I'll have to agree with the naysayers—I think the self-service aspect is a novelty that may be fun to play with once or twice, but I wouldn't be shocked if they start to gather dust once the initial wave of interest dies down a bit. I'd recommend The Craftsmen on Cumberland St. if you're looking for a wide selection and don't want to be punished for not wanting to play bartender. That said, brunch chicken waffles are outstanding and it's a good spot to catch a game.
I agree with the previous commenter about the prepaid cards. For such a vast selection of beer, why am I only limited to 13 options when there is probably 100 other drinks they can make behind the bar. If I’m going to pay you $40 without having a single drink, I’d appreciate you giving me a heads up next time.
I used to frequent the Boat House in this location and have been to Bay Street one time. I chose a Thursday night that was roughly 2 weeks after opening. It was to capacity at 930p, one in, one out. The inside is very nice, they did a great job with the existing space and built an amazing outdoor patio. I didn't get a chance to order any food this time so i can't speak to that.
I think the pre-paid cards/tap-wall is a novelty that will soon fade. The deal-breaker for me is the fact that I cannot use my prepaid card at the bar. I intend to go back for a food sampling.
Tried to enjoy an evening out at my first visit to Pierpont Pub on Hwy.61,
but when I arrived there, a brawl was taking place just outside
their front entrance and I had driven all the way
from Adams Run to get there as I had heard that
a really god Band "THE HOWLIN' PACK" was playing there that night.
I used to would have just overlooked all that kind of mayhem in
my younger days, but not anymore...what with all the goings ons these days.......
Maybe I'll try it again 'cause I see the Howlin' Pack is scheduled to play
there again this year....I believe in November 2013..!!..!!....and a friend
told me that the food there is quite good.
Went recently and shared mussels, pommes frites, and sushi with the table. As always the food was delicious. The bartenders were so busy talking amongst themselves, however, they ignored the patrons. The hostesses acted as though we were fortunate they were paying attention to us. Definitely not up to par with my earlier visits many years ago. Given the sheer number of new and established restaurants that offer both fantastic service and food, there is no reason to go back for a long while.
Decent bar food. Not good by any means, but not horrible. Service was tolerable. You won't hate going here, but there's really no special reason to go there either.
The food's usually pretty good, but the service is so, so bad. I've been six or seven times in the last year or so and I still have yet to get the sides that I actually ordered with my entree. Doesn't matter what day we go or what meal we're eating...it's kind of amazing. They need to implement some kind of ticket system, because what they're doing behind the counter right now clearly isn't working.
I finally made it into the peninsula to visit Craftsmen Kitchen, after a couple month wait for opening day. When you first walk in the door, you can tell there was a lot of money invested into design and decor. I really enjoyed the ambiance with the focus around a beautiful series of bars. There was plenty of space inside, and also an outdoor area with 4 large picnic tables.
The menu was very basic. One side had appetizers and smaller dishes. The other side featured more entree-like options. The waitress also gave us a large tap/bottled drink menu. My first thought, after glancing at the drink menu, was that it contained a lot of confusion. They tried to split things up by flavor profile, but didn't really get it right. There was a section for hoppy/IPA type beers, a section for local brews, a section for malt forward beers, and one other that I can't remember. The IPA/Hoppy section was fine, and featured many great brews. I am not sure there was a reason to separate the locals from the style based menu, as we didn't know exactly what flavor profile fit some of the local brews. The malty beer section was a complete cluster. There were pale ales (Hoppy), belgians, browns, and stouts all mixed in there. Those styles do not all fit the same flavor profile. I would have preferred them to not worry about style and just list all beers by brewery, or perhaps take time to separate by more than a couple flavor profiles. I didn't take time to check if most of the beers listed on the menu were actually on tap, but I didn't have any issues with my orders. The beer selection, while numerous, was not really impressive for a craft beer bar. It seemed like the had the normal basic offerings from many breweries, without carrying many seasonals or limited releases. I found it difficult to pick out a beer I really wanted to drink, but I am probably pickier than most patrons. I did like the option to have 8oz or 16oz pours, but I am not 100% sure the tumblers they use actually hold 16oz. The prices were a touch high, but that could be par for the course when you are a block from the market. The beers were served in clean glassware and seemed to be about the right temperature. My only suggestion there would be to use proper glassware for the style, but that is really asking for a lot.
Once we had a few drinks, we decided to order a few food items. We wanted to try two appetizers and a couple sandwiches. We ordered the Scotch Eggs (hard to find in the low country) and General Tso's Chicken Wings. The wings were really tasty, and they nailed the sauce. It was a nice mix of sweet and spice, and went well with the base crispy wings. The scotch eggs were not exactly what I am used to, but still very good. You only get one large egg, cut in half, so take note if you are sharing with a few people. My main course was the burger, which is made with house ground beef and some added pork belly in the mix. Pork belly makes for some delicious burgers, but also prevents you from getting a rare or medium-rare burger. It took quite a while to receive my burger, but we were in a large party. The burger comes with some thick cut fried potato rounds, but you only get 4 of these. If you are really hungry, it is better that you order more than just the burger. I did enjoy the seasoning on the burger, and would eat it again. I do wish there was more of a side with this. The other dish we got was the crispy pork belly sandwich. Basically, this is a piece of fried pork belly, between two pieces of toast, with a fried runny egg on top. I am not sure why the egg goes on top, as it makes the dish excessively messy. The belly was a touch overcooked, but the whole sandwich was still pretty good. This also cam with the small side of fried potato rounds.
Overall, I think this is a place worth checking out if you like craft beer. They are still very new and will probably be working on things like tap offerings and food. I think my expectations were a bit too high, due to years of drinking craft beer. I will likely return to see if they fall into a groove with food and beer selection. I wish them luck and much success. I am still happy to see another craft-centric bar in downtown Charleston, which covers a growing market of better beer drinkers.
Definitely think this event is overrated. We paid the $150 for each of us to be VIP, not to be confused with the VIP TABLE that was $1,000 for 6 people to have their own table. With the VIP ticket we were able to get a better liquor selection and access to the second floor. We were pretty excited for this event, but we were definitely let down. Last year we attending the Snyder Grand Ball right next store to the Hippodrome so I'm largely comparing my experience to the Aquarium's party.
-The imax area was very big and open which allowed for us to interact with friends without having to scream at each other while listening to a pretty good band
-The lines for drinks weren't very long, waited 5 minutes max for a drink
-Organization wasn't bad, waited about 10 minutes in line outside to get in. Pretty quick check in
-The VIP table members were taking seats from other tables and using end tables to sit on because there wasn't enough seating for the VIP table guests.
-The appetizers weren't very appetizing. I don't think warm deviled eggs go very well with whiskey. I was hoping for food a little more recognizable, not just slices of cucumber rolled up with some pinkish looking mayonnaise stuffed in it
-There weren't any tables or chairs to sit your drink on unless you went into the imax room in which case you can sit in those seats. But you're pretty much SOL for sitting down or having a table unless you get the VIP table
Next year we're just paying the $130 for the aquarium party where you get a much better selection of appetizers/food and seating available to everyone. I don't think the extra $40 was worth it for the VIP ticket. I'm not that picky with my alcohol and honestly, I would've been fine never stepping foot on the second floor. To me, it was an overpriced house party which we could've went to Red's for almost half of what we paid and got the same experience.
I've been to Condon's on a number of occasions, and find the food adequate, but certainly not Irish. The best thing about the place is the draft beer selection. Although expensive, it allows one an opportunity to sample beers from all over the world. The music at night is entertaining and peppy, but Condon's is definitely set up for the occasional tourist visit. It appears to be doing well in that regard.
I've been to this place 3-4 times in the last year. The food is actually pretty decent, but the atmosphere and service not so much. We go in there for dinner during the week when it does not seem to be very busy. The acoustics are terrible and the food is always slow to come out. I would go there more often for the food, but I just get annoyed with the lack luster service and too laid back attitude from the staff.
"Locals" place. Friendly. Older crowd. Some pretty decent pool tables but they shoot league a couple of times a week and it takes up all the tables so it might not be your first choice of someplace to go to shoot pool. Not the fastest bartenders in the world but they make do. Not much of a karaoke crowd but I think that's as much to do with the substandard karaoke system as anything else. Worth your time to swing by for a cold in the evening before heading off somewhere else.
Wow, glad you read my 2 year old review and the rest of them. I probably go to Foster's twice a month, so I don't think Craig would want me to stay home. Many of my early comments were in fact addressed. For a while, I thought the food was stepping up (had a cheesesteak sandwich special that was really good), lately it may have slipped a little.
I can usually find a decent beer here and the food is good. This place continues to be in my rotation. Is it a 5 star as you report, definitely not, but it is a good neighborhood pub with above average beer. I think Craig is a good guy, and the staff at the bar has always been friendly.
I give detailed honest reviews and don't throw 5 stars out at every place. City Paper does not define their stars, but most reataurant guides see 1 star as recommended. 5 is typically reserved for a place that you would drive 200 miles out of your way for (3 to me denotes good). Owners can use my free assessment to improve or not. If they improve, I will go back as is the case with Foster's. Some places are not geared towards my tastes, or do not care to be.
Highs: genuinely friendly staff, yummy burgers/sandwiches, jam-if-you want live music setup.
Lows: EXPENSIVE ($28 for sandwiches and tea for two), and it is a strange mix of "new" and "dive"
I liked this place; it is completely un-pretentious, the food was solid, and they have a nice outdoor setting. Draught selection looked good. They even have karaoke. But seriously too expensive in general.
I picked up a to go order today because I was at the Citadel Mall Target and it was convenient. I have eaten at Sesame before and it's been pretty good, but with all the burger places in town it isn't my favorite. Anyway, after driving to work with my burger, which I asked to be cooked medium, I took a few bites and realized it was raw. Charred on the outer 1/2 inch and on the inside it had the color and consistency of raw meat. I called and talked to the manager who was very nice and said he would refund my money. When I went back, the manager was friendly and accommodating, but the weird thing was that he said "they didn't tell you it was going to be pink throughout when you ordered medium?" This burger was in the "not cooked enough to be served legally" category as far as I'm concerned.
The food is okay but the patrons are awful. And if you chose to sit outside, prepare to be glared at by the waitstaff...
Up until recently I would have given the Pour House four stars. You have the best deck in Charleston. But the drink prices have increased enormously. King Street prices on Maybank Hwy? Did you think we were too drunk to notice? We weren't. Now we have to think about coming out. I do appreciate that you will now wipe off a dirty table instead of handing me the bar rag and the fact that you occasionally come around to collect empty bottles and plates does help to keep the flies away. $3 PBR $5 draft $6 liquor To quote Seth Meyers - "Really?"
Pro: Very good food and setting, interesting variety of food, reasonable drink prices, on-site parking, dog friendly
Con: Expensive food, service is inconsistent
We had dinner for five on a Saturday night. The weather was perfect, so they had all the bay doors open and the place had a good crowd. The wait was minimal and we moved right in. Their draught selection was good, though they were out of Dale's Pale Ale ($4) and had replaced it with Abita Lager to which our waitress made the appropriate "WTF?" face. Drinks came out fairly quickly, but that's where the problem started.
Our waitress would flee as soon as she put down something on the table, no matter if you called her, raised your hand, anything! Several tables around had a similar problem. That made putting in our food order take 10-15 minutes longer than expected. It was quite frustrating and persisted through getting the check settled. Previous visits during lunch time didn't have this problem.
The other problem is the food prices are quite high. $14 for a chorizo burger? They seem to be 30-40% over market on their menu. The food was good and both well prepared and presented. The buffalo burger, chicken kebabs (actually satays), black bean soup, and chef's salad all hit the mark. Their dessert selection was chocolate cake; evidently the bakery hadn't come through on-time with a delivery.
They also have a bocce lane and a big conversation circle outside which were great. I liked seeing the dogs welcomed though I'm sure that won't last.
It was the best of times and it was the worst of times. I can't think of a better way to describe our experience at Cypress.
Cypress is one of the three Hospitality Management Group Inc, restaurants (sister restaurants include Blossom and Magnolias) on East Bay. Parking is easy as there is a parking lot nestled between the three locations.
The restaurant itself is very pretty. High ceilings, an antique brick façade, colorful chairs, an open kitchen and a “wine wall” adorn the 1st floor. There is a second floor seating area that includes a bar, but we did not see it. Ceiling lights changed colors as we were there giving the room wonderful, warm hues.
The Best Of Times…….
Although the restaurant would become crowded after we were seated, it wasn’t crowded at all when we arrived. This lent itself to allowing our server to quickly approach our table. We ordered a few beverages and then began to pursue the menu selections. The menu is very interesting. There is a page that has your regular app’s, salads, entrees, etc. and a page that has “seasonal offerings” which included ‘Three for $39.00’ selections – appetizer, entrée and dessert. We liked the variety and the selections.
I was chagrined to realize that I had forgotten my reading glasses. This would have really slowed the ordering process… The server overheard me and mentioned that customers had often left reading glasses and so they had loaners that I could use. I took him up on his offer and it was a big plus.
We started with the Crab Cake over Creamed Corn, a Butter Lettuce Salad and the Charcuterie (House Cured Meats Plate). Chef Craig Deihl is one of only a couple Chefs making his own Salami and dried meats . Bar none, every dish was terrific. Our friend grew up in Maryland and is a crabmeat afficianato. She mentioned that her dish was one of the best crab cakes she’d ever tasted. The House Cured Meats were served room temperature which brought out the flavor even more. A variety of olives also garnished the dish. This too, was very nice. My Butter Lettuce Salad was “like budda”, but… the top core of the salad was very brown. How do you miss that? Brown-ness aside we thought we were off to a great start.
It was then that we began to wait awhile for our entrees. No big deal as the company was great. But I did notice that other servers were much more engaging with their customers than ours. They were making suggestions, explaining were the local products came from, etc. Our server was just robotic. "Oh well”, I thought, our appetizers were very good, so perhaps the entrees would be too.
The Worst Of Times………
This is when the fun came to a screeching halt. First of all, our server was nowhere to be found. Many runners brought our entrees. The plates were very warm and everything looked good. Alas, looks aren’t everything.
I ordered the Wahoo. On a dare the server couldn’t really tell me much about it, but it was the only fish dish offered. Two building-block-like pieces of incredibly bland, pan seared fish were served over a succotash concoction that included local beans. I don’t think I’ve ever had a more bland dish - bland and salty, very salty.
The guys ordered the filet that was topped with a house-made Boursin cheese. It was accompanied by boring, zero flavor fingerling potatoes and asparagus. I think our friend said it best when he said, “Had I known there would be a Tsunami of cheese I would have never ordered this.” The cheese completely overpowered the meat.
An “Oscar” version of a filet was also ordered. It came with some asparagus and this gross, burnt version of a large potato chip which was inedible. Each steak had a different degree of doneness although they were all ordered medium. All of the dishes were also very salty. Our server remained MIA.
We got through dinner OK and then he did arrive to see if we wanted dessert. I suggested some decaf and then we all passed on dessert. I had ordered the Three for $39.00 special and dessert was included however. So I asked for 4 forks so that we could all try it.
Tick tock, tick tock, time march on. No server and no cheesecake. Finally after we were on our second cup of not-even-lukewarm coffee we asked if the cheesecake had been forgotten. He said it was on its way. We watched then as he scurried around the kitchen. We started timing this and it was over 12 minutes before it arrived. This was on top of the first 8 minutes or so we waited.
And THEN the cheesecake was just awful. A small 1 ½” by 2” piece of ricotta cheesecake was served on a plate with three strawberries. It tasted like packing peanuts. But the absolutely horrid thing about the dish was it was topped with what appeared to be candied orange rind. We think that the pastry chef might have mistakenly used salt instead of sugar in making it. It literally made us all gag.
All in all, don't bother. There's plenty of other great restaurants in Charleston.
Make no bones about it, this is a destination restaurant. It’s out of the way and we needed our GPS to get there. Because the N. Charleston St. Patrick’s Day parade was in close proximity to the restaurant it was very crowded. Regardless, we thought it was worth the trip.
They have a beer menu of 60+ selections and their menu is extensive. Even though it is written on the menu I missed the fact that they “proudly serve Meyers Farm hormone free, grass fed beef.” And that it is ground in house daily. Sesame Burgers and Beer does many things to make your lunch/dinner special.
The menu includes Starters and Snacks, Salads, Sandwiches and a unique listing of Hamburgers, Turkey Burgers, Black Bean Burgers and Grilled Chicken served every which way from Sunday. And if that’s not enough they also offer 45 toppings for the sandwich that you select.
We were stumped as we looked over the menu and decided to order the “Fried Pickles” as a starter. These Iightly breaded spears were accompanied by Sesame’s homemade Ranch dressing (all of their dressings, sauces, ketchups, mustards, etc. are homemade…). If you haven’t tried something like this, you should. We ate them as if we had been on a desert island for weeks … while we continued to try to decide on lunch.
I landed on the Patty Melt. I am not a big meat eater but it sounded interesting being topped with American cheese, caramelized onions, house made mayo (which I asked to have on the side, and it was a no show), and spicy Coast beer mustard on marble rye.
My husband chose the Slider trio – a “Memphis” (house made peanut butter, bacon and banana slices), “Colorado” (grated sharp cheddar and house made chili) and the “Southwestern” (guacamole and chipotle sour cream).
Although the restaurant was packed, our lunch arrived very quickly. Unfortunately, it did not live up to our visit at their sister location at the Mall.
My hamburger that was supposed to be served “medium” was almost well done and with everything that was on it, was still very dry. The marble rye was somewhat charred (see picture) and had a burnt taste to it. And the house made mustard had such an overpowering flavor of horseradish that I even asked the server what was on the burger as I didn’t see horseradish listed as one of the ingredients. Again, the homemade mayo was a no-show.
The trio of sliders were good, but overcooked. Because they were topped with so many things it somewhat hid the fact that they were extremely dry and overdone.
Having said all of this we would definitely give “Sesame Burgers and Beer” in N. Charleston another try. Our first lunch at their Citadel Mall location was magnificent. Due to the parade and the crowd (there was a very long line when we were leaving), they could have been having an off day.
To see the video check http://diningaroundcharleston.com
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