Friday, April 28, 2017

Tavern and Table's Chef Katie Lorenzen on Iron Chef's Eats this Sunday

Up a creek

Posted by Kinsey Gidick on Fri, Apr 28, 2017 at 3:30 PM

Katie Lorenzen makes an appearance on the Food Network this weekend - PROVIDED
  • Provided
  • Katie Lorenzen makes an appearance on the Food Network this weekend
Where do Iron Chef competitors like to eat? That's the gist of new spinoff Iron Chef Eat's and this week it makes a visit to Chef Katie Lorenzen's Tavern & Table.

For Season 1 Episode 6 airing Sun. April 30 at 10 p.m. on the Food Network, Iron Chef winner Beau MacMillan stops by the Shem Creek restaurant for deviled eggs, oysters, and chicken wings.

As a synopsis of the episode explains, four competitors tour their favorite spots.
From crunchy falafel to crispy chicken schnitzel, Iron Chef Alex Guarnaschelli loves to cradle the sandwiches at Shaya in New Orleans. Iron Chef winner Ed Lee finds great satisfaction with the meat-filled tacos at Big Star in Chicago, while Iron Chef Gauntlet competitor Sarah Grueneberg prefers the burgers, chicken nuggets and fries at Trick Dog in San Francisco. Plus, Iron Chef winner Beau MacMillan devours deviled eggs, oysters and chicken wings at Tavern and Table in Charleston, S.C.
Tune in Sunday for more.
Location Details Tavern & Table
Tavern & Table
100 Church St.
Mt. Pleasant, SC
(843) 352-9510
Lunch & Dinner
Modern American

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Bull Street Gourmet locks its doors for good today

Get a half off bottle of wine while you can

Posted by Kinsey Gidick on Fri, Apr 28, 2017 at 2:46 PM

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The wine is nearly gone. There are a few cases of Bud Light left. Bull Street Gourmet is almost cleared out. The business that has operated on King Street for the last four years closes today for good.

A cashier tells us that the cafe has been sold and will make way for a new restaurant in the coming months. "I've been fired, but at least I know it wasn't for something I did," he said joking.

Even with the closure imminent, all the tables were full at 2 p.m. today as shoppers cleared out the shelves of the half off wine and $5 six packs of beer.

Now I don't mean to get all nostalgic each time a restaurant closes, but damn, Charleston. You're breaking my heart. For those of us who remember going on dates at the original Bull Street Gourmet on Bull Street, the news of this final vestige of the brand disappearing stings. The grab and go cafe kicked off a trend that would eventually lead to the opening of Caviar & Bananas and Mercantile. But before all that, Bull Street gourmet was something fresh and new. It offered a neighborhood spot to grab a great sandwich, and, in its final location, went on to give King Street shoppers a charcuterie respite on hot summer days.

Now it's gone. C'est la vie.

Let's just pray 120 King St. doesn't make way for the Cheesecake Factory we all know is on its way sooner or later.

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Diner en Blanc: We came, we saw, we (actually) had a really good time

Rose all day

Posted by Connelly Hardaway on Fri, Apr 28, 2017 at 12:01 PM

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I wanted to hate Diner en Blanc. The concept — dress in all white, bring all of your own picnic gear, and head to a mystery location to eat dinner with a bunch of strangers — irked me. Diner en Blanc (DEB) is exclusive; there are three waves of invites with past attendees getting the first nod, new members referred by said attendees getting the second, and people who signed up on the waiting list getting the third.

There's a Washington Post article dedicated exclusively to the question, "Why do people hate Diner en Blanc?" The answer, for many people, is that the event is pretentious — and expensive (more on that later). Started in 1988 in Paris, the global picnic pop-up has far outgrown its original concept: Francois Pasquier wanted to get together with a group of friends but needed a spot big enough to accommodate a large gathering. He picked Bois de Boulogne and told everyone to wear white so they could find each other. Cute, right? It was with this origin story that I armed myself for last night's DEB Charleston.
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I don't like rules, especially when they're grouped together, with words capitalized and made bold. I also don't like getting in trouble (a remnant from high school days and an overprotective mother? We may never know). So I felt both nervous and rebellious when I showed up at the corner of Radcliffe and King streets last night, wearing a white dress, yes, but brown shoes and blue and green earrings. If that sounds silly, it both is and isn't. While I didn't "get in trouble" for my not-entirely-white outfit one poor gal did. Our group leader (since there are so many attendees you and your guests are put in various groups who meet in spots around downtown Charleston, walking to the secret location together) called one poor not-entirely-white outfit out. "Take those out," she told a woman wearing a white dress and shoes and carrying a white purse. She meant the woman's blue earrings. And she was serious.

  • Vita Images

Diner en Blanc is an amalgamation of contradictions. A pop-up picnic sounds fun and low-key in theory, but there is nothing low-key about Diner en Blanc. First, there's the cost. The ticket to the event (if you even get invited) is around $40, which, admittedly, isn't bad for an event in Charleston. The thing is, it doesn't include anything. Nada. You have to purchase wine or champagne (no beer or liquor) through Diner en Blanc. For me, that was another $70 for two bottles of rose.

Fortunately I own a white dress with minimal stains, but a lot of people I talked to had to buy an outfit for the event — how many guys own white pants? You could buy food through Diner en Blanc or bring your own. I spent about $30 on my picnic, which was just enough food for me and my sister. We spent an additional $30 on white plates, cups, and linen napkins. Luckily our other guests rented chairs, a table, and a tablecloth, or else I'd have to include those costs, too.

  • Vita Images
So you spend all that money (and I can guarantee you my cost was much lower than most people's) and then you ... set up your own picnic. That means wrestling chairs and coolers down cracked Charleston sidewalks, trying not to stain or rip your new white outfit, sweating your ass off the whole time. The anti-blue earrings group leader was a task master, hurrying us to set up our tables in Wragg Mall Park, making sure every table touched. My sister and I laughed at the whole bumbling mess of the first few minutes, but as people threw their tablecloths into the air — you know those few seconds when they're hanging above the table, then falling softly down — I started to see how this event could be really lovely.

DEB Charleston was diverse in age, race, and gender (although it skewed a little more female). Everyone appeared to be having a good time and my sister and I engaged in lively conversations with acquaintances and strangers — which is one of the goals of the evening. DEB succeeds in creating a community gathering and a carefree evening in your own, beautiful city. It's unfortunate that the rules, expense, and some uptight group leaders overshadow that at times.

But with music from Black Diamond Band, followed by DJ Natty Heavy, the night never missed a beat, with almost everyone getting out on the dance floor — which was just the grass in front of the DJ booth — by the end of the night.

Would I go back to Diner en Blanc? I think so. I would save up some money for it, though. And I'd take the next day off of work. Because rosé hangovers are no joke.

  • Vita Images

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Harbinger Cafe and Bakery will bring frittatas, chia pudding, and tartines to North Central

A sign of good things to come

Posted by Kinsey Gidick on Fri, Apr 28, 2017 at 10:00 AM

Harbinger will open next to Monarch Wine Merchants and Charleston Boxing Club on King Street - GOOGLE MAPS
  • Google Maps
  • Harbinger will open next to Monarch Wine Merchants and Charleston Boxing Club on King Street
With its growing range of businesses, North Central needs another casual cafe and Greer Gilchrist and Cameron Neal think they're the ones to do it. In roughly two weeks they plan to open Harbinger Cafe and Bakery at 1107 King St. next to forthcoming Monarch Wine Merchants.

The two friends, who met in D.C. several years ago, will serve baker Gilchrist's frittatas, honey granola parfaits, tartines, and more. The counter service spot will seat 20 and feature happy hour wine specials from Grassroots from 4-7 p.m.

"We met in Washington D.C. working at a pop-up cafe that our good friends Jonas and Cullen opened," says Neal who graduated from College of Charleston in 2007. After a circuitous path — Neal worked at the Brazilian Embassy in D.C. for a few years, then at a tech startup in San Francisco before returning home and Gilchrist trained in a raw plant based cooking in L.A., at a bed and breakfast in Spain, then as an assistant to pastry chef in Egypt — the two finally landed together in Charleston. Now they want to bring their idea of hearty, fresh dishes to Upper King.

Harbinger will feature an espresso bar serving Greenville's Methodical small-batch roasted coffee along with an assortment of Gilchrist's cookies, scones and loaf breads available throughout the day.

"We picked the name Harbinger for a couple of reason," says Gilchrist. "We believe we’re a good thing to come in a new neighborhood with new and exciting offerings."

Look for Harbinger to open in May.

That morning light does not mess around. G'day, Charleston! #fridayfeels Photo cred: @marypalm68

A post shared by The Harbinger (@theharbingercafe) on

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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Bitty and Beau's, a coffee shop staffed by intellectually and developmentally disabled people, opening in Charleston

Helping bit by bit

Posted by Kinsey Gidick on Thu, Apr 27, 2017 at 11:47 AM

Bitty & Beau's is looking for a location in Charleston's historic district - INSTAGRAM
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  • Bitty & Beau's is looking for a location in Charleston's historic district

For a year I tutored a Down syndrome young man in Burlington, Vt. Always cheerful and quick to tell a joke, Chris was a pleasure to spend time with weekly. But at 22, he still lived with his parents and his opportunities for employment were limited. It was frustrating to think that the ever-smiling Chris, who loved to write stories about his dog and cook with his mom, might not be able to find a job simply because of his disability.

The same situation is faced by many people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and that's why Amy Wright is bringing her popular Wilmington, North Carolina coffee shop to Charleston. Bitty & Beau's Coffee is staffed by 40 IDD employees.

“It’s a place where diversity is not just appreciated, it's celebrated,” Wright says in a press release.

A mother of four children (two with Down’s syndrome, Beau, 12, and Bitty, 7), Wright wanted to create more employment opportunities for people in similar circumstances. Thus the coffee shop was born.

Now, after relocating to a bigger location in Wilmington, Wright is ready to expand the business in Charleston and we're told she's looking for a location downtown. Wright hopes to open in the historic district this summer.

Bitty & Beau's offers all the traditional coffee drinks — cappuccinos, lattes — in addition to sweets and smoothies. Each employee works part-time and is paid above minimum wage. Wright says she hopes to add benefits soon too.

Look for Bitty & Beau's to open later this year.

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