Sweetwater Cafe

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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

Caviar and Bananas

I ventured to Caviar and Bananas in search of a light cafe-style brunch that would be ideal for a regular hangout spot.  Despite the high influx of college students the cafe had an impressively sophisticated vibe.  The barista introduced me to their kombuchas on tap for the day one for “fire”, which had more ginger, and one for “water”, which had more fruit.  Additionally, I ordered their sweet potato and egg hash which was a good portion size to not be over full, but still not be hungry until lunch.  The hash was seasoned with cinnamon and other warm spices which made it have a autumn-like flavor.  The eggs were poached to where they were runny, but not completely liquid on the inside.

 

http://www.caviarandbananas.com

The Blind Tiger

In anticipation for my program her in Charleston to start, all the interns gathered at The Blind Tiger which is one of the oldest buildings in the city.  We sat down and began to chat and I order the Palmetto Brewing Co. Amber Ale which was fantastic, the glasses were plastic but looked glass and made me mis-estimate the weight of my drink repeatedly. That’s neither here, nor there. I ordered the Caprese Sandwich because nothing makes me happier than a ton of tomatoes on mozzarella.  The sandwich itself was fine, I thought it was salty but I’m over-sensitive to salt so I am biased.  There was only one tomato on the entire sandwich and possibly no basil at all.  It did have a wonderful creamy spread on the bread which I really enjoyed.  The mozzarella was good and fairly thinly sliced.  I would have appreciated more tomato, and when I go again I might ask for extra.

http://blindtigerchs.com

Indaco- 4th Anniversary Three Course Dinner

I was lucky enough to notice Inadco’s post about it being their fourth anniversary on their Instagram page.  They were advertising a three course meal for $35.  So I rallied my friends and made a reservation for the night.  Upon arriving, I received a menu and the waitress explained how the night would work.  I could pick an appetizer or a pizza, a pasta or an entree, and a dessert.  I ordered the Mushroom Pizza,Gnocchi with Lump Crab, and Sweet Corn Panna Cotta.  The pizza was hot out of the over upon arrival.  It has been cooked in a stone oven, so it had the characteristic crunchy crust.  The garlic flavor was phenomenal and the mushrooms gave it an interesting flavor.  The gnocchi was handmade, soft, and almost creamy.  Loads of crab was mixed in with a rich creamy sauce.  The panna cotta reminded me of Mexican flan, without the caramel.  Instead of caramel, there were blueberries that had been put in a syrup and shortbread crumbles.  Over all, the meal was definitely worth the price.  For my next visit I will probably settle for one of the pizzas because it was easily the bast pizza I have had since moving here.

 

http://indacocharleston.com

The Vendue

I had heard from many people that the Vendue was a cool place to go for both their food and their drinks.  What truly got my attention was the lobster roll.  I had not been able to find a place with a good lobster roll since I left D.C. last summer!  The restaurant does not take reservations, which makes me anxious about being able to get a table.  Thankfully, I arrived fairly soon after they opened and was seated before others started to come in.  The rooftop area is situated amongst other tall buildings preventing it from having the view of Pour Taproom and The Watch, but I was able to sit in such a way that I could look out at Waterfront Park.  I, of course, ordered the lobster roll with a side of fries and asked for a basil strawberry lemonade to drink.  The lobster roll was delectable. The meat was covered in a light dressing and had scallions throughout which provided a crunch to break up the texture.  The roll was fresh and had been slightly toasted.  Exactly what I was looking for in my lunch!

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http://www.thevendue.com/charleston-dining/the-rooftop/