"My boyfriend Dan and I headed south to Charleston for his early birthday celebration. Our plans for vacation pretty much consisted of eating, relaxing, and drinking. So, naturally, on our way down we stopped at a rural BBQ restaurant. A $7 all-you-can-eat buffet and large glass of sweet tea really set the tone for the rest of the trip.
On Wednesday, our first night there, it was surprisingly quiet in town, but we stumbled into a tiny, awesome place called the Gin Joint. We sat at the bar and ordered cocktails and appetizers. We got to chat with the bartender, who happened to be the owner. He whipped up a ridiculous cucumber gin cocktail for me while Dan drank bourbon. The bartender's wife is the chef and she made some mean homemade soft pretzels with siracha cheese sauce and an heirloom tomato and goat cheese pie on a homemade crust.
On Thursday, we ate brunch at Hominy Grill. I was obsessing over the walk-up bar window they have outside for while you wait, since there is always a line. After brunch, we did a horse-drawn carriage tour. We were lucky enough to get the route that goes by all the fancy Southern houses along the water and got to see many of the historic cobblestone streets. I learned a lot of fun facts about Charleston. Did you know Steven Colbert grew up there? And that besides Vegas, Charleston is currently the number one wedding city in the US? It also used to have a red light district, à la Amsterdam. All of the homes in the former red light district are only about two stories high so that they can't see any of the church steeples.
That night we went to McCrady's for dinner. We met a chef from Chicago who was sitting next to us, which Dan was more than pleased with. Nice guy, and he even shared some good tips for pasta-making. We had another round of ridiculous, fresh food including a cucumber gazpacho that I'll never forget, and pork belly lettuce wraps which Dan was swooning over. After that we did a bit of a self-guided bar crawl which landed us at a bar with a bachelorette party, where we took shots of tequila, hot sauce, and pickles!
The next day, we went to Jestine's for brunch to cure the remnants of our shots from the night before. My fried green tomato, bacon and lettuce sandwich definitely did the trick.
After that we did a little shopping and stopped by the UO store. I've heard it is an awesome building and it did not disappoint. It is actually an old theater! That day we also went to Folly Beach, hoping to cool off a bit from the hot, hot, Southern sun.
That night was our big dinner for Dan's birthday at Husk. We've been talking about going there for so long, and I'm so happy we finally did. We did as advised by friends and showed up well before our reservation so that we could go to the bar next door which is in a little carriage house. That's where they had a pig’s leg on the bar, literally shaving off pieces to serve to diners and drinkers. Dan's rye flight came with a few pieces.
In the main house at Husk, the decor is simple and nice. I was obsessing over the water glasses which used to be wine bottles and the center pieces that consisted of corn meal and dried okra. And of course, the dinner which was was beyond amazing. We ordered way too much, but couldn't help it. On our menu: fried chicken skins served with hot sauce and peaches, pigs ear lettuce wraps, melon gazpacho, pork, wagyu steak, and bacon cornbread. Needless to say, we couldn't even fathom getting dessert
On our trip home, we stopped at South of the Border for gas and some waters. After our culinary and cultural adventures in Charleston, I was more than eager to get back on the road." -Carolann