OUT TO LUNCH ‌ Bookstore Café 

Out of Africa with John Saunders

Who: John Saunders, long-time resident of South Africa, world traveler, college professor, and now owner and manager of Kudu, an African-themed coffeehouse in the Upper King area.

Where: Bookstore Café at 412 King St. Open daily for breakfast and lunch.

Why a Favorite: If there is anything John dislikes more than senseless discrimination of all types — be it practiced in Charleston, Cape Town, or wherever — it is the numbing, depersonalized conformity of chain coffeehouses and restaurants. He relishes the warm and old-timey ambiance of this family-owned, one-of-a-kind restaurant. He also freely admits to loving their fresh food, particularly the fried green tomatoes, sides of fruit, and the wide variety of scrumptious sandwiches (there are more sandwich offerings during the work week). When I suggest to John that he often comes here because of its proximity to his own café, he denies it, saying he has tried restaurants up and down King Street and the side streets, and he has decided that the Bookstore Café is definitely his favorite casual eatery.

Favorite Dishes: John is a hearty, bear-like man who likes hearty sandwiches, but not so hearty that the fixings spill out the sides. He usually orders the turkey (white meat) with cranberry-horseradish sauce and white American cheese on thick sandwich bread. He always chooses a side of fresh fruit (pineapple, strawberries, etc.). He washes everything down with unsweetened ice tea. John admits to being spoiled by Kudu's signature blend of African coffee, so he seldom orders coffee anywhere else.

Note: Oddly, there are few books here, so if you like to read while eating, BYOB.

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