Friday, March 24, 2017

James Island gains a fast/casual spot with Hen and The Goat

Break the fast

Posted by Kinsey Gidick on Fri, Mar 24, 2017 at 10:36 AM

Hen and The Goat is at 869 Folly Rd. - KINSEY GIDICK
  • Kinsey Gidick
  • Hen and The Goat is at 869 Folly Rd.
When James Island lost Black Bean Co. on Folly Road, it saw a sad day. Owner Ellis Grossman's fast casual spot was the busiest of his three Black Beans at the time. But he closed it citing "changes in federal health care insurance laws and overtime regulations. He said it’s not financially viable to keep all of them open," according to the Post & Courier.

Fortunately for JI-ers, there's a comparable replacement that just opened. Restaurateur and chef Thomas Smith has reopened 869 Folly Rd. as Hen and The Goat and its simple menu and family friendly environment, should be good news for neighbors.

We popped by this morning for breakfast. Inside, the space has been whitewashed and updated with shiplap banquettes, tables, and even the occasional grey throw pillow. Tables are decorated with mason jar bouquets and service is at the counter.

We ordered the salmon bagel, Simply Eggs — two eggs your way, choice of meat, hash browns, toast — and a blueberry muffin. Everything tasted fresh and the service was quick and friendly. Only one qualm, the tinny corporate jazz soundtrack could use a hard skip, but other than that, we'll be back for more soon.

Hen and The Goat is open 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Mon.-Sun.
  • Kinsey Gidick
  • Kinsey Gidick

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

This Taco Bell "holster" was designed by a James Island Charter High grad

Think how many tacos $10,000 could buy

Posted by Kinsey Gidick on Thu, Mar 23, 2017 at 4:39 PM

Emma Demuth - TACO BELL
  • Taco Bell
  • Emma Demuth
Emma Demuth has got a great party story to tell at college this year. The Charleston native was picked as one of Taco Bell's three Live Más scholars recipients to create an exclusive taco holster for the Doritos Locos Taco.

According to her application video, Demuth applied for the scholarship after getting accepted to NYU for film studies. And thanks to her winning application, the James Island Charter High School grad received not only designed a snappy taco holster — think of it as a diaper for your taco — but also a cool $10,000 in scholarships.

Now her taco holster design will be on Doritos Locos Tacos for the next two weeks. And for every taco purchased, Taco Bell will donate 10 cents, up to $500,000, to the Taco Bell Foundation’s Live Más Scholarship to fund the Feed the Dream campaign to support young artists.
Taco Bell Doritos Locos Taco holster - TACO BELL
  • Taco Bell
  • Taco Bell Doritos Locos Taco holster

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Bertha's and FIG make Eater's 38 Essential Southern restaurants list

Sultry okra stew for the win

Posted by Kinsey Gidick on Thu, Mar 23, 2017 at 12:09 PM

FIG's pan-roasted cauliflower with mustard butter - FIG
  • FIG
  • FIG's pan-roasted cauliflower with mustard butter
Listicles are only as good as the people making them which is why we generally ignore them. That's not the case however when Bill Addison, food mensch and Eater's roving restaurant critic, pulls together a team of experts to weigh in on the food of the South.

His latest list, The South's 38 Essential Restaurants, was just published, and it's a worthwhile guide for anyone interested in Southern foodways.

As Addison explains in his intro,
"Southern food is a mosaic. A constellation of culinary influences came together over the last 300 years to give us defining pleasures like skillet fried chicken, cornbread, cheese grits, collards in porky potlikker, and caramel cake. This was a cuisine built on Native American acumen, colonialism and the spice trade, adaptive farming in fertile soil, and on the sheer resilience of Africans sold or born into the horrors of slavery. The food of the region constantly evolves, its repertoire extending far beyond the Antebellum pantry. A constant influx of immigrants makes the South their home. Newcomers adapt regional standards to their tastes; their foods become indelible to our collective identity."
And so, to determine the very best 38 places in the region, Addison pulled in 13 foodie heavy hitters to analyze the best in the South's 12 states. There's Jennifer V. Cole, the former deputy editor of Southern Living. There's author of Victuals: An Appalachian Journery, Ronni Lundy. Not to mention Atlanta Magazine restaurant critic Jennifer Zyman, and, of course, Addison himself.

So who are the big winners from South Carolina. Only two made the cut and both are located in Charleston — FIG and Bertha's Kitchen. No surprise there, but we were a bit taken aback to see Charleston only got two names on the list, especially when New Orleans has five. Eh, c'est la vie.

Take a look at the rest of the 38 and decide for yourself if they're all deserving.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2017

John Hodgman weighs in on hot dog taco after one surfaces on North Charleston taco crawl

All Rise

Posted by Sam Spence on Wed, Mar 22, 2017 at 4:38 PM

  • Flickr user kodamakitty

John Hodgman is a world renowned comedian known for his work on the Daily Show, his writings in New York Times Magazine, and as the pleated khaki "PC" in Apple's famous Mac vs. PC commercials.

Hodgman is also an internet-renowned jurist. As the host of the Judge John Hodgman program (and NYT column), the eponymous host tackles life's hard truths with unflinching certainty and convincingly circuitous logic. Recent highlights include: Dragons, Diet Mountain Dew, visors as hats, and 'The West Wing' fandom.

The food product in question - RYAN JOHNSON
  • Ryan Johnson
  • The food product in question

As an unquestioned authority, the Judge has also been repeatedly dragged into the pop culture debate over whether hot dogs are sandwiches. As far back as 2013, Hodgman was parsing the finer details of sandwich construction to come to a conclusion. Though at one time he was in the 'Yes' camp, by 2014 Hodgman convinced himself of his errant ways and entered into a vicious feud with Sporkful host Dan Pashman.

Well today, when we posted a photo of the hot dog taco that was procured on a recent North Charleston taco crawl to Twitter, someone called in Judge Hodgman for a ruling. We didn't think there would be much of a debate, but Hodgman deemed the issue novel enough to render judgment.

The verdict:

In an exclusive follow-up with City Paper contributor Eric Doksa, who documented last week's taco crawl, we discovered that the hot dog taco ordered at Tiki Taco on Rivers Avenue is not actually on the menu. Doksa: "They have hot dogs and they have tacos. We requested they put a hot dog in a tortilla." According to Doksa, the order was made as a tribute to Robert Donovan, the tireless photographer of last year's local hot dog crawl and investigative reporter examining the status of hot dogs as sandwiches.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

After a series of Gullah restaurant closures, a new one emerges in the most unexpected place

Welcome back, Charlotte

Posted by Kinsey Gidick on Tue, Mar 21, 2017 at 12:55 PM

Charlotte Jenkins will be Gentry Bar & Room's Gullah specialist - JONATHAN BONCEK
  • Jonathan Boncek
  • Charlotte Jenkins will be Gentry Bar & Room's Gullah specialist
When we published our Gullah Geechee Dish issue in 2015, it was following the closure of a handful of Gullah Geechee restaurants. In fact, it was the shuttering of Charlotte Jenkins' 17-year-old Gullah Cuisine that gave me the idea to focus the entire issue of Dish on Charleston's dwindling Gullah restaurant scene. Jenkin's restaurant in Mt. Pleasant closed that fall and seemed to be a harbinger of things to come — the loss of one of the Lowcountry's most important culinary legacies.

Jenkins told us at the time that she was contemplating a Gullah Cooking school, but that never materialized and I was beginning to think the woman who quite literally wrote the book on Gullah food — Gullah Cuisine: By Land & Sea — might vanish into retirement. But thanks to the wisdom of Chef Marvin Woods, Chef/Partner of JD Madison's forthcoming Gentry Bar (276 King St.), Charlotte Jenkins has returned to the kitchen.

"I said 'Listen, I want to bring you out retirement,'" says Woods. According to the chef and former Turner South Home Plate host, Jenkins was the first person he called after he agreed to join Madison's new restaurant. And after some convincing, Jenkins said yes. Jenkins' title will be Gullah specialist and chef consultant.

"Charlotte's going to be my right hand," says Woods. "I'm not so much into the title thing. But that being said, she's a certified chef and an expert on Gullah cuisine. What we came up with was calling her the Gullah expert, but her hands are gonna be all over everything. Just this week we visited farms and fishmongers, people she knows and that she's dealt with. She is helping me in every way, not just in the kitchen. She's really acclimating me to a deeper education and understanding of Gullah and Geechee."

So will the Gentry Bar & Room be a Gullah restaurant?

"That's exactly what it will be," says Woods.

After the closure of so many Gullah restaurants — Huger's, Ike's Hot Chicken & Fish, Ernie's, Ellen Bright Hall, and Gullah Cuisine — Charleston is about to get a new Gullah restaurant smack dab in the center of King Street. Not what we expected from one of the cast members of Southern Charm.

"We're doing a dish on the menu that's directly from Charlotte called 10 Mile Awendaw Stew. In layman's terms, it's straight up Frogmore Stew or Lowcountry Boil, but there will be some added ingredients to that that makes it more modern. It's gonna have the flavor profile of Charlotte, but I'll tweak the presentation," says Woods.

The chef could not be more giddy to get started cooking with the Charleston legend. "I wrote a book on Lowcountry cooking and I thought I knew a bit," says Woods. "But I'm not fourth and fifth generation. Charlotte knows it all. It's not just the cooking aspect or her palate, it's all that wisdom."

Wisdom worth saving. And so it is, in some karmic shift only the gastronomic gods could manufacture, it turns out that Charleston's most controversial television show may actually be the medium through which Gullah cuisine gets overdue national exposure. Woods confirms that he'll likely be on Southern Charm, which means his and Charlotte's food can't be far behind. How about that for a plot twist?

Gentry Bar & Room is slated to open late spring.

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