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Hall’s Chophouse

Weekend Roundup

Weekend Roundup: We Eat All Our Meals In Courses

July 28, 2014

This has been quite an exciting week! On Tuesday I went to Myrtle Beach to visit Christine and her mom on their vacation and ate at a delightful little cafe called Croissants Bistro & Bakery, which was absolutely delicious. We had a watermelon salad, some banging meatloaf, a delicious veggie platter (with homemade falafel israeli couscous), and a triple chocolate torte for dessert. I’d definitely go back again!

Lovely ladies at the beach, looking only slightly rachet!

We’re so cute, we’ll probably break the Internet.

Thursday, I made a delicious dinner using some bleu cheese burger patties from Publix, fresh veggies from my parents’ garden, and buns from Brown’s Court Bakery. It was like having a gourmet meal cook right in my own kitchen! If you haven’t tried the baked goods from Brown’s Court yet, I really don’t know what you’re doing with your life. The double chocolate chip cookie I got for dessert was life changing.

I'm basically a professional chef.

I’m basically a professional chef.

Friday, Lala came to town and we had a quick dinner of Persimmon Cafe before driving over to Mount Pleasant to jump off our meal at Sky Zone. We played 3D Dodgeball (which I was terrible at), jumped into the foam pit (which I was also terrible at getting out of), jump dunked some basketballs, and just generally jumped around. Lauren and I went home and watched some quality ABC family movies on Netflix before passing out around midnight.

Because who can resist the call of Joey Lawrence and Melissa Joan Hart??

Because who can resist the call of Joey Lawrence and Melissa Joan Hart??

Saturday morning, we got up early for the Farmer’s Market Culinary Tour by Culinary Tours of Charleston. We started at the Farmer’s Market and picked out a bunch of veggies and cheeses for Chef Garrett from Southend Brewery to use in preparing a 5-course meal for us. It was a really awesome experience and I’ll be reviewing it in full detail later!

With Chef Garrett of Southend Brewery!

With Chef Garrett of Southend Brewery!

I also took her by the matchstick social office to see where the magic is made. She really enjoyed the lip couch.

After hoooours.

After hoooours.

We also lounged at the pool and tried our hand at a mixology competition in my kitchen between the 2 of us.

Because straws with hipster glasses are all the rage in mixology today.

Because straws with hipster glasses are all the rage in mixology today.

For dinner, La and I went to White Duck Taco on James Island to try some new tacos and continue our drink exploration with some watermelon sangria and white peach sangria. Totally delish!

Tacos on tacos on tacos.

Tacos on tacos on tacos.

Sunday, we had a 3-course brunch at Halls Chophouse, which was spectacular as always. Lauren left shortly afterward and I spent the rest of the afternoon in a food coma watching Arrested Development.

So fancy.

So fancy.

It was a pretty awesome weekend. How was yours?

Weekend Roundup

Weekend Roundup: Charleston Like A Tourist

June 17, 2014

I kicked off this weekend with the Florida Georgia Line and Nelly concert at the Joe in Charleston with Cullen and Taylor, and we had a great time jamming out under the stars.

I'm not even ashamed to say I enjoyed myself.

I’m not even ashamed to say I enjoyed myself.

Friday kicked off Girls Weekend, hosted by my roommate Regina, in which a bunch of her friends and family came down to tour Charleston and experience some of her favorite restaurants and attractions in honor of her 1 year anniversary of moving down here! We started the weekend off with dinner at FIG, which was kind of a disaster, as the manager was very rude to our group and the whole situation was just awkward and uncomfortable. Lily and I finished the evening at Rarebit. I’m obsessed with the macaroni and cheese at Rarebit, and the patty melt is really good as well! You should check it out if you haven’t been.

If mac & cheese was a diet food, I'd be so skinny!

If mac & cheese was a diet food, I’d be so skinny!

Saturday was a jam packed day. We got our nails done at Tips-2-Toes on George St. downtown, Regina’s favorite nail salon (mine is Luxia in West Ashley, in case you were wondering). I picked a white-pink color, which was really pretty.

I'm as surprised as you are that I didn't pink something neon and glittery.

I’m as surprised as you are that I didn’t pick something neon and glittery.

We then drove to North Charleston for lunch at Nigel’s Good Food, a delicious soul food restaurant on Ashley Phosphate. Regina had been a couple of times, but this was my first time. We split an order of the whiskey shrimp, geechie wings, and fried green tomatoes with the table, and everything was delicious. For my entree, I ordered the Lowcountry Ravioli (Grilled Chicken, Bacon, Collards Greens, Black-eye Pea & Corn Relish & Cheese stuffed Ravioli tossed in a Whiskey Cream Sauce, $11.95) and it was super yummy. I’ll definitely be back!

I want to eat all of that food right now.

I want to eat all of that food right now.

After lunch, I joined the girls at Frothy Beard, for a quick brewery tour before we headed back downtown for my first ever Carriage Tour. I was originally dreading it because I hate being the car stuck behind the horse tours downtown, but it ended up being a lot of fun and very educational!

And only about 80% as smelly as I thought it was going to be!

And only about 80% as smelly as I thought it was going to be!

After the tour, we headed to Wadmalaw Island to see the Angel Oak Tree, which was spectacular as always. We also went out to the Firefly Distillery, but arrived too late to do any of the tastings. The man working there was really rude to us when we arrived, telling us “We’re closed. Y’all need to plan better,” even though we got there 10 minutes before they closed, and just wanted to look around for a few minutes. Having worked in customer service for a long time, being rude (even at closing time) isn’t a way to treat your loyal customers.

But the Angel Oak is always polite.

But the Angel Oak is always polite.

Sunday, we had a 4-hour long brunch at Halls Chophouse. It was my first time visiting for brunch, and it was outstanding (as usual). The service we received was top notch and everyone agreed that this was the highlight of their trip. I ordered the chicken-fried bison and waffle sandwich and split some grits with Lily. She ordered the “Lowcountry Biscuits and Gravy” which was less biscuits and gravy, and more biscuits and succotash with fried oysters, but it was delicious either way. It was an amazing meal, but I immediately went into a food coma for the rest of the afternoon.

Halls is so good it shouldn't be legal.

Halls is so good it shouldn’t be legal.

What did you guys think of that Game of Thrones finale?! I can’t believe it’s already over!

Quote of the Week

Quote of the Week 4/30/12

April 30, 2012

Today is a very special day. It is the day that my wonderful, amazing, caring, loving, awesome, hardworking, thoughtful, manly, handsome, smart, rugged, [insert other synonyms for “amazing” here] boyfriend turns another year older. Happy Birthday, Ben!

To celebrate his birthday, we had a culinary feast of a weekend. On Saturday, we journeyed downtown to the Farmer’s Market at Marion Square, and had chicken, bacon, and honey mustard crepes, as well as 5 spiced pork and ginger lemongrass chicken vietnamese street tacos, which we washed down with freshly squeezed lemonade. It was an amazing brunch, and a gorgeous day. It was really fun watching Ben be so excited by his first trip to the Farmer’s Market. And, as a totally unexepected plus, we both found birthday and mother’s day gifts for our respective parents. It was a fun and productive morning.

Saturday night, I treated Ben to dinner at 39 Rue de Jean (review to come), which I had never been to before. It was delicious, and our waiter was really great, serenading us with a verse from 50 Cent’s “In Da Club” as he brought us our desserts. Ben opened his presents from me at the table while we were waiting for our appetizers. I got him 20-sided fuzzy dice for his car (because he’s a nerd), Auburn University-branded golf balls, a mix CD that I made for him by channeling my inner DJ, and, the pièce de résistance, Game of Thrones: The Graphic Novel 1 which he was unbelievably excited about. I’m a really great gift giver (and totally humble, too).

On Sunday, Ben made me french toast for breakfast, which was a surprising treat. I can’t even remember the last time I had french toast. He then took me to dinner at Hall’s Chophouse, which is probably my favorite restaurant in Charleston. It was sinful and delicious, and it makes all other food taste like cardboard. After dinner, we took a romantic stroll through the streets of Charleston, and along the battery, which was adorable and wonderful. We finished up the night by watching the latest episode of Game of Thrones… it was pretty much the perfect way to end a perfect weekend.

Today’s food quote is in honor of Ben’s birthday, and I think it pretty much sums up how a good birthday should be.

“Let us celebrate the occasion with wine and sweet words.”
–Plautus

Is it just me, or does dudeman look exactly like Cary Grant?

Charleston, SC Restaurant Reviews

Halls Chophouse

October 23, 2011

I first learned about Halls Chophouse in my Seminar in Entrepreneurship class where they came to speak to us. I admire that it’s a family run business that is based mainly on quality of service and building and cultivating relationships with their customers. A lot of places talk a lot about customer service, but for many, it’s just that—talk. Halls actually delivers on its promises. They give you great service and great food. Seriously good food. I’ve said before that Husk is my favorite restaurant, but if I’m craving steak, there is not even a competition. Halls would win out every time. Literally the best steak I’ve ever eaten. And this is coming from a girl who doesn’t actually like steak. (Ditto salad. I’ll talk more about the chopped salad later, but trust me—it’s as close to divine as a salad will ever get). I’ve ordered steaks at other restaurants in Charleston before—Peninsula Grill, Husk, Red Drum, 82 Queen, and Grill 225—and there’s no comparison. I haven’t been to Oak yet, and I have a feeling I probably won’t go anytime soon, either. I just can’t imagine they’d be better than Halls.

They’re better than you, Oak, and they know it.

I’ve been to Halls for dinner five times or so. The first time was with my dad and Shay to spend the gift certificate they gave out to my class (that’s good marketing right there. I saved $25 but probably spent 3 times that on the meal for the three of us. And trust me, it was worth every penny). We started off with the she-crab soup which was really good. I hate it when restaurants add too much sherry to their she-crab soup, but Halls does it right. The dominant flavor is the crab, with only a hint of sherry—exactly how a good she-crab soup should be.

Does this qualify as pornography? I hope so.

I then got the Halls Chopped salad, which is Uh- May-Zing. I live for chopped salad. If more restaurants had them, I’d eat salad way more often, and if they all tasted like Halls, I’d actually enjoy eating them. It has lettuce and tomato and celery and black-eyed peas, peppers and bacon and a whole bunch of other stuff in a buttermilk dressing. But it’s perfectly balanced with the dressing. I hate it when my salad is drowning in salad dressing, but the Halls salad is perfect in every sense of the word. I’d say I’d go there just for the salad, but I know there’s no way I’d go there for food and not get a steak.

Touch my salad, and you lose a finger.

Touch my salad, and you lose a finger.

Shay got the filet mignon, while my dad opted for the prime rib. This being my first time at Halls (not realizing how amazing their steaks are), I opted for the lobster. The lobster was about 4 pounds and served with plenty of butter.

As it should be.

As it should be.

 Shay offered me a bite of her filet (which she’d gotten butterflied and cooked to medium well) and as soon as it touched my tongue, I knew I’d ordered the wrong thing. Don’t get me wrong, the lobster is delicious, but it’s nothing compared to the filet. Did I mention it’s the best filet I’ve ever had? Because it’s the best filet I’ve ever had. The prime rib was top notch as well. I’m pretty sure none of us spoke after the entrées had been delivered; we were too busy enjoying the food to carry on a conversation.

I'm gonna eat you, sucka!

I’m gonna eat you, sucka!

They serve their sides family style, meaning that one side serves 2-4 people. They’re pretty big. For sides we got the asparagus with hollandaise and the pepper jack grits. Now, as a southerner, I am particular about my grits. Quaker sells this instant crap that says “Grits” on it, but trust me—those are not grits. Halls serves real grits. Thick and creamy and delicious. Not cheesy enough so that you lose the flavor of the grits themselves, but just cheesy enough to make the dish feel complete. They are all about balance at Halls. It just works perfectly.

How could you not want to eat that whole skillet?

How could you not want to eat that whole skillet?

The second time I went to Halls was for my mom’s birthday. It was my parents and me, and we went all out. We got spicy shrimp and tempura lobster as starters. I didn’t really care for the lobster, but my parents loved it. The spicy shrimp were pretty good, but I was expecting them to be boiled shrimp, like you’d find in a Creole or jambalaya, but they were just fried shrimp tossed in a spicy sauce. They were still good, I’d just had my heart set on non-fried shrimp. I once again got the chopped salad while Tina opted for the roasted beet salad (who orders things like that? Really, Tina? Really?). The chopped salad is better. I almost stabbed Tina for trying to steal a forkful of my salad. I don’t play around. For our entrées, I chose the filet.

Did I mention it’s the best filet I’ve ever had? I did? Ok, well I just want you to understand that it’s THE BEST FILET I’VE EVER HAD.

Did I mention it’s the best filet I’ve ever had? I did? Ok, well I just want you to understand that it’s THE BEST FILET I’VE EVER HAD.

You can get sauces on the side with your steak, like Gorgonzola sauce, or béarnaise, but trust me—you don’t need any sauce. The meat tastes amazing all on its own (that’s what she said!). I can’t remember what Tina and Russ got, because I was too focused on my own food to take the time to care about their choices. All I know is that there was meat, there was a lot of it, and we ate it all. Ron Swanson would be proud.

MEAT TORNADO

For sides this time, we got the asparagus again, and the macaroni and cheese. Macaroni and cheese is one of my weaknesses. It’s the one thing I seem to be unable to resist. It’s my kryptonite. Even when I’m dieting, if there’s mac and cheese within reach, I won’t even hesitate. I just start devouring it without giving myself time to think about it. The mac and cheese at Halls is good. It’s not great, but it’s good. It’s more creamy than cheesy, and I prefer my mac and cheese to be extra cheesy. The waitress was raving about the mac and cheese (she loves it. It’s her favorite), so I guess it’s all a matter of personal preference. I do have to say that I’m a fan of the squiggly noodles. I’d just prefer more cheesy in the saucey pleasey! Next time, I’d just stick with the grits.

Macaroni skillets are what I dream about at night.

Macaroni skillets are what I dream about at night.

You may have noticed that I clarified both of my visits by saying “The first/second time I went for dinner.” This is because Halls has an amazing bar. Rather, they have one drink that I’m obsessed with called the 434 martini. It’s pineapple infused vodka that’s served ice cold and frothy. It’s not overly fruity, but it definitely tastes nothing like alcohol. Except for the fact that it’s straight alcohol. So you don’t realize how much you’ve actually had until you stand up to go to the bathroom after the 5th one and you almost fall on your face (that’s actually a true story about my dad the night I graduated). The first time I had one was at a party hosted at Halls for my entrepreneurship class after our final exam. It was a 2 hour reception with free food and drinks courtesy of Tommy Baker (anytime there are free drinks involved, you can guarantee I’m going to make an appearance). I made Lily come with me and we started drinking martinis, excited for some free Halls food. We found out, about 3 martinis in, that the “free food” was actually a veggie tray. Don’t get me wrong, I love carrot sticks, but if I’d known that’s all the food I was going to be having, I would have eaten something hearty before I starting downing liquor. Needless to say, Lily and I had a great time.

Don't be fooled by how pretty it looks. It's deadly. And delicious

Don’t be fooled by how pretty it looks. It’s deadly. And delicious

I took my mom to Halls for drinks before we went to Pantheon for the drag show, and we sat at one of the community bar tables drinking and hanging out. One of the Hall family members, usually Billy or Tommy, came by a number of times to make sure we had everything we needed and that we were enjoying ourselves (we were). We stayed for about an hour, and we getting ready to head out to go across the street to O-Ku (they make these habanero-infused vodka martinis with sugared rims that my mother is obsessed with) when Tommy Hall stopped us to ask why we were leaving so soon. My mother, being my mother, told him “We’re going over to O-Ku to get sugar and spice martinis. They’re my favorite.” Tommy Hall replied “O-Ku is great, but did you know we actually invented those? Why don’t you have a seat and I’ll bring you one.” So we sat back down and he brought us a round on the house. Tina was skeptical that they would be as good as O-Ku’s, so she was quite surprised to find out that she actually liked these more. Apparently the ones that Halls makes are spicier. I don’t really do spicy. I took one sip and then had to chug a gallon of water to be able to feel my lips again.

It's easy to confuse this with the 434. But, you will know you made a mistake IMMEDIATELY after taking a sip.

It’s easy to confuse this with the 434. But, you will know you made a mistake IMMEDIATELY after taking a sip.

I’ve literally never had a bad experience at Halls. Every time we leave, Billy is there to shake our hands, or give us a hug and thank us for coming. Once he even chased us down the street, to make sure he thanked us properly. The service continues, even when you’re not at the restaurant. They sent my mom a hand-written thank you note, telling her how much they appreciated her coming into the restaurant on her birthday. They even wished me a happy birthday on Facebook, even though I hadn’t been to Halls in over 2 months. They’re all about the relationships that they build with their customers. Pairing their outstanding customer service with their delectable food (did I mention the filet is the best I ever had??) and you have a recipe for an unforgettable night out.

I may have forgotten to mention the tray of meat.

I may have forgotten to mention the tray of meat.

 Summary: Get the steak and the grits. Drink the 434. Tip your server.

halls-chophouse-storefront

Halls Chophouse
434 King Street
Charleston, SC 29403
(843) 727-0090
Halls Chophouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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