Monday, August 30, 2010

Hall's Chophouse (King Street)

Gospel Brunch! There's nothing like jamming out to gospel music when eating. Makes for a delightful Sabbath day, as well as set Hall's Chophouse apart from other brunch venues. I had the Halls Chop Salad (peppers, cucumbers, black eyed peas, bacon, feta cheese, green peppercorn buttermilk dressing).
The main course was Crabcake Eggs Benedict (jumbo lump crab cakes, wilted arugula, roasted pepper-Creole hollandaise, pepper jack grits or potatoes).

Hall's Chop Salad

Crabcake Eggs Benedict

The bad: I couldn't find anything bad about this brunch. The courses that I had met expectations. Did not exceed, but still enjoyed the meal. 
The good: Service was fantastic, the bread was like a fried custard eggy thing (delicious), and of course, gospel music during the meal. 
In conclusion: Great place to take visitors to experience the brunch the southern way!
Halls Chophouse on Urbanspoon

Sunday, August 29, 2010

FISH (King Street)

Surely it's harder to cook for a large party, as one would think. Not for Fish on King Street. In fact, did not, had not planned to review this meal, but it was so good, I can't control myself. As usual, I requested that the chef prepare what he/she preferred for me. They presented the Tomato & Mozzarella (housemade panko fried mozzarella, thai basil, sweet soy vinaigrette). If you love caprese salads, this is your personal heaven. Then I had the Bouillabaisse (sautéed | local fish, scallops, shrimp, clams, potatoes, bok choy, mushrooms, carrots, baguette, coconut lemongrass broth), which was not extraordinary, but still good. May have been overdone. And their desserts, I'm sorry I did not write the description down. One was a s'mores souffle type, the other was a chocolately orange zesty caramel drizzled thing. I want to meet the pastry chef!                                                   
The bad: Can't think of any. Other than the restaurant did turn into a hoppin' cool bar for the 20 somethings later in the evening. But that could be a good thing too.
The good: Going above and beyond with a large group. Exceptional actually.
In conclusion: Would definitely go back, again and again.
Fish on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Joey Bag of Donuts (Park West, Mt. Pleasant)

What an ingenious idea, but it's not new. It's a sort of a donut renaissance. You are bound to find a donut you like, having 65+ different toppings and fillings, and new ones daily. Joey Bag of Donuts doesn't only have donuts, but also Italian coffee, pizza, and stromboli. The owner, Joey, comes from generations of Italian entrapreneurs, and uses their family donut recipe. I had the joy of tasting a cream filled chocolate topped donut, their caramel macchiato, and their pepperoni stromboli.

My Lunch

Donuts in preparation to become a birthday cake.

I obviously couldn't eat it all, and took the lunch home, which I enjoyed the 2nd and 3rd day. 
The bad: Sipped the caramel macchiato after biting into the donut. My fault, the coffee was not sweet anymore. Also, wish it wasn't so far from where I lived (but maybe that's also good, so I won't be tempted).  
The good: Stromboli, even though filled with cheese, was not too oily. The coffee was rich and flavorful (better than Starbucks caramel macchiato, in my opinion). And the donut....hahaha. You need to try this.  
In conclusion: Parents, you can use Joey Bag of Donuts to bribe your kids, or YOURSELVES!

Joey Bag a Donuts on Urbanspoon

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Five Guys Burgers and Fries

When I have the Five Guys Burgers and Fries experience, I think: consistent, hot, fries freshly fried, and burgers (my way).  They have fulfilled what Burger King tried to, the concept that we could "have it our way."  The menu is simple.  Burgers, fries, drinks, hot dogs, and a list of toppings free of charge to customize your burger.  That is their emphasis, and they do it excellently.
Sacks of Idaho potatoes for fries and complimentary peanuts while you wait for your order.
The bad: Always regret getting the "little" burger with one patty.
The good: Generous order of fries, scooped into a brown bag, overfilling a cup it's supposed to be in.
In conclusion: For a beef craving, Five Guys will satisfy.

Five Guys Burgers and Fries on Urbanspoon

Friday, August 20, 2010

Amen Street (East Bay St.)

We truly are blessed to live on the coast where seafood are fresh and plentiful. However, in some cases, the seafood are still flown in from Ecuador, China, and frozen, then fried, grilled, and claimed to be fresh.  At Amen Street, you get the absolute freshest local seafood, as displayed in the Flash in the Pan Pirlau (shrimp, scallops, mussels, clams over lowcountry vegetable rice).
Flash in the Pan Pirlau
And, the most amazing fact about this dish is, it wouldn't have been one I chose.  But am so glad that I had it.  The rice....oh, the rice. Creamy and light, if that's possible.  I also had raw oysters from Virginia, having a soft yet crispy texture, not so slimy (as to what I usually think about with oysters).  Ok, I confess, I don't know much about oysters, or how to discern good from bad ones.  But they were good.
Virginia Oysters

Room for improvement: Hushpuppies were slightly overdone.  Also, the red velvet cake had lost it's moistness.  Red wine temperature was warm.
Applause for: Seafood! Fun atmosphere, and a neat after dinner treat with pepper and jalapeno infused vodka made in house. 
In conclusion: If a newbie to Charleston asks you where to get fresh seafood, you know what to tell them.

Amen Street Fish & Raw Bar on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

U Cook! with Chef Bob Waggoner

Beef Carpaccio
No, I can't cook.  I can't even use the stove without having the fire alarm activated (usually).  But, for several moments, I stepped into a beautiful dream.  I was honored to be a guest cook on U Cook! with Chef Bob last week, and realized how easy and fun cooking can be.  He made it seem so simple, using the freshest ingredients from the farmer's market, and instructing the audience, and me, about food.  The entree me...was beef carpaccio, drizzled with a lemony vinaigrette, topped with slices of black olive, pink Himalayan salt, and roasted hazelnuts.  Not sure if I've ever made anything so beautiful in my life, and the savory, so right.  Cooking beside an award winning chef (and he has so many, I can't list them) can be at first daunting, but then freeing, escaping to a place where I'm the chef.  U Cook! with Chef Bob is available to Public Television affiliates across the nation, as well as world wide, as it's also produced and recorded in French.  Thank you, Chef Waggoner, for the privilege to learn from you.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Hubee D's (Savannah Hwy)

Mural at Hubee D's
Deelicious! Hubee D's Tenders & Wings (West Ashley)
Named after the owner's 1964 Studebaker, Hubee D's is the place to go for home cooked chicken.  The menu items originated from family recipes, and it certainly tastes it.  Don't believe that your only choices are chicken fried, their salad (the Goat Island Deelight Salad) was quite memorable (goat cheese, toasted almonds, dried cranberries, grilled tenders, and champagne vinaigrette).  The Crispy Tenders Basket boasted of flavorful tenders coated with a thin crispy fried batter, and the wings (I ordered Seriously Hot sauce) had a mesquite flavor with a kick, however, milder than I expected.  If you want something special, try their Fried Banana Pudding.

The Bad: I forgot to order extra fries!
The Good: You can taste the freshness of the ingredients, and freshness makes all the difference in the world
In conclusion: Deelicious!!! For real.

Fried Banana Pudding

Hubee D's Tenders and Wings on Urbanspoon