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Comment Archives: Locations: Bars + Clubs: 3 Stars

Re: “Cypress Lowcountry Grille

My husband and I stopped in to Cypress for a cocktail and an appetizer prior to our reservation at Blossom for Restaurant Week, the bartender had no problem expressing his negative opinion of restaurant week. I understand the discontent at having lower total sales therefore lower tips, but for the hour that my husband and I were at his bar we were the only customers so due to Restaurant Week, the bartender made a bonus $10 tip ($35 check) off of people that would not have been there on a normal Sunday evening. Every dollar counts, not just for those receiving the tips, but for those giving the tips as well.

Restaurant Week gives us a chance to try something different, and a good reason to treat ourselves. If you feel that the restaurant is not being properly showcased with the special menu, speak up. I have to believe that the star chefs of Charleston do not want their Restaurant Week menus to be their dirty little secrets. Restaurant Week is a chance for locals to get out and try something new, why not showcase your best dishes on these menus? I would not find a smaller portion of your award winning dish unreasonable when the special three course menu is the same price as a regular entree.

0 of 2 people like this.
Posted by danadominata on January 13, 2014 at 1:32 PM

Re: “Bay Street Biergarten

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.

10 of 13 people like this.
Posted by dimestore_watch on December 3, 2013 at 10:56 PM

Re: “Bay Street Biergarten

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.

14 of 14 people like this.
Posted by freethebeer on December 3, 2013 at 3:33 PM

Re: “Bay Street Biergarten

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.

14 of 20 people like this.
Posted by TheKuhn on December 2, 2013 at 2:08 PM

Re: “The Pierpont Pub

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.

1 of 1 people like this.
Posted by msdjyoung on October 31, 2013 at 3:59 PM

Re: “39 Rue De Jean

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.

4 of 5 people like this.
Posted by sps29455 on October 3, 2013 at 12:45 PM

Re: “Parson Jack's Café

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.

Posted by Colin Kerr on July 22, 2013 at 4:40 PM

Re: “Fiery Ron's Home Team BBQ

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.

1 of 2 people like this.
Posted by Matthew Warren on July 5, 2013 at 11:46 AM

Re: “Craftsmen Kitchen and Tap House

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.

12 of 21 people like this.
Posted by brewengineer on May 20, 2013 at 9:13 AM

Re: “Hippodrome

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.

Pros:
-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

Cons:
-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.

2 of 2 people like this.
Posted by Netterz0087 on January 2, 2013 at 3:27 PM

Re: “The Shelter Kitchen + Bar

So-so food, drunken college kid crowd, and the beer selection is just a step above other bars on Shem Creek. I can't recommend this place, unless you just want to pound beers and yell a lot. I will probably revisit in a few months when the new bar crowd dies off.

9 of 12 people like this.
Posted by brewengineer on December 12, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Re: “Bowens Island Restaurant

I agree about the view, the food, etc. But there ain't nothing 'gracious' about the service. We laughingly call the man behind the counter "the bar nazi". Still we suffer his rudeness for the sunsets and oysters! Like they say at Bowens " some like it, some don't".

0 of 3 people like this.
Posted by why cook? on November 2, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Re: “The Shelter Kitchen + Bar

This place is nothing to write home about. I tried it for both lunch and brunch. Nice laid back decor, but the service is slow even when its not busy, and their brunch menu is very limited. My eggs were cold and hard, but my grits were very tasty. I had lunch there as well. Burger is fine, but doesn't stand out. There are enough other places with better views that I'd go back to before heading back to the Shelter again.

10 of 14 people like this.
Posted by Q on October 2, 2012 at 3:53 PM

Re: “Tommy Condon's Irish Pub & Seafood Restaurant

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.

0 of 3 people like this.
Posted by localhutch on September 19, 2012 at 12:46 PM

Re: “Cha Cha's Mexican Grill

My hubby and I went to check the place out for the first time tonight, and I gave it 3 stars bc I did like the atmosphere. We thought the chips and salsa were yummy, as the salsa was good and spicy with some kind of fruit in it? Good stuff! The frozen screw driver tasted was not too good, and I thought my margarita wasn't too good. My husband's lamb taco was really good! My fish taco was fishy though ugh, so that was disappointing. We live on Ji, so appreciate the JI vibe, but for food sorry but we both agreed we'd stick to Zia. The place is new though, so hopefully the food will get better! Overall cool joint to hang out!

3 of 5 people like this.
Posted by Charleston1923 on June 27, 2012 at 9:34 PM

Re: “Midtown Bar & Grill

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.

1 of 1 people like this.
Posted by Zip's Girl on May 2, 2012 at 8:23 PM

Re: “Smoky Oak Taproom

Smokey Oak fills the late night parking lot. Smokey Oak is small with a patio when you love the outdoor heat & bugs. If you want great barbeque, drive out EARLY along Maybank all the way to JB's SmokeShack early Wed-Sat... late night HOME TEAM BBQ is GREAT IN WEST ASHLEY and on Sullivan's Island. I'm going back to Smokey Oak when we visit James Island friends. Beer snobs learn the difference between bock & tap

1 of 4 people like this.
Posted by AmericanAtheistFORMERClinicEscort on April 4, 2012 at 6:22 PM

Re: “Sand Shack Bar & Grill

"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.

2 of 7 people like this.
Posted by squidchief on March 21, 2012 at 11:54 AM

Re: “Foster's Pub

C17Mark-

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.

1 of 1 people like this.
Posted by ALEYEAST on February 13, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Re: “Grindz Burgers & Brew

My wife and I have been about 3 times in the last year. Every time we have been there haven't been more than one or two at the bar and a few people eating. Not sure how they stay open. With that said the burgers were good and the beer okay. Would like to see a better selection of draft beer but all in all each time has been a good experience. I just wish they would clean and lighten the place up - it dosen't feel very clean. Could be that it has dark walls and furnishings.

Posted by putemup on December 19, 2011 at 7:08 PM
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