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Dish Restaurant Guide

Winter 2018

Ristorante Juliet

Much like the old Volkswagen Bug ads, "Think Small" can be applied to many things. But it certainly seems appropriate right now in Charleston. With the crushing cost of rent, lack of parking, and staffing woes, upending the traditional restaurant concept isn't just a fun idea, for many chefs, it means survival. We've found a host of stories for this issue of Dish that illustrate just that. From pop-ups to entirely different takes on what a restaurant is, this city's culinary scene is evolving and we're not just talking about a shift from fine dining. Local chefs are exploring the entire idea of what a restaurant is. Hope you enjoy. —Kinsey Gidick

What is Charleston's signature sandwich?
What is Charleston's signature sandwich? What's it going to take to get our own po' boy or Philly cheesesteak?

Philadelphia has its cheesesteaks, and New Orleans has po' boys. When in Baltimore, you must try a pit beef sandwich topped with tiger sauce, and no trip to Chicago would be complete without an Italian beef. — Robert F. Moss

How to make Leon's fried chicken sammie at home
How to make Leon's fried chicken sammie at home Spoiler Alert: It's easier than you think

This is like Argo but with chicken," was the response I got from one of my co-workers when I made us all blindfold ourselves to taste test nine locally sourced fried chicken sandwiches. — Kinsey Gidick

Weird 'wiches
Weird 'wiches Not your grandfather’s ham sandwich

Sandwiches are undoubtedly the champion of standard lunch fare for millions of Americans. Come noon every day you can find us munching away at our desks, in a café, in the car, at the park ... pretty much anywhere. — Robert Donovan

Did Charleston's foremothers launch this city's sandwich love affair?
Did Charleston's foremothers launch this city's sandwich love affair? 'Wich, Please

The 1920s was the decade of the sandwich in Charleston. That's according to Dr. David Shields, and he would know. A professor of English at the University of South Carolina, Shields is a living, breathing file cabinet of Charleston food ephemera. Perhaps you remember him from his last foray into sandwich history for City Paper — his Dish: Gullah Geechee issue essay, "Fish Tales" in which Shields revealed the city's fondness for fish sandwich cabarets. Forget dancing girls, these places were all about grabbing a quick, fried meal. — Kinsey Gidick

Holy Aioli
Holy Aioli What is it about the omnipresent sandwich condiment that keeps us coming back for more?

Mayonnaise is a quintessential polarizing foodstuff. Sure Southerners love to sing the praises of Duke's, but just as many South of the Mason-Dixon Line will tell you they hate it. But what about aioli? — Vanessa Wolf

How a FIG server survives on 2 a.m. sandwiches
How a FIG server survives on 2 a.m. sandwiches Tuna on Rye (or PB&J)

My grandfather grew up on a farm in Ohio. He had a pet fox named Düfty ("goofy" in German) and a knack for nefarious activity. The sheriff of Medina deemed him "incorrigible" and all but ran him out of town like sheriffs did back in those days. — Lindsay M. Collins