Friendship is a funny thing to write about. I have many brothers around the world, people I have connected with on a very deep emotional, human level. The kind of bond where you can have heavy political or religious conversation and at the drop of the hat stop the philosophizing and get passionate about the next meal or adventure. It’s not about agreeing on everything, it’s appreciating our difference, and the challenge to your way of thinking. This is the kind of bond I have with my two friends Brad and Phil. We never agree on everything, and we like it that way. Our traditional middle ground was and always will be food. We would have cook offs between the three of us back in college. Some nights were a success, others ended in a pizza delivery after nearly burning down one of our homes. Well, as life would have it Phil moved away following his dreams as a police officer in Charleston, and this trip was about reconnecting and celebrating those years of adventure as the three amigos, cooking and traveling together.
Let me say that this has to be one of my favorite gastronomical adventures yet! It was amazing plate after amazing plate with only one dark side to it all, it was heavy food. When I got back I made a point to only eat only green things for a week to give my body some respite. Before I delve into the amazing food we had in this southern Gem of a city there is something I must get off my chest. The dress code for men in this city. It is truly something special… They call it the Charleston proper and it includes a button shirts, usually long sleeve rolled up with pastel colors (let the record show I have no issue with this side of the dress-code), boat shoes, and what perturbed me the most, 80s style khaki short shorts they call chubbies. Nothing, let me repeat that N.O.T.H.I.N.G. should ever be called chubbies. It was almost unsettling to see so much man-thigh while attempting to enjoy the night life. I couldn’t help but stick out like a sore thumb with my dark jeans, but it’s a Midwestern habit I don’t plan on yielding.
Now on to the main event! “If you want good food, ask a Cop.” Well I asked my friend Phil, who happens to be a Copper, and let me say he did not lead me astray. Don’t take my word for it, keep scrolling down!
First lets talk the Tattooed Moose. Their website is here. These people have a pretty solid southern beer selection, but what got me in the door was their duck confit, bacon sandwich. Do I really have to explain further? I don’t think I do, but just in case here are a few pictures of the food we scarfed down.
After the Tattooed Moose we strolled about in colorful downtown Charleston and the discovery of a lifetime was made. Sweet tea reduction sauce. Yes you read that correctly. Several restaurants had this paired with southern style fried chicken (only the best of course) and my, my did it taste good. It’s as if they found a way to pair American style Chinese food sweetness with a perfectly crispy fried, seasoned, moist chicken. Joy to the palate.
The next big thing that I know I must have once again is the Jerk chicken sandwich from the Wich Doctor. I like a good hot sauce but I still cried eating this amazing sandwich and believe me I would do it again. My buddy Phil had a good BBQ rib sandwich inside an Asian style steamed bun. The crown of this location however was the amazing Eggo waffles chicken sandwich with a honey Dijon mustard. I simply struggle with words when describing this amazing creation of joy and happiness of subtle sweet, tart and fried chicken. A true success and possibly the best meal of amazing meals had on this weekend trip. I will give honorable mentions to Toast where we had bottomless orange mimosas, a remarkable poached egg with a lemon remoulade sauce on top of a deep fried crab-cakes on top of deep fried green tomatoes AND the largest hunk of French toast i have ever seen in my short life. It was half a loaf. One final honorable mention would be to the Hominy Grill, where upon the request of the mighty Anthony Bourdain, the Big Nasty was enjoyed. A biscuit sandwich with fried chicken swimming in white gravy. What a fantastic heart attack that was.