Charleson, SC is nicknamed the Holy City because it boasts a slue of church steeples in it’s skyline. The city has ordinances that no new building or structure can be taller than the highest steeple. I like that preservation aspect, that respect to history. But, more than churches Charleston knows how to EAT. Yes, in all caps. I would imagine lower case is beneath them.
I’m lucky enough to be a foodie in a foodie family. I’m also lucky enough to have my parents foot the bill for travels to eateries across this land from time to time. This Easter, my parents took a total of 9 persons from good eating to good eating in the Holy City. And I have to say that after this jaunt, I may have found the truest religion.
Our first full Charleston day began with an Easter Sunday call to Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit.
The biscuits never disappoint me. They are the perfect texture of a soft, fluffy biscuit that holds up to spreads or breakfast fixins. I only wish I could try all of her combinations and I’d just love to get my hands on some Fried Chicken Friday.
I heard the tea was really great. They brew it with mint. I did not try it. Wish I had. Doesn’t it look quenching in that Hot Little cup?
After the biscuit love we walked and walked and walked and walked that Holy City. We saw those steeples. There really are a good many. Then finally, and luckily, we stopped at Sean Brock’s new joint, Minero. Being a minor foodie I did not know the name behind this place until after the eating had happened. So, there is only this picture of chilaquiles from my phone. I now have a favorite Mexican eatery. It just happens to be a six hour drive from my home. And you guys, they have Mexican Coke. Mexican Coke!
Then, and full disclosure that this joint is in the family, Boxcar Betty’s. People, I love this place and not just because I’m related to it. It puts all other fried chicken sandwiches to shame. All. Of. Them. That chain you are thinking of, just bypass them and drive across the country if you have to, but that is the only way you are gonna know what an actual fried chicken sandwich should taste like. And, it’s this;
Then my mom picked an old, tried and true place called Hominy Grill.
People, just stop. Just stop all the nonsense about knowing how to cook grits or stewed tomatoes cause the Hominy Grill may have invented how to do all of it.
This was my favorite and still stands above any traditional southern cooking I’ve ever had. Ever. I’m from the south. We like to cook. We like people who like to cook, but honey child, they can all just stop. Give up. Go home. Or better, go to Hominy Grill.
Sadly I only have phone picts. of the food. The light faded as I entered into this Holy place.
The next night was Wild Olive on John’s Island. Wild Olive serves up a contrast to the rustic and tangled island where it’s nestled. The wait staff were friendly and so helpful to our party of 15 (Boxcar family joined us). The warm olives, the bread, the olive oil for dipping, the gnocchi were all wonderful, but the biggest and best surprise were the potatoes that were sent out by the chef to my cousin’s husband (Boxcar) as a chef to chef nod. Those potatoes, the waitress told us, were boiled then smashed, roasted, tossed in truffle oil, salt and parmesan. Far from the steeples and yet holy, holy, holy.
My affinity for Charleston has grown by leaps and bounds from this trip. It used to just be a place my cousins lived, where I was I fed with long conversations and childhood reminiscing, but now it is a divine destination for the part of me that always needs feeding.