A LA CARTE 

BLUE BALLS ... I MEAN BELLS

Shout it from the Alps, the Swiss Miss has got some mascot competition. Meet the new "it" girl. She's a milkmaid and she's all about some cream. Ice cream, that is; Blue Bell, to be exact. With her cute pigtails and bovine in tow, the Blue Bell Ice Cream Milk Maid has infiltrated the Charleston market. Started in Brenham, Texas, the Blue Bell company has made ice cream its signature enterprise since 1907. The company boasts a cornucopia of flavors, with everything from traditional homemade vanilla to the more innovative Lemon Ice Box Pie. Neighborhood grocery stores Piggly Wiggly, Publix, Walgreens, and Wal-Mart started carrying the label March 13. Keep your eyes peeled for the gingham-clad milkmaid as she makes the rounds in Charleston, delivering samples with a touch of homemade goodwill. —Kinsey Labberton

MIDDAY SNACK SPOT OPENS

730 Rutledge, next to the old Rainbows baseball field, is now home to Granville's Cafe. Owned by caterer Trae Wilson, formerly of Boissons, the new lunch spot will be serving up homestyle goodness like chicken pot pie and classic Angus burgers from 11:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. every Monday through Friday. Wilson had trouble describing the setting, but suggests the interior is "eclectic" with seating for 16. Opening Mon., March 20, the first week's menu will feature entrees priced around $7 a pop. Rather affordable when it includes a choice of beverage and a side dish. —KL

SAVED BY THE PIG

Believe it or not, after years of serving millions of South Carolinians the best pulled pork around, barbecue king Melvin Bessinger can thank a hog for his life. The co-founder of Melvin's Barbecue recently underwent heart valve replacement surgery, and where do you think those valves came from? Farm-raised pigs! Bessinger has always been a strong supporter of the other white meat, but we're certain this latest medical miracle will increase his piggy adoration tenfold. —KL

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