A few days in Charleston, SC

I took a 48 hour trip to Charleston with my friend.  It was such a great time.  Exploring, eating, chatting and sweating.  Like all other cities right now, there is the old town and there is the part that is starting to change.  You can see it happening. There is absolutely a young crowd that is moving there.  Millennials want to live in urban areas.

tomatoesgritsWe flew in, dropped off our stuff and started to move.   First walk by was the Charleston City Market that is loaded with stalls of stuff.  Not impressed.  Could have been so great.  Alas.  Instead of forging out to one of the places I had written down for lunch we just walked down the street to Hyman’s Seafood.  The place is now run by the fourth generation of Hyman’s.  We had the pleasure of chatting with Eli Hyman who runs the joint.  That might have been the best part.  He was nice enough to send over a classic dish.  Fried green tomatoes over grits and coated with cheese sauce and chives for a nice touch.  Rich is an understatement.

leftoversThe place gets the nod in many Southern magazines.  Everything is either fried with a very intense hard crust or loaded with cheese and butter.  Yikes.  We did plenty of damage regardless.  Favorite was probably the hushpuppies.  We did have the pimento cheese dish called Southern Caviar but just not my thing.

storeWe needed to talk the meal off and headed into the old town.  Our first stop was a store called The Commons.  Wonderful products for the kitchen and a few other items tossed in there.  Really beautifully curated.

goatcheeseOur next wander into was a small oasis of fresh products; Goat, Cheese, Cow.    A tiny little shop with cheese, salamis, crackers, wine, jams, etc.  I’d live there.

housesThe houses are just beautiful to look at.  The old architecture that has been kept up is pretty amazing considering the humidity, the close proximity to water, etc.

waterfrontWe continued to stroll through the streets and down walkways until we got to the water.  The smell reminds me of visiting the Chesapeake Bay as a kid and sailing on it.  There is a unique sell of the ocean when you head south in those bays.

burbagesOur next stop was going to be the Mount Pleasant Farmers Market but there had been an accident on the bridge getting over there.  Gas spill that basically closed off the bridge for hours on end.  The good news is we weren’t there without being able to get back.  The bad news is we really came to see farmers markets.  Alas.  We regrouped and stopped by Burbages Grocery which happens to be the second oldest grocery store in the area, since the 40’s.  It was entertaining talking to the two women who own the place now.

chocolatesouthcarolinaWe started to walk back to the hotel through the district that looks like every district in America.  I always find it a little depressing.  Nothing different, nothing inspiring.  We did stop in a small chocolate shop, Christophe, where everything is made.  Beautiful wares but to ship back to NYC during the heat was outrageous so we passed.  Alas.

Back to the hotel for a quick freshen up and out to dinner.

Comments (Archived):

  1. William Mougayar

    “We flew in, dropped off our stuff and started to move” . LOL….the urge to move after a trip…that’s how you typically roll :)You know, i’m starting to get worried about all this “rich” stuff. Read this. I want to eat like my grand-mother did!http://m.disclose.tv/news/W

    1. awaldstein

      I was raised on the diet that my grandfather (he set what we ate at home) requested.Organ meats, kasha varneshkas, home make vegetable soup, bialys, lox and white firsh.Never had a tuna fish sandwich always chopped liver.Culturally more than nutritionally was a great way to get brought up.We know so much more about nutrition today. Crazy not to pay attention. Please do.

      1. William Mougayar

        i meant (and as the article implies i thought) that back in the day, it was mostly wholesome foods, no processed foods, grains, beans, fresh local stuff, etc…

        1. awaldstein

          yes true but out knowledge of nutrition has added to this of course

          1. William Mougayar


  2. Justin Fyles

    I have a friend who is moving down there to become partner + exec chef of a small restaurant group. He respects food more than anyone I know, so I can only imagine the food scene is as amazing as everyone says it is. Can’t wait to go visit!

  3. awaldstein

    The south is so so beautiful and different. In some ways pulls me in.Both the ingrained conservative nature of the politics and culture and the richness in the food both make me queasy.

    1. pointsnfigures

      Ha, used to be Southern Democrat for a century!

      1. awaldstein

        Hey–it’s how I see it. How I feel when I’m there.

        1. pointsnfigures

          Was making a bit of a joke. : ) The South is different. I also notice LA is different and the East is different from the Midwest. If you run a bit around the Asheville, NC area south to Georgia it’s absolutely breathtaking scenery. Both of my daughters went to school in the South (Davidson and Ole Miss). It’s different for sure, but not in a bad way. Just different. Joanne is correct. It can get pretty sultry down there. Wear linen in the summer.

          1. awaldstein

            Never can tell.Went to undergrad in SE Ohio and from there took my motorcycle and went on trips through the south.Me with shoulder length hair on my Harley going south smacks of Easy Rider honestly back then.

          2. pointsnfigures

            Back before color film when you did that it certainly would have!

          3. Gotham Gal

            Love it

  4. pointsnfigures

    Never have been to Charleston but need to go. A friend of mine that raises lamb says the best restaurant doing the most cutting edge things is near Brimingham, Alabama. I am in NOLA two straight weekends. Always good.