When was the last time you had a crinkle cut French fry? No, seriously. This is just one of the many surprises that we stumbled upon at the Ye Ole Fashioned Ice Cream & Sandwich Café in Mt. Pleasant this past weekend.
With limited time for lunch we turned into the parking lot of this restaurant and I have to say that overall, I was pleasantly surprised. Although I’ve driven by it several times, I had ventured inside. In the area since 1972 it’s been voted the place for the “Best Ice Cream” by many publications for several years.
Take a step back in time when you enter and are quickly greeted by a few high school kids working as servers. A long counter welcomes you and to your right there is an ice cream oasis of 36 flavors! We couldn’t decide if we wanted ice cream as our entrée, but we knew it was in our future.
For a small sandwich café the menu is extensive. There are 24+ sandwiches, many choices of burgers and hot dogs, salads, soups and ice cream treats. There is also a “specials” section that pairs an item with various things on the menu. This is where we made our selections for lunch.
My husband ordered the “World Famous BLT” that claimed to be made with 10 slices of bacon. It was also to be served with a large scoop of potato salad, two scoops of ice cream and a fountain beverage. I chose a cheeseburger served with fries and a fountain beverage. Both items were $7.89 and we felt like we got a bargain.
Although the café was busy our lunch was served in six minutes. My burger and the BLT were both a large portion and served very hot. Within a few minutes of tasting our lunch the crinkle cut French fries arrived. As I began to watch other patrons receive their meals they were served in the same fashion. Once things are ready – out they come.
I thought about this for a minute and wondered if it would be better if everything was delivered at once. That would have meant that something had to “wait” for the fries to be cooked and honestly, the fries were out in a blink of an eye and almost too hot to eat. I concluded that it’s a service system that’s not broken and doesn’t need fixing.
My burger was not a “gourmet” burger by any stretch of the imagination, but it was good and actually too large to finish. The same held true for the fries that we ended up splitting. The potato salad was something I would not recommend. If I’m not mistaken the salad was very similar to the processed variety that you would find in the deli of a grocery store. Hardly memorable.
The BLT got rave reviews. Served on white toast (how else would you order it?), the bacon was crisp, tasty and more than abundant. It reminded me of something my dad would have made for me when I ran home for lunch in grammar school. Nothing fancy, just good. And then it was time for dessert.
There’s something about an ice cream shop that brings out the little kid in everyone. When it was time to order the ice cream that was included in my husband’s meal the manager (who was clearing our plates) said, “Just go up to the counter and pick what you want.” With wide eyes my husband studied the varieties and slowly, but surely landed on one scoop of southern peach and one of blueberry cheesecake. We took these to go and I had to just about arm wrestle him for a taste.
All in our bill for lunch was just under $17.00 before leaving a tip. We definitely felt like we go a lot for our money and are looking forward to returning – especially for the ice cream. It was easy to see why it’s been voted the “best” for so many years.
Last night I made my first visit to Laura Alberts. My friends and I were excited for the French Broad beer dinner. We were not disappointed! The reception gave us time to peruse the retail wines and beers as well as the cookbooks, cocktail accessories and other items. The dinner was excellent. The brewer talked a bit about each beer while it was being served and the dishes paired perfectly with the selections. I was super impressed by the prawn appetizer. It was pastrami wrapped prawn with a creamy cabbagy side and an IPA sauce. It was familiar ingredients that created a reuben-like flavor only subtle and soft. YUM. We all agreed that the salad was "fancy" but once the poached egg was broken and mixed into the frissee with the bacon and the sweet tomatoes it had the flavors and textures of a perfect BLT. The duck, my mouth is watering now thinking about the smoked salt seared duck. There is something so indulgent about salty duck fat that makes me feel spoiled! The fat was like butter and the meat so tender it melted in my mouth. The creamy barley and earthy mushrooms were like the ultimate comfort food and the Anvil Porter cherry lacquer gave the hint of sweetness that rounded out every perfect bite. The service was spot on. The beers were smooth and paired perfectly. My friends and I had a great time eating and drinking and just being us while enjoying a good atmosphere, super food and great beer.
DON'T GO UNLESS YOU HAVE A BUNCH OF TIME!!
The food is decent, but the service is consistently very slow! Most recently, I walked in the restaurant where one person was already enjoying breakfast. I ordered a breakfast sandwich. 20 minutes later I was still waiting despite only 1 order being placed after mine. I informed the staff that I would need to take my meal to go instead of eating it there because I now needed to leave. The staff acknowledged this and then I noticed that they were now STARTING to fix my order.
If you want a similar restaurant with better food, go about 4 blocks towards meeting street to the Charleston Tea Co.
Absolutely amazing! Food was great, beer was fabulous, and our server was a friendly, and absolutely ADORABLE young lady. Flawless. Will definitely be returning!
I agree. This place blows now. Plenty of other locals spots around, don't waste your money.
This place really isn't the same anymore. I guess the old owners sold it and now it's just gone down hill with the new owners. My wife and I used to love going there for the crepes and sandwiches and relaxed atmosphere but the last few times we've been the new owners we're unfriendly, like they couldn't be bothered with us, and the food wasn't what it used to be. The prices had gone up considerably and the portions are much smaller. The sauce used for the my wife's Tenacious Turkey tasted like plain sour cream not the basil and honey dijon like it used to have and the amount of meats and cheeses in our food was far less than we were used to. Not to mention we paid $9 for a sandwich smaller than my palm and that was just for the sandwich. We were very disappointed, this place used to be a great hidden gem and now it's more like a cold tourist trap.
Amazing food and great outside seating area with a tranquil water fountain. It is tough finding a vegetarian restaurant in the Charleston area. Yet this one more than makes up for the lack of supply. Great tofu-stuffed wraps and delicious water infused with fruits or veggies (I have had strawberry and cucumber water there - it varies based on the chef's preference). Black Bean provides a much needed respite during my days downtown.
Thought this place was really good when I first tried it, a little pricey but the portion was big. Tonight, I got a Black and Blue that was quite small and had only a couple of pieces of chicken. For $9?? My son had the Turkey Bacon which was bigger and not skimpy on the meat. I live in the neighborhood, but don't think I'll be back anytime soon. Dellz has way bigger portions for less $.
Enjoyed the live music, food and beer. Dog friendly place with very friendly staff, we will certainly be back.
BB Co is too expensive and skimpy on ingredients.
I don't see any reason for James Islanders to go there instead of Barberito's - BB Co. doesn't even offer Avocado as an ingredient! They only have Guacamole, which Barberito's also offers.
Best Wings in town!!
This little cafe is about to be little no more. They are moving to where D&B's Cheeseburger's used to be behind Walgreens, a few doors down from Mondo's Delight and Terrie's Sports Bar. I love this place and excited for them to have a bigger place to serve more locals and tourist at. They have an amazing staff, who are all so nice and sweet. I hope this restaurant continues to do well and even better once in its new place. If you have not tried them out please go and do not waste anymore time. This cozy laid back atmosphere yet superb customer service along with amazing cuisine is what I think to be the best on James Island. Rooting for this Cafe all the way!! Love this place! Keep Going and make it happen!!
I found Laura Alberts on BeerAdvocate.com when I was looking for beer places to visit in the Charleston area. They had some great reviews so my wife and I stopped by yesterday. I was blown away with the selection. They didn't have a lot of beer, but the beers they had were really hard to come by! Bottles: Oskar Blues Old Double Bagger, Brooklyn Black Ops, and Terrapin's Georgia Theater Dubbel Draft: Ballast Point Sculpin, Allagash Confluence. We decided to stay for lunch. We had the Ahi Rare tuna over bok choy salad (so good) and split the Mortadella sandwich (the menu it explained that mortadella is a high end baloney of sorts made with pistachios) the sandwich came with grilled onions and a imperial stout mustard (beer food heaven!!) The price matched both the quality of the food and the portion size provided. They served the beers in proper glassware!
I saw an ad for a dinner they having tonight with Sweetwater, my wife and I are attending - I'll follow up with a dinner review.
This place is great. Service can be slow on a Saturday or Sunday morning when the staff may have been out a little late the night before, but the food is outstanding!
I heard a rumor that a 2nd Downtown location was in the works. Any truth to this??
Best lunch on DI, hands down. Reasonably priced considering the portion size (I took half of my huge $13 sandwich home!) They always have some rare beer on tap.
One of my readers suggested that we try Halo, a restaurant on Ashley Avenue across from MUSC. My readers haven’t steered me wrong yet, so we decided to give it a go.
Parking can be a little challenging for this restaurant, but the parking gods were smiling on us and we found a metered spot a few streets down from the restaurant.
On the way to ordering we ogled the glass covered “jewel box” of fresh made pastries. I could see one of these treats was going to be in my immediate future. My husband went up to check out the upstairs seating while I stood in line to order.
Although it wasn’t very busy (we got to lunch very late), the ordering process took awhile. There was one cashier who is very helpful, but because there were a lot of options, i.e. breads, side dishes, etc. each customer was asked and given all of these options, which took some time. There could probably more efficient way of doing this that I believe would help to drive traffic and sales.
After placing our order I headed up to the great outdoor table that my husband had found. Once you place your order you’re given a small plastic number that stands on your table. Your food is then delivered to your table. We waited for lunch and watched the world go by…….
If I had one complaint it would be that our lunch took a long time. For a not-so busy restaurant it took almost 20 minutes for our lunch to arrive. BUT… when it did arrive it was well worth the wait.
The menu consists of the baked goods that we first saw, 3 soups, 8 salads and 24 sandwiches. Their breakfast menu (7:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.), looks very interesting and we can’t wait to go back and try it.
During our wait we munched on the blueberry scone that we’d ordered. I have worked with a very large bakery café chain in the past and I thought I knew scones. This was the most un-scone-like scone that I’ve ever eaten. It was moist, light, and airy and the blueberries tasted like they were picked that morning. I’d go back to Halo just for that!
I ordered the Quesadilla Salad with Chicken. I thought the item sounded interesting. I really didn’t know where the chicken was going – on the salad or in the quesadilla, and found out that it comes in the quesadilla. A large, hot quesadilla was served atop a pile of greens and fresh accompaniments – diced tomato, carrots, banana peppers, and black bean and corn salsa. All were very fresh. Although the mixed cheese and pretzel roll advertised with the salad did not make the trip upstairs to our table, I would not have known they were missing until I reread the menu this morning. The salad was very good, but I didn’t care for eating out of a plastic clam shell with plastic silverware as if we had taken the item to go. Despite these few pet peeves, the salad was a winner.
When we go back for lunch I’ll be trying the sandwich selections. My husband’s “Brickhouse” sandwich came out cut in half and stacked at least 4-5” high. The side dish was the pasta salad of the day, which was as he put it, “Not their specialty.” He didn’t seem to mind, since the sandwich was terrific.
Served on a nice, fresh Ciabatta roll (they were out of multigrain bread that the sandwich is usually served on), thinly sliced roast beef was topped with a heaping serving of crumbled bleu cheese, roasted red peppers, red onion and pesto. All I kept hearing was “You ordered the wrong thing, this is great!”
Upon leaving one of the employees (a manager perhaps?), asked how everything was and said that he was pleased that we enjoyed everything and invited us back. And back for a visit we shall go.
I thought the food was overpriced for not being anything fancy. In addition, I asked the server to leave something off my plate, but she put it on there anyway and then had the nerve to get into an argument with me about whether or not I should still pay for it. She charged me for the same plate twice. It was an awful dining experience and I will not be returning. There are too many other places with better food and better service.
Great value, charming and good, good food!
Great sandwiches, soups and salads!!!! Affordable wines and beers. I'm new to the neighborhood and i am going to frequent this place alot! Go chicken salad, go!
I have eaten here several times since its opening and have been very impressed every time with both the food and the service. My non-vegeterian boyfriend even loves the falafel which says a lot. I went late night this weekend and maybe it was me or maybe the cashier misunderstood me but my order was messed up and even though it was 2am the owner, who was still there, made sure my order was correctly fixed and even brought it outside to me with a smile. Great food, great service and definitely a must eat place in Charleston!
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