Bon Appetit knows how to put together a food event. The food magazine chose Charleston as one of four cities to put on a Grub Crawl this year, and the BA crew came to town last Saturday for quite an epic crawl. Or, should I say, crawls. There were two. A daytime and an evening one. I lucked out and got on the evening tour, which started on the grounds of the Wentworth Mansion and Circa 1886. Despite making a rookie mistake and wearing jeans on a hot summer night, I cooled off quickly with a refreshing Grey Goose cocktail that tasted like a cherry soda. Dangerous stuff when you're sweating. I also watched with interest as a fellow speared chunks of lettuce, dipped them in caesar dressing, and rolled them in bread crumbs, making a crunchy caesar salad lollipop. Other bites were passed, including a very popular nibble of foie gras.
The next time we saw foie gras, it was in a cast iron skillet on the biscuit bar at Charleston Grill. Yeah, you read that right. Biscuit bar. Chef Michelle Weaver came up with a clever and creative approach for their portion of the night, and we were lucky that our group headed here first, because there was a ton of tempting fare.
It was loaded up with a variety of biscuits and toppings — foie gras, heirloom tomatoes, country ham, sausage gravy, and so much more. Pastry chef Emily Cookson even had her own dessert bar with things like graham cracker biscuits, whipped creme fraiche, and strawberries.
From there, it was off to the Gin Joint where they served a major collection of cocktails that had unusual and spicy ingredients. I stuck to the cute tiki drink and gnawed on some beef jerky and housemade pretzels with sriracha dip. I was starting to realize that this crawl was going to be heavy on cocktails and scarce on wine.
Cypress was next. We were led upstairs to the private dining room and served a heaping helping of meat. A Le Creuset platter of charcuterie was arranged with braunschweiger, picante, bologna, fiocco, and saucisson sec. Full of cocktails, I could hardly eat a bite, so I stuffed some braunschweiger and bologna into my little gold box from Charleston Grill and saved some for later. As if this glorious platter of meaty goodness wasn't enough, they sent out a plate of pork belly and fried kimchi too.
The final stop for our group was the Bar at Husk, where more specialty cocktails awaited us along with a bite of the famous Husk Cheeseburger. Suddenly, I didn't feel so full and gobbled that up. A glorious end to a great night. Or actually, my night ended at Bin 152 with a glass of champagne, but whatever.
In the end, I have to say this was probably one of the better food events I've been to in town. Funny how outsiders sometimes have to come in and show us what's what.