Mount Pleasant or Isle of Palms.

Now, I'm CRAVING Crave! hyuck hyuck

Now, I’m CRAVING Crave! hyuck hyuck

Crave Kitchen & Cocktails
1968 Riviera Dr
Mt Pleasant, SC 29464
(843) 884-1177

Crave Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Quote of the Week

Quote of the Week 1/28/13

January 28, 2013

Holy crap, January is almost over. 2013 is flying by.

Spent the weekend alone with my cats on the couch catching up on some TV I’m behind on. It was amazing. Ordered take-out from Mellow to avoid having to go to any restaurants by myself, and also to avoid showering. Seriously, best weekend ever. This week’s quote is from Andy Warhol and I think it’s a brilliant idea and why hasn’t this been invented yet?

“I like eating alone. I want to start a chain of restaurants for other people who are like me called ANDYMATS – The Restaurant for the Lonely Person. You get your food and then you take your tray into a booth and watch television.”
Andy Warhol

I just need a few shots of my burger before I eat it...

I just need a few shots of my burger before I eat it…

Quote of the Week

Quote of the Week 7/2/12

July 2, 2012

This weekend, I drove to Atlanta to see Sean and Christine…. you know, because I haven’t done enough traveling this summer. July is going to be a month of sitting on my couch in Charleston. I’m so looking forward to it. This weekend was really fun, although I wasn’t crazy about the drive (5 hours by yourself is a lot). I just need for all of my friends to live closer to me, thankyouverymuch.

I didn’t get to Atlanta til almost 9 Friday night, thanks to crazy traffic and a couple accidents. Sean made tacos for dinner with homemade tortillas, grilled chicken, steak, and chorizo. I wasn’t a huge fan of the chorizo, but everything else was delicious. Christine passed out early so Sean and I watched the season 2 finale of Game of Thrones and he spoiled a bunch of stuff for me since he’s ahead in the books (to be fair, I asked).

On Saturday we went to this cool brewery in Marietta called Red Hare. I liked their beer ok, but it kind of bugged me that you got 6 drink tickets and they only had 4 beers on tap. Plus one of them was an IPA, and I don’t drink IPAs, so that was a bummer. The cool thing was they had this local ice cream shop, High Road Craft Ice Cream & Sorbet come by and serve two of their flavors which are actually made with Red Hare beers, “Watership Brown Butter Caramel” and “Ginger-Lime IPA Sorbet.” The brown butter caramel ice cream was some of the best ice cream I’ve ever eaten. So delicious.

Saturday night, Sean & Christine’s upstairs neighbors threw a party down in the clubhouse area, which was really fun. There was a bunch of Russian food which was cool. I really wanted it to be more delicious than it was. The one thing all the Russian people told me to try was this salad with chunks of ham, eggs, potato, mayonnaise, dill, and currants. Definitely not my favorite. But it was a fun time nonetheless.

On Sunday, we had a Greek feast that Sean prepared. Greek rotisserie chicken, crustless spinach pie, and spanikopita. We then saw Brave with Christine’s mom, which I really liked. I did get about 6 text messages/comments from people being like “I just saw a movie about you!” or “You were really good in that Pixar movie!” haha, I’m a great actress, what can I say.

This week’s quote is in honor of Independence Day. And what’s more patriotic than eating a bunch of meat and then setting off bombs in the sky? I really can’t think of a single thing.

“I usually don’t have a burger, a brat, and a steak…but, it is 4th of July. And I need the energy if I’m gonna start blowin crap up. It’s what the founding fathers would want.”
–Jim Gaffigan

Also, alcohol.

Quote of the Week

Quote of the Week 5/21/12

May 21, 2012

This weekend was awesome. Friday night Blue Ion had a going away party for Katie at HoM (which is pronounced like “home” and not “rhymes with mom” like I originally thought), which was really fun. The burgers were delicious (albeit expensive). I got one called the Godzilla which was a double decker burger with arugula pesto, goat cheese, smoked onion slaw, and fried pickle chips which I paired with one of my favorite local beers, a Holy City Pluff Mud Porter. It was really good (although the burger alone was $9 and it was another $3 if you wanted to add fries…. thankfully Blue Ion paid). We spent a lot of the evening talking about old school Nickelodeon game shows. Pretty much it was the best night ever.

Saturday I spent a good couple of hours spring cleaning my house, and making room in the guest room for my new summer roommate, Johannes. He’s a really awesome German guy who’s allergic to cats (but hopefully he and Fezzik will get along otherwise). Saturday night Shanna and Max came to town for a visit and we had dinner at Moe’s Crosstown, where I got a BLT burger (beef burger with fresh mozzarella cheese, bacon, and a fried green tomato) with hand cut fries. After dinner we walked around downtown for like 3 hours or so. We played at the perpetual motion park, stood on the echo blocks at Waterfront Park, and watched a lady have a meltdown and almost beat her kid to death on the street. It was pretty entertaining. We ended the night with cookies and Louis CK standup. It was awesome.

On Sunday, we decided to ignore the threat of Tropical Storm Alberto hovering off the coast and go to the beach anyway. We spent about an hour and a half at Folly, but eventually the wind, the freezing ocean water, and our growling stomachs got to be too much so we left and got some lunch. We then lounged poolside (mostly hot tub-side) at the pool in my apartment complex before they showered and left to go back to Greenville. Then Johannes moved all of his stuff in and I watched Game of Thrones and Mad Men before going to bed.

This week’s food quote is from one of my favorite comedians from old school Whose Line Is It Anyway in honor of Shanna coming to visit. It’s goofy and random and crazy and is pretty reflective of our friendship as a whole.

“Never interrupt me when I’m eating a banana.”
–Ryan Stiles

I find this attire……appeeling.

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