Charleston Eating Tour, Spring 2014

I didn't do any planning for my five-day trip to Charleston with friends. I just showed up at the airport, and let our friend who was born and raised in Charleston show us around. Actually, I take it back. That was a plan and the best plan I could've made. I didn't take as many photos as I could've but, here's what we got up to!

  Hominy Grill  Brunch, Charleston Nasty Biscuit = demolished

Hominy Grill Brunch, Charleston Nasty Biscuit = demolished

 Hominy Grill bloody mary is a must.

Hominy Grill bloody mary is a must.

 Gigantic bowl of kale at  Bull Street Gourmet Market.  Yuppies wished it, and it was so.

Gigantic bowl of kale at Bull Street Gourmet Market. Yuppies wished it, and it was so.

 Cocktail dotted with little gelatin pearls, just waiting to be sucked up the metal straw. I really want metal straws for my kitchen, for no discernible reason. And check out the mirror on the table.

Cocktail dotted with little gelatin pearls, just waiting to be sucked up the metal straw. I really want metal straws for my kitchen, for no discernible reason. And check out the mirror on the table.

Dinner in the gorgeous private dining room at McCrady's Restaurant. Four courses for $65 feels like a bargain here, the duck was easily the best I've ever tried. I was insanely spoiled, because the next night we went out at FIG. Nine vegetable salad is where it's at! We also got a cocktail at the very cozy bar at Husk. See? Spoiled!

While I was eating carefully-sourced, expertly prepared meals from critically acclaimed restaurants, I checked in to see what Joe as eating for dinner. "Wyngz," he texted back. That's right, wings with a Y and a Z. I think they are legally required to be spelled that way, as they are a "chicken food product". In fact, they includes the proviso: "does not contain wing meat." 

 The library ladder at Edmund's Oast 

The library ladder at Edmund's Oast 

Edmund's Oast brewpub was more casual, but just as great. It's located in a giant hall with a vaulted ceiling and meat hanging from the ceiling, sort of like a hipster Medieval Times. 

 The Japanese cabbage pancake is the stuff dreams are made of.

The Japanese cabbage pancake is the stuff dreams are made of.

Asian-Southern fusion sounds a little terrifying, but Xiao Bao Biscuit is delicious. The decor is perfectly undone, and this might be the first place I'd go if I went back.

 Best cat EVER!!!

Best cat EVER!!!

Besides the food, one of the highlights of my trip was meeting this cat. I want one!!! It's my friend's friend's cat and it is mesmerizing. I screamed when I saw it. "What the hell is that?" This is a flattering photo, because you can't tell that the kitty is a little chubby. I thought, wow, that's what my fat cat looked like without her fur. Weird! I did some reading and Sphynx Cats are supposed to have a pot belly, it's part of the breed standard. Even weirder!

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Animal interlude! Look at this turtle, being all cute.

We stayed in a friend's apartment in the best location ever, right on the main drag, King Street. So charming! For high-end shopping, Hampden is quite spectacular. I had never heard of Elle Sasson before browsing Hampden, and I wish I had places to go in her whimsical-meets-tropical designs.

I brought my running clothes and went for a jog one afternoon. I didn't want to bring my cellphone, so I went with just a key. But there was a key code you had to enter to get into the apartment, so as I ran, I repeated the string of numbers. 5-3-8-9, I chanted in my head. 5-3-8-9, 5-3-8-9. But as I rounded the corner to our block, things started to go awry. 5-3-9-8. 5-8-3-9. Or was it 9-8-5-3? I had no idea. And no phone to call any of my friends, and no options really. Vacation panic! Amazingly, someone opened the door and let me in after 15 minutes. I never saw anyone in that small apartment building before or after that.

Here are some photos from Farm Bar, a Kinfolk-ready coffee bar and restaurant in a trailer near the train tracks. The Reston-born owner actually did host Kinfolk for a dinner at her farm!

 My travel companions looking like rockstars!

My travel companions looking like rockstars!

Sums up our Charleston trip!