Sunday, March 10, 2013

Weekend in Charleston!

Also while my dad and brother here, we decided to visit Charleston! How cool is it to now be in driving distance to such a great weekend destination!?

We had a great time, and I shared more about the trip itself on our "personal" blog (here and here) so I'll just share the good eats we had.

Charleston is known for their food. Matter of fact, we visited the weekend before the Food and Wine Festival that looked amazing! There is a ton to do so we'll definitely be back (and maybe line it up with the festival!).

For Saturday night dinner, we dined at The Lowcountry Bistro, right near the market.

We went early and were seated immediately right inside the door near the bar area. The restaurant is located in the founding home of Limehouse Produce, so it's a long narrow space (this is the side of the building):

The menu is very southern (um, lowcountry...) but also very moderately priced for a touristy area. I had the hardest time choosing - the menu is amazing!

My dad and brother needed to check out some shrimp and grits while in the area so they ordered the appetizer portion to try. Their grits are made with parmesan and chives and the sauce is smoked tomato and bacon. And yup, I'm told it was as glorious as it sounds.

For dinner, my dad ordered a special that included seared scallops, fingerling potatoes, and a medley that had spinach, corn, and bacon. It looks unremarkable but it was easily the favorite side item on the table.

My brother was on a mission for seafood (Texas doesn't get much fresh seafood...) so he chose the crab stuffed flounder, which came with white cheddar and country ham grits, roasted asparagus, and pecan brown butter sauce. I kid you not – his plate was CLEAN when he finished his meal.

Jason went for nachos. Random, right? They were covered in Carolina pulled pork and pickled okra, along with queso, sour cream, and salsa. He wasn't that hungry so this hit the spot. And made him a cheap date :)
Like I said, I had issues deciding so I asked the waiter what is favorite dish was. He said the crab cakes were pretty popular and almost entirely crab so I went for it. He did not steer me wrong! These crab cakes were not only huge, they had very little filler at all! They look like biscuits in the picture - that's how huge they were. It also came with red rice and collard greens. The greens were good but the rice was disappointing. Very dry. I ate a few bites and left the rest - which is unusual for a rice fanatic like me! {since that sauce on the side? bacon. remoulade. yup.}
We were all very pleased with our meals, the service, and the atmosphere. It was a good night!
{after we ate, we did a ghost tour of the city - so cool!!}
The next day, after checking out some of the gorgeous Charleston architecture, we traveled across the bridge to Mount Pleasant. A friend had recommended a local seafood place nearby that we stopped in at for lunch. Since it was a Sunday, they had the brunch menu available. Shem Creek Bar and Grill is also a seafood house and oyster bar with a large selection of fresh local seafood available.
The restaurant is tucked back on Shem Creek and has a large deck area that overlooks the water.

One of the best things I found when searching for restaurants in the Charleston is that many offer brunch on the weekend. Brunch menus not only offer breakfast options in addition to lunch but they are also an inexpensive way to have a big meal that will hold you until dinner.

And breakfast food is always awesome. Anytime of the day.

Jason ordered the crabwich – an open faced crab salad sandwich with swiss cheese and crab sauce. His came with a side and he chose fried okra. I don’t think I snagged a bite but his plate was clean in the end so it must have been delicious!

My brother went for the seafood omelet, which was stuffed full of shrimp, scallops, fish, and crab. He chose creamed spinach for his side. It was crazy how much seafood they fit into an omelet!

Dad was still after scallops so he ordered them grilled with fried okra and creamed spinach. He was happy as a clam. Er, scallop.

I chose the blue cheese and bacon salmon, which really ended up being all my favorite foods in one bowl. Grilled salmon on a bed of creamy grits topped with crispy bacon pieces and blue cheese. I mean, hello?! Mine also came with a side and I ordered collard greens again; these were slap yo’ momma tasty and 10x better than the ones last night, and those were darn tasty already!

Looking at that picture is making me hungry. Must. Replicate. Soon.

Brunch prices were ridiculously inexpensive - less than you'd spend at Chili's for mediocre bar food! Our service was good, the atmosphere was nice, and the food was delicious. Two thumbs up!

All in all, we had a fabulous time and covered a lot of ground {and ate at two great spots!}. If you have a favorite Charleston spot, let me know so I can bookmark it for next time!

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