Friday, March 29, 2013

Field Trip: Charleston, South Carolina

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It always amazes me how our country coexists in such a peaceful manner because you travel to other parts of the country and you literally think you’re IN another country.  A three hour plane ride, and we disembarked on a sunny yet chilly South Carolina morning.  “There are palm trees here”!  Yes, I literally grabbed John’s arm in exclamation!  Sometimes, I regress to my own 5 year old self.
Our car was waiting for us and took us straight to the Charleston Place Hotel.  I am in love with boutique-y hotels like this one; if you recall we stayed in a similarly beautiful hotel in Kansas City!  We had to wait for our room but since I am so impatient, we dropped our bags with the concierge and headed off…in the wrong direction (of course)!  Never trust me with a map, I tell you.
Anyway, our getting lost enabled us to wander around the city and the quieter side of town all the way down to the Battery.  I love that almost every street in Charleston seems that if you could stand in the spot and go back 200 years, you’d see the exact same streets and houses (and maybe some more horses, but that’s digressing).  The city is steeped in history literally everywhere you turn. 
We were on the hunt for lunch and all I wanted was some traditional shrimp and grits.  As I mentioned before, John and I are as Yankee as it gets so grits to me were like a paste that I had tried a few times and couldn’t get into.  But I now realize, that’s because I was missing out on Southern grits (aka grits cooked in whole milk with lots of butter)!  We headed to SNOB, a restaurant I had heard a lot about and was anxious to try.  We were seated at the “Chef’s Table”, a long table that overlooked the kitchen which provided entertainment along with our meal.  John had a delicious Reuben sandwich that paled in comparison to my succulent shrimp and grits.  It was so big, I couldn’t finish it but wow I wanted to! 

From there we were on the right track…we headed up to the wharf to get on a tour to Fort Sumter, the Fort that saw the first shots of the Civil War.  I’ve always been extremely curious about the Civil War; not sure why.  I think its because where we lived in New York and then New England there were a lot of signs of the Revolutionary War – graves of leaders, the Old North Church, lots of places I passed everyday in Boston had seen the Revolutionary War play out on its streets.  But since most of the Civil War was fought in the South, we don’t actually see it.

And it’s hard to envision things you’ve never seen.  The fort is incredible and it was a great 3 hour trip.  Then, for “dinner” we headed to the premiere event of the Charleston Wine + Food Festival, the VIP party at the Charleston Aquarium. 
There’s something about eating fish in front of fish that just feels wrong…but everything was so tasty, I didn’t care!  The weekend continued on in much the same fashion and our consistent favorite dishes came from:  Husk, Magnolia, and SNOB! 

The weekend ended with a walk through the City Market and a gander at all the beautiful baskets that are native to Charleston.  We also ate a delicious Jazz Brunch at the Lownde's Grove Plantation, a National Historic Place, where we had the most delectable French toast which I cannot wait to recreate for all of us in the next few weeks!  When the weekend (which was a huge blur, except for the humongous grill sitting in our living room) was over, I didn’t want to leave. 
Charleston, we’ll be back, you can bet on it!

8 comments:

  1. Sounds like a great time. Charleston is one of the foodie cities I am dying to visit.

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    Replies
    1. Lisa - YOU MUST GO! I insist; it's so amazing, we can't wait to go back!!

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  2. My cousin is getting married in Charleston in October and I was excited before...but now I really can't wait!

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    Replies
    1. Joanne, you will love it - I hope you are able to slip away from some wedding activities and take a walk...I bet it is beautiful in October :)

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  3. What a beautiful place and yummy eats - I love shrimp and grits! I want to go to Savannah which I've heard is much like Charleston. I'm afraid I would never want to leave. . .

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    Replies
    1. I've been to Savannah too and loved it! Charleston to me felt a little more touristy than Savannah but that might have just been the areas we hung out in :)

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  4. Always wanted to go to Charleston. Now I've got even more reason! Thanks! Stopping by from SITS!

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Welcome! I'm Dani (aka the Growing Foodie), just a girl balancing her career and passion for all things edible in NYC. I hope you'll join me in my adventures in life, through food. (Click for More)
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