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Comment Archives: Locations: Bars + Clubs: 2 Stars

Re: “Mosaic Cafe & Catering

Not great food but a great recovery!

In the Iron Gate Plaza on Hungryneck Boulevard is tucked a small, charming restaurant named Mosaic Café and Catering. Recently a friend of ours said it was her favorite place to take her daughter for lunch. She hasn’t steered us wrong yet, so we decided to give it a try.

The restaurant whose vision is to “effectively nourish the body and soul while preserving the highest level of quality and value” is warm and inviting. Our server, Lauren (who we also found out was one of the managers), was very knowledgeable and helpful.

The day we had lunch there was the first day for their February “monthly specials” menu. Lauren reviewed the menu with us and I decided to order the BBQ-ranch chicken sandwich which was advertised as a pan fried chicken breast tossed in balsamic BBQ sauce, topped with pepper jack cheese and cranberry cole slaw, on a Kaiser bun. My husband ordered a cup of white bean turkey chili and a Charleston chicken roller which was a wrap with grilled chicken, bacon, smoked Gouda pimento cheese, spinach, tomatoes and basil mustard. (This sandwich is rated as a Mosaic favorite on the menu.)

The menu itself is interesting. It offers a wide selection of salads, sandwiches, pasta and has an entire “fit” section where all of the menu items are 450 or less. It was difficult to chose.

The restaurant got busy but when we ordered it wasn’t and our lunch was served very quickly. We found the white bean chili to be very bland, but the Charleston roller was great. I again, had unfortunately ordered the wrong dish. The sandwich was as described and the cole slaw was an interesting “purple” (literally), but the sandwich was so overpowered by the taste of vinegar that it was barely edible. The pasta salad that I ordered as a side was al dente and then some, bland and tasted gritty. I had thought that by ordering one of the specials, especially on the first day would have be a win, but it wasn’t.

Lauren did everything she could to apologize. I usually temper my feedback if something is not great, but this time I found myself saying it was “simply awful”. She also offered to get me anything that I wanted on the menu, but we were on a time schedule and had to run.

A few minutes later another manager came to the table. She explained that the cole slaw and the BBQ sauce both had balsamic vinegar (no kidding), so that must be what I was tasting. I mentioned that I liked the vinegar, but it was just too much.
She really did a nice job apologizing, offering me a different lunch option – anything that I would have liked. But THEN she did something that was really unnecessary, and to me, somewhat over the top. She comp’d my sandwich AND she gave us a gift card to come back. Often times when a meal is bad the manager will comp an item but I’ve never had a manager give us a gift card to insure we came back and gave them another try. What a great recovery!

We will try Mosaic again. They really want you to have a great dining experience and it shows. I am certain next visit will be the charm.

More info at http://diningaroundcharleston.com

Posted by susieg on February 2, 2011 at 1:48 PM

Re: “FIG

Let me start by saying I'm a self-admitted food snob. I won a scholarship from Food Network to attend culinary school just so I could learn more. I even choose vacation destinations based on the food scene. It doesn't have to be fancy, it just has to be excellent. Awesome tacos served from a makeshift stand make me just as happy as Michelin stars, and I've had both.

I have lived in downtown Charleston (Wagener Terrace) since 1997, and have dined at every restaurant worth noting. I fell so in love with McCrady's, Cypress and Charleston Grill that I just never made the time to go to FIG. I finally did so recently, and it was a disappointment. The hype simply didn't match the experience.

The service was barely adequate, the food uninspired, and the atmosphere abysmal. It was elementary school cafeteria floors, wait staff dressed in white T-shirts and ankle-length black aprons, and 80's-era paint on the walls. The food portions were adequate, and everything was prepared well, but there was no "wow". We were seated next to the service station in the back so I expected that it would be hard to be ignored. I was wrong. There were long waits between courses, and lengthy periods with empty water glasses.

I get Chef Lata's point of view and I appreciate his finesse and attention to detail. When I'm spending $140 per person on dinner I expect to be wowed. I wasn't. I found myself comparing it to what Sean Brock, Craig Diehl and Robert Carter (formerly of Charleston Grill) were doing in 2006. They have long since moved on, but I find Chef Lata firmly rooted in the past. It's undeniably delicious, but as a culinarian it's just not all that interesting to me.

So if you're a foodie and you're looking for an inventive and inspirational dining experience, don't go to FIG. If you just want to have an excellent meal and can get past the too-casual-for-the-price-point and slightly rundown decor, it's a fantastic choice. Personally, I'll save my money for McCrady's.

2 of 5 people like this.
Posted by Charles Robinson on December 23, 2010 at 9:30 AM

Re: “Husk Restaurant

My friends and I started our girls night out at husk last week, unfortunately we did not take the opportunity to taste we did spend sometime in the bar. I'm sorry to say the bartenders were not helpful in anyway shape or form. As I was waiting for the girls to arrive there were three bartenders at that time and I was completely ignored for what seemed to be an eternity. I was very thirsty! The handcrafted cocktails were good, I'm not sure they were 10$ good. Maybe if the bar service added quality to our experience I might think differently. I have reservations on the 23rd maybe the restaurant will get me warmed back up to husk again. I wasn't feeling the love in the bar. Positive is it's cozy and beautiful.

4 of 4 people like this.
Posted by chickadee on December 6, 2010 at 12:04 AM

Re: “Montreux Bar and Grill

A few months ago I went to Montreaux for lunch. The place was empty and it took a very long time to get our meal. I was pleased to see that there was a booth at Summerville's Taste of the Town last weekend. The food was good and they were handing out coupons for lunch specials.

Today my partner and I stopped in for lunch. Again the restaurant was empty at 1:00 pm. I noticed the specials on the board walking into the restaurant. They were not listed on the interior of the restaurant. We ordered the special, the meatball sub. Had I the opportunity to study the special, I would have skipped on it because it came with a side of pasta, which was tasty but I try to avoid starch when I can. I mention it because it seemed that they must have had to boil fresh water for the pasta, because it took over 20 minutes to get our food. I ordered the special because I figured it would be quick. The portion size left much to be desired. It was a $8 6 inch.

We sat at a table and were served by the bartender who was very friendly and attentive. Given that she was the only server, I concluded that I was mistaken in believing that the restaurant had seriously committed to a regular lunch business. Another gentleman came into the restaurant and got his order much quicker than we did. Apparently I should have ordered a quesadilla.... I want to support local businesses but I do not have the time to risk another slow service at Montreaux anytime soon.

Posted by shadowtax on November 10, 2010 at 4:00 PM

Re: “Parson Jack's Café

Love the fried mushrooms! Do think some of the girls need to check themselves before they put those shorts on though...

4 of 5 people like this.
Posted by SoUtHeRnQT4LyF on October 24, 2010 at 8:33 PM

Re: “O'Brion's Pub & Grille

Started off well but now just a regular sports bar. You won't find a single bar like this in Ireland. This could have been a great place for the family but it isn't. You can't hear a word anyone is saying. Such a disappointment as the area really needed a good place to eat.

Posted by bumblebee1 on October 17, 2010 at 7:42 PM

Re: “Family Circle Magazine Stadium

The venue was quite good and so were Boyz II Men. I love Patti Labelle and have seen her on three separate occasions. Unfortunately, her perforance was a big disappointment. She never sang a song completely through and talked more than she sang. She began by criticizing Boyz II Men for not coming to say hello to her and stated they had no manners. Shortly after she got on stage she complained about her diabetes, stopped her attempts at singing so she could drink orange juice. Then she proceeded to eat fried chicken and biscuits (turning her back to the audience for most of this lengthy period). Come on Patti, no wonder you need five shots a day if you can't get through a concert without fried chicken and biscuits. Paid to hear her sing not chow down on foods a diabetic shouldn't be eating anyway. Too sad!

2 of 2 people like this.
Posted by Concert Lover on October 4, 2010 at 12:12 PM

Re: “Mellow Mushroom

I don't know what happened to this place. I used to eat there all the time about 6 years ago when I was first in Charleston. It was usually my first pick for pizza, as the bar crowd was usually pretty good, and the pizza was a great value for the taste. I went back with my family when we first came back to Charleston. It was terrible. I let the manager know about it, he allowed me swap out for a steak sub. I was willing to take another chance on them, as any one can have a bad one (especially with the volume MM produces). Different night, same result. The pizza, the cheese in particular, had a sour taste to it. Just not good at all. I gave the pizza away (and paid for it), and went and got a burrito. I'm not sure if it's the corporate expansion or cutting corners, but this place has gone downhill.

0 of 1 people like this.
Posted by Muskie on October 3, 2010 at 6:05 PM

Re: “Social

I have heard a lot of mixed stories about Social and so I went there the other day to test out the place. I went with my girlfriends and the atmosphere was very urban. There were people crowded around the bars and the lights/art was impressive.

The service was horrible though. There was a tall blonde hostess who spilled water all over me and didn't even apologize. She kept walking back and forth stomping her feet, scrubbing tables in front of guests with a dirty rag, and looked like she detested her job.

The food was pretty good but nothing special or fancy but the drink selection was great. Lots of different wine selections! I would skip the entire food/meal part and go mingle by the bar. Also, avoid that tall blonde hostess!

1 of 1 people like this.
Posted by Abby437 on September 29, 2010 at 6:56 PM

Re: “O'Brion's Pub & Grille

Nice place inside. Been there three times. Home chips are good. Brie appetizer is good. We've had three entrees and all were really bad. Corned beef and cabbage. Oh man! They served me a pile of deli meat on overcooked cabbage. Not at all what I expected. For the price I was charged, I was expecting real cooked corned beef and cabbage not something thrown together from the deli counter. Gave them a second chance. Unfortunately, the french dip sandwich was MUCH worse. Au jus tasted like it came from a can. The little bit of meat was dry and crumbly. Sorry but it was really, really bad. Husband's pizza was awful, too. In this area, you HAVE to cook great food if you want to continue serving food. There are just too many great restaurants to choose from.

Oh, by the way, the entire time we were there tonight, not one smile, not one thank you from the staff.

Two beers, home chip appetizer, an individual pizza and a french dip sandwich with 3 tablespoons of french onion soup for a side cost us $38.73 before the tip.

And we were so very excited to get a neighborhood pub. It will only be snacks and beer for us from now on.

Posted by Sunset Cruiser on September 17, 2010 at 10:53 PM

Re: “Bambu

I had pretty much the same experience as MassGirl4

Posted by zigzag on September 2, 2010 at 1:57 PM

Re: “NV Dance Lounge

Every time I think that Charleston is on it's way back up something like this place happens. Why do Charleston bars have to follow the trends of NYC or LA. Got news, the bar is in Charleston so stop trying to be something you're not. The cover is ridiculous for what you are getting. I think they think that the idea that they borrowed was the prices.

8 of 9 people like this.
Posted by -A on August 15, 2010 at 11:49 AM

Re: “Vickery's Bar and Grill

Have been lots of times, to both locations, but I prefer downtown. Now that they have closed, we are stuck with the Mt. Pleasant location. Service last night was awful - 30 minute wait for sandwiches, no drink refills, no smile, and overall we seemed to inconvenience the server who was clearly more interested in going home. Food was mediocre and not up to par even for casual dining experience. Soggy fries, unseasoned fish, overcooked burger, etc. I complained to the manager who pulled my check up only to find out the server took it upon herself to double the tip I had signed for. Not sure I will ever be back.

Posted by arosef33 on July 8, 2010 at 10:36 AM

Re: “Smoky Oak Taproom

I was there a couple of weeks ago and after reading several of the reviews it seems that I am not the only one whose brisket came out extremely soggy with a lot of fat on it. I got the sandwich and my bread was so wet I couldn't even eat it and the brisket I had to use a knife and fork to trim off all of the fat. Definitely do not get the brisket. Also, the side of hash is not good at all, I wouldn't even classify that as hash.

2 of 3 people like this.
Posted by chs_hokie on July 2, 2010 at 1:03 PM

Re: “Coconut Joe's Beach Grill & Bar

My husband and I went here last Friday looking for a casual place to eat some dinner and listen to some music. Obviously we knew that it would be crowded and we would have to wait. We put our name on the list and went upstairs on the deck to listen to the music. The music was great and the view of the beach is wonderful, but it was way too pricey. We each got an Amstel Light and they were almost 5 dollars a piece. Once we got into the restaurant after about 30 minutes (not a big deal, we totally expected this on a friday night in june) we were litterally forgotten about...several times by our server. The food was ok but nothing amazing. This place has tourist trap written all over it.

Posted by SarahKate on June 20, 2010 at 11:09 AM

Re: “Market Street Saloon

The jv team of coyote ugly girls. Most of the girls can't dance and they make up for their lack of looks (that's what this bar is supposed to be about right?) by showing more skin. If you are hot, you are hot and lack of clothes is not going to change it. Should consider hiring some A-team hotties, if they are not qualified, train them. Anything would be better than what they got (for the majority of them working there). Trying to get drinks there is a feat in itself.

Posted by -A on June 5, 2010 at 5:46 PM

Re: “Triangle Char and Bar

Re: The Commentist....

Right there with you. The burgers are just 'ok.' You better options in West Ashley are Sesame or Parson Jacks for burgers. Too bad, because the menu (at least on paper) has a lot of potential. They just need someone that can execute.

1 of 1 people like this.
Posted by goodfoodonly on May 22, 2010 at 8:41 AM

Re: “Smoky Oak Taproom

Great atmosphere for a neighborhood joint. Long way to go to attract off-islanders. My most recent visit uncovered the fact that Country Crock is often substituted for butter by the front staff. Boo! Terrific onion rings. I have given up trying to get a cooked to order hamburger. If I liked Q maybe I would stand a better chance of having a decent meal.

Posted by Guy on May 20, 2010 at 1:11 PM

Re: “Blu Restaurant & Bar

meh...

1 of 5 people like this.
Posted by dirty mck on May 5, 2010 at 6:47 PM

Re: “King Street Grille

Me and my wife went out to enjoy a Saturday night, I wish we did not go to the King Street Grill. The wings were the worst I have ever tasted, the sliders seemed to come from a can. Then we get our bill and it was wrong, we were overcharged by 20.00. The music was not the best either, the Michael Jackson Tribute band need to practice a lot more. I will say that the beer was good and cold.

1 of 1 people like this.
Posted by seahawk29464 on April 26, 2010 at 6:50 PM
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