Friday, June 22, 2018

We tried Sonic's new Pickle Juice Slush so you don't have to

No big dill

Posted by Mary Scott Hardaway on Fri, Jun 22, 2018 at 3:17 PM

I love pickles. And I don't mean in an "oh I'll take a side of pickles with my chips and sandwich" kind of love. I mean an intense, mouth-puckering, gut-cleansing kind of love. I drink pickle juice straight out of the jar, and when I'm feeling formal I even pour that shit in a real-deal glass.

So when I heard Sonic was now peddling pickle juice slushes, I had to give it a go. I drove my car on empty in rush hour traffic to the Sonic on Folly Road for that lime green concoction, hoping to take it home and mix it with my vodka for a redneck martini. Part of me thought "hey, don't get your hopes up about a $3 fad drink from a fast food drive-in" but 90 percent of me was completely invested in this pickle quest. Don't meet your heroes (or try your favorite food in slush form), folks. It just leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

The first sip was just what I wanted, or so I thought. It definitely was reminiscent of a vinegary, tart...something. Two, three sips in, my hopes started to fade. The Sonic Pickle Slush is a glorified Limeade erring far too bread and butter and not enough dill.

Sometimes a Sonic Slush with a mouth puckering pickle flavor is exactly what you crave when the the heat index reaches 106 degrees. And sometimes you should give into your cravings. But, dear sour/tart/vinegar lovers. Skip the Slush. Grab a martini instead. 

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It's a "fantastic" blueberry season: Where to get your fix around town

Summertime blues

Posted by Katie Lyons and Mary Scott Hardaway on Fri, Jun 22, 2018 at 2:35 PM

Cheri Ward of Blue Pearl Farms says this year's blueberry crop is "fantastic." Last year, Blue Pearl and other blueberry farms suffered from a warm spring and late freeze, explains Ward, "but it's like the trees took a year off and came back better than ever."

The sustainable McClellanville farm grows heritage rabbiteye blueberries, which are the "old-fashioned, classic Southeastern blueberries" says Ward. They arrive later than newer varieties, but their season runs well through August. Ward says her berries are "incredibly huge, full, and sweet" this year and that the rabbiteye, generally, "takes longer to ripen, which deepens the flavor, in my opinion." The farm is not a standard u-pick spot, but Ward says they do host u-pick events, usually on Sundays during the summer. The first public picking of the season is this Sun. June 24 starting at noon. "I'm very excited to have people out here enjoying the blueberries," says Ward. "I think they'll be dumbfounded by the beauty."

Event Details Farm Day: First Public Picking
@ Blue Pearl Farms
9760 Randall Rd.
McClellanville, SC
When: Sun., June 24, 12-6 p.m.
Price: Free to attend
Festivals + Events and Family + Kids

Can't wait 'til Sunday, or can't make it out to the farm? These area restaurants have turned Blue Pearl's berries into delectable dishes and drinks.

Edmund's Oast Brewing Co.
EOBC uses Blue Pearl Farms berries and has a dessert on the regular menu that features fried shortcakes with berries and whipped cream. Advanced cicerone Brandon Plyler says to look out for the brewery's Coin Operated Belgian-style table beer to be brewed with blueberries, peaches, and lemon zest going on tap in the next few weeks.

Sugar Bakeshop
Stop by Sugar for a vanilla blueberry cupcake or a blueberry coffee cake with local berries from Blue Pearl Farms on Thursdays. They even have a local blueberry & Buttermilk marbleized creamsicle. Order a lattice top blueberry pie or vanilla cake with sugared blueberries — both perfect for a Fourth of July party.

Baker & The Farmer

Baker & The Farmer on Johns Island has a limited edition blueberry ice cream. Try it in shop or take a pint home. You can even build your own ice cream sandwich with blueberry ice cream between two white chocolate macadamia nut cookies — sounds pretty damn delicious. They are also serving up a tart with a chocolate shell, caramel and chocolate ganache, a mixed berry meringue and fresh blueberries sprinkled on top.

Wich Cream

Wich Cream joined forces with Blue Pearl to create a blueberry ice cream sandwich. From their Insta, it looks like the blueberry ice cream is sandwiched between two sugar cookies. Find the treat at numerous spots around town like Caviar and Bananas, Mercantile and Mash, the Charleston Farmers Market, or the Mt. Pleasant Farmers Market.

Life Raft Treats

Life Raft Treat's latest creation (replacing their strawberry treat) is a Blueberry Buttermilk ice cream sandwich made with Blue Pearl Farm’s blueberries and dairy from Lowcountry Creamery.

Katherine Lewis from Black Pearl Farms, located in Branchville, S.C., says their blueberry season also went "very well this year." They grow high bush varieties so their season starts earlier than Blue Pearl's, around late April/early May, and runs through mid-June.

GrowFood Carolina sells Black Pearl berries to a number of groceries, restaurants, and breweries, and Lewis says this year they're especially excited "to team up with Munkle Brewing and the Charleston Brewery District to provide blueberries for their collaboration brew this year. It is a summer ale with a hint of blueberry."

Commonhouse Aleworks is also using Black Pearl berries for their 

Indigose, a 5.2% ABV Blueberry Gose which they'll premiere Sat. June 23 at noon.

Brown’s Court Bakery has tons of blueberry items on their menu with berries sourced from GrowFood, including daily items like blueberry muffins, yogurt parfaits, and blueberry cream cheese danishes. Grab some fresh Black Pearl berries from Earth Fare, Whole Foods, Mixson Market, and Veggie Bin.

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Sip on N.C. and Texas brews in the Bower at Edmund's Oast next Thurs. June 28

Hoppin' over state lines

Posted by Christina Burnley on Fri, Jun 22, 2018 at 10:58 AM

There are beaucoup breweries to visit in Charleston, but true beer nerds like to taste test the malty waters of other states, too. Next Thurs. June 28 starting at 5 p.m. head over to The Bower at Edmund’s Oast for sips from N.C. based breweries Salud! Cerveceria and Fonta Flora and Austin, Texas brewery Jester King (yeehaw).

Pay as you drink; beers being poured include a coconut vanilla IPA, Westside Connection IPA, Pina Con Limon and pineapple gose, and Galaxia IPA from Salud!; a beet farmhouse ale and strawberry wild ale from Fonta Flora; and a sour imperial stout and saison brewed with foraged mezquite beans from Jester King. 

Once your cup runs dry, fill 'em up with Jayce McConnell’s speciality cocktail prepped for the evening. 

Location Details Edmund's Oast
Edmund's Oast
1081 Morrison Dr.
Charleston, SC
(843) 727-1145
Dinner & Weekend Brunch.
Modern American, Pubs + Taverns and Bar

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Thursday, June 21, 2018

Dangerously hot: Six frozen drinks to sip right now

It's almost happy hour, Charleston

Posted by Connelly Hardaway on Thu, Jun 21, 2018 at 3:09 PM

Get to the Windjammer or one of these five other hot spots for frozen drinks. - BONCEK FILE PHOTO
  • Boncek file photo
  • Get to the Windjammer or one of these five other hot spots for frozen drinks.
Y'all, it's too hot outside. With a heat index creeping up and up, today is indeed the first day of summer — and the longest day of the year. There's only one way to get through the heat: cold, cold drinks, sipped ... like, right now. City Paper staff put our heads together and came up with a list of our favorite ways to stay cold. See y'all at happy hour.

Game Changer

The game gets changed every single time we drink Home Team BBQ's Game Changer — served at each location in various sizes (just get the large, OK?) Made with two kinds of rum, OJ, pineapple juice, cream of coconut, and a dash of nutmeg, these things go down smooth (too smooth). And while you're there — we have some CP'ers in the camp of Home Team's frozen Irish Coffee, made with Tullamore Dew, Vietnamese iced coffee, cocoa nibs, and smoked nibs. 
Location Details Home Team BBQ
126 Williman St.
Charleston, SC
Barbecue, Bar and Music Venue
Location Details Home Team BBQ
Home Team BBQ
2209 Middle St.
Sullivan's Island, SC
(843) 225-RIBS(7427)
Lunch and Dinner (daily)
Bar, Barbecue and Music Venue
Location Details Home Team BBQ
Home Team BBQ
1205 Ashley River Rd.
West Ashley
Charleston, SC
(843) 225-7427
Lunch & Dinner
Barbecue, Bar and Music Venue

Frozen Screwdriver

Taco Boy serves up plenty of margaritas (which we're totally here for) but our go-to drink at the taco spot is surprisingly the frozen screwdriver, made with freshly squeezed OJ and sold with the option to add a Grand Marnier floater for $2. Which you should obviously do. 
Location Details Taco Boy
Taco Boy
15 Center St.
Folly Beach, SC
(843) 588-9761
Lunch & Dinner
Mexican, Bar and Music Venue
Location Details Taco Boy
Taco Boy
217 Huger St.
Charleston, SC
(843) 789-3333
Lunch, Dinner, & Sun. Brunch

Pier 101 Frozen Drinks

While our fave Pier 101 drink is the Kokomo (the bar's kickass signature drink, made with coconut spiced rum, amaretto, Godiva, and cream), the beach bar's frozen drink list is vast — and probably damned good on a day like today. The best part about Pier 101 is that you can grab that Key Lime Colada or Strawberry Daiquiri and walk the pier, enjoying the ocean breeze with drink in hand.
Location Details Pier 101
Pier 101
101 E. Arctic Ave.
Folly Beach, SC
(843) 633-0246

High Noon Grapefruit Frose

Uptown Social's rooftop bar just might get you a breeze in this town (maybe), but there's definitely shade. And there is most certainly a list of frozen beverages including the delightfully boozy High Noon Grapefruit Frose (for just $7). Here's the deal: Frose made with just rose is, well, meh. But frose made with vodka — that's delightful. Peep our recent review to see what bites you'd like to enjoy alongside your drink(s).
Location Details Uptown Social
Uptown Social
587 King St.
Charleston, SC
American, Sports Bar and Pizza


There are few places as dark and cool as Bar Mash. Get out of the sun and enjoy something akin to a frozen boozy creamsicle, Bar Mash's Julius (inspired by the Phish song because of course), features Tuaca, Plantation 5 Year rum, Liquor 43, orange juice concentrate, citrus cordial, and heavy cream. Oh yeah, and it's garnished with pickled fresno peppers — alluding to the garb drummer Jon Fishman wears on stage.
Location Details Bar Mash
701 East Bay St.
charleston, SC
(843) 793-2636
M-Sun, 4 p.m. - 2 a.m.

Unicorn Stinger

Enjoying the day on IOP? You'll want to make your way to the Windjammer for the Unicorn Stinger — a frozen double vodka Red Bull mixed up with passion fruit, orange, and pineapple. The best part, of course, is the rim, made with crushed up rainbow nerds rim. Yep, it's all fun and games.
Location Details The Windjammer
The Windjammer
1008 Ocean Blvd.
Isle of Palms, SC
(843) 886-8596
Bar, Music Venue and Open Mic

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Opening Watch: The status of 27 Charleston restaurants

Coming soon to a plate near you

Posted by Mary Scott Hardaway and Francesca Matthewes on Thu, Jun 21, 2018 at 1:08 PM

Opening a new restaurant is no small feat — permits upon permits, finding the space, paying for the space, standing out in a sea of small plate/New Southern/barbecue/pizza spots popping up almost daily — but by golly, the brave and the many are embarking on this culinary journey around town. We've compiled an up-to-date list of the status of restaurants on the peninsula and beyond. Start marking your calendars:


Josephine Wine Bar
64 Spring St.
The Spring Street wine bar is still set to open mid-July. Read all about the new space, and what sommelier Ashley Broshious will be bringing to the peninsula, here.

Chubby Fish
252 Coming St.
After P&C broke down in great detail the lengthy timeline of the Coming St. seafood restaurant yesterday, we figured an exact opening date was just around the corner. And we were right. We just got word that Chubby Fish is opening tomorrow Fri. June 22 starting at 5 p.m.

218 President St.
The Westside spot taking over the old Lee Lee's Kitchen is still slated to open "this summer, later in July." Head to Daps Breakfast and Imbibe this Friday starting at 5 p.m. to try contemporary Mexican cuisine from their preview menu.

167 East Bay St.
The restaurant going into the old Cypress space describes itself as "a modern, American restaurant opening this summer in downtown Charleston. Inspired by the Holy City's warm and welcoming hospitality, Tradd’s focuses on gracious service, sophisticated style, and a refined menu. Casually elegant but not uptight, Tradd's is ideal for both the special and the ordinary occasions in life" and most recently relayed that they'll be open "late summer/early fall."

721 King St.
No exact word from owner Brooks Reitz, but Reitz Instagrammed the interior of Melif's June 4 with the caption "opening in August."

Herd Provisions
106 Grove St.
Owner Alec Bradford says that they're shooting for an Oct. 1 opening. Read about the plans for the butcher shop and restaurant here

Big Bad Breakfast

456 Meeting St.
John Currence will be opening his famed chain Big Bad Breakfast at 456 Meeting St. In February we reported that Currence will demolish the now-shuttered Simply Fashions building to begin work on the restaurant, but it is still standing as of today. The minutes from the Board of Architectural Review — Small meeting held on Thurs. June 14 indicate that the request for preliminary approval for "building renovation and site improvements" were approved.

Hotel Bennett
'Signature restaurant' (unnamed) & Camellia's "Lady Bar"
404 King St.
Hotel Bennett has appointed Michael Sichel executive chef of what will be the hotel's main restaurant. Sichel will leave his post as executive chef of seven years at the century-old Bourbon Street joint, Galatoire, in NoLa.  The chef began his career at Gotham Bar and Grill in NYC, and competed on the 2012 season of Top Chef. In addition to the main restaurant, the hotel will have, as we reported we back in 2016, a special "ladies bar." The 179-room luxury hotel is slated to open fall 2018.

162 East Bay St.
At the beginning of the year, The Vendue announced that its formal dining space, The Drawing Room, would be transitioned into a lounge area as they worked on their new, more casual concept, Revival. Well, according to their website (and a few full page ads) that space opens tonight, Thurs. June 21, at 5 p.m. Peep the menu here.

167 Raw
193 King St.
In March we reported that 167 Raw had purchased the old Il Cortile Del Re space, hoping to make it the new home base of the restaurant in early 2019.

Charleston Poke Co.
10 WestEdge
Yesterday, P&C reported that Charleston Poke Co. recently leased a 2,556 square foot space in the new WestEdge development. We've reached out to Poke Co. to see if they have an opening date set.

Farmers & Exchange
141 East Bay St.
The most recent update on Farmers & Exchange that we could find was a 2016 Eater article with photos of banquettes going into the space owned by the Balish family, who are also behind Anson. A spokesperson at Anson said that they are not aware of any recent construction on the building that would change its opening status. We'll keep peeping in the windows for now.

Playa Bowls
429 King St.
Taking over the old Black Bean Co. space, the New Jersey-based chain has a "coming soon" sign in the window. Co-owner John Tramontano said the company is shooting for an Aug. 1 opening. 

North Charleston

Garco Mill
4845 O'Hear Ave.
According to their Facebook, the Park Circle food hall is "still shooting for early 2019, the lease is secured and the search for vendors is underway."

1262 Remount Road

In May we reported that Dashi owners Stephen Thompson and Oscar Hines had purchased property on Remount Road for a brick and mortar location. Their most recent update is that they're "shooting to open this fall" and are currently working with an architect.

Azul Mexicano Restaurante
1078 E. Montague Ave.
We reported in May that Azul would be taking over the old Park Circle Athletic Space. 

The owner of Daniel Island's Agave restaurant, Armando Navarro, is opening Azul; we've reached out for an update on the opening date. 

West Ashley

Slice Co.
1662 Savannah Hwy. Suite 205
At the end of May Slice Co. owner Todd Lucey told us that the pizza joint was graduating from Workshop to a brick-and-mortar in West Ashley, with plans to open mid-July. According to their Facebook page, they have a soft opening set for Wed. July 11.

House of Brews 2
House of Brews is set to open a second location in West Ashley; they most recently messaged us that "we are hoping for end of summer opening, but no clue as of yet on an official date."

Knead Sandwich Shop
1662 Savannah Hwy. Suite 105
Owen Plair, co-owner of Knead Sandwich shop — located at 1662 Savannah Hwy — says they're "shooting for Aug. 1" opening day. Plair goes on to say that "we'll be a locally owned and operated sandwich shop serving fresh sandwiches, salads, and soups." Once they're open, Knead plans on serving their sandwiches Mon.-Sat. from 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m.

Mt. Pleasant

Poke Tea House
627 Johnnie Dodds Blvd. Ste. B
Owner Chu Xin Jiang spoke with us about the opening of the second Poke Tea House, going into 627 Johnnie Dodds Blvd. Ste. B (inside the Pivotal Fitness). They're looking to open in the middle of July with the same menu and possibly earlier hours. "We'll offer coffee, tea, maybe breakfast items." The seating inside will be similar to the flagship location, and while the new spot is located in the same building as Pivotal, Poke will have their own entrance.

Vicious Biscuit
409 Coleman Blvd.
Co-owner Josh Lambert says they're "shooting for an early fall opening date." Read all about the Coleman Blvd. spot here.

Sunrise Bistro
1039 Johnnie Dodds Blvd.
Co-owner Jason Appelt says they hope to "open next week" in the old Charleston Cafe space.

Rise Biscuits Donuts
Indigo Square
On May 30 the P&C reported that Rise would be part of the new Publix GreenWise-anchored shopping center in Mt. Pleasant and that Publix would open early 2019 and "other tenants will open in November 2018, according to a Regency Centers spokeswoman."

James Island

Maple St. Biscuit
1739 Maybank Hwy.
We walked by the Maple St. Biscuit Co. this week and looks like the interior is still under construction, with a "now hiring" sign on the door. We've reached out, but no specifics on opening date.

John Island

The Royal Tern
3005 Maybank Hwy.
We drive by the Royal Tern every day — construction is still under way, but it's looking close. The P&C reported that the restaurant probably won't open until "late summer or early fall."

Folly Beach

Wiki Wiki Sandbar
106 E. Ashley Ave.
Opening at 106 E. Ashley Ave., the South Pacific themed bar — with industry vet Karalee Fallert at the helm — is still slated to open late July. According to Eater, the restaurant will have five rooms with different themes and works from local artists, eats from Executive Chef Jason Dupree (formerly of Rue de Jean), and tiki drinks from beverage director Xan McLaughlin.

106 E. Hudson Ave.
The restaurant located at 106 E. Hudson Ave. says "We are currently waiting on our liquor license which can take anywhere from 3-8 weeks."

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