Restaurant Spotlight

SERIOUSLY SATISFYING SANDWICHES:

on Tuesday, 18 March 2014. Posted in Restaurant Spotlight, Do This!, Dine or Dash, LOCAL Bites

CAVIAR & BANANAS DEBUTS 10 NEW MOUTHWATERING CREATIONS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
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Caviar & Bananas, Charleston’s beloved gourmet market & café, is introducing an outstanding new lineup of sandwiches, ranging from hearty to healthy and sure to satisfy all with fresh new ingredients and flavors.

East by Southeast : Land Meets Sea in Culinary Clash of Two Local Titans

on Wednesday, 06 November 2013. Posted in Restaurant Spotlight, Magazine, Chefs, From The Tap, LOCAL Bites

Amidst the confusion that inexorably arrives with the end of Daylight Saving Time, this past Sunday brought together two of Charleston's fine culinary stars at Kanpai in Mount Pleasant for a truly magnificent dinner designed to showcase each of their unique talents. Chef Brannon Florie brought to the table his love for pork fat and Southern-fusion, while Chef Sean Park leveraged his considerable talent for all things raw, rare, and briny. 

(Fro)Yo, Check This Out!

on Tuesday, 02 July 2013. Posted in Restaurant Spotlight, Magazine, LOCAL Bites, Eat This Summer 2013

 

Frozen yogurt may emerge from the confectionary scrap heap after all

By Patrick Graham

 

   Caramel Banana  In the spring of 1987, I decided to dip my toe into the foodservice pool with a position with “The Country’s Best Yogurt”.  At that time, southwestern Ohio was getting swept up in the fervor of a new confection masquerading as a healthy alternative to ice cream—frozen yogurt.  Determined to avoid a summer job’s environmental perils, I decided to become a yogurt jockey.  A barista I was not, as working at TCBY had about as much hipster appeal as Mark Ratner’s cinema position in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, save for the possibility of wearing a tuxedo every night.  Frozen yogurt was hot for a little while in the ‘80s, but like stand-up video games, the phenomenon faded.

Dinner Is Served - Sunrise Bistro starts pulling double shifts

on Thursday, 11 July 2013. Posted in Restaurant Spotlight, Magazine, LOCAL Bites, Eat This Summer 2013

By Patrick Graham

After three and a half years of providing breakfast and lunch for their faithful regulars, the co-owners of the Sunrise Bistro decided to take their capacity to another level, which is to say they are adding another meal to their repertoire.  Dinner service was recently sunrisefriedgreenintroduced on Fridays and Saturdays to accommodate both the diners’ requests and the ambitions of the proprietors.  Jessica Welenteichick and Brian Appelt, long the providers of early morning fare at the corner of Maybank Highway and Main Road on John’s Island, have made the commitment to the evening hours as well.  

 

The Maybank Melting Pot - Sweeney’s menu is all over the map

on Thursday, 11 July 2013. Posted in Restaurant Spotlight, Magazine, Follow This!, LOCAL Bites, Eat This Summer 2013

The Maybank Melting Pot

Sweeney’s menu is all over the map


     As much as native Charlestonians hate to admit it, the invasion from without continues.  The passive opposition to the influx of “the others” that have moved into the area is certainly not as evident or heated as many conversations about immigration is these days, but one thing is certain:  if you’re going to relocate here to the Lowcountry, opening a good restaurant will soften the blow to the locals.

 

Get Away From It All

on Tuesday, 23 April 2013. Posted in Restaurant Spotlight, Magazine, LOCAL Bites, Eat This Spring 2013

 

Top-notch cuisine doesn’t always have to come from East Bay Street


By Patrick Graham

 

    Angel oak - Eat This! Charleston  In the 1989 movie "Field Of Dreams", a voice whispers to Kevin Costner's character Ray Kinsella that "If you build it, he will come."  In this quote, the antecedent of "it" is a baseball diamond in the middle of a corn field in rural Iowa.  Later in the film, a James Earl Jones character named Terence Mann indicates that if he builds the baseball field, his financial needs would be satisfied because people will gladly give their hard-earned money, if not their eyeteeth, to experience such a ponderous sensation of witnessing the old greats playing a child's game that was once known as "America's Pastime".

Soup-Persimmon!!

on Sunday, 24 March 2013. Posted in Restaurant Spotlight, Magazine, Dine or Dash, LOCAL Bites, Eat This Spring 2013

Persimmon Café cleans house with more than just great coffee

 

By Patrick Graham

 

IMG 1146Growing up in Dayton, Ohio, the indoctrination about the feats of the illustrious Wright Brothers began essentially as soon as we five-year-olds walked into our kindergarten classes.  Fascinating stories about how a wondrous flying machine evolved in the minds of Orville and Wilbur in their little bike shop in 1903 permeated our little minds, and Dayton has been on the map forever since that blustery day at Kitty Hawk.

We’re Not Worthy - Chef Sean Park is at it again, this time at his own place

on Tuesday, 05 March 2013. Posted in Restaurant Spotlight, Dine or Dash, LOCAL Bites, Eat This Spring 2013

By Patrick Graham

 

kp8By now, Wayne’s World in its theatrical form has been around for more than twenty years, so this article’s title refers to a phrase that probably should be relegated to the dustbin of history (or at least, lumped together with other tired movie lines that haven’t quite held up over the last couple of decades).  May I please borrow said phrase for just a few moments of your time, if only to explain what its original message was?

 

To refresh your collective memories regarding the movie, Wayne and Garth come across legendary rocker Alice Cooper in full regalia and announce that they cannot occupy the same spatial vicinity with this one Mr. Cooper without exalting him with breathless praise.  Only it’s not breathless, it’s shouting.  “We’re not worthy!! We’re not worthy!!”


How To Travel 900 Miles In Three Steps

on Sunday, 11 November 2012. Posted in Restaurant Spotlight, Magazine, LOCAL Bites, Eat This Fall! 2012

Mac’s Place takes you from the Peninsula to the North Side in record time

 

By Patrick Graham

 

IMAG1379Fourteen years ago, I was in Joliet, Illinois visiting my grandmother when I had some free time.  I mean free time, like the whole day free time.  I decided to pull a Ferris Bueller and head up I-55 into downtown Chicago because I had never done it of my own free will.  I decided to do Chicago.  It was a Sunday, so not much was going on.  It was late March, so the Cubs were still in Arizona, the Bulls were on the road, and the Bears were sleeping off a 4-12 season.  St. Patrick’s Day had come and gone, and the forecast was a 100% chance of gray.  These conditions, however, did not sway my determination to go see what I wanted to see since I was about fifteen or sixteen: the inside of an Irish pub in the Second City.  O’Callaghan’s on West Hubbard Street was the prototypical Mick joint of the day, with a long bar, wood floors, bar tables on the opposite wall, and the appropriate amount of televisions.  I was delighted and sad at the same time.  I believed that I had crossed off something on a relatively short bucket list, but I feared I would have to return to the 312 area code in order to experience it again.

Triangle Char and Bar: Try Finding a Spot, Then Try Everything

on Tuesday, 16 October 2012. Posted in Restaurant Spotlight, Magazine, LOCAL Bites, Eat This Fall! 2012

   tri3It’s tough to find parking in the Avondale district.  It just is.  An unfortunate truth, but it speaks to the vibrant nature of the area.  Few places on the Charleston map jam together such an eclectic mix of styles and tastes in a two-block radius, and right smack-dab in the middle you will find perhaps the most famous former gas station in West Ashley.

A year and a half ago, I was at Triangle Char and Bar, fulfilling an annual bucket list.  I have to make it at least once a year to that bustling outdoor café area for drinks and heavy hors d’oeuvres (kinda like urban tailgating).  The thing is, I never thought twice about returning with any more frequency than that, as Avondale Station (an avant-garde Cuban experiment) and a prototypical version of Triangle didn’t ask me to come back anytime soon as a result of some previous experiences.  

Eclectic Fare at ACME Lowcountry Cantina

Written by Robin Riebman on Monday, 24 September 2012. Posted in Restaurant Spotlight, Magazine, Eat This Fall! 2012

My first experience at ACME Lowcountry Cantina was just a pit stop with a friend for summer refreshments; a convenient and shady respite from the hot sun. The AC was on, the TV’s were tuned to sports and there was a Stormtrooper flag hanging on the ceiling… I knew we were in the right place. Our bartender poured us two SweetWater 420 pale ales and we started to make friends with the regulars. While we relaxed, I did some extra-sensory monitoring of a nearby plate of wings, which looked and smelled awesome. We left feeling recharged and I promised myself I’d be back to check out the food. This past week I did return, wondering what kind of dishes were on the menu. Every place I know called “ACME” is a bar with basic pub food. When I think of “lowcountry” I look forward to shrimp and grits and fried okra, and when I hear “cantina” I expect margaritas, burritos, neon signs and fiesta-ware.  ACME Lowcountry Cantina delivers all of those things, and despite two pleasant experiences, I have spent all week wondering how to endorse it.

SELLSFISH, THEY'VE GOT THEIR HEADS ON AND THEY'RE WORKING THEIR TAILS OFF PAUL GODBOUT KNOWS HIS FISH, AND HE TELLS NO ‘FISH STORIES’…

on Wednesday, 15 August 2012. Posted in Restaurant Spotlight, Magazine, Eat This! Summer 2012, Eat This Fall! 2012

By: Kathleen Curry

       251947 455551244476765_192050007_nOn a bustling Thursday morning in July, Paul Godbout, wife Marla, son Mike and adopted son Andy are getting ready for the Sellsfish weekend rush. Hour after hour, the boxes pour into the cutting room. They are immediately opened and inspected for quality. If they are up to muster, they are put in their designated freezers; if not, they are sent back. The phone is ringing off the hook about large orders for clams and shrimp. The store will clear through 1500 pounds of freight from now through the upcoming Sunday; Godbout says there’s a line of customers sometimes 25 deep. And not all of them live close by; they have customers from Kiawah and Mount Pleasant too. Godbout tells me they “are working their tails off” and “it's always like this around here, it never stops.”

Raising the (Raw)Bar Amen Street makes the oyster their world

Written by Patrick Graham on Wednesday, 29 August 2012. Posted in Restaurant Spotlight, Eat This Fall! 2012

Sometimes unexpected long rains give restaurants fits, because precipitation doesn't lend itself the kind of predictability that management craves. Showers can bring mad rushes on a lazy Tuesday afternoon, bringing in the dampened masses that ordinarily would wander the streets of our fair city, or they can kill off a seemingly steady lunch shift free of surprises, turning a dining room into a ghost town.

Sushi at New Heights in Mount Pleasant at Fuji Sushi Bar & Grill

on Wednesday, 15 August 2012. Posted in Restaurant Spotlight, Magazine, Do This!, LOCAL Bites, Eat This! Summer 2012

By: Robin Riebman

 

photo 1-7Inventive dishes and fabulous service set Fuji Sushi Bar and Grill, in Mount Pleasant, apart from your average sushi bar.

 

After winding my way through a maze of a shopping center and walking through a small jumble of outdoor tables, I was caught off guard by the relatively chic décor inside Fuji Sushi. The majority of the surfaces are dark lacquered wood and the windows are covered with wooden screens and bamboo shades, yet the room seems light and cheery. The wooden shelves behind the bar create an attractive display for the generous selection of sake, wine and liquor. For sports fans or current Olympic junkies, the dining area and bar each have a flat screen TV, strategically placed in opposite corners of the restaurant. The atmosphere is casual enough for a quick lunch break, and classy enough to feel special on date night.

 

Dog Days, Vol. I: Skoogie’s Chicago Style Deli

on Friday, 13 July 2012. Posted in Restaurant Spotlight, Magazine, Follow This!, LOCAL Bites, Eat This! Summer 2012

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Dog Days.  The name is derived from the lingering appearance of the brightest star in the night skies of summer.  Sirius, the main attraction in the constellation Canis Major, or Big Dog, is prominent throughout the days of June, July, and August.  It’s no coincidence that the hot dog gets a special place on summertime tables.  As cuisine has evolved to a high level in the Lowcountry, so has the hot dog.  I present you EatThisCharleston.com’s Dog Show.


By Patrick Graham

 

If there is one thing that the Second City brings to the dinner table every night, it’s delicious (albeit unhealthy) food.  Deep dish pizza may be the healthiest thing that Chicagoland can offer in the sense that it contains all four food groups if you play your cards right.  Sausage and its brethren with the last name of “Wurst” are popular items in the meat group in northern Illinois, so the fact that the area boasts a good hot dog or two should not be a surprise.  Skoogie’s Chicago Style Deli on Coleman Boulevard has brought Polish sausage and geographically

correct hot dog preparations to Mount Pleasant for a couple of generations now.