My Favorite Easter Week Noms

Ok y’all, we’re keeping it short and sweet this week. I got my second vaccination this week (yay!), so obviously I’ve been taking it easy. Don’t worry though, I still did my fair share of eating. Keep reading to see the highlights!

Zata’ar Arepas

If you haven’t yet experienced the arepa heaven that is Mama’s Ana’s Arepas, you really need to be closely examining all your life choices. Mama Ana’s is a Columbian pop-up arepa concept brought to you by Ana herself (also known in the Instagram world as @beergirlmeetsworld). At each pop-up event, she features her own unique twist on an arepa, which is essentially a thick, warm and moist corn pancake with various toppings. This week I attended her pop-up event at Graft Wine Shop, where she was featuring arepas topped with zata’ar spice, house made labneh and pomegranate molasses. In addition to the zata’ar arepas, she also featured cheese arepas, which were stuffed with cheese and topped with a house infused honey. I opted for the zata’ar arepas, which were 3 for $16. Yeah, ok not the cheapest price, but definitely worth the splurge with those extra delicious and unique toppings and fresh, homemade arepas! Make sure you are following her on social media to see where she is headed next!

Pickled Shrimp Salad

I celebrated my second vaccination with a trip to the brand new Kingstide restaurant on Daniel Island. My favorite dish of all the things I tried (post on that coming soon!) was the pickled shrimp salad. I loved how flavorful and vibrant this dish was. It was complete with sliced cabbage, cilantro, peanuts, prik nam pla sauce and of course the most delicious and flavorful shrimp! I will definitely be ordering this again. Ringing in at $13, this dish proves to be a pretty good bang for your buck, considering it would probably be enough for 2 people to split!

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Winin’ and Vibin’ at Stems and Skins

Last weekend I did a bit of Park Circle exploration with a few friends of mine. We capped off our evening with some delicious wine and snacks at Stems and Skins, an upscale wine bar. For as small as the space was, I was quite pleased with not only how great our service was, but also with the very large, sophisticated selection of wine and the delectable and beautifully presented food.

Stems and Skins sells a selection of wines from all around the world, as well as charcuterie and cheese, Mediterranean-style small plates and a few seafood dishes. The restaurant is small but plays a killer music selection, has well spaced out seating, as well as outdoor dining. With the lights dimmed and the upbeat music playing, along with delicious wine in your hand, you will be feeling like you’ve been transported to a fancy wine bar in New York City.

Upon my visit to Stems and Skins, I enjoyed a glass of the “Mission” red wine, which is from California. It is unique in that the wine is very light in color and has a very sweet, though not too sweet flavor. It also has very earthy undertones. I loved this wine and was quick to order another! Along with this delicious wine, I enjoyed a few small plates with my friends. We opted for the whipped ricotta with fermented garlic honey and the roasted oyster mushrooms. Both dishes were crazy delicious. I loved the thick and creamy texture of the whipped ricotta, along with its slightly sweet garlic flavor from the honey pooled on top of the ricotta. The dish was served with toasted bread slices. The roasted oyster mushrooms had a slight salty flavor and the texture was on point, being right in between chewy and almost crunchy. The mushrooms were combined with chopped egg and salsa verde, providing a hint of spicy flavor as well. We finished the plate in minutes!

As for affordability, the price of the very unique wines are definitely up there, so for ultimate affordability I would choose a wine by the glass that is under $10. Don’t worry, I’m sure it will still taste delicious. The small plates are pretty reasonable in pricing. The roasted oyster mushroom dish only cost me $10 and the whipped ricotta rang in at just $9. Both small plates were pretty decent portions and were definitely enough to feed at least 2 people. That being said, there are a lot of really cool places popping up in the Park Circle area, so if you find yourself in that area, be sure to hit up Stems and Skins for an appetizer, dinner, or even post-dinner drinks and dessert!

It’s also worth noting that Stems and Skins very recently hired a new executive chef (Julian Lippe), who formerly worked in the kitchen at FIG. He is planning to introduce more dinner-worthy dishes, such as fresh pasta and fish. He plans to incorporate lots of local produce and other local and seasonal ingredients into his dishes as well. Be sure to head there ASAP!

Al Fresco in the Springtime at Butcher and Bee

Last weekend I enjoyed the most perfect afternoon on the outdoor patio of Butcher and Bee. If you’ve been following along closely, you’ll know that I am a frequent diner at Butcher and Bee. For a mainly pescetarian person like me, Butcher and Bee is a true haven. I not only love its plethora of vegetarian and vegan options, but I also love the way that every dish they make truly seems to capture the traditional flavors of Mediterranean cuisine.

The Hummus

Butcher and Bee nails it with their hummus. I honestly can’t think of a better bowl of hummus than what they have here. I think what really makes it unique is that they top this incredibly creamy bowl of hummus with roasted chickpeas, which provides a bit of a crunchy texture to compliment the smooth texture of the hummus itself. Not to mention, the flavor is on point. It’s got a bit of spiciness from the harissa mixed in with it, as well as some tang. If you are a hummus addict like me, do not sleep on this delicious bowl of hummus! You can pair it with freshly baked pita bread and/or sliced veggies. $6

Brussels Sprouts

There are many ways to cook Brussels sprouts and often times at restaurants, you will order a plate of Brussels sprouts and be served a bowl of overly fried Brussels sprouts or very bland, roasted and under-seasoned Brussels sprouts. However, when ordering the Brussels sprouts at Butcher and Bee, you will be pleasantly surprised to find your plate of Brussels sprouts roasted to perfection. Not to mention, they are combined with chopped dates, pecans, pickled mustard seeds and diced apples. The Brussels have the perfect crunchy texture and with the combination of chopped fruit, nuts and mustard seeds, you’ll be treated to the perfect medley of sweet and tart flavors. My plate was devoured in minutes! $8

Celery Root Socca

Ok, you’re probably questioning what the heck socca is, but don’t worry I’ve done my research and I’ve got all the intel. Socca is a dish that originated in France and is essentially a very thin pancake made from chickpea flour. That probably doesn’t sound too appealing to most, but trust me when I say do not sleep on the socca at Butcher and Bee! This socca is unique because as it states in the name of the dish, it is made with celery root. The socca is paired with a slather of celery root tahini, as well as various winter greens. The socca is perfectly crunchy to the bite and very rich in both salty and tangy flavors. Just think of the Mediterranean dinner version of a pancake. $6

Vegan Oatmeal Cream Pie

This dessert is definitely one of the best things I’ve had in a long time. Yes, I know its vegan but its still delicious as ever. The cookies have the perfect amount of sweetness and are crunchy on the edges and more chewy once you get to the center. The cream filling consists of a cashew frosting, providing unique nutty and sweet flavors to pair with the taste of cinnamon and cloves in the cookies themselves. Definitely will be going back for another round of these soon! $5

*For ultimate affordability, I would suggest opting for items on the “Mezze”, “Dips”, or “Bowl” sections of the menu.*

5 Things I Ate This Week

  1. Homemade Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Cucumber Salad and Browns Court Bakery Buns

Ok, I know I’m not much of a meat eater, but when it comes to homemade pulled pork, I definitely find myself needing to indulge a bit – especially when it is made from the recipe of a top notch chef (who also happens to be a close family friend!). My parents had some neighbors and I over one evening, and my mom found it to be the perfect evening to get adventurous in the kitchen! She brined and cooked the pork over the course of 24 hours, and finished it off with a sweet brown sugar coating. She complimented the dish with sliced red cabbage, a homemade cucumber salad, a homemade hollandaise sauce, and provided the option of corn tortillas or Browns Court Bakery buns to make tacos or sandwiches with the pork. The meal was so full of flavor and bright colors. I just couldn’t get enough!

2. Lemon Chickpea Soup

After a meaty meal, I was definitely ready to get back to my veggies! I cooked up this hearty and thick stew from a recipe I found from a fellow blogger. Her name is Peyton Bratte and you can find her on Instagram at @choosing_balance. I love all her recipes. They are mostly vegetarian, healthy and are also quite creative! I had recently gotten a bunch of veggies from my Community Supported Grocery bundle and found this to be the perfect opportunity to put them to use! I loved the strong lemon flavor in this soup combined with the thick texture provided by purred chickpeas. Will definitely be putting this meal on repeat!

3. Wonderwall Smoothie

I decided to check out a new smoothie bar for lunch on one of my days off this week. Oasis recently opened a small restaurant on the side of a building on Meeting Street. It’s easy to miss, so listen to your GPS when it tells you to turn! Oasis sells a variety of smoothies, healthy toast combos, juices, acai bowls, salads, and grain bowls. I opted for their Wonderwall Smoothie, which consists of local strawberries, banana, peanut butter, and orange juice. This smoothie only cost me about $7 which is a pretty reasonable price compared to most smoothie restaurants in Charleston! Not to mention it was perfectly creamy, nutty, tart and sweet all at the same time. Definitely will be frequenting Oasis as the weather gets warmer!

4. Buddha Bowl from LOL4Lunch

On Wednesday evening, I decided to check out the weekly farmers market at Holy City Brewery. You can find the market yourself each Wednesday at the brewery from 4-7pm. I purchased several things, including this buddha bowl from a local organic and vegan meal service provider called LOL, which stands for Lauren’s Organic Lunchbox. Lauren makes a variety of healthy meals and snack packs, which you can order for the week at her website (http://www.lol4lunch.com). You can also do what I did and purchase one of her meals at the farmers market and eat a little bit of it every day. It can easily be enough for at least 2 meals! The buddha bowl cost me $15 and considering it lasted me a few days, it was well worth the price, and not to mention super delicious!

5. Curried Sweet Potatoes from Edmunds Oast

I spent an evening out on the patio with my parents one evening at Edmund’s Oast and ordered the most delicious spicy margarita and paired it with one of their new dishes, curried sweet potatoes. This dish consists of red curried roasted sweet potatoes placed on top of Carolina gold rice. The dish was delicious but maybe a tad bit too spicy for my taste buds. The creamy texture of the rice however was on point and paired wonderfully with the sweet potatoes. If you’re into spicy foods, definitely don’t miss out on this dish! It is priced at $18, which is a bit hefty but if you’re feeling adventurous it is definitely worth the splurge.

Wine and Dine at Graft Wine Shop & Bar

There is nothing I love more than a wine bar and Graft truly is a haven of some of the best wines the city has to offer. I had driven and walked past Graft many times and for some strange reason, never thought to walk in and actually try some of their provisions. A friend of mine is a regular at Graft and recently invited me on one of her weekly ventures over to the wine bar. I was pleased to see that despite being a very small wine bar, they had great COVID precautions with seating well spaced, including at the bar and they kept the front door open, so that the bar was well ventilated. Sure do love to see that!

My friend and I took seats at the bar and began perusing their extensive menu of European, Australian and Californian wines, as well as light snack-y options such as various cheeses, biscuits, and dips. My friend opted for the “Tuff-Nutt” Pet-Nat Australian sparkling wine ($12) and I opted for the Spanish “Dominio De Heredia” Rioja ($9). Obviously fancy wine from other countries isn’t always going to be the cheapest wine out there, but Graft does a great job of making your visit well worth what you spend. You can be like me too, and opt for some of the cheapest things on the menu and still enjoy some excellent wine and food.

For snacks to compliment our wine, we opted for the Callie’s “In-Between’s”($8), which are made by the fabulous team at Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit. These hand-made biscuits are basically a much smaller and flatter version of your average biscuit and are made with chorizo and cheddar cheese. They are served with pickled red onions which we thoroughly enjoyed topping our In-Between’s with, creating the most delectable cheesy and tart flavor combo. Not to mention, the moist and warm texture upon biting into one of these was top-notch.

We also enjoyed one of their cheese selections. We opted for the Weinkase LaGrein semi-soft cheese from Italy ($9). We loved the tangy flavor of the cheese and its slightly soft texture. It was paired with olives and freshly cut and warm bread. Truly such a delicious combo!

I also took note of their plentiful retail section. They have wine bottles for sale surrounding the bar and the best part is that they aren’t crazy expensive and are very unique wines from all over the world. My friend told me she buys all her wine for the week at Graft and I think it’s safe to say I may be soon doing the same! If you haven’t yet experienced the magic of Graft, I highly recommend treating yourself one evening very soon.

Running on Ramen

If you haven’t already noticed, ramen is making quite the appearance in Charleston these days. From ramen pop-ups to new ramen menu additions, there is plenty to go around! Seeing as it is what has been deemed “ramen season”, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to highlight some of my go-to spots for ramen right now.

CHASING SAGE

Chasing Sage has quickly become one of my favorite spots for takeout during the pandemic. Their unique pop ups featuring various ethnic foods have not disappointed. Right now they are doing a ramen pop up called “Everybody Loves Ramen” that is available for takeout or you can enjoy it in to-go containers at the tables outside the restaurant. They are offering a vegetable ramen and a pork ramen called Tonkatsu ramen. Upon my visit to this ramen pop-up, I opted for the vegetable ramen which was full of rich flavors and ingredients. It is made with a miso mushroom broth, bok choi, a hard-boiled egg, sesame, king oyster mushrooms, and is served with Japanese pickles. Hearty, flavorful and delicious, you really can’t go wrong with this ramen. The Tonkatsu ramen rings in at $14 and the vegetable ramen rings in at $12, making this one of the cheapest spots for ramen in the city.

JACKRABBIT FILLY

Recently, Jackrabbit Filly held its annual “Ramen With Friends” fundraiser throughout the month of January. Each week they welcomed a local guest chef into their kitchen who cooked up their own unique take on a ramen dish and offered it up to the community. I ordered takeout ramen on the final night of the fundraiser, in which Jeremiah Bacon of The Indigo Road restaurant group was cooking. I opted for the sweet potato ramen and I also ordered the pork belly ramen for my dad. What I loved about this ramen was that they definitely didn’t skimp out on the noodles. There was a perfect noodles to broth ratio and the addition of sweet potato provided a unique sweet taste to the dish. Ringing in at $15, this ramen is definitely not the cheapest but this is the price you’ll pay for most ramen in Charleston. Luckily, Jackrabbit Filly does a good job of making their ramen worth the price. Unfortunately Ramen with Friends is now over, but Jackrabbit Filly has plenty of other amazing options on their menu. Most similar to ramen would be their stir-fried noodles, which incorporates ramen noodles in the dish. Don’t miss out!

vegetable ramen
pork ramen

2 NIXONS

2 Nixons is a pop up that offers ramen on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays for both lunch and dinner at Proof downtown on King Street. Each week they offer different kinds of ramen. Recently I tried a triple garlic shoyu ramen that was crazy delicious. The dish was complete with egg, pickles, mushroom, and pickled tomatoes. The noodles were extra thick and the pickled tomatoes added to the dish really took it up a notch. It was tangy and tart all at the same time and I savored every bit. This ramen typically rings in at $15 (yeah, pretty much the standard ramen price in Chucktown), and though the price is a bit steep it is definitely worth the splurge every now and then!

Eating on a Whim!

If you’ve been following along on my Instagram account, you probably have seen me posting food photos on my story using the Whim.Social app. Whim.Social is an app that aims to show its users everything they need to know about what is happening right now in the area around them. Users can also post photos of things happening in the area that they feel others need to know about in that moment. This week, I participated in a campaign with Whim.Social called #WhimTheMoment, in which I posted about food specials or other things happening in Charleston that I felt people needed to know about in that moment. Keep reading to see what food specials I indulged in!

OFF TRACK ICE CREAM

I started my week at one of my favorite spots for ice cream. Off Track is located on Wentworth Street downtown, and specializes in vegan and non-vegan homemade ice cream. Yes, you can literally see the machines they make their ice cream in behind the ice cream counter. One of my favorite flavors that they have is their vegan chocolate peanut butter ice cream, which I paired with their non-vegan Springbok Cold Brew and Cookies ice cream. The Cold Brew and Cookies ice cream is part of a collaboration with Sprinkbok Coffee Roasters, a local Charleston coffee distributor, and let me tell you, it is everything and more. The coffee flavor in the ice cream is rich and the cookies mixed into the ice cream offer the perfect sweet flavor contrast and chewy texture. I don’t know how they do it, but Off Track just nails it every time I go.

BANH BANH MI

Banh Banh Mi is a Southeast Asian inspired restaurant with locations downtown, as well as in Mount Pleasant. I live just a few feet a way from the Mount Pleasant location, so you can assume that I frequent this restaurant quite a bit. Banh Banh Mi specializes in Banh Mi sandwiches, which are traditionally known as a Vietnamese street food. They are complete with an assortment of veggies, mayo, a protein and are served on a baguette. The restaurant also offers up salads, rice bowls, tacos, small plate options and large entree options. In addition to their usual menu offerings, the restaurant offers a selection of weekly specials, which I decided to indulge in. I ordered a cauliflower banh mi sandwich, as well as roasted sweet potatoes and butternut squash smothered in gochujang sauce. Both were incredibly delicious and so full of sweet, tangy, and spicy flavors that my mouth and eyes were watering. If you’re looking for a meal that makes you feel like you are actually dining in Southeast Asia, this is the place to go. Not to mention, their prices are quite reasonable!

GNOME CAFE

Gnome Cafe is known for its all vegan menu. It is a very small cafe located on the corner of President and Cannon Streets. I’ve tried a few of the items on their lunch menu, but my go-to food items are their baked goods and chia seed pudding. Every time I go to Gnome, they always have a different assortment of vegan and gluten free baked goods, along with a few staples. Upon my visit this week, I opted for their apple cinnamon muffin and their chocolate chia seed pudding. The muffin was perfectly sweet and I loved the chunks of apples I tasted as I chewed my way through the muffin. The chia seed pudding had the best rich and chocolate-y flavor, perfect for satisfying any chocolate-lover’s sweet tooth! It was topped with sliced bananas and almonds, providing a slight nutty contrast.

HARBINGER CAFE

Ok, sorry not sorry but I am completely and forever obsessed with this cafe. If you’ve been following my blog for awhile you’ve probably seen me talk about this cafe on multiple occasions. Lucky for you, here I am again to tell you about how much I love their daily salad selections. Every day, the Harbinger offers a selection of unique and delicious salad creations, which are beautifully displayed in large bowls in their front case. You can mix and match all the salads and they will serve it all to you on 1 plate or to-go box for just $11. You really don’t want to miss out on these salads and the great deal. I always have leftovers for lunch the next day!

CAVIAR AND BANANAS

I decided it was time to search for a delicious and unique drink special and Caviar and Bananas proved to be just the right place. Caviar serves a selection of specialty coffee drinks every week. I opted for their dark chocolate caramel latte, which really just hit the spot. It had a rich chocolate flavor with a smooth caramel finish. With an additional hint of espresso, it truly was the ultimate flavor combination. Definitely recommend stopping in for one of these before they’re gone!

If you’d like to try Whim.Social out for yourself, click the link below to download the app!

https://getwhim.onelink.me/CeHE/chsfoodiesonabudget.com

What You Need To Be Eating In 2021

It’s New Years Eve, the last night of one of the most difficult years to date. The struggle has been so real, not only for the general world population, but also for restaurants and small businesses. When the pandemic began, I soon realized how badly it would impact the food industry and knew I needed to do whatever I could to save it. That meant that even though it took awhile for restaurants to fully open, I was ordering takeout from my favorite restaurants multiple times a week. Once restaurants did fully open, I carefully selected restaurants that were taking all the right COVID precautions and had a good amount of outdoor seating available. I also continued ordering takeout on the regular. Even after a whole year has passed during this pandemic, many restaurants continue to struggle to make ends meet. This is why we all need to continue doing our part to support them, so that our favorite restaurants can stay afloat. Keep reading to see what my go-to meals were this year (you may remember some from previous posts), so that you can also enjoy them in 2021.

ANSON MILLS GRAIN BOWL FROM BUTCHER AND BEE

This bowl really hit a home run for me. It was complete with a colorful assortment of veggies, such as roasted sweet potatoes, tumeric onions, matchstick carrots, and Brussels sprouts. The veggies were combined with crispy brown rice, as well as the most delicious miso almond butter, creating a unique and delectable nutty flavor. The hummus smothered around the side of the bowl added the perfect amount of creaminess to the dish. I was a frequent visitor of Butcher and Bee this year, due to their super safe COVID precautions, their takeout capabilities, and their well-distanced outdoor seating.

CRUNCHY SALAD AT EDMUNDS OAST

I couldn’t get enough of Edmunds Oast this year, with their ultra-safe COVID precautions. They even added tables to their outdoor patio to allow more room for outside dining. Patrons were asked to order their food at the outside bar and the food was served in disposable containers. My favorite dish on their menu was the Crunchy Salad, which was composed of green apples, almonds, raisins, fresh greens, and a deliciously tangy homemade green goddess dressing. I loved the sweet and nutty flavors of this salad. I added poached shrimp to the salad, which had a tangy flavor and slight crunchy texture.

BAGUETTE MAGIC SANDWICHES

Baguette Magic is truly magic when it comes to their plentiful assortment of sandwiches served on their freshly baked baguettes. I loved how easy it was to place an order online and pick my sandwich up on the way for a day of lounging at the beach. My favorite sandwiches are the avocado sandwich (though no longer on the menu) and the Recovery Baguette, complete with scrambled eggs, bacon, prosciutto, white cheddar, tomato jam and arugula. It has all the right smoky, cheesy flavors and textures.

THE WORKSHOP

I was also a very frequent visitor of Workshop on upper King as they had plentiful outdoor seating available and an easy online ordering system. My favorite places to order from are Saha Mediterranean and Maam Saab. I love the tabbouli and the hummus at Saha. They are both full of rich, tangy and authentic flavors. The bread that the hummus is served with is warm and has a soft, chewy texture which paired quite well with the hummus. I also loved the Lahori Cholay with Puri dish from Maam Saab, which is Pakistani. It is chickpeas cooked into a curry with traditional spices. It is garnished with coriander and onions. I loved the thick texture of the dish combined with the unique spicy flavors.

The Daily

If you haven’t already noticed, I really love hummus. The Daily has done a great job of facilitating an excellent online ordering system, as they have not had indoor seating available for most of the year. I love their hummus bowl, which is complete with their extra tangy and creamy hummus, soft pita bread, diced cucumber and tomatoes, and the optional spaghetti squash and greens on the side. I also love their Farmer’s Hash, which is complete with spaghetti squash mixed with greens and romesco sauce, and is topped with a fried egg. I highly recommend opting for the Farmer’s Hash for breakfast and the hummus bowl for lunch!

My Top 5 Places to Safely (And Affordably) Dine in Charleston

  1. Huriyali

Ok, Huriyali is definitely a toss up when it comes to affordable dining, but that’s because most people can’t resist passing up one of their delicious lattes or smoothies to pair with their meal, which definitely can hike up the price of your meal. The best way to enjoy Huriyali affordably is to just opt for one of their menu items, which typically are enough to fill you up. My Huriyali go-tos are the Immunity smoothie, the Sea Island Sandwich, and the OG Acai Bowl. All these items are priced at $10 or less and are more delicious than you would ever expect a healthy meal to be. What’s even better is that Huriyali is taking super safe COVID precautions. They are not currently allowing indoor seating, but they have the most cozy and quaint outdoor patio that literally makes you feel like you are in a tropical rainforest!

2. Chasing Sage

Chasing Sage is a small restaurant on the corner of Line Street and Rutledge Avenue downtown. They are currently operating only as a pop-up restaurant and are only open for limited outdoor dining, as well as take-out. Currently they are doing a ramen pop-up and let me tell you, this ramen is so delicious I’ve had it twice already. I highly recommend opting for the vegetable ramen, which will only cost you $12. Turns out this price makes this ramen cheaper than most ramen options around town and is well worth the price. The ramen is full of large hunks of mushrooms, so only order this if you’re a big mushroom fan like I am. The noodles are perfectly soft and the flavor is on point, with its slightly salty notes. I also love the large jammy egg that is placed inside the ramen. They also are offering a few side dishes as well as pork ramen. \Don’t miss this before they move on to a new pop-up, which I’m sure will be just as yummy!

3. Baker and Brewer

Baker and Brewer is a unique place located on the upper peninsula in downtown Charleston that is home to EVO pizza and Holy City Brewery beer. Baker and Brewer has both indoor and outdoor seating, and even sitting indoors is safe because they keep the windows by the bar open, making it a very airy and open setting. This restaurant has been my go-to dining out location during the pandemic because it’s the only place I have felt safest. My favorite menu items currently are their Basil and Mushroom Pizza ($15), the Pistachio Pesto Pizza ($14), and the Vietnamese Cabbage Salad ($5). A gourmet pizza for $15 or under is really not one to pass up, nor is a decently sized side salad filled with very unique veggies and delicious nutty flavors. As for beer, I highly recommend opting for their Christmas Song beer ($6), which is a delicious, nutty brown ale brewed with roasted chestnuts. Most of their beer comes from a tap as well, so you’re really getting the best of the best!

4. Basic Kitchen

Basic Kitchen is another one of those places that can be a stretch when it comes to affordability, mainly due to the high price of their drinks and their portion sizes, but their COVID safety procedures are definitely on point. They are allowing indoor, as well as outdoor seating, all the servers wear masks, tables are well distanced, and the outdoor patio has heaters. What more could you ask for during these chilly winter months?? To get the best bang for your buck at Basic Kitchen, as well as a delicious and unique meal, I highly recommend opting for the special they are offering that day. It usually is within the $10-$20 range and will most likely consist of a meal variation you haven’t tried before, and not to mention will be super delicious. Upon my recent visit to Basic Kitchen, I tried one of their specials which consisted of white jasmine rice topped with lightly fried sliced tofu, as well as roasted broccoli topped with sesame seeds. The dish was crazy good and loaded with sweet and tangy flavors. The fried tofu had the perfect crispy crunch and I loved that the dish was light enough that I had enough room saved for their Chocolate Tahini Tart for dessert!

5. Butcher and Bee

Butcher and Bee has been a favorite of mine for quite awhile. I love that they incorporate fresh and local ingredients into all of their food, its mostly healthy and yet hearty and filling. I also love the super safe COVID precautions this restaurant is taking. Upon entry, your temperature is taken, tables are well distanced, and they have plenty of outdoor seating. Some of my favorite dishes at this restaurant include the Anson Mills Brown Rice Bowl ($12), the “Messy” veggie burger ($14), and the hummus ($6). The Brown Rice Bowl is full of delicious tangy flavors, as well as lots of crunchy yummy veggies, the veggie burger literally melts in your mouth, and the hummus is probably my favorite of any hummus I’ve ever tried. The crunchy chickpeas that are placed on top really are what make it extra delicious.

Embrace Your Basic Self With My Top 5 Avocado Toasts in Charleston

  1. The Park Cafe

The Park Cafe really nails it with their toast. I love that it maintains simplicity, while also covering a variety of flavor notes. This avocado toast is complete with a healthy portion of smashed avocado on two slices of fresh sourdough bread and is topped with a drizzle of olive oil, lemon juice and chili flakes. It’s got good crunch, tangy flavors and finishes with some heat from the chili flakes. Ringing in at $8, this avocado toast is one of the more pricey options on this list I’m providing you, but it is well worth the slight price hike. You also will more than likely have leftovers to take home with you!

2. The Harbinger Cafe

The Harbinger comes in hot (literally) with “The Grasshopper”, which is the name of their own unique twist on avocado toast. This toast is complete with a hefty smother of smashed avocado, super seed sprinkle, tahini, sriracha, garlic cashews, and an herb medley on EVO semolina toast. You will more than likely find me here on most weekends indulging in this avocado toast, as well as their amazing pastries and coffee. What I love most about The Grasshopper is the nutty and slight sweet flavor you get from the garlic cashews mixed with the heat from the sriracha. It truly is one of the most unique twists on avocado toast and is definitely worth trying. Ringing in at $7.50, this is a great price for all the toppings you get!

3. The Daily

The Daily keeps it pretty simple with their avocado toast, but somehow makes it twice as delicious as something you might make at home. Their sourdough toast is topped with a light smother of smashed avocado and is then topped with za’atar, sea salt, and olive oil. The creamy avocado and salty flavors prove to be an excellent combo. This toast rings in at just $6 and proves to be a great bang for your buck!

4. Caviar and Bananas

Caviar brings it home with some more classic toppings, but also some of my favorite avocado toast toppings! Two slices of toasted multigrain bread are topped with a hefty portion of smashed avocado, pickled red onions, sliced radish and a sprinkle of cotija cheese. The tangy flavors of the pickled red onion mixed with the crunchy texture of the sliced radishes really take this toast to a whole new level. Ringing in at just $6, this is truly an awesome deal.

5. Vintage Coffee Cafe

Vintage, located in Mt. Pleasant has a very simple take on avocado toast, but with a slight twist. Instead of using smashed avocado, they use sliced avocado. Two slices of toasted sourdough are topped with a slather of house-made tomato onion marmalade, followed by the sliced avocado and then is finished off with a sprinkle of sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil. I love the salty flavors of this toast combined with the sweet flavor notes from the tomato onion marmalade. Ringing in at $7, this toast is a slight splurge but definitely worth every penny.