Pizano’s Pizza and Pasta

We got Mark’s Special which was a deep dish with mozzarella.  Topped with tomatoes, tomato sauce, garlic and basil.

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Spoke and Bird

On a brief trip to Chicago I found this nice restaurant right around the corner from my hotel!  They offered speedy coffee in the morning and a nice sit down breakfast when I had time!  Below is their egg sandwich which had asiago cheese, ham (which as a southerner, I would call it bacon), egg, and aioli.  The potatoes are worth raving about!  They were crunchy and had an interesting flavor profile! The restaurant also made their own ketchup!

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Huriyali

I friend pointed my towards Huriyali in a discussion about the great Instagram presence of restaurants here in Charleston.  I am always searching for unique vegetarian and vegan restaurants.  The interior of the restaurant was gorgeous, the stereotypical setting for this type of restaurant with succulents and plants hiding in every corner.  Additionally, they had a grocery area in the front that had items such as La Croix and apple cider vinegar.  I ordered their Breakfast Plate which came with toast, two eggs (vegan or farm raised), hash, avocado, tomato, and either turkey or tempeh bacon.  I also got a cup of drip coffee.  I chose to try the farm eggs and the tempeh bacon.  I asked for hot sauce on the side and honestly, it might have been my favorite part of the meal, it was perfectly spicy with a good vinegar twang.  The hash had bits of poblano pepper in it to make it have flavor, which some hashes lack.  I put the avocado and the tomato, which had been roasted, on the toast to make a simple avocado toast that had nice notes of spice from the seasoning on the tomato and the hot sauce.  Gorgeous restaurant, gorgeous food, pleasantly easy parking on the street, needless to say I can’t wait to make another visit.

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http://www.huriyali.com

Gnome Cafe

Any time I hear of a vegan/vegetarian restaurant I run to it!  The complexities of making a tasty, satisfying meal with dietary restrictions is like a puzzle and it is always interesting to see how different places carry it out.  Here they had a variety of common dishes which had tofu or tempeh subbed in for meat products.  I chose to get their Tempeh Rueben because I’m always craving rye and sauerkraut.  The bread it was served on was a beautiful rye pumpernickel twist that had been toasted, the tempeh was meaty in taste, the sauerkraut piled high, and topped with a vegan dressing and cheese that pulled it all together.  Some pickles were served on the side, I assume to break up the flavors, they were also fresh and delicious.

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http://www.gnomecafe.com

Husk Bar

I had heard very tall tales about the Husk cheeseburger and how the chef did extensive research on how to create the “perfect” burger.  It was a darn good burger.  Perfect I personally feel is a little strong of a word.  Granted, I tend to eat vegetarian burgers and then home-grilled, so I’m not sure if my perception is maintained by the rest of society.  But, it was still a good burger.  Two patties, lots of mustard, the melty cheese, and pickles all piled onto a toasted bun.  Home fries were served as my side, they were perfectly crisp and paired well with the homemade ketchup.  To drink, since it was happy hour, for which they do not have specials, I got the Aero Mexico.  The drink was similar to a dressed up margarita.  All in all, the food was bougie, the prices were too, someone point me to a cheap pub.

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http://huskrestaurant.com/about/bar/

Bagel Nation

This is an inconspicuous James Island treasure that I stumbled into one rainy morning.  I walked in and it was full of either well-informed beachgoers, or locals who knew about the little strip-mall secret.  I ordered the Manhattan, a bagel of choice (I chose rye) with Swiss cheese, corned beef, pastrami, and Russian dressing.  I also asked for their potato salad as my side.   I ordered to-go, because frankly there wasn’t another seat in the place.  Somehow I, probably the only person there with any sort of food safety education, got stuck waiting in a place with a perfect view into the kitchen.  This place was pristine.  Yes, it had the normal organized chaos that comes with any busy schedule, but the people working the back were flawless when it came to keeping a clean work area and temperature control.  When I got my bagel, it stayed warm until I got home.  The potato salad was pre-made, the yellow kind that you get in any deli-type place.  It was fabulous from beginning to end.

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https://www.yelp.com/biz/bagel-nation-charleston-3