If you know Charleston, you know that it is definitely known for it’s food scene. Low country cuisine to be more precise. I was so excited to have myself a little food marathon here and for such a short trip, I am happy to say that I got a lot done and can attest with the other “fans”, there is some damn good food in these parts.
When I told people I was coming to Charleston, any one who has been recommended Husk across the board. I have to agree, it is definitely a can’t miss when visiting South Carolina and was an amazing experience from start to finish. I love the vibe of the renovated old 19th century home and the rustic but elegant decor. The restaurant prides itself on serving up southern dishes that are seasonal and ingredient driven from the local area. The Rule: If it doesn’t come from the South, it is not coming through the door.
You could tell from sitting down that it is definitely a more elevated food experience than your typical southern comfort food and it definitely shows in the food and complex flavors. We had a little conversation with our waiter who definitely steered us to certain items over others, one of which was the duck and was by far the best dish here. The duck melted in our mouths and had a very refined flavor profile. Every bite you took was different I love how it all came together. Similarly, the pork dish was really delicious and had a very sweet and sour, there’s a lot going on but I like it kind of vibe.
For some reason we insisited on the catfish, call it feeling “festive” in the down home country theme. Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t disappointing and if it wasn’t up against the fantastic flavors and more unique options we tried, this would be a great dish, but in comparison it was just fine. The fish was cooked well and when you do get a little bit of each component on your fork, it is a nice bite, but otherwise meh – a little lack luster in flavor in comparison to the boldness of the other two dishes.
The desserts were also amazing and I definitely would order whatever selection is available. Especially the peanut putter pie. Not a bad thing to say about it.
As a David Howard restaurant I would expect nothing less.
The Darling Oyster
What seemed like the trendy happening “place to be”, Darling Pyster was a really fun atmosphere and known to have great food. Unfortunately we didn’t get to try much other than some oysters – both raw and some baked options. Oysters tend to rotate out based on season and availability but ours were great picks. We got the James River House Oyster and the local South Carolina Blades. Both were fresh and delicious. The baked options were also pretty good and a safe bet for those who want to try oysters but are squimish at the thought of raw food. We also had an Oyster shooter which was DELISH. Another fun fact of The Darling Oyster is that it is in a restored 115 year old store fron, a theme that I really enjoy about these Charleston spots.
I did my research, and 82 Queen was not on too many hit lists. WHY?!?! Truly. I am really wondering. Because this was the best meal I had while visiting Charleston. We started with the She Crab Soup, which is award winning and rightfully so as it was my favorite meal in Charleston. Then we had the BBQ Shrimp And Grits, as well as the Fish And Grits – both phenomenal it just depends what kind of flavor profile you are going for. I think the BBQ Shrimp is more packed with flavor while the fish is a bit more mild and balanced but both are super tasty. The beef short rib was also delicious, however unless you’re really craving meat it just doesn’t compared to the grits dishes. Furthermore the desserts were also out of this world. The pecan pie the definite winner (might be the best I have ever had), but the chocolate pie and lemon layer cake were also great as well – the chocolate being the richer option and the lemon cake obviously more light and refreshing.
Charleston Crab House
This was more of a quick snack on our food marathon but I am almost wishing we ate more because these two options were delicious. The key lime pie – again – best I ever had. It was tangy creamy but not overdone and just soooo good. I never had a hushpuppy before, but I can safely say I love them, or at least I love them at Charleston Crab House. They were such a great light consistency and fried to perfection. We also obsessed over the honey cinammon butter it came with. I could eat that with just about any breakfast food or dessert I can think of.
Definitely a popular location in Charleston and a very lively bustling scene, Amen Street is definitely not an underrated spot. We came and took advantage of the restaurant week menu at the time so we could try as much as possible. We started off with more oysters, which were fresh and delicious. The oyster shooter was good definitely sounded better than it was. It claims to have house Infused Jalapeño, Peppercorn, and Lemon Vodka, Amen Street’s Spicy Bloody Mary Mix, and a Fresh Oyster. It was good but I guess I built it up a little in my head. For appetizers, we had the Fried Green tomatoes which were phenomenal, I am wishing I had a larger order of them or continued to get them throughout the trip because they really were delicious and I am obsessed with the pimento spread they paired it with. The hushpuppies were in all honesty awful. They were so dense a little overcooked and just really can’t compare to the ones we had at Charleston Crab house. Skip these – get extra fried tomatoes.
The entrees were all winners and brought us to flavor town. The catch of the day at the time was served with a caprese like tomato basil sauce and clams. The fish was so light, fresh and cooked perfectly and that sauce was just a wow factor of flavor which we ordered bread to soak it up with afterwards. The blackened mahi-mahi was also another flavor punch with tons of amazing seasoning and a kick of spice. I also loved the red rice it came with as well and that comfort food element it added. The shrimp and grits was the more classic option and really flavorful and well executed also. For desserts, if you only had one option, order the chocolate torte. It was rich and creamy and made this chocolate lover happy. The other two desserts were good, but remember, I was in Charleston – pies are a big thing around here and I just had better elsewhere.
Butcher And Bee
Kind of on the healthier side of things, Butcher and Bee supports local and sustainable farms for the freshest and most quality ingredients. The menu is seasonal so unfortunately the dishes I tried other then the whipped feta (which was quite delicious – as a Greek I don’t know how we haven’t been doing that already), the other options are in rotation. What started off as an elevated sandwich venture really expanded into an extensive menu of lunch, dinner, brunch and bakery options. I also definitely see a lot of Mediterranean influence in the food as well, making it a very unique dining option. Overall we really enjoyed our food, and their different blends of sweet tea which if you didn’t know is a must when visiting Charleston. They have different additions like a lavender vanilla and a chile syrup which are both worthy additions to add as well
Have you ever been to Charleston? Would love to hear what food spots you hit or locations you have heard of trying, as I will most definitely be back to try more