If you’re looking for a mini-vacay with fantastic food, historical significance and beautiful sights and sounds, head to Charleston, South Carolina! It’s an easy flight on from most Texas cities. The climate mirrors ours in a lot of ways, so planning when to go is pretty easy. PLUS, Charlestonians are incredibly hospitable …they remind me of Texans! Here, the Goodtaste Guide with some of my top spots! It’s perfect for a quick 3-day trip.
Where to Stay
(Photo credit: The Pink Tea Room Hotel Bennett)
Stay at Hotel Bennett, a new luxurious destination right in the heart of the city. It’s a tad pricey with rooms starting in the $300 range a night, but worth the splurge. Very comfortable beds and everything from the TV to the window shades is controlled electronically. Settle in the open air lobby and enjoy some champagne and caviar at the crystal chandelier-lit bar. This charm of a hotel also features a French-style bakery with incredible coffee, light bites and this epic pink tea room. One of many famous downtown parks is right out front.
Where to Dine
(Photo credit: Buzzfeed)
This place exceeded expectations! It has a small farm-to-table menu which rotates often, order the signature items that are more consistent on the menu. The Housemade Ricotta Gnudi with smoked pork shoulder, zesty tomato and Pecorino was beyond indulgent! Also, the Braised Rabbit starter was also a standout. The decadent must-do is the Bone Marrow Bread Pudding (photo above) – creamy, rich buttery…you’ll swear there’s cheese in the mix, but I’m told there’s not. Wine list here is carefully curated and there are some real finds…look for the Spanish Grenache/Syrah.
Charm oozes from the sidewalk of this Charleston Southern stalwart. I loved the Sweet Water Valley Pimento Cheese served on grilled crostini with pickle relish, crispy country ham (bacon) and meticulously chopped tiny chives. Guess what? We have the recipe!
The House Made Pork Rinds with sweet BBQ dry rub and Alabama White Sauce were worth the calorie splurge! One bite and these little cracklin’s come alive with flavor and a satisfyingly crispy, but light as air texture.
I also had the Shrimp and Geechie Boy Grits. Geechie Boy grits are legendary in this part of the country, served at all the ‘famous’ restaurants in this area. This place is sweet, hearty…truly a Southern delight! The restaurant is housed in an old-world home with some local history and a charming, warm interior.
This restaurant appears to be on most visitors’ to-do lists from what I’m told. I see why! The food was wonderful, as was the service. The highlight was a chicken liver pate. The seafood soup was also fit for a King with morsels of fresh seafood. My husband’s snapper with ginger and lime was fresh and light, a departure from many of the Southern dishes on most Charleston menus.
(Photo credit: Trip Advisor)
A tiny spot that’s easy to miss with an unassuming name. A local hot spot, this TINY seafood bar features a fantastic selection of oysters. We had oysters from Alaska (a first) in addition to other well-known east coast varieties. The Lobster Roll on a brioche bun reminded me of my Kennebunkport favorites, and the Tuna Burger with house made guacamole was a hit as well. The fish tacos are very popular and there’s a fresh ceviche that changes daily. Lines are out the door soon after the tiny seafood bar opens at 11a.m., so go for an early lunch! Wines on the list are carefully curated to pair with the small menu. Oh, and the service is fantastic…if you’re a fan of Clark’s in Austin, you’ll be an instant fan of 167 Raw.