Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Chubby Fish restaurant will open in Coming Street storefront

Better than Fat Bloater

Posted by Kinsey Gidick on Wed, Feb 22, 2017 at 12:46 PM

Chubby Fish will occupy the corner of Bogard & Meeting streets - KINSEY GIDICK
  • Kinsey Gidick
  • Chubby Fish will occupy the corner of Bogard & Meeting streets
It was only a matter of time before the swank looking storefront at 252 Coming St. was revealed to be the city's next restaurant concept. And so it is. Partners Geoff Shyatt and James London are opening Chubby Fish, a, well, fish restaurant.

"Chubby Fish will be the perfect compromise between fine-dining and a classic neighborhood joint. The restaurant’s counter-service model and open-kitchen plan allows guests to enjoy inventive, sustainable seafood dishes in an approachable atmosphere," a presser says. The release goes on to explain that the 1,300-square-foot space will showcase raw bar items, small plates, entrees, and whole fish. For example: a hacked softshell crab rice bowl with Benton’s Bacon, XO Sauce, and a slow poached egg will be on the opening menu.

But you might not get to taste that crab rice bowl for a bit though. Chubby Fish hasn't named an opening date yet and the press release only suggests an early spring 2017 timeframe.

So for now you'll just have to wait for the build out of Shyatt (formerly of Scarecrow) and Chef London' (most recently of Le Farfalle) Chubby Fish to finish. Look for the longtime friends and South Carolina natives' 50-seat space to open in a few months.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Downtown Food Lion restocking after refrigeration outage

This is why we all need to learn how to can

Posted by Kinsey Gidick on Tue, Feb 21, 2017 at 4:42 PM

  • Flickr cadencrawford
If you were planning on hitting up the King Street Food Lion for some dinner items tonight, take note. The dairy, deli, and parts of the produce section are empty after the refrigeration went out last night.

Shopper Caroline Enten tells us items like hot dogs are still available, but the bulk of the meat section is gone.

The Food Lion corporate press office couldn't be reached for comment, but according to a store manager, employees are restocking the coolers now.

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Here's where to celebrate National Margarita Day in Charleston on Wednesday

On the rocks with salt, please

Posted by City Paper Staff on Tue, Feb 21, 2017 at 2:33 PM

Head over to Sol for this icy blood orange Solarita - PROVIDED
  • Provided
  • Head over to Sol for this icy blood orange Solarita
While we always thought that Cinco de Mayo was National Margarita Day, we've recently realized that the Americanized Mexican holiday 2.0 must be Margarita Day. Tomorrow, Wed. Feb. 22, is the official day to celebrate margaritas. Here's where to head in the Lowcountry.

SOL Southwest Kitchen & Tequila Bar, Mt. Pleasant and Summerville
In honor of National Margarita Day Sol will be offering margarita specials throughout the day, and live music on the patio at night. Guests can enjoy $5 SOLaritas and $6 specialty margaritas. Super Reggae Man will perform in the Mt. Pleasant location, and the Lauren Hall Trio will perform in Summerville. Live music will go from 5:30-8:30 p.m. in both SOL locations.

Mex 1 Coastal Cantina offers half price margaritas all day tomorrow at both locations. Guests can also look forward to live music from Yellowknife at the West Ashley location and the Jaykob Kendrick duo on Sullivan's.

CO offers $4 margs all day tomorrow.

Zia Taqueria is selling $4 Zia Ritas all day and all night tomorrow.

YoBo, located in West Ashley and Park Circle, offers their happy hour margarita — a $6 mason jar 32 oz. tall — from 4 p.m. until close.

Head to Basico in Park Circle for a $5 house marg.

Santi's features half price drinks from 4-6 p.m.

La Hacienda on Ashley Phosphate will have a small marg for $2 and a medium for $5. The Rivers Ave. location offers a small margarita for 99 cents (yep), a medium for $3, and a large for $5. Grab a pitcher for $7.50.

Head to Juanita's for a $5 house margarita, $3 shots, and $16 pitchers all day.

Get your fill of half price margs at 3 Matadors Tequileria all day.

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Why Poke Tea House is everything we wanted in a fast/casual lunch

Bowled over

Posted by Kinsey Gidick on Tue, Feb 21, 2017 at 2:32 PM

Poke Tea House has over 40 ingredient options - KINSEY GIDICK
  • Kinsey Gidick
  • Poke Tea House has over 40 ingredient options
I've been to Poke Tea House five times in last four weeks. But if you'd like an endorsement beyond my bank account, here goes. The small shop on Spring Street (don't let the Meeting Street address confuse you) is serving what I consider to be one of the most convenient, satisfying, and (relatively) healthy lunches in the city right now.

Poke — a Hawaiian raw fish appetizer (typically ahi tuna) — is served in three formats: rice bowl, burrito, or salad. But to hell with those last two choices, the bowl is the way to go ($11.99 with one protein, $13.99 with two). Belly up to the cash register and meet Chu Xin Jiang. Jiang says she learned about poke not from time in Hawaii, she's never been, but from her brother who owns a Japanese Restaurant. As the Post & Courier reported, Jiang learned more exploring poke places in New York where she lives part-time.

At Poke Tea House, the friendly owner will take your order and walk you through the various toppings — 40-some — to place upon your rice.

For my money, I skip the brown rice option and go for the good stuff, the sushi rice. With that base you can choose your protein and you don't have to have poke, although I'd strongly recommend it. Scallops, chicken, tofu, and more are all available.

The next step is selecting your three fruit or veg toppings. I prefer pineapple, cucumber, and edamme, although there are many more. Add a sauce — the Sriracha mayo is great but I've also heard good things about the sweet chili option — and finish it off with maybe some seaweed and avocado or pickled ginger and fried onion, and $11.99 later, you're good to go.

Now I realize you might be thinking a poke bowl is a poor man's Short Grain O.G. Bowl and in some ways you'd be right. It's a rice-based dish of raw fish with various toppings. But Poke Tea House is an entirely different concept than the award-winning food truck. It's a fast/casual spot that offers fresh ingredients that can be mixed and matched in all manner of options. It's not going to win a James Beard award, but with Poke Tea House's tasty bowls and free parking across the street in the defunct BiLo parking lot, it will continue to get my business. 

Poké All Day. Tried @poketeahouse yet?? #pokeallday #poke #ahituna

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Monday, February 20, 2017

Wagener Terrace scores Herd Provisions restaurant and butcher shop

Ya Herd it here first

Posted by Kinsey Gidick on Mon, Feb 20, 2017 at 1:29 PM

Herd Provisions will sell cuts of their rare Ancient White Park cattle at their forthcoming Grove Street butcher shop - PROVIDED
  • Provided
  • Herd Provisions will sell cuts of their rare Ancient White Park cattle at their forthcoming Grove Street butcher shop
Alec Bradford and his wife Sarah have been farming Ancient White Park cattle — one of the rarest British breeds which Vice described as animals who "never came off the cow version of the paleo diet" — at their Leaping Waters Farm in Alleghany Springs, Va. for over a decade. No big deal. They've just made a breed once used by druids for pagan sacrifices into one of the hottest grass-fed beef options. Now they're packing up some of their sacred cows and opening a butcher shop and restaurant, Herd Provisions, on Grove Street next fall.

"Essentially, the farms been running for almost 12 years," says Alec. "We sell mostly to restaurants in D.C. like Masseria, Bourbon Steak, The Source, and Red Apron Burger Bar that uses Leaping Waters' grass-fed beef exclusively in its burgers. But being a beef darling in the D.C. food world doesn't always mean a plush pocketbook and the Bradford's new they needed to somehow scale the business. Enter: Charleston.

The Bradford's had been looking for a place to showcase their sustainable farming practices beyond rural Virginia for a few years. Nashville and Charleston were the top contenders, but Sarah's love for the city won out. When she got a job at MUSC (she's a physician), their decision was made. Sarah moved down in 2015 and Alec and their four kids joined her this year.

"I homeschooled the kids for 2016 and worked on the farm and hired on a girl who has a degree in sustainable ag to run the place," says Alec. He also has a 26-year-old farmhand he's trained since he was 14 who manages the animal husbandry while the couple works to open the doors of their new HERD Provisions storefront that will open where the former Ark Lounge bar used to site.
Herd Provisions will soon set up shop on the site of the old Ark Lounge, pictured here in 2015 before it was razed. - GOOGLE STREET VIEW
  • Google Street View
  • Herd Provisions will soon set up shop on the site of the old Ark Lounge, pictured here in 2015 before it was razed.
"By having a butcher shop inside the restaurant, we'll process the meat a little more cheaply. It'll still be USDA stamped, humanely raised and slaughtered, now we'll be able to compete with other shops," says Alec. "After working with some of the restaurant people so long, we thought we'd like to try it ourselves."

As Vice reported, "He hopes his new restaurant game plan will avoid the raw deal he gets at the slaughterhouse and give his business a firmer footing. His Ancient White Park cows will be humanely slaughtered and refrigerated at a small USDA-approved facility for $75 each. The whole beef will be sent to the restaurant, where it will be taken apart in-house — larger cuts will be offered at a meat counter, and the ground beef will go into burgers for what Bradford envisions as a truly locavore experience at a Five Guys price. "You can get a cheeseburger, a glass of wine, and some hand-cut fries for thirteen bucks."

Herd Provisions will have a butcher case upfront for buying Leaping Waters Farm meat directly as well as seating for dining in. "We'll serve sandwiches from our animals — burgers, Philly steaks, pork sandwiches, some chicken, and source some shrimp from local boats. We'll definitely get all of our greens and veggies from local farms," says Alec.

In the evening the 80-seat, fast/casual restaurant will switch to a full service space that will also serve beer and wine. "We're trying to do a pig roast once a week and lamb roast," Alec adds.

But, like all restaurant projects in the works in Charleston, getting from construction to dinner service can take a long time. Right now the Bradfords are just trying to get through the hoops of city approvals. They optimistically hope to be open next fall. But many Wagener Terrace neighbors have already gotten a taste of Leaping Waters Farm's meat.

"We did the first CSA round was last fall," says Alec, "and it went really well." For $500 people bought into a 10 delivery, 20-week CSA that included cuts of pork, beef, turkey, chicken, and eggs. "Basically it comes out to about $50 a bag with 8-10 pounds of meat every other week," Alec says. "We do it that way so we don't have to buy another freezer."

Look for Herd Provisions to open late 2017. For more information on the CSA, click here.

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