Eat This: Fourth of July Edition 

A weekend of options

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America's given us a lot. Liberty, freedom, dollar menus, reality TV, the list goes on and on. It's time for you to pay back Uncle Sam by celebrating America's birthday this Sunday. You know the best way to do that? Stuff yourself on great American cuisine, then loosen your belt, lean back, and gaze at those pretty, colored lights filling up the night sky.

First, get a head start by sampling Cupcake's Red, White and Berry Blue cupcake. The patriotic treat will only be available on Saturday, July 3, because Cupcake is closed on the Fourth.

If you want to host your own party, make it easy on yourself and pick up one of Craig Deihl's Fourth of July Artisan Meat Share package from Cypress. The Summer Grill Pack includes four all-local beef patties, four house-made bratwurst links, two smoked barbecue chicken quarters, one pound of smoked pulled pork, one pound of beef brisket, one pint of pickled vegetables, and a pint of barbecue sauce. They say it'll feed a crowd of 10-12 people, just make sure those are people who need to be impressed. For $50, it's a deal, considering all the time and money it would take you to make that package up for yourself. Call (843) 937-4012, ext. 265 to reserve yours now.

If you're heading out to the beach for the day, you can swing by Home Team BBQ on Sullivan's beforehand for one of their handy dandy Beach To-Go Packs. They've got a host of options, from the No. 6 Feast for 6 (chips, salsa, 18 wings, 6 pulled pork sandwiches with sides, 6 banana puddings, $60) to the Skinny Chick (two wraps, two sides, $14.99). Call ahead to make it even easier.

You can also grab a great meal for the celebrations at Ted's Butcherblock. Ted's is actually turning Fourth of July into a month-long special with a July menu full of Americana-themed dishes. If you're for looking something other than barbecue and burgers to munch on Sunday evening, Ted's July menu, which is available as of July 1, will provide tastes from all over this great nation of ours. Virginia country ham, Kentucky-whiskey-glazed grilled chicken, and Key West key lime ice cream are some examples of the regional highlights. The full menu with pricing is available at tedsbutcherblock.com. They're closed on Sunday, so plan ahead.

Café Medley and Atlanticville Restaurant are also offering great Fourth of July cuisine. Both restaurants have picnic packages that patrons can pick up on Sunday. Café Medley's packed lunches, which can be picked up at 11 a.m. or 2 p.m. only, offer a choice of chicken salad (no mayo), pimiento, or hummus and veggie sandwiches; chocolate chip cookie or an Oreo bite; and bottled water. The cost is $10 each, and picnic wine glasses with market vino prices are available as well.

Atlanticville has you covered for dinner. Their meals, which can be picked up at 3 p.m. or 6 p.m. only, consist of Billy Condon's fried chicken, corn on the cob, corn bread, iced or sweet tea, and double fudge brownies. Each meal is $15, and chilled beer and wine are also available. Orders must be placed by Thursday, July 1.

If you'd rather not worry about planning ahead, there are plenty of foodtastic Fourth events happening around town. Wentworth Mansion and Circa 1886 host their annual Sizzling Southern Celebration on the Fourth, which features traditional Southern fare with a modern twist from Executive Chef Marc Collins. Some menu samples include peach vinegar coleslaw, whiskey baked beans, pork tenderloin sliders, and RC Cola cake. The party starts at 7:30 p.m. on the Wentworth Mansion's front lawn, where jazz soloist Michael Meseck will also be playing, and guests can check out the firework displays after dinner from the Mansion cupola. It's $70 per person, which includes a glass of champagne but excludes tax, gratuity and other beverages. For reservations, call 853-7828.

California Dreaming is finally taking advantage of their waterfront location to host their First Annual Fourth of July Celebration. The restaurant will have all-day drink specials and traditional favorites like barbecue, hamburgers, hot dogs, prime rib sandwiches, and half-racks of ribs. Admission is free (and so is parking!). Live reggae music throughout the evening, and a live DJ inside until 1 a.m.

Woodlands Inn's Fourth of July Party is a Summerville tradition and provides a more low-key family celebration before the fireworks kick off. They'll have a South Carolina barbecue buffet provided by Queology and other classic Independence Day fare. Families can also enjoy local retail booths, art displays, and art-focused kid activities. Local music will be provided throughout, and the Summerville Community Orchestra will do a closing performance. Advance tickets are available until July 2, and it's $8 for adults and $3 for children ages 4-12. Tickets at the door are $10 and $5. The event lasts from 4-8:30, and the orchestra will perform at 6:30.

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Finally, enjoy a great view from South Carolina Aquarium, as well as live music and a barbecue dinner provided by Jim n' Nicks. There's limited seating on the Riverside Terrace, so guests are encouraged to reserve early (as in now). Tickets, which include beer, refreshments, and food are $55 for adults and $25 for children (2 and under are free). For aquarium members, it's $45 for adults and $20 for children. To reserve, call 577-FISH.


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