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Charleston’s Best Cookbooks: A Foodie Gift Guide

November 22, 2017

Because cookbooks are a girl’s best friend.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are fast approaching and that means everyone has holiday shopping on the brain. I started to think about the gifts I’ve received that I treasure most, and of course my Charleston Receipts and Sean Brock cookbooks were the first things to come to mind. Also, my friends The Cocktail Bandits’ book, Holy Spirits, is available for pre-order as well.

Congrats, bandits! Photo by Basil & Bubbly

In that vein, I put together this list of cookbooks from Charleston locals (or chefs who will be in attendance at Charleston Wine + Food next year) that is sure to delight any foodie in your life!

People & Personalities

Sean Brock – Chef at Husk, McCrady’s, and Minero

From the book jacket: “The recipes include all the comfort food (think food to eat at home) and high-end restaurant food (fancier dishes when there’s more time to cook) for which he has become so well-known. Brock’s interpretation of Southern favorites like Pickled Shrimp, Hoppin’ John, and Chocolate Alabama Stack Cake sit alongside recipes for Crispy Pig Ear Lettuce Wraps, Slow-Cooked Pork Shoulder with Tomato Gravy, and Baked Sea Island Red Peas.”

The Lee Brothers – Local Writers / Business Owners

From the book jacket: “Let James Beard Award–winning authors and hometown heroes Matt Lee and Ted Lee be your culinary ambassadors to Charleston, South Carolina, one of America’s most storied and buzzed-about food destinations.”

Carrie Morey – Chef at Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit

From the book jacket: “Carrie Morey shares her modern approach to traditional Southern cooking in more than one hundred recipes that pair classic Lowcountry fare with surprising twists, for incredible results. Carrie guides you through the foundational techniques of Southern cooking to reveal how she developed her new takes on favorite heritage dishes and how to take the fuss and huge time investment out of traditional preparations.”

Frank Lee – Chef formerly of Slightly North of Broad

From the book jacket: “It is a home, a family, and a heart for thousands that, for more than twenty years, beat to the resounding drum of Chef Frank Lee.
This book does not try to speak to every dish churned out of the S.N.O.B. kitchen over the years. Instead, it presents classic recipes―those “sacred cows” that regulars would not allow off the menu―as well as long-running seasonal plates and many of the sauces, side dishes, and dressings that played foundational roles in the restaurant’s popular Lunch Express and Dailies menus.”

Holly Herrick – Local Author

From the book jacket: “From the best roadside dives to the finest upscale eateries, The Charleston Chef’s Table opens up a new window on the Holy City, which has become a world-class culinary destination in recent years.”

Nathalie Dupree – Local Author

From the book jacket: “Nathalie Dupree was ahead of the curve eight years ago with her classic book Shrimp and Grits. Now this Lowcountry comfort combo is found on restaurant menus all around the country―from top to bottom, coast to coast. All-new photography, new recipes from southern chefs, and a fresh design revamp a southern food cookbook for gift giving or one’s own kitchen library.”

Marvin Woods – Chef formerly of The Gentry Bar & Room

From the book jacket: “But The New Low-Country Cooking is much more than a great cookbook. Woods shares historical tidbits on how dishes and ingredients got their names, where they originated, and the indisputable importance of African-American cooks in Southern life.”

Restaurants & Classics

The Fat Hen – Johns Island, SC

From the book jacket: “Fat Hen is committed to honoring the culinary history of French Lowcountry food through the creation of classic French preparations with the freshest local ingredients and by creating new classics in the spirit of the Huguenots. Examples of French Lowcountry include Duck Confit with Collard Greens and Squash, Flounder Nicoise over Bacon Cheese Grits, and Seared Grouper over Succotash.”

Magnolia’s – Downtown Charleston

From the book jacket: “The soul of the South meets the spark of innovation in dishes such as the Down South Egg Roll stuffed with collard greens, chicken and Tasso ham, served with red pepper puree, spicy mustard sauce and peach chutney and Shellfish over Grits with sauteed shrimp, sea scallops, lobster, creamy white grits, lobster butter sauce and fried spinach.”

**Note: this post includes affiliate links, which means if you buy any of these products, I might make a little money. All thoughts and opinions are my own.**


Cocktails to Sip in Charleston This Summer

July 5, 2017

When it comes to sippin’ cocktails in the summer, some drinks are better than others. We’re looking for bright, refreshing flavors, and fresh, local ingredients.

Here are some of my favorite summer cocktails in Charleston, in alphabetical order:

Bar Mash


Just because we’re not in the Caribbean, doesn’t mean we can’t still enjoy a good tropical cocktail! The Tropiganda is made with Cathead Vodka, passion fruit, lychee, pineapple, and island spice and will have you wishing you were wearing a grass skirt.

82 Queen

Jasmine Martini

Confederate Jasmine might be the unofficially-official flower of Charleston, so it makes sense that 82 Queen’s summer cocktail would be a Jasmine Martini. Featuring Jasmine-infused Dixie Southern Vodka, Sweet Vermouth, house made Honey Syrup, and fresh lemon, this cocktail is best enjoyed on a porch while telling people “bless your heart.”

Blind Tiger Pub

Bloody Mary

The Blind Tiger 2.0’s best summer cocktail is an oldie but a goodie. Featuring local Dixie Black Pepper vodka, and Charleston Bloody Mary Mix (Bold and Spicy) with Pickled Shrimp, pickled okra, olives and cucumber, it’s best enjoyed during brunch.


Blueberry Mint Smash

This cocktail features Reyka Vodka, ginger liqueur, lemon, fresh juiced blueberry and mint – making it the perfect fruity summer cocktail, and even more perfect for sipping on Burwell’s Rooftop Patio.



A scotch drinker is no joke – and neither is the Penicillin at Proof. A modern classic originally created by Sam Ross, you may not need the antibiotic after sipping on Proof’s adaptation of this sweet and citrusy cocktail, but a few too many and might we recommend an Advil? The Penicillin smoothly blends Monkey Shoulder Scotch with honey, ginger, lemon and Islay scotch for a cocktail that means business.


A Place to Call Home

If gin’s your go-to, then you better start calling Scarecrow Hearth & Liquor Bar home. A Place to Call Home features Hendrick’s gin, Lavender Vanilla Syrup and is topped off with sparkling rosé. Rosé all day? Yes way.


SOL Southwest Kitchen

Mezcal Mule

Tequila is SO 2016 – Mezcal is the new, hot Mexican spirit of choice.  SOL Southwest Kitchen puts a twist on a traditional cocktail with their Mezcal Mule. With Montelobos Mezcal, cucumber, fresh squeezed lime and ginger beer, this refreshing drink will cool you down before it heats things up.


Skinny Dip


If you didn’t drink frosé, did summer really happen? Skinny Dip’s frosé, available at Rudi’s Coffee & Vino upstairs, features notes of grapefruit and ginger, and is capped off with a fresh-picked mint leaf. Frosé all day, indeed.

What are your favorite summer cocktails?

Events Guides

Cinco de Mayo 2017 Round Up

May 2, 2017

Everyone’s favorite excuse to drink margaritas and eat guacamole is finally here! We’ve got the scoop on where to go this May 5th.

[This list will be updated as more events are added. Last update 5/3, 2:45 pm]


Downtown Charleston


May 5, 5 – 7 pm

Join 492 on the patio Friday, May 5 during $4.92 Happy Hour from 5-7pm for a FREE tasting of HORNITOS’ Plata, Reposado, Añejo, and Black Barrel Tequilas. Plus, enjoy Ian Miller’s specialty cocktail creations—including the one below made with Hornitos Plata Tequila, cucumber juice, habanera, agave, lime, and butterfly pea flower salt.

Executive Chef Josh Keeler will also be serving up two special dishes as well:

  • Lamb Posole with Geechie Boy Corn, Aji Amarillo Chile, and Heirloom Tomato
  • Ceviche with Nasturtium, Coconut, Green Garlic, and Lime

The Alley

May 5, 11 am – 2 am

What better way to start your weekend off than with some delicious Mexican food & bevvies?

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo in style as we offer up specials all day long including:

  • $2 Tecates
  • $5 Margaritas
  • $5 Orders of Loaded Nachos

Bay St. Biergarten

May 5, 11 am – 11 pm

Take that Taco Tuesday!

Cinco de Mayo at Bay Street Biergarten will be as unforgettable as our other infamous fiestas.

Come for the party and stay for the all day food and drink specials including Pacifico and Modelo on tap, $5 Milagro Margaritas, and delicious Mexican inspired specials like nachos and tacos with our own twist.

Salud or Prost Yall!

The Brick

May 5, 11 am – 2 am

Grab your margarita loving friends and join us for Cinco de Mayo for all day drink specials.

And at 10pm the awesome Dan’s Tramp stamp and the Money bags will be keeping the party going until 1am.

Cocktail Club

May 5, 9 pm – midnight

Celebrate Cinco De Mayo at the Cocktail Club! We will have housemade salsa, drink specials (tepache, palomas, margaritas, etc.) and more!

Cumberland Smokehouse

May 5, 11 am – 2 am

Its time to party the day away celebrating yet another holiday in the Smokehouse style…just like you like it! $3 house tequila shots, $4 house margaritas, $4 Corona and Corona lights, $3 Bud Light drafts and Fat Tire cans, Crazy Yumz Cinco De Mayo food menu, XTRA FUN Happy Hour 4 til 7 pm! Both Bars open and friendliest staff in town! See ya there!

Eclectic Cafe & Vinyl

May 5, 8 – 10 pm

Come join us for a special Cinco De Mayo performance from Delia Chariker, a talented local musician. Will be a night of great beer, great wine, and great Latin Music!


May 5, 7 am – 2 am

Join us for Glazed de Mayo – an entire day of deliciously decadent delights inspired from Mexican favorites. From 7am Friday until 2am Saturday (or until supplies last), you’ll be able to enjoy:

  • Coconut Lime Doughnuts(vegan/gluten free)
  • Sour Cherry Margarita Boozy Doughnut s
  • Pineapple Jalapeño Doughnuts
  • Mexican Chocolate Doughnuts
  • Horchata beverages
  • Flan
  • and of course, Breakfast Tacos!

Juan Luis

May 5, 11 am – 10 pm

Juan Luis, John Lewis’s new Tex Mex outpost in Workshop, hosts its grand opening on Cincode Mayo, offering $0.99 margaritas all day long!

Le Farfalle

May 6 + 7

Le Farfalle hosts “Mike’s Menudo Brunch,” featuring a special Tex-Mex menu inspired by Chef Michael Toscano’s family recipe book. Dishes include breakfast tacos, huevos rancheros, sizzling fajitas, and of course brunch cocktails. Reservations are available on Resy. (menu attached)

Pancito & Lefty

May 5, 3 – 9 pm

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo!

Party starts at 3pm w/ DJ ‘Just Say Joel’. Live music by Emerald Empire Band featuring Mike Quinn at 5pm & Whiskey Diablo at 7pm.

Special Guests in the lot La Morra Pizzeria serving pies, and Chef Alex Lira. Red Rose Vintage is setting up shop too!

Original Margaritas & local beers on tap!

Royal American

May 5, 3 pm – 7:30 pm

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with a fiesta fundraiser at the Royal American! Kevin Wadley, Kdog Production, and the Royal American are hosting a Cinco de Mayo Royale happy hour party from 3-7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 5th. Get down to live music from local band Brianna Y Sus Guardianes Del Norte while enjoying “baller tacos with a Rebel attitude” from Rebel Taqueria food truck.

From tacos and tequila to sombreros and serapes, Cinco de Mayo Royale is nacho average fiesta—it’s more! Admission is only $5 and all proceeds from the event benefit the Charleston Parks Conservancy, a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring the people of Charleston to connect with their parks and together create stunning public places and a strong community. Taco ’bout a party with a purpose! So skip your siesta and come fiesta at Cinco de Mayo Royale.

Special thanks to the event sponsors: BL Harbert International, LLC, The Cassina Group, LLC, and Reavis-Comer Development. Additionally, many thanks to the event hosts: Kevin Wadley, Kdog Production, and the Royal American.

Taco Boy

May 5, 11 am – 11 pm

It’s almost time for our favorite fiesta of the year – Cinco de Mayo!

Grab your amigos, put on your party pantalones, and head to Taco Boy for the party!

James Island

Tap Room 805

May 5, 5 pm – until

Cinco De Mayo party at Taproom with Eddie Saulisbury on guitar! Food and drink specials all day with live music starting at 7pm!

  • $3.50 Corona and Dos Equis
  • $4 house margaritas
  • $5 Jose Cuervo margaritas
  • $6 Espolon margaritas
  • $8 Patron margaritas
  • $12 Grand margaritas
  • $15 Margarita crafts
  • $15 Margarita flights
  • $3 beef or chicken tacos
  • $6 beef or chicken tatchos
  • $5 tots and spicy beer cheese

Mount Pleasant

The Granary

May 5, 5 – 7 pm

In honor of Cinco de Mayo, we are hosting a special Taco Happy Hour at The Granary this Friday, May 5!

Join us from 5 to 7 p.m. for tacos from executive chef Brannon Florie and margaritas from bar manager Roderick Weaver and team. Taco options include:

  • Shrimp – tempura shrimp, Kimchi aioli, daikon, cucumber salad
  • Pork – crispy pork, sweet onions, cilantro, radish, corn tortilla
  • Chicken – guajillo chili braised, crispy potato, green goddess, cilantro
  • Fish- pineapple salsa, chipotle sour cream

We hope to see you there!

Triangle Char & Bar

May 5, 11 am – midnight

Ole! We’re hosting amazing Cinco de Mayo Fiestas at all three locations on Friday, May 5 from open til close! Enjoy $3 Tacos, $3 Margaritas & $3 Landshark Drafts. Hasta luego!

Mex 1 Coastal Cantina

May 5,  5 pm – until

Surfboard raffle and drink specials, live music from Return of the Mac, and Mission Critical.


Triangle Char & Bar

May 5, 11 am – midnight

Ole! We’re hosting amazing Cinco de Mayo Fiestas at all three locations on Friday, May 5 from open til close! Enjoy $3 Tacos, $3 Margaritas & $3 Landshark Drafts. Hasta luego!

West Ashley

3 Matadors

May 5, 11 am – midnight

Our 5th Annual CincoPalooza 2017 will be on a Friday this year. Saturday we will have our Milagro bartender competition for a chance to win $100-200 cash!!!!
Tons of Music, Giveaways & much much more!!!

Craft Conundrum

May 5, 5 pm – 9 pm

Cinco de Mayo falls on a Friday this year – all the more reason to get together and celebrate! We’re celebrating with $3 drafts of LO-Fi BrewingMexican Lager from 5pm to close and our buddies from Rolled Quesadillas will be out front slinging #dillas and nachos from 5-9pm! It doesn’t get better than tasty grub and awesome #local craft beer for $3 a pint! Live music from Eric Vaughn 7-10pm! See y’all then!

Frothy Beard Brewery / Zombie Bob’s Pizza

May 5 11 am – 11 pm

We’re having a Cinco de Mayo fiesta this Friday 5/5 at Frothy 2.0!

Zombie Bob’s Pizza will be serving a limited edition pizza AND we’ll be pouring Andale-ritas until we run out.

Mex 1 Coastal Cantina

May 5,  4 – 11 pm

2 outside bars, Mex 1 taco tent, capoeira dancers & fire hoopers, live music from Batida 55, The Dubplates “Box Full of Steel” record release

$5 suggested donation to Surfrider Charleston Foundation

Ms. Rose’s Fine Food & Cocktails

May 5, 4pm – close

Join at Ms. Rose’s in West Ashley for live music by Fanaticus on the patio during happy hour (5-7 pm).

Shots of Espolón Blanco Tequila, which are always $4 during happy hour, will be $4 all night.

We will also be serving all of the margaritas below for $6 from 4 pm until close.

  • Jalapeño-Pineapple Margarita: Tequila, jalapeño-pineapple pickle juice, orange, lime, sour mix, orange liqueur, salt rim.
  • Cranberry Margarita: Tequila, lime juice, cranberry juice, rosemary simple syrup, and grenadine.
  • White Oak Barrel Margarita, made with Beyond Barrels Bottle Aging Staves. Info:
  • Lavender Margarita.

Triangle Char & Bar

May 5, 11 am – midnight

Ole! We’re hosting amazing Cinco de Mayo Fiestas at all three locations on Friday, May 5 from open til close! Enjoy $3 Tacos, $3 Margaritas & $3 Landshark Drafts. Hasta luego!

Guides Recipes

Winter Cocktail Recipes

December 23, 2016

Now that we’re well into the winter season, there’s nothing like a boozy holiday drink to save the day. Holiday cocktails are the best way to cap off a long day of traveling or holiday clean-up, and basically the only way to get through those family feuds. Of course, like most delicious things in life, it helps to have a little guidance.

Let’s all try to stay sane this Christmas, k?

On Forty-One Gran’ma’s Hot Cocoa – Makes 1 Serving

Chocolate + Alcohol = Happiness

Spiked hot chocolate is the perfect example of an adult take on holiday traditions.  While it would be simple to grab the nearest booze and pour it right into your hot cocoa, you, holiday warrior, are better than that. Leave it to the pros at One Forty-One in Charleston, currently serving up a healthy dose of mint and chocolate like your most trusted neighborhood girl scout. Bitter orange cognac brandy, cool and sweet candied peppermint vodka, and a dollop of whipped cream make Gran’ma’s Hot Cocoa the best hot cocoa around.

  • 1oz Grand Marnier
  • 1 oz Dixie Mint Vodka
  • 2-3 dashes of Fee Brother’s Black Walnut bitters
  • 6 oz hot cocoa
  • mint whipped cream topping
  • garnished with a Vienna finger

Magnolia’s Egg Nog – Makes 12 servings

The only egg nog I’ll drink!

Magnolias serves a super indulgent eggnog during the holiday season that doubles as dessert. With cloves, vanilla bean, cinnamon, nutmeg and cardamom, it’s that perfect combination of sweet and spice. Plus, dark rum gives Magnolias’ eggnog a special twist, along with a dollop of whipped cream.

Magnolias’ recipe has been perfected by Pastry Chef Andrea Upchurch, and is perfect for holiday parties, or even just treating yourself at home. It’s only “eggnog season” for a few weeks out of the year, so why not get in the holiday spirit while sipping eggnog that actually tastes good!

  • 4 1⁄2 cups whole milk
  • 3 1⁄2 cups heavy cream
  • 5 each whole cloves
  • 1 each vanilla bean (split & scraped)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1⁄4 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1⁄4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 dozen egg yolks
  • 1 1⁄2 cups sugar
  • 2 1⁄4 cups dark rum
  • Directions:

Combine milk, cloves, vanilla bean & seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom, half of sugar, and salt in a saucepan. Heat on medium-low till the mixture comes to a heavy simmer. In a large bowl whisk together egg yolks and other half of sugar until light & fluffy. Whisk hot milk mixture slowly into the eggs. Pour mixture back into saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly for approximately 2-3 minutes, or until thick. You do not want the mixture to simmer or boil. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. Stir in the heavy cream and rum. Put mixture in a metal container on an ice bath to cool completely.

High Wire Cider Wassail – Makes 12 Servings

Get warm in my tummy!

Although it doesn’t tend to get too cold in Charleston in the winter (it’s all relative, baby), it helps to get more in the winter spirit with a hot toddy! I love this recipe that’s a take on my mom’s classic cider wassail, using some locally-made High Wire whiskey. Enjoy!

  • 1 quart apple cider
  • 2 cups High Wire bourbon whiskey
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup DOLE® Canned 100% Pineapple Juice
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 cinnamon sticks (3 inches)
  • Dash ground cinnamon
  • Dash ground cloves

Combine all of the ingredients in a pot and ring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover, simmering for 25 minutes. You can also cook in a slow cooker by combining all ingredients and simmering on low heat for 4-6 hours.

Events Guides

Halloween Round Up: 2016

October 21, 2016

What will you be dressing up as this year? Sexy Ken Bone? Your favorite Pokémon? One of the few remaining living characters on Game of Thrones? Whatever you decide, it’s important to pick the perfect location for your Halloween shenanigans. Here’s a list of where you can go to get your spooky party on for Halloween in Charleston.


Thursday October 27th

Upper Deck Tavern

No Cover
Downtown Charleston
10 pm – 2 am


DJ Lazer Cat brings special guest DJ’s to get your Halloween Weekend started! Put on your best costume but be prepared to work it out on the dance floor.

Friday October 28th

Bay Street Biergarten

Downtown Charleston
10 pm – close


Freddy is back and on October 28th he’ll be haunting your dreams and our dancefloor as DJ Rehab rocks the house with your favorite 90’s hits. We’ll have you covered from Backstreet to Britney while you enjoy an ALL-INCLUSIVE evening of drinks, dancing and appetizers.

Rock your best 90’s gear, throwback costume or whatever helps you rock your body right because you know we’ll have a gift card for the best outfit in the building. Are you original?

Cocktail Club

No Cover
Downtown Charleston
9 pm – 1 am


Join The Cocktail Club for a Miami Vice Halloween Party on Friday, October 28 from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.!

Stop in for cocktail specials, a prize for best costume, and live music fromBrent Pace Music. This is not a ticketed event, everyone 21 and older is welcome!

Frothy Beard Halloween Costume Party

North Charleston
7:30 – 10:30 pm


Join us at the brewery for a costume party, Friday October 28!

Food Baby Food Truck will be serving up great food and we have the best BOO-ze in town.

Stereo 8

James Island
7 pm – close


Saturday October 29th

2Nixons & Proof

No Cover
Downtown Charleston
6 pm – 1 am


Celebrate Halloween with us at Proof! Costumes are optional–but 2Nixons will give out a free bowl of ramen to our favorite costume.

5Church Charleston

No Cover
Downtown Charleston

10 pm – close


5Church’s All Hallows Eve event will feature D.J. Taylor Rowland and a costume contest with the winner receiving a $200 gift card.

843 Korean BBQ & Sushi

No Cover
North Charleston

9 pm – 12 am


Dress to Impress to enter a Costume Contest!
Photo Booth!
Glo Bar!
Drink Specials!
Costume Party!
Come join us for a Black Out Halloween Party!!! And get your picture taken!!!

The Cedar Room

Downtown Charleston
10 am – 11:30 am


Join The Cedar Room for a special Halloween themed yoga class led by Elli Rictor! Come dressed in your best costume and win a prize of a $250 gift card valid at any Indigo Road restaurant.

Bites and $5 seasonal blended juices will be available from Mercantile and Mash.

Bring your own yoga mat, towel and water bottle.

Craft Conundrum

No Cover
West Ashley
6 pm – 10 pm


It gets better every year! Don’t miss Craft Conundrum’s 3rd Annual Halloween Bash & Costume Contest! There’ll be a ton of candy, craft beer specials, and a costume contest with a GRAND PRIZE of a $300 Craft Conundrum Gift Certificate!

Pep Rolls will be hangin’ out from 5-9pm and we’ll have everyone’s favorite crazy rock band, Kids on Acid, set up kicking out the jams from 7-10pm! It’s time to get creative and bring your A-Game! Enjoy a fun Halloween party, great food, beer, and music at your favorite little neighborhood spot. See y’all then! Winner will be announced at approximately 10pm. Small prizes will be given randomly for costumes we find to be extra fun or creative. Go crazy!

Faculty Lounge

No Cover
Downtown Charleston
10 pm – until


Halloween Dance party at Faculty Lounge!

FILL Restaurant & Piano Bar

$10 – $25
Mount Pleasant
9 pm – 2 am


On Saturday, October 29th FILL will host an Early Dinner Dueling Piano Show at 6:30pm and an adult Halloween Party starting at 9:00pm. VIP and General admission to the Halloween Party include an Hors D’oeuvre buffet, entry into a costume contest, drink specials and an all night Dueling Piano Show. Additionally, hundreds in cash and prizes will be given away!!!
FILL is currently taking reservations for VIP seats and tables which offer full-service and include a free drink.
The VIP ticket is priced at $25 per person | General admission is $10.

Ghost Monkey Brewery & Rebel Taqueria

No Cover
Mount Pleasant
11 am – 10 pm


On October 29th we’re teaming up with Ghost Monkey Brewing for a Halloween Costume Bash like no other.

We’ll be serving up some of our amazing tacos to be paired with drink specials, live music, and of course costume prizes.

Think you have the best costume in the house? Judging for the costume contest will take place from 7-8:30pm. Come dressed like your interpretation of a Ghost Monkey and receive a special treat from our bartenders.

Mount Pleasant Towne Center

No Cover
Mount Pleasant
12 pm – 4 pm


A day of festivities, including trick or treating, jump castle, face painting, balloon animals, train rides and more family fun.

Enter our annual pet costume contest sponsored by Hairy Winston Pet Boutique: registration starts at the store at noon and is only $10 per entry with all proceeds to benefit Pet Helpers. Categories include Best Duo, Most Trending, Best Homemade, Best Inanimate Object, Best Superhero and Best Overall. Hairy Winston and Mount Pleasant Towne Centre gift cards to the winner of each category – plus bragging rights of course!

Art-vark Palette, a local Mount Pleasant art studio, will be offering a fun,free art activity to all the kids: a hand print animal drawing – you will be amazed at all the animals that can be made out of a child’s hand print!


Downtown Charleston
7 pm – 11 pm


The results are in and you’ve been committed to Briarcliff Manor this Halloween weekend. On Saturday, October 29th all of our patients will be strapped in for a night of beats from DJ Clev Starr, an open bar brought to you by William Wolff Whiskey and PBR and a few other surprises only the doctors know about. But don’t fill up on beer & spirits, Platia Food Truck will be onsite slinging delicious Greek eats (cash or card accepted).

If you make it out alive, we invite you to join us at the official after party at Republic Garden & Lounge (462 King Street) where your Asylum ticket will get you to the front of line and no cover charge.


No Cover
Downtown Charleston

9 pm – 12 am


The most decadent Halloween Party in Charleston is at Tabbuli this year, and you’re invited!

Fire Spinners
Drag Show
Costume Contests with prizes & SO much more.

Music by: Breakthrough & DJ Trevor D

Taco Boy

Downtown Charleston

6 pm – 12 am


Taco Boy Downtown’s biggest fiesta of the year is happening Saturday Oct 29! Get your costumes ready because we’ve added an additional category to our epic contest: Best Couple Costume!

We’ll have DJ NattyHeavy keeping you dancing all night.
Best individual costume wins $1,000 CASH
Best group costume (3 or more) wins $500 Taco Boy gift card
Best couple’s costume wins $250 Taco Boy gift card

21+ and $5 cover after 6PM

Sunday October 30th

Bar Mash

No Cover
Downtown Charleston
4 pm – 2 am


Join us for tiki cocktail specials, a live DJ and a costume contest in celebration of All Hallows’ Eve! The event is free and open to the public. See you there!

Tin Roof

No Cover
West Ashley
4:30 pm – 12 am


If you don’t know already: you pick a band, for 15 minutes you be that band and play that songs at this show. I’ll keep who’s in what band a secret (you can talk about em if you want).

Miles Davis
Drug Church
Kevin and the K-Tels
LCD Soundsystem
The Mountain Goats
Nine Inch Nails
No Use For a Name
The Police
Xiu Xiu

Monday October 31st

Tin Roof

West Ashley
8:30 pm – 12 am


The creative minds over at BigBadBetter present, “The Wicked West (Ashley) Masquerade”, West Ashley’s official Halloween Party, hosted at the Tin Roof! (Thanks Tin Roof!)

This Hallow’s Eve is going to get EXTRA wild, with music coming from our favorite funk family: The Night Caps AND Charleston’s only live improvised Hip-Hop Band: The Boom Bap Crew!

It’s a Masquerade party so bring a mask! Plus there is a CASH PRIZE for the dopest Masquerade Mask!

Shoutout to our sponsors for making it live! JYVE providing the bands,Pabst Blue Ribbon providing swag and beer, and also Three Olives Vodka!

Charleston Restaurant News Guides

Best Bridge Run After Parties, 2016

March 31, 2016

Congrats! You ran (or walked) a 10k with 40k other people! Now it’s time to celebrate with lots of alcohol and lots of carbs. Here’s where to go:

I'll just skip the running and go straight to the partying, thank you.

I’ll just skip the running and go straight to the partying, thank you.

[Editor’s Note: I’ll be updating as new details come in]

The Alley

9 am
Open to the public, no cover charge.

The Alley will be hosting their annual post bridge run party on Saturday April 2 starting at 9am.

Guests can recover while enjoying live music from Emily & Page from 10am – Noon, and Undercover Brothers from Noon – 3pm.

There will also be a special Bridge Run themed menu until 1pm:

  • Bloody Marys
  • Mimosas
  • Loaded tots
  • Breakfast Spring Rolls with gravy
  • Shrimp and grit fritters
  • White cheddar sandwich with bacon, scramble eggs with side
  • Bruschetta avocado toast
  • Breakfast Burger with side
  • Chicken and waffle slider
  • Shrimp and grit entrée
  • Bridge Runner salad

And the party doesn’t end at 3pm. College basketball fans can enjoy all the action of the Final Four of March Madness.

On Friday April 1, from 5pm – 9pm The Alley is also hosting a Pre Bridge Run “carb overload” dinner:

  • $6.95 fettuccine pasta with choice of marina sauce, alfredo sauce, or pesto sauce with cherry tomatoes topped with parmesan cheese
  • $3 add on meatballs, grilled chicken, or grilled shrimp.

Bay St Biergarten

10 am 
Open to the public, no cover charge.

Bay St Biergarten will be serving up bloody marys, mimosas, and a breakfast buffet ($23 for adults, $18 for kids.), as well as bier specials all day long.

  • $3 – Michelob Ultra, 16oz cans
  • $5 – SweetWater 420, 20oz pints
  • $4 – Curious Traveler, 16oz cans
  • $4 – Sam Adams Rebel Grapefruit, 16oz cans

Guests that dressed up for the Bridge Run are also encouraged to enter the costume contest for a chance to win $25 in bier bucks.

Carolina Ale House

8:30 am
Open to the public, no cover charge.

Join Carolina Ale House for the offical After Party for the Bridge Run!
Sponsored by Tito’s Vokda and Michelob Ultra.

  • Bloody Mary Mix from Local Fat and Juicy
  • $5 Tito’s ALL DAY
  • $3 Michelob Ultras
  • Dj will be spinning tunes on the rooftop from 10am -4pm

Eli’s Table

“Brunch, Bubbles, and Bloody Marys” sponsored by Barefoot Bubbly and Wine. Eli’s Table will feature their famous bacon and ultimate bloody marys.


9 am
Open to the public, no cover charge.

Racers and fans, Fish has got you covered this Cooper River Bridge Run – your favorite brunch menu & drink specials begin at 9am on Saturday, April 2!

Race Day:

  • $2 mimosas, bloodys, house beer & wine with any petite or main brunch plate (or $4 regular)
  • $10 Bottomless mimosas
  • Full brunch menu & boozy brunch cocktails

#GetOverIt and cross the finish line at FISH on Upper King!

Grand Bohemian Hotel

12 pm
Open to the public, no cover charge.

Join the Grand Bohemian Hotel on the rooftop for their Cooper River Bridge Run after party! The rooftop location can’t be beat for brews, Bloody Marys, burgers and bubbles to celebrate the race. Be sure to wear your bib to purchase $3 Bud Light special! For more information please call at 843-724-4144

Home Team BBQ

10 am
Open to the public, no cover charge.

  • $5 glasses of rose
  • $4 bloodiest
  • $3 “breakfast backs”- bacon washed whiskey with a coffee/maple chaser.
  • Menu Special: Bacon Egg and Cheese on a Browns Court English Muffin

Kickin’ Chicken

10 am – 12 pm
Open to the public, no cover charge.

Kickin’s Downtown location will have Mic Ultra on tap for $4 in commemorative 39th annual bridge run pint glasses that guests can take home on the back patio. Mic Ultra promoters will also be on scene handing out goodies.

Mercantile and Mash

8 am
Open to the public, no cover charge.

Bar Mash will open early at 12 p.m. and Mercantile and Mash will open for regular hours, starting at 8 a.m. Show your runners’ bib for food and beverage specials and enjoy corn hole and live music from Green Levels!


9 am
Open to the public, no cover charge.

Whether you brave the bridge run, or just want to party with those who did, this is going to be quite the bash! The finish line is just steps away from Mynt!

Doors open at 9am

  • Live Music provided by Hans Wenzel and Chris Fulmer
  • $4 Mich Ultra
  • $4 Mimosas
  • $6 “MAN Mosas”
  • $6 Bloody Mary Bar


10:30 am
Open to the public, no cover charge.

Located just a short walk from where the race ends at Marion Square, O-Ku will open early at 10:30 a.m. with delectable lunch and seasonal cocktail specials through the afternoon. Whether you are running for your personal best, leisurely walking or cheering participants on, O-Ku has the perfect meal to replenish all guests for an afternoon full of celebrations!


“Brunch, Bubbles, and Bloody Marys” sponsored by Barefoot Bubbly and Wine. Queology will also feature their famous bacon and ultimate bloody marys.

Recovery Room

12 pm
Open to the public, no cover charge.

Rec Room is hosting its first ever “Under The Bridge Run,” sponsored by Pabst. Runners meet at the corner of Line and King St at 12 pm and dash for Pabst to the Rec Room. After party PBR specials and live music from Lily Slay.

Revelry Brewing

10 am – 10 pm
Open to the public, no cover charge.

Join Revelry Brewing after the bridge run for their 2nd annual bridge run after party! Beer, Man-mosas, Food, Live Music… etc etc etc! They’ll be opening @ 10am Saturday

  • Danny May @ 11AM
  • Sunflowers & Sin @ 3PM


“Brunch, Bubbles, and Bloody Marys” sponsored by Barefoot Bubbly and Wine. Tabbuli will feature their famous bacon and ultimate bloody marys.


“Brunch, Bubbles, and Bloody Marys” sponsored by Barefoot Bubbly and Wine. Toast will feature their famous bacon and ultimate bloody marys.

If you’d like to be added to this list, please comment below! 

Events Guides

A Shucker’s Guide to the Lowcountry Oyster Festival 1/31/16

January 30, 2016

This Sunday, January 31, Boone Hall Plantation will welcome 80,000 lbs of oysters and an estimated 10,000 attendees to the World’s Largest Oyster Festival- the Lowcountry Oyster Festival. The Greater Charleston Restaurant Association (GCRA) is celebrating the Festival’s 33rd year with a number of new offerings including local oysters from St. Jude Farms as well as complimentary shuttle service to festival grounds from designated parking areas.


Here’s a cheat sheet for everything you should see, do, and eat at the festival:

What to See:

  • Legendary “Oyster Shucking” & “Oyster Eating” contests, occurring at 1:30pm. Registration takes place at the Festival.
  • Live Chef Demos, sponsored by St. Jude Farms
    • Adam Miller from Amen Street Fish & Raw Bar, 11 a.m.- 2 p.m.
    • Vaughn Collins from Bay Street Biergarten, 2-5 p.m.
  • Live music from The Piedmont Boys at 12pm

What to Eat:

  • $12 buckets of Chesapeake Bay single select oysters will be available for purchase
  • St. Jude Farms will be on site, offering up steamed local “Otter Roasters” for purchase
  • During the Chef demos, the Sweetgrass Mussels and Comdahee Clam dishes being made will be available for $4 per serving
  • Food will be offered for purchase from the following vendors:
    • Food Trucks: MacDaddy, Dukes BBQ, BlackJack Barbeque, Ben & Jerry’s
    • Restaurant Row Booth: Charleston Festival Foods, Sticky Fingers, Burtons Grill, Gilligan’s Seafood Restaurant, Wild Wing Café, Zeus, Red’s Ice House, Tavern & Table, A Dough Rei Me, Hyman’s Seafood
    • Sweet Treats Booth: S&D Coffee, Wando High, Memminger Elementary
But mostly oysters. It is the oyster festival, after all.

But mostly oysters. It is the oyster festival, after all.

What to Wear:

The current weather forecast calls for 65 degrees and sunshine, ideal for light layers of clothing. Boots are recommended as the Festival grounds can be muddy in areas. Oyster gloves and shuckers will be provided at the event, but attendees are welcome to bring their own.

Where to Park:

Parking will be quick and easy, with a shuttle service available at two pick-up/drop-off locations. The shuttle will run every 30 minutes, making stops at the following off-site locations:

  • South Carolina Aquarium trolley stop – 100 Aquarium Wharf, Charleston, SC 29403
  • MUSC Health East Cooper – 1600 Midtown Avenue, Mount Pleasant, SC 29464

There are two entrances into the Festival: the main Boone Hall entrance off Long Point Road and the entrance off Highway 17. Boone Hall Plantation is located at 1235 Longpoint Road, Mount Pleasant, SC, 29464.

For the Kids:

New to the Oyster Festival this year, the Children’s Pluff-a-Palooza center will celebrate the natural wonders of the Lowcountry with four live theatre performances of “Pearlie the Amazing Oyster,” Bubba the Lowcountry Bubble Man, an electronic bull, bounce houses, face painting stations, cookie decorating, puppets, giant live dinosaurs and more.


VIP Access:

VIP tickets are $100 and include access to the VIP lane at the entry gate and VIP tent admission where guests can enjoy complimentary food, steamed oysters, beer, wine and Pepsi products. Food is catered by Charleston Hospitality Group.

Other Fun Facts:

The Lowcountry Oyster Festival runs from 10 am – 5 pm on January 31, 2016. General admission tickets are $17.50 in advance/$25 day of the event. Children ten and under are free with paying adult. You can purchase Oyster Festival tickets online.

The Lowcountry Oyster Festival is a charity fundraiser benefiting The Ronald McDonald House, Hollings Cancer Center, Shriners Hospitals for Children and Charleston County Schools Science Materials Resource Center. Additionally, the Department of Natural Resources partners with the Coastal Conservation Association’s Topwater Action Campaign to recycle and restore the oyster shells.

The festival is a rain or shine event. No pets or coolers allowed. 

For more information and to join the #LowcountryOysterFest conversation, follow on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.


The Best Mac & Cheese in Charleston

September 25, 2015

If you know nothing else about me, know that my true passion is for mac and cheese. So simple in theory, the reality is that there are thousands of different noodle + cheese(s) combinations throughout Charleston. But not all mac and cheese is created equal.

Here are the Queen’s picks for best Mac & Cheese in Charleston:



Speaking of cravings…

The mac at Crave has been called “Most Life-Changing Mac and Cheese” by Esquire magazine and they’ve won the People’s Choice award at the Charleston Mac Off for the past 5 years, so they’re definitely on to something. It’s creamy and parmesan-y (like Alfredo sauce, but not really). You need to try it to believe it!



Look at all that cheesy goodness.

The thing I love about Rarebit’s mac is that it’s more like a classic baked mac and cheese with plenty of melted shredded cheddar on top. The sauce is much thicker and it pairs perfectly with a country fried steak or Rarebit burger.

Swig & Swine



This is the perfect mac and cheese to eat with barbecue. It’s nice and peppery and creamy which helps to balance out the vinegar of BBQ sauce. Plus, they use shells, which make me feel like I’m a kid again.



Pulled Pork & Collard Green Mac & Cheese

Graze is the only restaurant on the list who really explores the use of southern ingredients within the dish itself. It’s made with crispy pork rinds, pulled pork, and collard greens. It’s basically the most southern dish I can think of.

Cru Cafe


Orecchiette you glad I didn’t say banana?

The mac at Cru Cafe is made with generous amounts of 4 cheeses and uses orecchiette pasta. My favorite part about it is that Chef John Zucker made his recipe publicly available, so you can make it at home if you’re so inclined.

Ted’s Butcher Block


The only cold mac & cheese on the list

My coworkers lovingly refer to the mac & cheese from Ted’s as “Crack and Cheese,” because it’s so addicting. It’s also the only mac on this list that’s served cold. But trust me, it’s still delish.


Charleston’s Best Burgers

May 28, 2015

In honor of National Burger Day, I thought I’d introduce a new segment on my blog, the Queen’s Guide to Charleston. Since I go to a large number of restaurants that I haven’t yet reviewed, I thought it might be helpful to create a guide for Charleston that focuses on the best dishes in different categories. Here is my list for the top 10 burgers in Chucktown:



Photo via Husk

The Husk burger will always be #1 in my heart. No matter what you think about the rest of their food, the burger is consistently amazing. It’s just the right amount of greasy and cheesy and wonderful. It’s excellence lies in its simplicity.

Poe’s Tavern

Then again, anything with guac on it is bound to be delicious.

Then again, anything with guac on it is bound to be delicious.

The thing that I love about Poe’s (other than the fact that it’s a restaurant based on the life of Edgar Allen Poe) is that the burgers are ginormous. They’re each named after a Poe poem, and come topped with inventive topping and delicious sides. My fave is the Amontillado, which is topped with guacamole, jalapeno jack cheese, pico de gallo, and chipotle sour cream.


Photo via Yelp.

Photo via Yelp.

The normal burger at Rarebit is delicious. You can get it single patty or double patty and with cheese for an extra dollar. The thing that separates this burger from many others is that it’s pressed flat and made of ground steak on a Cuban bun, which is a great twist on a classic diner burger. Their patty melt (on the breakfast menu) is also something of a life changer.

Butcher & Bee

It's so melty

It’s so melty

Whether I’m here at 2 AM after the bars let out or at 2 PM for a late lunch / brunch, the Butcher & Bee burger is my go-to. It’s melty and just the right amount of greasy. I don’t know what they put in their “special sauce,” but whatever it is, it’s amazing.

Halls Chophouse

Photo via Yelp.

Photo via Yelp.

I sometimes feel like it’s sacrilegious to order anything but the filet at Halls, but if I’m not looking to drop $50 bucks on steak, the burger on their bar menu is definitely the way to go. The burger is made from the trimmings of the aged steaks, which means the burger packs an extra punch in terms of meaty, beefy flavor. Definitely check it out.

Charleston Sports Pub

Heaven, thy name is Macaroni.

Heaven, thy name is Macaroni.

I’m sorry, did someone say mac and cheese burger? It’s like they’ve been stalking my dreams and created it just for me. Unlike a similar concept at a downtown establishment that will remain nameless, this burger is juicy, and the macaroni is cheesy and creamy enough to serve as both the cheese and the mayo for your burger. Thank you. I love you.

Moe’s Crosstown

Fried green tomato, bacon AND fresh mozzarella? *dies*

Fried green tomato, bacon AND fresh mozzarella? *dies*

Moe’s was a staple of my college years (RIP Moe’s Downtown), especially on Tuesday’s for half-price burger night. They’re made from hand-pattied ground chuck and have that just-off-the-grill taste that you expect from your favorite diner. My favorite of their burgers is the BLT burger with fried green tomato, bacon, fresh mozzarella, pesto mayo & mixed greens.


Photo via Sesame.

Photo via Sesame.

Both the mall and Park Circle locations of Sesame serve up some delicious food and some deliciously creative burger offerings. My favorite part of Sesame is that they have the “3 slider sampler” choice on the menu for people like me who can’t possible choose just one burger. I recommend the Napa Valley (fig & bacon jam, blue cheese, red wine reduction), the south Carolina (with house made pimento cheese), and if you’re feeling adventurous, the Memphis (with peanut butter, bacon & banana slices).

Cory’s Grilled Cheese

Sometimes, simple is best.

Sometimes, simple is best.

I know it’s a grilled cheese restaurant, and I know it’s hidden in the back corner of a shopping center, but Cory knows the secret to a good burger. You can top it with any of the myriad of grilled cheese toppings available (including more inventive options like peanut butter, spam, or apple), or keep it simple with your favorite cheese.

Craftsmen Kitchen & Tap House

Photo via Craftsmen.

Photo via Craftsmen.

Craftsmen has a great menu that changes pretty regularly, but I’ve never had a bad meal there. The farmhouse burger, made with beef chuck, pork belly, smoked cheddar, and pickles, is definitely the best thing on the menu and one of the more unique tasting burgers you’ll find south of Market St.

(Note: I only listed burgers that I’ve personally tried and can attest to. There are a number of burgers I haven’t tried, and this list might expand / change as I make eat my way through Charleston)

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