Cauliflower Crust Pizza at Steel City Pizza

Steel City Pizza really hits a high note with their freshly made pizzas, fresh ingredients and even a recent addition of cauliflower crust pizzas! Steel City Pizza draws its roots in from Pittsburgh, PA, known for its spectacular family style pizza restaurants. The restaurant has been slinging Pittsburgh style pizzas in Charleston for over 13 years. There are locations in Summerville, North Charleston and Mt. Pleasant.

Last weekend I visited the Steel City location in Mt. Pleasant with my mom and we decided to split their California Veggie Cauliflower Crust Pizza. This pizza is complete with a deliciously tangy and slightly sweet red sauce, lots of melted provolone and mozzarella cheese, roasted red pepper, caramelized onion, baby spinach and chili flakes. I loved the flavor that the red sauce added to this pizza – honestly I can’t remember the last time I had a red sauce that was so full of flavor. The cheese to crust ratio hit a high note as well. The cauliflower crust is very thin so obviously that just means you need lots of cheese, which Steel City did not skimp on! I loved the spinach, red pepper and onion mixed in with, which made the pizza super colorful and extra delicious. The entire pizza cost us $14, which might seem a bit steep for a cauliflower crust pizza, but the taste made it well worth the price. If you split it with a friend, that can help lower the price per person as well.

The restaurant offers plenty of appetizers, pasta dishes, wings, salads, “weggies”, cheesesteaks, sandwiches and a variety of standard crust pizzas. I would say if you’re feeling extra hungry, definitely opt for one of the standard crust pizzas, as the cauliflower crust I mentioned previously is super thin. You can also pair a cauliflower crust pizza with an appetizer or some wings for a delicious, hearty meal. I hope you get a chance to indulge in some pizza at Steel City soon!

NYC Bagels Come to Chucktown at Little Line!

Heads up New York City Bagel fanatics – there’s a new hot spot in town and they’ve sure got the goods! Little Line Kitchen and Provisions recently opened up on Line Street near Ashley Avenue. It’s a very small cafe/market with bar seating and a few window seats available. You can either dine in if seating is available or take your food to go. They even have an online ordering system! Not only do they have delicious coffee, but they have an array of delicious food options as well, with their staple item being NYC bagels.

The bagels at Little Line are imported from a popular bagel chain in New York City called H&H Bagels and they are incredibly delicious. Little Line allows you to order bagels by the half or full dozen OR you can order a bagel sandwich from their menu. The cafe offers a breakfast and lunch menu and is open daily until 3pm, except Sundays. Upon my recent visit to the cafe, I ordered the garden bagel, which has an olive cream cheese (I opted for plain – not an olive fan here), fresh greens, tomato, onion, salt and pepper and got it on an everything bagel. The whole sandwich cost me just a little over $7 and boy was it delicious. The cream cheese was delectably smooth and the bagel itself was soft and had some hints of sweet flavor mixed in with strong notes of pepper and salt. It truly seemed to all just melt in my mouth and I savored every bite.

As for lunch, the cafe offers items such as hummus, falafel, an array of salad options, burgers, shrimp rolls and even some vegan options! You really do not want to miss out on what Little Line has to offer – it may be quickly becoming my new favorite on-the-go spot in town. Affordable, quick and exceptionally delicious – what could be better?!

Seafood and Small Plate Galore at The Longboard

New to the Sullivan Island restaurant scene is The Longboard! This restaurant is known for its delicious seafood entrees and small plate dishes made with fresh and in-season vegetables. Upon my recent visit to the restaurant I sampled a few of their small plate options, which proved to be incredibly delicious, affordable and filling!

The mango and cucumber salad was complete with ginger, toasted coconut and sunflower seed granola. I loved how hearty this dish was and the sweet, savory and nutty flavors that filled the bowl. The slight hints of ginger gave it the perfect kick to take the dish up a notch. $12

The roasted cauliflower dish was probably my favorite dish. The cauliflower was roasted to perfection – soft to the bite with a slight crunch. It was seasoned with a jerk seasoning and was mixed with raisins, capers and yogurt providing both sweet and tart complimentary flavors. I will definitely be ordering this dish again! $14

We of course had to try a few seafood dishes, so we ordered the “grill and chill” shrimp from the raw bar as well as the ceviche. The shrimp was smothered in the most amazing seasoning that packed a bit of heat, with some hints of sweet flavor. It was served with a yuzu aioli and a house cocktail sauce, which both proved to be the most delicious accouterments.1/2 lb – $18 The ceviche was full of the most flavorful fish and was paired with notes of apple and ginger. The dish was served with flavorful and crunchy yuca chips. $17.

The items from the raw bar proved to be a bit more pricey, so if you’re looking for the most affordable way to enjoy food from the restaurant, I would stick to the small plate items. The restaurant is know its seafood however, so splurging on at least one item from the raw bar would definitely be well worth it. Don’t miss out on this delectable Sullivan’s Island eatery!

Charleston’s Newest Food Hall: Port of Call

I think it’s safe to say that we lost a true Charleston gem when Workshop closed, which is why I couldn’t have been more excited about the opening of Port of Call on Market Street! Port of Call is now home to two full bars, which both feature lots of local craft beers, as well as an outdoor dining area, a raw bar, and 4 food stalls. The food stalls are homes to Palmira BBQ, Bok Choy Boy (Filipino), Babko (Greek) and Iaca Bowls (poke bowls and acai bowls).

Upon my recent visit to Port of Call, I made a quick stop in for a takeout dinner and decided to try the Tropical Wave poke bowl (with added mushrooms/sub tofu) from Iaca Bowls and the Dan Daniel Noodles from Bok Choy Boy. I was amazed at how flavorful both of these dishes were. The Tropical wave poke bowl was very simple – complete with rice, edamame, chunks of pineapple, mango and mushrooms, and yet had pungent tangy and salty flavors. Pairing those flavors with the sweetness of the fruit in the bowl made for the most delectable dish.

Bok Choy Boy really hits a home run with their Dan Daniel Noodles. This dish is a veggie forward noodle dish, complete with cucumbers, zucchini, and scallions. It’s perfect for vegetarians and vegans and is full of nutty flavor from the peanuts and sauce mixed in, as well as hints of tang. I will definitely be ordering this again!

If you haven’t checked out this fanatastic new food hall, you best get on it today. It’s sure to become a hot new hangout, with plans to bring in local musicians as well. Don’t miss out!

The Best Local and Budget-Friendly Products to Buy Right Now!

1. LOWCOUNTRY KETTLE CHIPS

Do not sleep on these delicious kettle-cooked potato chips, freshly made right in Charleston. These chips are unique in that each flavor represents a signature flavor of the lowcountry. You can find them in select grocery stores, at local markets and some restaurants. You can also sign up for a a Community Supported Grocery bundle from Lowcountry Street Grocery and get a pack in your weekly bundle! A bag of chips is typically around $2.

2. MABEL MAE’S TREATS

Ok ok, so these treats are definitely not the cheapest ones out there (cost ranges from $5-$7 for most treats) but they are worth every penny. I have developed a bit of an obsession with them and just had to be sure you were all in the know. Mabel Mae’s is a local bakery owned and operated by Nikki Dube. Her treats are made with unrefined sugar and some even help mothers with their milk supply! She is continuously coming out with new treats and has widely expanded her line of products, so much that she is now selling them at multiple cafes around town. You can get your fill of these treats at Hustle Smoothie Bar, The Book Bar, and Eucalyptus Wellness Bar. You can also buy directly from her at various pop-up markets around town or purchase in bulk on her website. Be sure to follow her on Instagram to see where she’s headed next!

3. TILLER BAKING COMPANY

When it comes to bread, I only buy it locally because honestly it tastes the best. Tiller is usually my go-to because it comes in so many different varieties and seems to reflect southern bread baking at its finest. I usually get it in my Community Supported Grocery bundle from Lowcountry Street Grocery, but it can also be purchased at Whole Foods. Pro tip: Look for the Heritage Grit bread (it’s my fav!). Most loaves are about $6-$7.

Stay tuned for more..this is an ever-growing list!

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?!?