Pakistani Cuisine Comes to Mt. Pleasant

If you’re an avid follower of my blog, you already know that I was a huge fan of Ma’am Saab, a former Pakistani restaurant in the former Workshop space. I was super excited to find out that the owners of this fabulous and authentic Pakistani eatery decided to open up not one but TWO new restaurants. One is going to be open soon on Meeting Street downtown and the other just recently opened in Mt. Pleasant in the Towne Center shopping mall. The restaurant is called Malika and they are serving up delicious and authentic Pakistani street food and entree dishes.

The restaurant is somewhat similar to their former restaurant in Workshop in terms of the layout and ordering system. You place your order at a register and the food is brought out to you when it is ready. The restaurant is open for indoor dining, takeout as well as outdoor dining. I ordered takeout when I visited the restaurant and ordered the Shakkar Kandi Chaat and the Cholay Biryani.

The Shakkar Kandi Chaat ($10) is part of the “street food” menu and consists of large sweet potato wedges tossed in a slightly spicy chaat masala and is combined with onions and cilantro. I loved the medley of flavors in this dish and the masala seriously took the flavor up a huge notch. It was both sweet and spicy and the potatoes were cooked to soft perfection.

The Cholay Biryani ($15) consists of a chickpea masala layered with basmati rice and is served with a side of onion and cucumber salad. This dish was crazy delicious and well worth the price as the serving size was huge and lasted me several days! The chickpea masala was super thick and creamy and the rice was mixed with lots of different seasonings, creating another fabulous flavor fusion. The onion and cucumber salad was the perfect complimentary dish as it seemed to balance out the spicy flavors in the biryani.

I am forever impressed with the way Chef Maryam and co-founder, Raheel are bringing traditional Pakistani cuisine to the Lowcountry. Charleston has some killer Shrimp n’ Grits, but I think it’s about time we expand our taste buds, don’t you? Stay tuned to see when their next restaurant opens!

Farm Fresh Mediterranean Cuisine at The Daily

If you hadn’t already noticed, I’m a big fan of Mediterranean cuisine. Give me a big plate of hummus and I’ll be practically licking the bowl. That might explain why The Daily and sister restaurant, Butcher and Bee are two of my favorite restaurants in Charleston. The Daily is known for its delectable breakfast options, such as their avocado toast, whipped feta toast and a scrambled egg pita sandwich. They are also open for lunch and offer delicious things such as a hummus bowl with farm fresh veggies. Last week I had a friend come to town and I just couldn’t let her leave without taking her to this fabulous restaurant. Of course, she loved it so much that she went back again! Keep reading to see what we indulged in..

Loaded Avocado

This dish only cost me $8 and consisted of a bowl full of toasted bread, half an avocado, an over-easy egg, a carrot chili crisp sprinkled inside the avocado, fresh local greens, pickled red onions and lots of seeds sprinkled throughout. What I love most about this dish is that it provides the opportunity to create your own avocado toast, as it pretty much consists of all the appropriate and delicious toppings. The carrot chili crisp really takes the dish up a notch as it provides just the right amount of spicy flavor and crunchy texture to perfectly round out the dish. Highly recommend ordering this upon your next visit!

Whipped Feta Toast

The Whipped Feta toast ($7) at the Daily is definitely something you MUST order when you dine there. The feta is so creamy it melts right in your mouth and the local honey drizzled on top, along with black pepper and chives really creates the ultimate flavor combo. Its both sweet and savory, with a hint of heat. It is truly a one-of-a-kind dish and will have you immediately craving more.

Avocado Toast

Ok, so The Daily’s avocado toast is pretty simple, with ingredients consisting of smashed avocado, za’atar and olive oil, but what really takes the dish to another level is the toasted fresh sourdough. There is truly no better bread that I’ve tried in Charleston than the bread from The Daily and Butcher and Bee. It’s soft and truly tastes homemade. You can even purchase the bread for yourself at the restaurant or at Whole Foods!

Not only does The Daily have a killer breakfast and lunch menu, but they also have excellent coffee, smoothies and grab and go options. If you head to the back of the restaurant, you’ll find a selection of farm fresh fruits and veggies available for purchase, as well as pre-made salads, hummus, and other dips and beverages. I love that The Daily offers plenty of healthy options at affordable prices. Not to mention, if you’re feeling something sweet, they’ve got some amazing pastries as well. Don’t skip on the Marathon Bar or the Pistachio Rose Morning bun! Yum..

Caribbean Simplicity at Patois

New to West Ashley’s culinary scene is a restaurant called Patois, formerly known as Spanglish. The restaurant is now under new ownership, which is the reason for the name change, as well as the culinary concept change. The restaurant is now serving up dishes influenced by the islands in the Caribbean with simplicity, yet lots of flair. I recently ventured over to West Ashley to check out this new restaurant, and it did not cease to please me!

My favorite dishes that I tried at Patois were the watermelon salad and the curry entree. The watermelon salad was complete with thick and juicy chunks of watermelon, mint, pepitas, and hearty chunks of lightly fried cheese (aka halloumi). I think my favorite thing about the salad was of course the fried cheese chunks, but I also loved the mint and watermelon flavor combo. The salad truly seemed to cover all the bases of hearty, savory, minty, nutty, sweet and refreshing. Honestly the perfect summer salad.

The restaurant itself was quaint and charming and proved to be a perfect spot for a casual happy hour with friends. There is both covered outdoor seating, as well as indoor seating. I would suggest making a reservation before going though because the restaurant is small and would probably fill up quickly on a weekend evening. Don’t miss out on this eclectic, simple, yet delicious Caribbean cuisine!

The curry entree consisted of a large plate of brown rice paired with a thick curry stew containing greens, tomatoes and peas, and was topped with sweet peppers. I loved how rich in flavor this dish was, but also loved that it didn’t have a strong spice level, sticking with the restaurant’s theme of simplicity. I loved that the vegetables used in this dish were fresh and local, which really adds so much flavor and character to a dish. I will definitely be ordering this again in the near future!

Poolside Imbibing at Little Palm Bar

Little Palm Bar has hit the high road with its brand new location inside the also new and very swanky Ryder Hotel. This bar is unique in that it is home to both an open air bar and swimming pool that is open to both hotel guests and the general public. The bar is known for its unique and carefully crafted cocktails, as well as their eclectic food variety.

Upon my recent visit to this new and swanky hot spot, I sat at a cabana table right on the side of the pool with a group of friends. We tend to be a bit more simplistic when it comes to our cocktail choices, so the majority of the group ordered Moscow Mules. Despite our simplistic choice in beverage, the mule proved to be exceptionally flavorful, with very strong notes of ginger. I especially loved that the cocktail was garnished with candied ginger and a lime…the perfect touch! When it comes to beverages at Little Palm Bar, it is important to note that the drinks are definitely on the not-so-affordable end, with most specialty cocktails averaging $15. If you want to splurge, I’d say its definitely worth it, but if you’d like to stay in the more affordable range, I would suggest opting for a local beer on tap.

As for food, we tried their iced crudite ($8), the panisse ($11), and the grilled watermelon ($13). The iced crudite consisted of an assortment of vegetables served in a bowl of ice, along with a smoked cashew ranch dipping sauce. The ranch dipping sauce was extra creamy and delectably tangy in flavor, proving to be the perfect dipping sauce for this appetizer dish. The panisse was definitely a highlight among the appetizers we enjoyed. Panisse is essentially lightly fried sticks of dough made from chickpea flour. The panisse was topped with shredded grana padano cheese and served with a dipping sauce that was deliciously creamy and also quite full of tangy flavor. I loved the lightly fried texture of the panisse when biting into it, paired with the gritty texture, yet full of flavor chickpea filling. I highly recommend ordering this dish on your next visit to Little Palm. It’s definitely a dish that is unique to the Charleston culinary scene. Finally, the grilled watermelon proved to be the star of the show. We scarfed this dish down in minutes! The dish was complete with a very large slice of fresh watermelon topped with arugula, sweet herbs, pistachio, and preserved lemon. I absolutely loved the sweet and juicy flavors of the watermelon, paired with the herby and nutty flavors in the toppings, as well as the hint of citrus provided by the lemon. It was truly the ultimate fusion of flavors and we savored every bite.

I hope you all get the chance to check out this fabulous new summer hang out! Be sure to bring a bathing suit so you can sip on your cocktail while chilling out in the pool in the middle of downtown Charleston! Truly can’t think of a better combo.

Berkeley’s Brings Cheesesteaks to the South

Y’all know I love trying the hottest new restaurants in the Charleston culinary scene, and lately there’s been tons of new restaurants opening up every week! Most recently, Berkeley’s opened up in a small space, formerly operated as a pizza shop on the corner of Rutledge and Huger. Berkeley’s had been operating as pop-up a couple times a month at various places, but recently had the opportunity to open up their very own brick-and-mortar. The restaurant is owned by Marc and Elizabeth Hudacsko, who hail from New Jersey. The couple wanted to bring their take on hearty sandwiches, such as the french dip and cheesesteak with house-made cheese whiz to Charleston and create a cute, comfy and casual neighborhood hangout spot. The couple seems to have done just that, as recently the restaurant has been bustling with their open air bar and large outdoor dining area.

Recently, I had the opportunity to go check Berkeley’s out and it sure did not disappoint! I ordered take-out from the restaurant one evening and the following week, I dined on their outdoor patio. I tried the spicy roasted shrimp, the beet salad, the hummus, the cheesesteak and the roasted salmon entree. The spicy shrimp was a standout dish, with its creamy and spicy (but not TOO spicy) cream sauce smothered on top of thick and creamy polenta. I also loved the simplicity of the beet salad, providing a lighter option to balance out a more heavier part of the meal. The honey spiced nuts paired with the blue cheese in the salad really took the dish up a notch, providing a delicious tangy and sweet flavor combo. The hummus was delicious as well, proving to be an excellent appetizer dish, with strong hints of tahini, paired with the crunchy texture of fried chickpeas on top.

The cheesesteak was of course the star of the show. The steak was cooked to perfection and had lots of smoky flavor, while the house-made cheese whiz was smothered consistently on all parts of the sandwich (even oozing out the sides!) and had wonderful tangy flavor. I took one bite and it seemed to just melt right in my mouth. Lastly, the roasted salmon dish proved to be the perfect, refreshing dish on a hot summer day. It was flavorful, filling, perfectly flaky and well seasoned.

If you haven’t had a chance to check Berkeley’s out yet, you need to get on it right now because this is certainly not a place to miss. It’s perfect for summer al fresco dining for weekday lunch or happy hour in the evening. The prices are on point and it’s already proving to be the ultimate neighborhood hangout. What’s not to love about Berkeley’s?!?

Top 5 Meals I Ate on Vacation

Just last weekend I returned from a two week trip to THREE different places! I began my journey in Indianapolis, Indiana for a friend’s wedding, then traveled to Boston, Massachusetts to visit with my brother for a few days (he is attending Boston College), and finally culminated my travels with a week and a half visit to my family beach house in Old Orchard Beach, Maine. If you find yourself feeling like you need a break from this crazy Charleston heat, New England is definitely the place to be! I ate a lot of delicious things throughout my travels and thought I would take some time to share a few highlights.

  1. Landwer Cafe’s Breakfast for Two

My brother’s apartment where I was staying was literally just a few blocks down the road from this fabulous Mediterranean restaurant, so naturally I went there for breakfast both days I was there. I was immediately obsessed with the place as soon as I walked in the door. I loved the diner style setting paired with an authentic Mediterranean ambiance. Upon my first visit to the restaurant, my brother and I enjoyed “Landwer’s Breakfast for Two”, which consisted of two veggie omelettes, cream cheese, feta cheese, labneh, halva spread, eggplant and tahini spread, tahini with salsa, guacamole, Greek yogurt with granola and honey, jam and butter, and pita bread to pair. The spread was perfectly arranged on a platter in small bowls, providing a very unique dining experience. The full meal cost us just $28, making it a pretty good bang for our buck.

2. The Circle Pizza

I admittedly was a bit concerned about eating my first meal in Boston at this divey Boston College bar, but I was with my brother and a few of his friends, so I went with the college kid flow. We ordered pizzas and well, turns out they were actually some exceptionally delicious pizza pies. We ordered a buffalo chicken pizza and a veggie pizza. I was impressed with how large the pizzas were and the heaping amounts of veggies they put on the veggie pizza! The dough was soft and flavorful and they definitely did not skimp on the cheese! I honestly probably would’ve gone back for more If I had the time.

3. Lobster Rolls at the Lobster Shack

One of my favorite places to eat a lobster roll when I go to Maine is the Lobster Shack, located at Two Lights State Park in Cape Elizabeth. The restaurant is very casual and has picnic benches right on the water, providing a beautiful setting to enjoy your lunch. You can get a “lobster boat” for just about $16, which gets you a delicious, melt in your mouth lobster roll, as well as a side of cole slaw and french fries. You really can’t beat the views at this restaurant or the lobster rolls to pair.

4. Poutine at Duck Fat

I traveled 20 minutes from my beach house one evening to head into Portland for a bit of exploration and of course some dinner. Portland, Maine has many famous restaurants and therefore, getting into one of them proved to be more difficult than I expected. We were able to get a table at Duck Fat, which is known for exactly what the name entails…duck fat…particularly piled on top of a heaping plate of french fries! My family and I ordered the poutine, which consisted of Belgian fries topped with locally sourced cheese curd, duck gravy, and chives. We had the option to add duck confit on top, which of course we couldn’t say no to. The dish was messy, just as poutine should be and I loved the crunchy texture of the fries paired with the melt-in-your mouth texture of the duck confit. The cheese curds gave it just the right amount of tangy flavor, making it the highlight of our meal. I also enjoyed a delicious wedge salad, complete with duck fat bread crumbs and chucks of delicious and flavorful smoked duck. Highly recommend checking this place out if you ever find yourself in Portland!

5. Blueberries!

There is no ifs, ands or buts about it. Maine blueberries are the best blueberries. Every summer when I am in Maine, I stock up on all the fresh, local blueberries, which you can find in most grocery stores in the area. These blueberries have just the right amount of sweetness, with a hint of tart flavor and are so delicious paired with your morning yogurt or oatmeal. I had the opportunity during my visit to pick my own blueberries, which proved to be so beautiful and delicious that I baked a blueberry crisp on the final evening of my vacation.

Top Spots for Coffee and a Pastry

Harken Cafe

One of my go-to spots recently for some of my all-time favorite pastries in Charleston is Harken on Queen Street in downtown Charleston. Sister cafe of The Harbinger, this cafe is home to delicious homemade muffins, cookies, bars, and pound cakes. They also have a full food menu, complete with items such as avocado toast, salads, and sandwiches. My standard order at this cafe is the dirty turmeric chai latte and a pastry (I try to switch it up every time I go). Pictured below is a coffee cake they were offering up the day I went. Highly recommend snagging the table by the french doors so you can people watch while enjoying your coffee and pastry.

Brown’s Court Bakery

Brown’s Court is home to another one of my go-to Charleston pastries, the Carmelita! This pastry is essentially a caramel and chocolate filled oat bar and it is incredibly addictive. Not only do they have amazing carmelitas, but they also have a plentiful assortment of freshly baked croissants, cookies, macaroons, bagels, breads, and donuts. They have a full coffee bar as well, so you can pair your sweet treat with a flavored latte. For the best asthetic, enjoy your coffee and treat on the second floor balcony!

La Pattiserie

This adorable french-style cafe is located inside the Hotel Bennet and offers a wide selection of croissants, sandwiches, exquisite french desserts, eclairs and other sweet treats. In addition, they have a full coffee bar offering an assortment of lattes, cappuccinos and other coffee beverages. I love this cafe because it truly encompasses the french-style cafe setting. Highly recommend sitting at a table outside in front of the cafe to observe the King Street passer-by’s and feel like you’re being transported to the streets of Paris!

Second State Coffee

You’ll find me frequenting this cafe quite often, as I am a sucker for their cold brew coffee and scones! Second State is a fantastic and very convenient option because they now have three locations! You can visit them downtown and in Mt. Pleasant in the shopping center off of Shelmore Boulevard or at the Oyster Park apartment complex. Second State offers a full coffee bar as well as delicious scones, muffins, and cookies. You can find a full food menu offered only at the Shelmore Boulevard location.

Mercantile and Mash

Mercantile and Mash nails it every single time with their delectable pastry assortment. Every morning this market-style cafe offers an assortment of scones, gluten-free pastries, cookies, and croissants to pair with their delicious coffee. Mercantile serves up delicious springbok coffee, as well as macchiattos, cappuccinos, lattes with house-made syrups, and specialty lattes that are featured each month. In addition, they offer a full food menu. You definitely don’t want to skip out on this Charleston favorite.

Dining Out and Eating Local

It’s summer time y’all and its honestly my favorite time of year. Not only am I the weird one who loves the heat, but I love the abundance of local produce that is available right now. Farmers markets are in full swing and restaurants are serving up dishes with some of the most beautiful and fresh local produce around. I thought it was the perfect time to tell you about a few of my favorite restaurant dishes that incorporate local produce and other locally made goods.

Holy City Brewery

Holy City is one of my all time favorite breweries in Charleston. Located in North Charleston off of Spruill Ave, this brewery not only offers a great craft beer selection, but a killer food menu as well. Recently they started serving a black bean hummus on their appetizer menu that is served with fresh rainbow carrots, and pretzel crisps. This dish is purely divine and you definitely do not want to skip out on this health-filled $8.00 dish to balance out the burger you’ll be eating next!

Rutledge Cab Company

Rutledge Cab Company is located in the upper peninsula on Rutledge Avenue and serves up a variety of delicious apps, salads, burgers, pasta dishes and even milkshakes! One of my favorite apps on their menu right now are their shishito peppers. Shishito peppers are basically right in between a jalapeno and a sweet pepper in terms of heat level. If you like a bit of heat, but not an overpowering amount, these peppers are for you! Not to mention they are super in season right now. Rutledge Cab Company serves up these delicacies sauteed with local Marsh Hen Mill benne seeds, some lime, teriyaki seasoning and pairs them with a roasted green onion aioli dipping sauce. If there is one way to get yourself to eat veggies, these peppers are the ticket! You’ll get a small cast iron skillet of them for $11 and its definitely enough for two to share (if you want).


Micho is located in an orange shipping container (literally) on the deck of the Pour House on James Island. Micho serves up gourmet tacos on locally made Milta corn tortillas. Not only are all their meats made fresh in-house, but they also incorporate fresh produce into their tacos as well. My favorites are the Hongos (mushroom) taco and the Roasted Cauliflower taco. You can get 3 tacos for $11.95, which is an excellent deal! Pro tip: check out the live music schedule at Pour House so you can be sure to enjoy your tacos with some excellent live music in the background!

Bay Street Biergarten

Bay Street Biergarten, located of course on East Bay Street is the perfect hang out for Sunday brunch or Friday night chilling with friends. Upon recent discovery, this restaurant is serving up a delicious asparagus and corn salad for just $10. The salad is made with Belgium endives, radish, peanuts, oranges and a lemon dill dressing. I can’t guarantee that all the ingredients in this salad are local, however they are all super fresh and seasonal. The salad itself is delicious and is full of citrus and nutty flavors. The asparagus is cooked to perfection, providing a slight crunchy texture to the salad. It’s the perfect thing to pair with a plate of Freaky Taters!

Budget-Friendly Ways to Enjoy Memorial Day Weekend in Charleston

  1. Flea-Esta!

Head over to 2221 Noisette Boulevard from 10-2 on Sunday, May 30 and shop tons of local artisans, local produce, enjoy food from food trucks, coffee, and FREE live music! Also, make sure you hit up my favorite bakery, Mabel Mae’s Bakery, who will be serving up all the sweet treats! This event will be happening every last Sunday of the month from May-August.

2. Hit up the Beach!

There’s really no better budget-friendly way to celebrate a holiday weekend than a day at the beach. If you go to Folly Beach, I highly recommend swinging by Baguette Magic on James Island and picking up a cruffin (if you get there early enough!) or the Recovery Baguette, which is only $9 and equally delicious and filling. Of course, the ultimate budget friendly way to enjoy a meal on the beach is by packing a picnic! If you do plan on heading to the beach this weekend, make sure to leave early on in the day to avoid lots of traffic!

3. Snag a Meal and a Brew at Workshop for Their Final Weekend

Workshop is shuttering its doors for good this coming Monday, May 31 so this weekend is your final opportunity to enjoy all that the beloved test kitchen/fancy food court concept has to offer! My personal favorite things to order at Workshop are the the chocolate babka from Blazing Star Cafe ($6 for a small loaf), the Chaat Papri Snack Plate ($10) and the Lahori Cholay with Puri ($16) from Ma’am Saab. Pair your meal with a brew from Edmund’s Oast Brewery. This weekend they are featuring a brand new beer selection – the Sour Sherbet, which is available both canned and on tap!

Lahori Cholay with Puri and a side of Masala Fries

4. Shop Local at the Sunday Brunch Farmer’s Market

Head over to the Pour House on James Island and stock up on local produce, honey, freshly baked bread and other handmade goods. You can also enjoy FREE live music and enjoy food from food trucks. The Foxes Fried food truck will be there for the first time, as well as Micho and the Don Sazon food truck. You definitely don’t want to miss out on a farmers market on a beautiful holiday weekend!

I hope you all have the most fabulous long weekend and that you have the opportunity to get out and enjoy one of these fun activities with family and friends. If you happen to spot me at one of these, be sure to say hi! Happy Memorial Day Weekend, folks!

Fine French Cuisine at Saveurs du Monde

Recently I checked out the Saveurs du Monde’s newest location in the Westedge shopping center downtown. Saveurs du Monde now has three different locations in Charleston. There is one on Long Point Road, one in the Seaside Shopping center (both in Mt. Pleasant) and finally the location in Westedge. The location in Westedge differs greatly than the other locations in that it is the largest and offers evening dinner and bar service. I was quite eager to see what it was all about!

The area of the restaurant that is reserved for dinner service is quite small, but also provides the perfect opportunity for personalized and elegant dining and drink service. We soon discovered that our waiter was in fact french and the executive chef himself was also from France so we knew we were getting the real deal!

Ok, so their dinner menu is definitely not the cheapest form of dining, but if you want to splurge and get an authentic French dining experience, this restaurant is the way to go. We did try to choose food that was among the cheaper options on the menu, such as the mussels ($12), the Crab A La Parisienne ($14), the gazpacho ($12) and the Burger New Lode ($32).

The mussels were served in a creamy white wine broth and were extra buttery and seemed to melt right in our mouths. We loved how easy to munch on these were, while still maintaining a very satisfactory flavor to tide us over until the rest of our food arrived. The mussels were served with freshly baked bread and butter. Yum!

For our main courses, we had a few of the things on the appetizer part of the menu and one thing from the entree section. I always find that when dining at a more expensive restaurant, trying to create the main part of your meal off the appetizer section is the best way to go. I enjoyed their gazpacho, which was a chilled vegetable soup that was salty, tangy and full of zesty flavor. It was paired with toasted bread, topped with a pesto spread. Dipping the bread in the gazpacho provided the ultimate flavor fusion! My mom enjoyed their Crab A La Parisienne, which consisted of crab leg, broccoli, carrots, and zucchini all mixed together to form one large heaping mound of goodness. There was some spiced mayo, lobster cream and seaweed thrown into the mixture as well. I not only loved the unique flavor combos of this dish, but also the creamy and thick textures thrown in as well. Lastly, we tried the Burger New Lode, which was a burger stacked very high and filled with mayo, minced oysters, red onion and ginger confit, a homemade beef patty, gouda cheese and beef jus. The burger was served with fries, which were essentially roasted diced potatoes. The minced oysters and the confit were definitely the highlights of this dish. I mean who knew you could mince oysters?! The confit had both sweet and tangy flavors and complimented this dish quite well. This burger was definitely well worth the splurge!

As delicious as our dinner was at Saveurs du Monde, I couldn’t help but wish their menu was slightly more expansive. I hope that as their restaurant continues to grow and thrive that they incorporate more vegetable dishes into their menu, as well as more fish oriented dishes and more CHEESE! Obviously you can’t have a French restaurant and not have a plethora of cheese on your menu. Finally, I will say that if you are looking for a much more budget friendly meal than what is offered through their dinner service, I highly recommend visiting the restaurant for breakfast or lunch. They offer delicious pastries and breakfast sandwiches, as well as crepes and quiches for lunch that are mostly in the $10 range. Bon appetit!