Sunday, September 12, 2010

Newbie from L.A. Discovers Charleston Cuisine

Jessica Garrison of the Los Angeles Times gives a starry-eyed account of her Charleston restaurant tour.  She admits that before this trip, she had not "spent even five minutes in the South," so it's a fun snapshot of a diner's first introduction to Lowcountry culinary delights.

Edisto's Po Pigs Bo-B-Q (yes, that is spelled correctly, after owner Bobo Lee) gets a glowing mention, as does dinner at FIG and brunch at Hominy Grill.  If you had to pick just three spots for lunch, dinner, and breakfast, those are pretty good choices.  (And, such continued publicity will do nothing to help reduce the ever-growing line of tourists on the Rutledge Avenue sidewalk on Saturday morning.)

I have to call foul on just one thing, though: the narrative hook that opens of the story: "Our waiter was staring at us in disbelief," Garrison writes.  "Finally, he leaned forward and, ever so politely, asked my husband to repeat himself."  The husband, it turns out, was inquiring of his waiter at FIG where they might go next to try more Charleston culinary specialties, after the couple had just finished three appetizers, a soup and two main courses.

Now, either it was the waiter's first week on the job, or maybe he just couldn't hear the husband the first time.  Asking where to go next is just par for the course when you're trying to cram in a full week of dining in a single weekend in Charleston, and I can't imagine any seasoned downtown waiter being phased by such an eminently reasonable request.  (I would have advised McCrady's, by the way, for a post-prandial pre-Prohibition cocktail and a few of the bar snacks like pimento goat cheese or ham hock and jalapeno boiled peanuts.  There's always room to squeeze in a few of those.)

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