Our food adventures were hit-and-miss in Charleston. Neither of us are “foodies” but, mostly because we both have major health issues, we’re very finicky as far as the ingredients are concerned. We were mostly interested in locally sourced and/or seafood places. I already mentioned Henry’s in one of my posts. Here’s a short review of some of the other places we ate:
We had lunch at Gaulart & Maliclet Fast and French, located in the middle of everything on Broad near Meeting. It’s in a small townhouse and was packed when we were there. We were seated at a narrow bar-width communal table with strangers across from us, about two feet away. I had a veggie croissant “pizza” that was just okay. The idea of it — quaint and European — was more appealing than the actual experience, though I may consider trying it again at a less busy time, and do a better job of scoping out the menu.
We also had lunch at the Brown Dog Deli, a block away from Gaulart, on Broad at Church (there’s a second location on Calhoun). It was like an old-time diner on drugs, with booths with plastic seats, and albums and psychedelic posters from the 60s on the wall. It serves upscaled deli offerings. I had a very good spinach and goat cheese salad with strawberries, blueberries and salmon. What impressed me the most, however, was their large vegetarian (and not just fruits and veggies) selection. It was definitely a do-again.
We’re in the south, so we have to have biscuits, right? So we went to a place, near our hotel, called Callie’s Hot Little Biscuits (with another location at the City Market, and in Atlanta, Georgia) for lunch. They had huge biscuits stuffed with various meats, eggs and jams. Kathie had a biscuit with gravy, and I had their specialty: a biscuit with their house made pimento cheese. The cheese was amazing — I’d never had pimento that didn’t come in a little glass jar — but I found the biscuit a little dry. I actually liked the biscuit at our hotel’s free breakfast better.
Exhausted but hungry one evening, we only had the energy to make it half a block from our hotel, which was where Coast Bar and Grill was located. It was a large restaurant with an open kitchen (a Charleston theme) that served traditional seafood dishes. Kathie had fried shrimp and oysters and I had fish, green beans and mashed potatoes. All were solidly good. It wasn’t fancy or trendy — basically a cooking-for-the-masses type venue — but several steps above a chain.
We got the trendy at 167 Raw, which I found by looking up “Best Charleston Seafood Restaurants” on TripAdvisor. 167 Raw was #1 (there’s also one in Nantucket). They don’t take reservations so we showed up Old People Early for dinner and got the last two seats available at the time. The restaurant is teeny tiny — another theme in Charleston — and the entire place seats about 25 people. There are two four-tops and everyone else is at a bar that runs the length of the narrow room, then makes an L-turn to border the open kitchen. We were at the kitchen bar, with the grill directly in front of us. Both Kathie and I ordered fried oyster sandwiches and they came coated with a sweet and spicy Asian-esque sauce. It wasn’t what we expected, but it was very good and I’d definitely recommend it to one and all.