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.

REVIEW: Get Your BBQ on at 843 Korean BBQ and Sushi House

Bet you didn’t know that you only have to go as far as Rivers Ave in North Charleston to get an authentic Korean BBQ experience! Recently, a few friends and I decided to head out to North Chuck and check out 843 Korean BBQ. We had heard about their super safe COVID protocols and great things about their authentic Korean cuisine, we knew it was time to get our fill. 

If you’ve never had Korean BBQ before, the way it works is you sit at a large table with a group of people and the table surrounds a grill. You order from a selection of different kinds of meat. Your server brings the meat to your table raw, and its up to you to do the cooking! Yes, you get to barbecue your own meat directly in front of you at your table. Korean BBQ has this dining option on one side of the restaurant and on the other side is your typical dine-in experience (you don’t cook your own meat). Aside from the barbecue experience, Korean BBQ has many other great options on their menu. 

When we went to Korean 843, there was a long wait for the barbecue side of the restaurant, so we opted to sit on the side of the restaurant where they make the food for you. Everything we ate was incredibly delicious. I had a poke bowl, a friend of mine had their beef bulgogi, and a few other friends had the special of the night, which was an oxtail noodle soup. The bulgogi dish came out steaming hot in a cast iron pan and was mixed with veggies and the most delicious sauce that had both tangy and spicy flavors. The poke bowl was tasty and gorgeous all at the same time. From the perfect arrangement of the veggies and flower carefully placed on top, to the sweet flavor from the sesame sauce smothered throughout the dish, it was gone in mere minutes. My friends who ordered the oxtail noodle soup were amazed at the complex flavors of the dish and were excited to be eating something that you probably would never find in most restaurants in Charleston. 

We not only were wowed by the food, but we were also were very impressed with their COVID safe procedures. There was enforced one-way traffic going in and out of the restaurant, we were told to wait outside for our table, there was a bar with plexiglass in front of it, and all staff was wearing masks. It’s safe to say that if you want a unique and super safe dining experience, 843 Korean BBQ is definitely the place to go!

As for affordability, each of our meals were about $20 each, with tip included (not including drinks). That price may seem a bit hefty to some, but the portions are large, so you will more than likely have enough leftover to take home with you for a meal the next day. Not to mention, you get a one-of-a-kind dining experience with exceptional food, making the price well worth it.

5 Things You Need to Eat Right Now

  1. Breakfast Tacos at Juan Luis

Juan Luis is the brainchild of John Lewis, owner of Lewis Barbecue. Located on the patio of Lewis Barbecue on the upper peninsula in a revamped trailer called Juan Luis. You can find the people at Juan Luis slinging the most delicious breakfast tacos every morning, along with chips and guac, margaritas, and of course, coffee! A noteworthy tidbit about these tacos is that they are served on homemade tortillas and you can choose between flour or corn tortillas. The ingredients used in the taco fillings are made with hatch chiles, which John brought to Charleston from Hatch, New Mexico. Each taco rings in at about $4 (some a few cents higher). The tacos are pretty hefty, so it definitely makes the price worth it. If you go, I highly recommend opting for the Juanito taco and the Don Juan taco. This is definitely an experience not to miss out on!

2. Baguette Sandwich at Baguette Magic

If you’re looking for the ultimate bang for your buck, Baguette Magic is definitely the place to go. For the ultimate baguette sandwich experience, I highly recommend placing your order online and taking your sandwich with you to the beach. Watching the waves roll in while noshing on these delectable sandwiches really adds a great dimension to the experience. The baguettes are completely homemade and incorporate alot of local ingredients. Most sandwiches are in the $8-$10 range. I highly recommend opting for their new seasonal sandwich, the Kale and Avocado with a butternut squash spread.

3. Pan Roasted Corn from The Tempest

Ok, yes The Tempest is an upscale restaurant and certainly not the cheapest, but if you want to get a taste of what celebrity chef, Jamie Lynch is offering up in his new seafood- oriented restaurant, I highly recommend opting for the Pan Roasted Corn, which is one of the “sides” options on the menu. Though it is only a side, it is a pretty hefty portion for a side and is full of so many vibrant flavors. The Pan Roasted Corn rings in at $12, which is one of the cheapest options on the menu. Not to mention, you’ll get complimentary bread to start and cognac and cigars to finish!

4. A Small Plate at Chasing Sage

I’m not naming anything specific here because what is unique about Chasing Sage is that they change out their culinary concept about every 3 weeks. So far they have done Thai, Moroccan and Korean BBQ themed food concepts. Just this weekend, they finished up with their Thai themed food concept and will soon be coming out with a new one. They are only allowing you to order your food to-go, so you will have to enjoy this meal at home. I had the opportunity to try their Moroccan and Thai food concepts and both were crazy delicious and really seemed to capture the true authentic tastes of each type of cuisine. I recommend opting for a few of the small plates if they are being offered. They typically range from $5-$10. Make sure you are following Chasing Sage on Instagram to find out what their next concept will be!

5. Pizza at Gale

You really can’t go wrong with anything you order on the menu at Gale. Located at the bottom of the Meeting Street Lofts apartments in downtown Charleston, this restaurant is home to the most delectable homemade pizza with dough so soft, it melts in your mouth. They’ve got some killer small plate items as well, with most that cost $10 or less. They use fresh, local ingredients which really adds great flavor to their dishes. I highly recommend going on Sunday nights, when you can enjoy $10 pizzas for their new “Taking Back Sundays” weekly event.

An Evening of Meat Sweats with Daps, Rodney Scott and Holy City Hogs

Recently I had the opportunity to attend a fabulous event celebrating the release of the very first episode of “A Chef’s Table”, with Rodney Scott as the center focus. The event was held at Lo-Fi Brewery and featured a 4 course celebratory meal. Each course was cooked by Nick Dowling and Jeremiah Schenzel of Daps Breakfast and Imbibe, using meat from Holy City Hogs owner, Tank Jackson. They used some of their own recipes and techniques in each course, but also incorporated Rodney’s very own pulled pork into one of the courses, as well as his banana pudding for the final course.

Upon arriving at the event, I grabbed myself a delicious and refreshing Lo-Fi blueberry wheat beer, straight from the tap. I loved that the taste of the blueberry was more subtle, rather than overpowering, and it still maintained a crisp taste. I snagged a seat at a picnic table outside and watched as Nick, Jeremiah, and Tank began smoking the meat.

The first course of the meal was a small part of a meatball sub. It was full of spicy, sweet, and savory flavors. I loved how juicy the meat was and the way it seemed to just melt right in my mouth, especially with the cheese melting as I bit into it.

The second course consisted of chorizo nachos, another stand-out dish. The chorizo was moist and full of spicy flavor. The dish was finished off with sour cream, jalapenos, green onions, a sprinkle of cheese and a dollop of sour cream. So good!

The third course consisted of a heaping amount of Rodney’s very own pulled pork on top of freshly toasted white bread. I love the smoky, sweet, and tangy flavors of Rodney’s pulled pork and it especially paired well with the toasted white bread. Next time I’m at Rodney Scott’s I will definitely be opting for this great combo!

The meal was finished off with a final course consisting of Rodney’s banana pudding. I love the sweet flavor of this pudding mixed with the crunchy texture of the vanilla wafers. If you’re ever at Rodney Scott’s, make sure you save room for dessert!

Finally, the event finished with a viewing of “A Chef’s Table”, featuring Rodney Scott himself. I learned so much about Rodney that I never knew before, even after having visited his restaurant many times. I won’t spoil too much, but just know that there is a reason the restaurant set a sales record shortly after the episode was released!

Fancy Hotdogs and a Trip to the Mediterranean at Workshop

If you’ve never been to Workshop, located on the upper King Street extension in downtown, Charleston, you truly are missing out. Workshop is known as an “exploratory food court”, meaning that each stall offers something different and provides their patrons with the opportunity to explore with their palate. The purpose of Workshop is to offer emerging chefs their own space to experiment with recipes and perfect them, so that in the end, they can open up a restaurant of their own. The stalls rotate in and out every few months, so there’s always new things to try.

Recently, I headed over to Workshop to try out two of their newest stalls, Killer Brats and Saha. Killer Brats is known for their huge hand-made brats, which are presented hot-dog style and topped with an assortment of local ingredients. You can choose from Italian sausage, a Wisconsin-style beer brat, a turkey brat, or a large steamed carrot (for my vegans out there) as your base. Then you choose which assortment of local veggies and meat you’d like to pile on top of your brat. I opted for the “Farmer’s Medley” on a carrot dog and my uncle who came with me, opted for the “Hog Heaven” on an Italian brat. I of course tried both and each were filled with explosions of unique flavors. I loved the tangy and tart flavors that the creole mustard and pickled red onions provided in the toppings on the carrot dog, as well as the sweet and tangy flavors of the pulled pork and bbq sauce on top of the Italian brat. Each dog came with a choice of a side dish. I opted for cole slaw, which was perfectly creamy and had just a hint of sweet flavor. My uncle opted for the most delicious creamy and cheesy mac and cheese. All of their dogs with toppings and sides cost just $10.50. What a bargain!

We paired our hot dog meal with a side of pita and hummus from Saha, which is a stall that offers up authentic Mediterranean food. The hummus was perfectly tangy with a bit of salty flavor mixed in, along with hints of cumin and pepper. It was smooth and creamy and we savored every bite, along with the melt-in-your mouth soft and warm pita bread it was served with. The hummus cost $8 and I had enough left over to take home with me!

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Workshop has a few other unique stalls and most I still have yet to try. These stalls consist of Ma’am Saab (Pakistani cuisine), Sushi Wa Izakaya (sushi), Chuck and Patty’s (90’s themed burgers), a new tiki bar, and Blazing Star Cafe, offering up fresh Babka, bagels and foccacia. I plan to try them all soon, so keep following along on Facebook and Instagram! In the mean time, I highly suggest snagging a dog from Killer Brats, as well as a few items from some of the other stalls while you can! They won’t be there long.

*Workshop does not currently have indoor seating available, but has safely distanced outdoor seating on their large patio, as well as takeout ordering through the Workshop website available.*