7
Aug

Charleston Dining & Fun

CharlestonDining-1_MarthaLousIn mid-July, I traveled to Charleston to try some new restaurants and attend a barbecue event. Recently named the top travel destination by Travel & Leisure magazine, Charleston has a burgeoning food scene and so many good restaurants. I met up with a group of new and old Charleston and Texas friends, and we had an array of amazing dining experiences.

We started off with soul food at Martha Lou’s. Fried chicken, mac and cheese, butter beans {my favorite} and other vegetables, and chitterlings. The Texas contingent is pictured above: Robert Lerma, Robert Sierra, and John Lewis with Martha Lou Gadsden and Ms. Debra on the left, and Emma and Travis Heim on the right.

CharlestonDining-2_RobertSierraRobert Sierra and me, with a Robert Lerma photo bomb.

CharlestonDining-3_HomeTeamBBQ“Let’s be incognito,” I said to Robert Lerma, as we entered Hometeam BBQ. That didn’t work out so well as we were instantly greeted by name  and treated like royalty. We’ve been Instagram friends for a few years and I loved seeing their operation in person.

CharlestonDining-4_HomeTeamBBQThey cook on both Lang and Southern Pride pits.

CharlestonDining-5_HomeTeamBBQHere’s owner/pitmaster Aaron Siegel, showing off some pork bellies.

CharlestonDining-6_HomeTeamBBQThe trays of food just kept coming. These pork rinds, dusted with their dry rub, and served with pimiento cheese were crazy good.

CharlestonDining-7_HomeTeamBBQThe Gamechanger is my new favorite frozen cocktail. Golden spiced rum, dark rum, cream of coconut, and pineapple and orange juices.

CharlestonDining-8_HomeTeamBBQFresh, lightly battered fried okra. Great.

CharlestonDining-9_HomeTeamBBQBrisket, beef ribs, house made pickles. So good.

CharlestonDining-10_HomeTeamBBQAnd of course, the requisite Fireball shots.

CharlestonDining-11_TwoBoroughsLarderA leisurely Saturday morning brunch at the charming Two Boroughs Larder was a treat.

CharlestonDining-12_TwoBoroughsLarderLove the design of this tiny space.

CharlestonDining-13_TwoBoroughsLarderFresh, delicious food and breakfast cocktails.

CharlestonDining-14_DellzJuiceI worked in hot power yoga and fresh green juice at Dellz Vibez twice during this visit. The Charleston Power Yoga is small and has a number of classes each day. The ones I attended were Baptiste in style and quick flow. Great instructors and nice people. Dellz Vibez is just a few doors down, and both are located on Upper King Street.

CharlestonDining-15_LeonsLeon’s Poultry & Oyster Shop opened in April and it was high on my list of new places to try. I love everything about restaurant design in Charleston – from well-designed logos/menus/signage to old spaces that incorporate reclaimed materials. This former paint and body shop has been transformed into a cleverly designed space with vintage and repurposed details, exposed beams, and a variety of textures and finishes. The food is as sexy as the space.

CharlestonDining-16_LeonsWe ordered all of the oysters … fresh, chargrilled, and Rockefeller — and we enjoyed them all, especially the chargrilled platter.

CharlestonDining-17_LeonsSiam slaw – napa cabbage, avocado, peanuts, orange, fried shallots, and fresh herbs … hush puppies with honey butter … fried chicken … and corn …

CharlestonDining-18_LeonsThe corn on the cob was a highlight. Brushed with mayonnaise and rolled in fried shallots, cheese, and herbs. Savory and bursting with flavor.

CharlestonDining-19_EdmundsOastNext up was a memorable late afternoon at  Edmund’s Oast, with their outstanding selection of beer and libations and charcuterie.

CharlestonDining-20_EdmundsOastWe chose to drink pink.

CharlestonDining-22_EdmundsOastAnd eat only vegetables. These fried heirloom carrots with yogurt and pistachios were my favorite.

CharlestonDining-23_EdmundsOastDessert for two. Of course, we had room for a small taste of these moist, dense brownies with Italian meringue, graham cracker crumble, and salted sorghum caramel.

CharlestonDining-21_EdmundsOastFunny dessert cocktail.

CharlestonDining-24_ProofOnMainWe spent several evenings at Proof, a chic, sexy cocktail bar on upper King Street. Owner Craig Nelson, mixologist extraordinaire, crafts impeccable cocktails, delivered with a flourish and a lesson.

CharlestonDining-25_ProofOnMainVida mezcal, Reyes ancho chile liquor, agave shrub, and a bread and butter jalapeño wrapped in orange peel.

CharlestonDining-26_ProofOnMainI’ll have to update with the description … I totally lost track as cocktail after cocktail was set in front of me. Craig?

CharlestonDining-27_ProofOnMainThe tall glasses are Reverb, Proof Gin & Tonic, a few shots of Fernet Branca, for good measure, and the remains of the previous drinks.

CharlestonDining-28_ProofOnMainMore of the gang whooping it up at Proof: Robert Strickland, Craig Nelson, Jed Portman, and Eric Doksa. Thanks, guys, for a most memorable trip!

Read more about my Charleston adventures, including an amazing meal at Husk.

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See lots of branding, restaurant design, entertaining, and barbecue ideas on our Pinterest boards.
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