Alchemy Arts and Eats, Caviar and Bananas, Lowcountry Food Bank 

A La Carte: Charleston's cuisine news source

The Elixir Of Life
A new addition has arrived in the Avondale community next to the recently opened Pearlz in West Ashley. Alchemy Arts and Eats, a classic coffee shop serving specialty drinks, homemade pies, and quiches has officially opened its doors. Boasting a cozy atmosphere, Alchemy features a rotating selection from local artists and musicians. Customers can choose between seven different original sandwiches, green apple coleslaw or pineapple black bean salsa, chips, and a baked good in their personal rendition of the southern-style boxed lunch. With free wireless, couches, and large tables to sprawl out on, it's the new place to get your daily fix that will keep you buzzing all day.­ —Alison Sher

Pairing The Ordinary And Extraordinary
Gourmet grocery Caviar and Bananas opened a few weeks back on the eve of Spoleto and has been packing them in ever since. The shop is located on 51 George St., on the edge of the College of Charleston campus and across the street from the Sottile Theater. A big refrigerated case along the back of the sleek space features prepared meals and side items like black truffle mac 'n' cheese and edamame hummus. The sandwich counter has tasty creations like duck confit on sourdough and charcuterie on a baguette. Salads, like the decadent lobster Cobb salad, are tossed to order, and fresh sushi is rolled at the counter. Almost all of the prepared dishes at Caviar and Bananas are made in-house by Chef Jason Ulak, who made a name for himself at SNOB and The Boathouse. In the middle of the shop, shelves are stocked with a variety of unique, high-end snacks and condiments and a hand-selected wine portfolio. They even validate parking for the first 30 minutes. But features like these don't come cheap; you can expect to pay a whopping $9 for that yummy lobster salad. —Alison Sher

Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
The Lowcountry Food Bank has officially moved to 2864 Azalea Drive in North Charleston. They will open in September; until then, the old Cosgrove Avenue location will remain open. Working to feed hungry people in all 10 coastal counties, the new location will operate as a food repackaging and distribution center for local homeless shelters, soup kitchens, and needy citizens. The LCFB will eventually host nutrition, gardening, and yoga classes to provide holistic care that will "feed a man for a lifetime." To make a much-needed donation to the center, visit their website at www.lowcountryfoodbank.org. —Alison Sher

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