We are a food town, built on tourism and grits and addictive little sesame wafers, and Charleston holds its culinary heritage in high esteem. Locals defend their favorite spots with a fervor normally associated with professional sports teams or political parties.
The quality of the ingredients and the level of innovation and execution vary from taco truck to beach bar, but mucho creativity can be expressed via this hand-held treasure. The fish taco has become prevalent on menus all over town, proving to be a muy popular alternative to the traditional ground meat version.
Corn is a special kind of vegetable. Just take a look at its composition: rough green husks peeled back to reveal tiny silks and delicate golden kernels. It's the only vegetable my little sister didn't refuse to eat — sweet, buttery, and not green. It's a reliable time-keeper — when the stalks have reached knee-high, you can bet it's summer.
Summertime in Charleston can be a sticky, shirt-soaked ordeal — even for the most suntanned locals. Fortunately, the warm weather ushers a great surge of seasonal beers into our favorite pubs and restaurants.
Hand-cut fries are showing up in more and more Charleston restaurants, whether piled around a burger at a roadside stand or carefully plated next to a seared steak at one of the white-tablecloth joints on East Bay Street.
Hamburgers are as American as apple pie, as the Fourth of July, as a slab of smoked ribs, as buttered corn on the cob, as an ice cold Pabst Blue Ribbon. And people in our part of the country take their burgers seriously —almost as seriously as their barbecue.
You might have noticed a most intriguing cherry tomato garnishing plates around town lately. It's almost purple — possessing a rather swarthy coloring — and its flavor is even more complex.
Sweet tea has always been the table wine of the South, but it's quickly becoming the spirit of the South with the release of Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka, an infusion that is proving irresistible to local palates.
When Weston opens the door to FIG at 8 a.m., the produce truck is already waiting. He is followed by Anne and Ashley, who begin to brew coffee and turn on the ovens. They pull in the mats, ready their work stations, fold hand towels, and don their aprons. They study the prep lists and look over the kitchen journal entry from the night before.