Thursday, December 27, 2012

The Best (and not so best) Of Charleston

Dawn and I went to Charleston for our 9th Eric Church concert (Yes people, we have a bit of a problem) and for her birthday weekend. 

We started the trip off by stopping at Groucho's Deli in Columbia on the way down and that night before the concert. We stopped in at The Noisey Oyster. 

The next morning we just ate the complimentary breakfast at the hotel. For lunch we went to one of our "must go to"s when in Charleston, Pizzeria Di Giovanni. That night was Dawn's Bday dinner so I asked a Brethren, some CockyTalkers, and even some friends that live down that way where would be a good place to take her. Most either said Slightly North of Broad or agreed that it was amazing once I said that's where we were going. 

The same Brethren that pointed us in the direction of SNOB also told me about Duke's BBQ. We were already planning to be in Folly Beach for dinner at Locklear's Beach City Grill, so Duke's it was for lunch. 

On Sunday we ate breakfast at another one of our Charleston traditional stops at Barbara Jean's. After that, we hit the road and headed back to the house. We had dinner plans with some friends of ours at Side Street Pizza in Tryon (I don't believe I really need to do a review for that ... IT'S DELICIOUS). 


If you've never been to a Groucho's ... you need to. I've had it twice (once in Gville) and both times they've been amazing. If you go you have to try the STP Dipper. One of THE best sandwiches out there. I hear their  STP sauce is amazing on it as well. 

We go by the Noisey Oyster every time we're in town, and always say we need to try it out (more so Dawn than me). Both of our food was good, but neither was blow your socks off amazing. She got the shrimp and grits (you'll see a trend here) and I got the blackened spicy chicken sandwich. The chicken stayed the temp of the sun till the very last bite. Once my mouth regained feeling from the 5 degree burns the spice kicked in and it burned me again in a different way. 

If you were reading above and thought to yourself "what the heck and where the heck is Pizzeria Di Giovanni?" Well my friends, I am about to tell you about one of the best pizza joints in SC. Giovanni's (as we call it for short) is in a little shopping center near the middle of Market Street. It's the corner of the block just above Wild Wings. There's a pirate shop, a flag shop, and Bulldog Tours in there as well. It's $5.00 for a single slice and drink for lunch, and ... well ... just look at the picture. 

SNOB is a middle to upper price range restaurant in Downtown Charleston. We both ate and had a glass of wine and the total was around $74, so it's not CRAZY expensive, but it's not an every night type place. Dawn got the Shrimp and Grits which she has named her #1 favorite ever (she gets them everywhere, so that's saying something). We got their recipe before we left, so you may see that posted in the future. I had the Pork Chop which was out of this freaking world. The check was a decent little hit, but this meal was WELL worth every penny. It may not turn into an every Charleston visit must, but this won't be the last time we ever go. 

Now, my buddy Pat told us about SNOB and he's a BBQ guy, so if there's one thing I can trust him on. It's his recommendation for BBQ places to go to right? Well ... uummmm ... no. From the $12 a person buffet to their sign advertising "best mac n cheese around" and "try our fried chicken". We should have ran away and never looked back. 

The pork didn't have a lot of flavor, so I'm guessing they didn't inject or even rub their butts. As you can see from the pictures, the pork doesn't have much of a smoke ring, and the skin is very thin so there wasn't anything on it. There was also a piece that had a big hunk of fat on it too. WITH THAT SAID, once I added their sauce, it was actually pretty good. Maybe their focus is more on the sauce than the bare flavor of the meat, I don't know. Oh, and the mac'n'cheese was good, but the chicken wasn't all that great. 

After the disappointment of Duke's we were hoping we didn't completely strike out in Folly Beach and that Locklear's would save the day. It did. I just got a bacon cheese burger, and Dawn got a Black Bean Burger, but we both thought they were very good. 

Barbara Jean's is near the top of Market Street and a pretty good country style place. We've only ever eaten Breakfast their, but every single time we go ... it's good. You need to order their breakfast sausage too. It's got onions in it (just close your eyes if you're like me and hate onions), but it's got an amazing flavor with a little bit a kick to it. 

There you have it, the full break down on everywhere we ate on our last trip to Chucktown. I would recommend everywhere we went (minus Duke's), and will definitely be going back in the future (minus Duke's). If you've ever been to any of these places. Let me know what you think about each.

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