Friday, June 23, 2017

Chez Nous is closing ... for vacation

Take us with you

Posted by Kinsey Gidick on Fri, Jun 23, 2017 at 3:18 PM

Hot on the heels of our designation of Chez Nous as one of the "8 best wanderlust Instagram accounts in Charleston," the restaurant has announced that it's closing from July 3-19 for "our annual vacation to Europe to gather inspiration for our restaurant!"  The bad news: no branzino with mushrooms for at least two weeks. The good news: You can travel vicariously through Chez Nous' 'gram.

In an Instagram post, the restaurant promises they will post photos from their adventures in France, Italy, and Spain.
Location Details Chez Nous
Chez Nous
6 Payne St.
Charleston, SC
(843) 579-3060
Lunch & Dinner

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Chef Patrick Owens pairs a raw bar and pizza at his new Wood and Grain restaurant

Roasted octopus, anyone?

Posted by Kinsey Gidick on Fri, Jun 23, 2017 at 11:38 AM

Pairing arguably the Lowcountry's most popular foods — pizza and seafood — Chef Patrick Owens has just opened Wood & Grain, wood-fired pizza and raw bar. Wood & Grain joins Owens' Langdon's and Opal restaurants and is located just two doors down from the former at 778 South Shelmore Blvd 102.

According to a press release, Owen has been making bread and baked goods for himself for ages, so pizza felt like a good fit. The raw bar component is cited as due to his love of the local fishing community. 
Location Details Wood & Grain
Wood & Grain
778 South Shelmore Blvd.
Mt. Pleasant, SC
Dinner daily.
Seafood and Pizza

“My two favorite things are pizza and raw seafood. It is exciting to use wood to roast seafood and shellfish in an open hearth oven,” the chef says in a press release.

The menu examples include "roasted octopus with romesco and butter beans, freshly prepared ceviches, and a variety of pizzas, salads and raw seafood."

“Our pizza dough has its own formula dictated by the oven,” says Owens. “We will handcraft pizzas with the finest seasonal bounty from regional farms and purveyors. We will use simple Lowcountry products but give them a unique global twist to create an unexpected combination of flavors.”

Wood & Grain's Raw Bar will be open at 4 p.m. and the full menu is available beginning at 5 p.m. The restaurant is closed on Sundays.

Wood & Grain's official opening is next Wednesday, June 28.

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Thursday, June 22, 2017

UPDATE: 30+ Charleston restaurants have signed on to the Strawless Summer Challenge

These restaurants do not suck

Posted by Kinsey Gidick on Thu, Jun 22, 2017 at 3:59 PM

Surfrider Foundation beach sweep participants picked up 300 straws below Folly Pier in one hour in May - PROVIDED
  • Provided
  • Surfrider Foundation beach sweep participants picked up 300 straws below Folly Pier in one hour in May
If the turnout at Tuesday's Strawless Summer Challenge kickoff at Redux was any indication, Charleston does not, in fact, suck. According to Kate Dittloff, Surfrider Charleston Chapter Chair, and one of the organizers of the initiative designed to encourage local bars and restaurants to stop using plastic straws, the Strawless Summer launch party was a huge success and the program is gaining participants faster than you can slurp up a smoothie.

"It was an awesome event! Standing room only — probably about 75 to 100 people there with a ton from the food and bev industry," says Dittloff.  So far, 30 local restaurants have pledged to give up plastic straws this summer, but Dittloff has high hopes that that number could quadruple. "We hope to have upwards of 100 restaurants and would love for even more," she says.

Restaurants and bars have until July 1 to get onboard and participation requires that a restaurant not use straws with any drink and only provide one upon request. "And if requested we definitely encourage paper straws," adds Dittloff.

So who's putting their money where their, er, straw was?

Here's the full list of participants so far:

Local 616
The Macintosh
Fleet Landing Restaurant & Bar
Glowfisch Hospitality (Five Loaves and Sesame Burgers)
Tommy Condon's Irish Pub
Stems & Skins
Yo Bo Cantina Fresca
California Dreaming Columbia
California Dreaming Charleston
California Dreaming North Myrtle Beach
California Dreaming Surfside
Carolina Roadhouse
Burro Loco
Gulfstream Cafe
New York Prime
Chophouse '47
California Dreaming Greenville
Morgan Creek Grill
ISLE OF PALMS Marina Market
Sazerac Brand Ambassador, South Carolina - Firefly Vodkas
Madra Rua Irish Pub Summerville
Madra Rua Park Circle
Rita's Seaside Grill
Ink N Ivy
Snapper Jack's
Rutledge Cab Company
Jack of Cups

If you'd like to get your bar or restaurant involved, email

UPDATE: As of Fri. June 23 morning, an additional 10 restaurants have agreed to the Strawless Summer pledge. Here they are:

Smoky Oak Taproom
Black Magic Folly Beach
Black Magic James Island
Mellow Mushroom Charleston
The Americano
Cru Cafe
Gentry Bar & Room
The Grocery
Fuel Charleston
82 Queen
Swig & Swine (both locations)
Lowcountry Bistro

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Rutledge Cab Co. offers up a hearty take on the doughnut burger, but is it worth the experience?

Doughnut deny you’re curious

Posted by Dustin Waters on Thu, Jun 22, 2017 at 11:29 AM

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There exists, in a special corner of the culinary world, a very interesting game of one-upmanship. We’re not talking about the usual quest for perfect plating, full refinement, or the goal of elevating one’s palate. No, this is more about pushing American cuisine in a more extreme, more absurd direction.

Think fried sticks of butter at the state fair, sandwiches that swap bread for fried chicken, and any drink that is served in a fishbowl. Within this ever-advancing caloric arms race, there remains the hallmark of greasy decadence — the doughnut burger. And you can now experience a new take on this sweet and savory classic at Rutledge Cab Company. 
Location Details Rutledge Cab Co.
Rutledge Cab Co.
1300 Rutledge Ave.
Charleston, SC
(843) 720-1440
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, & Weekend Brunch.
Going by the incredibly clever and all-too-apt name of the Glazed and Confused burger, Rutledge Cab Company’s variation on what is also known as a “Luther” comes topped with candied bacon, cheddar cheese, and caramelized onions sandwiched between Krispy Kreme doughnuts. But like all the other entries into the wacky world of extreme entrees, the Glazed and Confused burger is as much an experience as it is a meal.
At first glace, the doughnut burger seems a bit on the small end, but that will work out in your best interest. The human body is only meant to ingest so much beef and sugar at the same time.

Once you finally commit yourself to the process of eating a burger topped with doughnuts, you’ll be met with sticky fingers and a marriage of sweet and savory raging on your palate. It’s a lot to take in, both physically and taste-wise. The sweetness of the doughnuts and the grilled tang of the beef blend together surprisingly well, but the sum total of all these sensations can become a bit taxing, so much so that you may find the onions and candied bacon to be an afterthought.

Ultimately, this is a meal you plan around. You’ll want to clear your calendar after going for the Glazed and Confused burger because this oddity will likely leave you in need of a nice lie-down in a quiet room to give you time to really think about what you’ve done.

Looking back, it’s an experience similar to skydiving: You decided to take things to an extreme. You followed through. But this isn’t something you’re going to want to do every day. Even though there is more reason to enjoy a Glazed and Confused burger than just to say you did.

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Charleston food and bev design trend spotting: Shipping containers

Step aside, Edison light bulbs

Posted by Kinsey Gidick on Thu, Jun 22, 2017 at 11:09 AM

In case you haven't watched HGTV lately, shipping container architecture is all the rage right now. From a proposal to replace slum housing in major cities with Container Skyscrapers from China's CRG Architects to Canadian "modpool" swimming pools crafted from repurposed shipping containers, the industrial steel boxes have become all purpose building blocks. So it's no wonder we're seeing them pop up in local food and bev architecture. And with 1.12 million containers traveling through South Carolina ports each year, the design element actually makes sense.

As we reported earlier this month, the forthcoming Food Truck-O-Rama on Mt. Pleasant Street will have a rooftop container bar aptly named ... Container Bar. We've seen a few blueprints and it looks like owners Mike Veeck, Brad Creeger, and Bill Murray plan to stack a few containers to build out the space.

Downtown's Home Team BBQ has cleverly used shipping containers to create a stage/television hut outside, perfect for game days. And over at Holy City, the brewery used a shipping container to paint its signature mural.

According to, using shipping containers in buildings is alluring because of their ease of use and relative affordability. The average 20-footer costs around $1,400 to $2,800. Plus, they can withstand practically any extreme weather including tornadoes, earthquakes, and hurricanes — a bonus in this city especially considering a well secured shipping container can withstand winds up to 175 miles per hour.

The next local restaurant to get in on the trend? Mt. Pleasant's Mainland Container Co. Kitchen & Bar (1528 Ben Sawyer Blvd.). Officially opening this Saturday — with a performance from Hootie & the Blowfish's Mark Bryan — the restaurant plans to have a namesake container bar outside once the town of Mt. Pleasant approves it.

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